Travel and itinerary
Because classes generally start on Monday morning, we suggest you plan to arrive in Hungary on Friday or Saturday. This will give you at least one day to get over jet-lag before you teach.
We suggest you plan to leave Hungary on Saturday if you are teaching for one week, or on Friday if you are teaching for two weeks. This will allow us to take you sightseeing in Budapest on the first full Saturday you are here.
Most of the time we have extra guest rooms available, so you are welcome to arrive earlier and stay later than the above-suggested days. However, please make sure you let us know your exact itinerary at least 4-6 weeks in advance if possible. Please click on the above “Click to send itinerary” link which will automatically send an email to the appropriate staff members.
Time difference and jet-lag
Hungary is on CET (Central European Time) which differs from EST (Eastern Standard Time) by 6 hours most of the year. Therefore you will arrive on the next calendar day when traveling to Europe and on the same calendar day when traveling back to the U.S. So, for example, you will need to leave the States on Friday to arrive on Saturday, and if you leave on Saturday, you will arrive back in the U.S. on Saturday.
Hungary observes Daylight Savings Time with the day of the time change being one week earlier than the U.S. in the Fall (last Sunday in October) and a two to three week difference in the Spring (2nd Sunday of March in the U.S. and last Sunday of March in Europe).
In trying to overcome jet-lag, we recommend that you sleep no more than 2 hours during the day of your arrival if you come in any time before noon. If you arrive after noon, we generally suggest that you try to avoid taking a nap in the afternoon or it will be difficult to overcome jet-lag. We also recommend that you try to avoid any afternoon naps for the first two days, or at least limit them to 1 hour at the most or you may struggle with jet-lag during your entire stay.
(Note: this information is dealt with to some degree under the “Your Trip” section of the website.)
All who minister with Word of Life Hungary, both short-term and long-term, serve as missionaries. There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary reason is that we are a faith-based ministry that depends solely on the gifts and support of partners in Hungary, the U.S., Germany and other countries. However, this support does not cover all of our operating expenses. Therefore, we find it necessary to ask our guest teachers to also be missionaries and cover their personal travel expenses to Hungary. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to offer honorariums for the ministry of our guest teachers.
Unlike most of our other short-term missionaries, we do not ask for donations from our guest teachers for airport transportation or room and board expenses. In other words, our guest teachers have no other expenses beyond their travel. We also extend this to wives and children. In fact, we encourage our guest teachers to bring their wives and children when possible.
In some cases, guest teachers will bring teams with them to help with various projects. Sometimes they bring just one guest - sometimes as many as ten or more. In this case, we do not ask for airport transportation or sightseeing travel expenses (unless we need to rent a bus or van), although we do to ask for a donation of $200 per week (for non-family members) to help cover our room and board costs. (For groups not traveling with guest teachers, we ask for help with transportation costs, as well.)
We now require that all short-term missionaries are covered under Word of Life’s policy with Brotherhood Mutual health insurance. This insurance will cover any medical emergencies while you are in Hungary. The Assistant to the Country Director will be in touch with you to help you with the paperwork. The cost is about $4.15 per day, per person, and is organized through Word of Life International Ministries in the United States. This is required, even if your health insurance provider claims to provide international coverage.
Due to current Hungarian law, each short-term missionary (including guest teachers) falls into the category of “volunteer” status in the eyes of the Hungarian government. This has to do with the very strict Hungarian tax laws as they relate to payment and pay-in-kind. Therefore you will be asked to fill out a form that indicates that you are serving as a volunteer, because you are not receiving any kind of compensation for your time with us, and you came to help the WOL foundation. This form takes about five minutes to fill out, and it can be completed after you arrive in Hungary.
The castle is the main building on the Word of Life Hungary property. It was originally built in the late 1800’s as a 50-room mansion in an eclectic neo-Baroque (not in the medieval style as we usually think of castles). It is a famous historic landmark in Hungary, under protection by the Historical Society. Our 77-acre property is unique in all of Hungary, and possibly Europe, and is under environmental protection.
