Farewell to our Year 2016 visiting exchange teachers. We hope that your experience has been a rewarding one and that you take home many memories from your exchange so that others benefit from your time here. Please try and become involved in your local exchange leagues. Those who attended exchange weekends, dinners and walks organised by the NSW ETL, would realise how hard the regional reps and central committee work for the good of the exchange program.
Farewell to our outgoing Year 2017 exchange teachers. You are off to some exciting (yet cold) destinations: Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, Colorado and England. You and your families will have a wonderful year. You will continue to receive the Union’s publications while on exchange to keep abreast with all the news!
We are now accepting applications for 2018, for all provinces in Canada, the UK and Colorado in the USA, and international schools in Europe. For those of you who missed out on a match for next year, you will be our priority for the next round of matching, so please think seriously about reactivating your applications. Most who miss out the first time, do not miss out the second. Just call or email with your intentions, you never know, it could be the first of a couple of exchanges, just like Simon and Cathy - read their story below.
So if you want to experience one or two winter festive seasons (you may also apply for a mid year exchange), simply download an application from the IEU website www.ieu.asn.au and click on teacher exchange. You could also call Helen Gregory on 8202 8900 or 1800 467 943 or email a brief profile to email@example.com .
Loved our exchanges
“My first exchange to North Wales was in 1993, not far from Llanfairpwllgwy... yes 54 letters worth. What a fantastic year it was for our family. Oh, of course I have to include that my wife shook Prince Charles’ hand while he was checking on the floods in Conwy! Our three children have been back to see the school they attended and met the other school staff that supported us all. The experience was so good we decided to do another, only this time a double exchange, for both of us. The couple we swapped with were from Calgary, Canada at Catholic schools, so it surprised some that they accepted teachers from two Australian independent schools. Of course this was a result of the hard work of Helen Gregory from the IEU. Well, we headed over in 2010 and the experience didn’t disappoint.
Only yesterday in class back in Australia I was talking about my exchangee and the students remembered his name and we discussed his Canadian French accent. The experience had also been a positive one for them and they reminisced over some of their funny experiences from the exchange. My own children, now older, also had the chance to visit us in Canada but were a little put out by the fact that our home in Australia was occupied by another family at the time! However, my friends and colleagues shared some great times with them. I still hear stories like ... a T-shirt was presented to the Canadian with an anchor emblazoned over a W. Yes, he reprimanded a student with the word during a lesson. The class went dead silent and of course the staff found out and had to explain the different Australian meaning for the term. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, I had students queuing up at recess to hear me say “something really Australian”!
Now, we both get to reflect on our experiences with other Calgary exchangees. All the Aussie women there in 2010 were knitted moose toques, that is beanies featuring a moose. So this group of about 15 ‘the moose toques’, including partners, try to get together every 18 months at a different location for a week or so. At this point, we have met up at Airlee Beach, Sydney, Darwin and Murwillumbah.
As a learning experience, from a teaching point of view, the exchange is exceptional. It makes you realise the way Australian teachers and our philosophy support the ability of our children to not only adapt well anywhere overseas but also to excel. I am always amazed by how few people take advantage of this experience and can only say “try it, I certainly look on the exchanges as two of the best years of my life”!