By Valeria Dauchalevich
Hungary attracts a large variety of people from all over the world. For example, I had a chance to make an interview with my former university professor, Jeff Taylor, who had been living in Hungary for 21 years. He shared with me his ideas on the account if immigration to Hungary.
Jeff first came to the country from USA in 1990 as a part of an international program. The program was concentrated on providing native English speakers to teach in schools in Eastern and Central Europe. ‘I was allocated to a gymnasium in Mohacs for two years’, - said Jeff. ‘And I have always planned to go back home. But before finishing my job I have received a great job opportunity, a year later – a scholarship to acquire master in the CEU; after graduation - another irresistible career possibility in Budapest’. Moreover Jeff shared, that he loved living in Budapest: ‘It is often difficult to explain why life in Budapest is better than in NY or elsewhere, but I do love Hungarian lifestyle, and Budapest city’.
Meanwhile the time has come for Jeff to shift from working on someone else to having own business, and the enterprising American, educated in Arts, started his own company. ‘Tour guiding and art dealing for American visitors was my primary occupation,’ – claimed Jeff. Later on he became she first and only brave entrepreneur to provide the service of shipping art and antiques to America. ‘I found a niche on Hungarian art market, and didn’t hesitate to step in! There was nobody I could learn from. I did a lot of mistakes, but was lucky enough to carry on towards my goals.’ At the time Jeff started the Hungarian economics was very comfortable for young businessmen, and lack of competition provided enough freedom. ‘Nowadays it is not that easy anymore, even with good reputation and loads of experience behind the shoulders’.
Jeff mentioned his point of view towards relocation: ‘In my opinion immigration is really tight to economical state if a country, differences with other economics, and influences the groups of people moving. Twenty years ago you would find a lot of Americans in Budapest. They would come to occupy important positions in companies, bring some knowledge and experience, and make business. Nowadays newcomers are mostly students or young professionals’.
Spending years in Hungary Jeff Taylor also settled down to married life with a Hungarian girl, and a baby coming shortly after. A child of people from two different parts of the world is an amazing phenomenon to be discussed. But talking about his pre-school child the art dealer told me that he was always aware about his double identity, saw the difference between ‘Hungarian’ and ‘American’, and knew that he has two passports. Nevertheless he never seemed to be discomforted by the issue, and didn’t experience any social problems with his peers.
With time passing, economy changing, and aspirations transforming Jeff once realized that it is time for him to go back home. His last occupation in Budapest was teaching arts management in IBS. Nowadays he continues the career path in New York.