Why go on exchange?
Exchanges are more challenging and more rewarding than simple vacations. They enable you to:
- experience another education system and another way of life
- share the strengths of an overseas country world class education system
- expand your knowledge of another country
- enrich your school culture through the visiting overseas teacher, and
- develop long lasting friendships for you and your family.
Applications for exchange positions for 2018 are now invited from interested members. Teacher exchange positions will be available in the United Kingdom, all provinces in Canada, international schools in Europe (can be advertised for), and Colorado in the USA (and other states by negotiation).
What does an exchange involve?
To be eligible for the one year exchanges, you should have a minimum of five years teaching experience at the time of exchange (although this is negotiable in some provinces in Canada. An exchange is the direct swap of the teacher’s positions and must include either an exchange of accommodation or other agreed arrangements.
You are paid by your home employer and you must return to your own teaching position at the end of the exchange period (although exchanges have been extended for a second year if both teachers and employers agree). The year away on exchange is counted as a year of service and your conditions remain the same. Your spouse/partner may apply for a work permit and be paid in the local currency. Your children may attend Catholic or public schools (there are no school fees).
Most exchanges are January to December, our school year, but some boards in Canada will only permit a Canadian school year. These are becoming popular and are supported by our principals.
Where can I go to for an exchange?
Exchanges to the UK and Canada have been part of the IEU’s program for many years and account for the greatest number each year, although UK exchanges have been down in numbers this past year due to a change in the coordinating authorities, now The Royal Commonwealth Society. The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Canadian provinces include Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and beautiful British Columbia.
Exchanges to the Rocky Mountains state of Colorado will also available. Exchanges to other states are also possible, ie if you were lucky enough to find your own exchange partner, the authorities in Colorado can assist with the exchange and your visa sponsorship.
Can I find my own exchange partner?
Finding your own exchange partner to a particular type of school, that is, Christian or independent school in Canada and the UK is also an option. You will still need to apply through the IEU and your exchange partner through the overseas exchange coordinators as we are all sponsors for visa purposes
Members pay a registration fee of $80 and a confirmation fee of $80. All fees are tax deductible as are lots of expenses whilst you are away, as it is all part of your Professional Development experience.
Who can I talk to about this?
Read the most commonly asked questions about exchanges (http://www.ieu.asn.au/member-benefits-teacher-exchange/teacher-exchange/ and also read the fantastic testimonials too. If possible, all completed application forms should be forwarded to the IEU by late November of each year, although late applications are always accepted. The overseas coordinators send their databases before the end of December each year so we want to be able to match as soon as possible.
So be prepared to step out of that comfort zone and embrace for one year a totally different lifestyle knowing that at the end of the exchange you will be a thousand experiences richer! Twelve months away in another system helps reinvigorate you as a teacher and makes you appreciate the system we have here in NSW/ACT schools.
For more information, call Helen Gregory, Teacher Exchange Coordinator on 8202 8900 or 1800 467 943. An application form can be downloaded from www.ieu.asn.au (http://www.ieu.asn.au/media/29246/teacher_exchange_app.pdf.