International School Community Blog

The Journey to School: American International School of Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)

The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries at which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the American International School of Budapest (Budapest, Hungary), described the way she gets to work as follows:

The road to American International School of Budapest in Hungary

My journey to school each morning starts downtown in the heart of Budapest. Before it was united in 1873, Budapest used to be two smaller towns, Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube river. Buda is the hilly more residential side to the west while Pest is the flatter, more touristy downtown to the east. Being a city person myself, there was no doubt that when I got a job at the American International School of Budapest, I would choose to live on the Pest side. One thing that was a tick in the “PRO” column for me in choosing to move to Budapest was that there is a great public transportation network that not only covered the entire city but could bring me all the way to the front gate of the school. (I did not want to get a car!) For the first half school year, I did take public transportation every morning and that took me just over an hour each way. I had to change two times though (tram + tram + bus), so that was not ideal. By the second semester, I had found myself a carpool saving me a significant amount of time each morning, but the need to get back home after school in a timely manner following various meetings and activities convinced me to finally buy a car in year two.

Of course, not everyone chooses to live so far from school. Many families live in the village of Nagykovácsi where our school is located and they are able to live in houses with big backyards and enjoy a commute that is under five minutes. Some even walk or bike to school. Other teachers choose to live on the Buda side but not quite so close to school. One popular area is near Széll Kálmán tér (circled on the map) which is a transportation hub making it easy to get to both school and the Pest side. Because the Buda side is very hilly, many of the apartments on this side offer lovely views.

Back to the journey . . .

This is the street where I live. I generally leave between 7:00 and 7:10 am. The drive takes about 30 minutes, and during that time, I catch up on podcast episodes.

One of the benefits of having to cross the river to get to school is getting to see this view every morning. It never gets old!

Here are some of the buildings I see along the way to school each day.

As you get closer to school, it becomes less developed. The school is surrounded by a protected forest area which is quite pretty.

On the final approach to school, you can see the campus off to the left. It really is a sight to see. All of this open area to the left here was recently purchased by AISB ensuring that a future development doesn’t come close to the school.

Finally, here is the entrance to the upper building of the school where the middle and high schools are located. (The elementary building is at the bottom of the hill and connected by a bridge.) I usually arrive around 7:40 a.m. Teachers have to be at school by 8:00 a.m., so this gives me a little bit of quiet time in my room before the day starts.

The drive home takes about 45 minutes on a good day. On a bad day it can be closer to an hour (occasionally more). Still, after eight years, I’ve never been convinced to move closer to school.


This Journey to School article was submitted to us by an ISC member, Lindsay Manzella. Lindsay has been working in international schools since 2010. You can find out more at her blog The Present Perfect or on Twitter @MsMTeachesELLs .

What to know more what it is like to visit and live in Hungary?  Out of a total of 6 international schools we have listed in Hungary, 4 have had comments submitted on them. Here they are:

American International School of Budapest (81 total comments)
Britannica International School Budapest (67 total Comments)
British International School Budapest (12 total Comments)
Greater Grace International School (7 total Comments)

So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.