Since our acquisition of the property in 1989, we have done quite a bit of remodeling and now have several very nice guest rooms. Some of these guest rooms have their own private bathroom, which are reserved for our guest teachers.
Our receptionists, guest services secretaries and housekeepers will all work together to make your stay with us a comfortable and as pleasant as possible. We provide towels and washcloths and regular cleaning of the rooms. For guests who stay longer than one week, we can also take care of your laundry needs. There is also wireless internet available throughout our property.
A normal week of classes for our guest teachers is 10 hours, as follows:
Monday: 11:00 & 12:00
Tuesday: 9:00, 11:00, & 12:00
Wednesday: 11:00 & 12:00
Thursday: 9:00, 11:00, & 12:00
Chapels are normally held from 10:00-11:00 am Monday-Thursday. You are invited to attend all chapel services, if you so wish. All of our staff and students attend Presidential Chapel on Tuesday morning at 10:00 am.You may be invited to speak in a chapel service on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. If you are invited, the Dean of Students will ask you with plenty of advance notice. (Please note that whether or not we ask the guest teacher to also speak in chapel is not a reflection on him personally, but depends on many other scheduling.)
We will provide you with an exact schedule in your welcome packet that will be in your room upon your arrival.
Breakfast is normally at 9:00 on Saturday and Friday, 7:20 on Monday through Thursday and 8:30 on Sunday morning. Lunch is at 1:00 every day. Dinner is at 6:00 every day. However, we also have what is called a “hospitality schedule” and most evenings you will have dinner with one or more of our staff members. This will be noted on your teaching schedule.
There may also be opportunities for you to share in evening devotions in the rooms with the students, and these will be schedule through the Resident Assistants or the Deans Department.
The electricity in the U.S, is 120 volts, 60 Hz, while in Europe it is 220 volts, 50 Hz. This difference can cause major problems for the unwary, although they generally are easily solved.
Travel transformers are available at Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, etc. are rated at 1500 watts.
Travel transformers are only adequate for heating appliances such as hairdryers, curling irons and irons (and occasionally for electric shavers). However, true step-down transformers that are designed to handle 1500 watts are actually very large and weigh around 25 lbs. or so.
Before you leave the United States look at the electrical requirements of your appliance or computer. This will be located on the power supply for the unit. If it says 110 v, 60 hz then it should not be used overseas at all - because transformers change the voltage only, not the cycles from 60 to 50 hz. Most appliances will say 110v, 50/60 hz. This means they will work with a real step-down transformer (not a travel transformer). So, you would need both a transformer and a plug adapter to go from the two flat prongs to the two European round prongs. (Please remember that an adapter is not a transformer.)
Fortunately, most electronic devices and computers have universal power supplies. This means that on the power supply you will find an input voltage of 100-220 volt, 50/60 hz. If your power supply says this, then you can safely plug into our outlets using only a plug adapter (available at reception or through our IT Department.) PLEASE, do not try to go the “safe” route and plug your computer power supply into a travel transformer. Before the week is over you will almost certainly burn up your power supply, (There are technical reasons for this). This is also true of other electronic devices - do not use them with travel transformers.
Very good prices for genuine transformers and plug adapters are available at www.dvdoverseas.com. You probably won’t need one larger than 150 watts. (But DO USE your 1500 W travel transformer for a hairdryer and curling iron.)
Also, bring be sure to bring a battery-powered alarm clock. Even if you use a transformer on an electric clock, the difference in cycles will probably prevent it from keeping time correctly.
The majority of our students have serious financial needs, and the temptation faced by every guest teacher is to find certain students that they can help financially.
Occasionally there are students who try to take advantage of this and have developed skills in which they request support in some very clever ways - for example through prayer requests.
There are also those who desire to travel to the U.S. to continue their education. However, statistics show that 80% of those who do travel to the States do not return to their home countries, even though the majority originally planned to return.
We are very committed to help our students in every possible way, and we generally know the specific financial situation of each student.
Therefore, we strongly encourage all guest teachers to please check with the Bible Institute Director, who will help you provide assistance to our students in the best possible way.