In conjunction with our colleagues in NSW we are able to offer Members Teacher Exchange opportunities.
An exchange is the direct swap of your home and position. Your home employer pays you and your year away is counted as a year of service. Keep checking back for new opportunities as these are updated regularly.
Current Exchange Opportunities - Sept 2017 or Jan 2018
Teacher exchange generally involves a reciprocal exchange of accommodation and teaching position.
Wages are usually paid into your account in Australia to allow for transfers (rent, loans, mortgages etc). If you are a member of the SGE Credit Union, they can assist with these transfer arrangements and transfer of funds to overseas accounts.
If you do not own your home and are renting, you must ensure that the lease remains in your name and continues until your return to Australia. You would continue to pay the rent for your current accommodation and the overseas teacher would pay their overseas accommodation. It is easy for them to set up an automatic transfer through their bank to their landlord for payment of rent.
You would also need to advise the landlord that you are involved in a teacher exchange program and provide full details of the exchange teacher for the landlord's records, specifying the dates the exchange will take place etc.
Swapping accommodation including household appliances, furniture etc is generally one of the conditions of teacher exchange. It is not feasible for you or your exchange partner to have to move to a new country and then purchase furniture, linen etc in addition to find and pay for new accommodation.
Trust is very important in an exchange as you would be living in someone else's home and using their belongings for 12 months and vice versa. Treat your exchange house as you would treat your own!
Payment of bills is negotiated between partners and should be equitable to both parties. Usually, it is 'user pays', ie electricity, water and telephone. It is usual for the owner to pay for the repair of appliances and damage as a result of normal wear and tear, while breakages or damage to items as a result of abuse are paid for by the exchangee. Always advise your exchange partner of breakages or damage to contents.
Many exchange teachers, even avid pet lovers, do not exchange pets. Accepting the responsibility of looking after pets should be considered carefully.
Remember, teachers return to their home schools with renewed enthusiasm and ideas. In both cases, schools can benefit from the contributions of the visiting and returning teachers.
An Orientation Conference is held in September each year jointly with the Department of Education and Training for all outgoing exchangees. Representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, Department of Foreign Affairs, Consulates, the IEU and Teachers Federation, and Diploma Travel are in attendance. This is a great networking day and we encourage all confirmed exchangees to attend.
Teacher Exchange Eligibility
The IEU Teacher Exchange Program is offered as a member benefit to our Members. To be eligible to apply for an exchange, Teachers must have a minimum of five years teaching experience at the time of exchange (this is negotiable in some provinces of Canada).
The period of the exchange varies. In the UK and Canada, it is usually the Australian school year. In International schools, it is usually the Northern Hemisphere year - August/September to June (although this is negotiable).
Teachers on exchange continue to be paid by their home employer and their exchange year counts as service for all purposes eg accumulation of leave entitlements and incremental progression.
Usually, teachers exchange accommodation. If this is not possible, a commitment to provide suitable accommodation is required.
Your application must provide as much information as possible. Be meticulous in your planning and scrupulously honest with your exchange partner - no frills, no carefully staged photographs. First impressions can make or mar an exchange experience. Don't let your exchange partner's first reaction be one of disappointment. Don't dismiss your own concerns about the overseas situation either. Ask questions and clarify everything until you are satisfied.
The most successful exchanges have been where the most communication has occurred between the two teachers and their families. Contact in advance with the school principal and the students is also a great start. Be prepared to talk about Australia and go armed with books, pictures, DVDs and CDs.
We cannot guarantee an exchange with a teacher in an Independent school. Therefore, you should be prepared to accept a placement in an overseas state or county school. Past exchange teachers have been placed in state/county schools and thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the exchange experience.
The last page of the application requires your Principal's signature to endorse your application. A reference is also required from your current Principal and any other recent references you wish to enclose.
If you are working in a Diocesan school, you should be aware that the Director also needs to approve your application. Please make an appointment to see your Diocesan office to have your application endorsed.
Once an exchange is confirmed, your Principal needs to notify the Diocese that the exchange is going ahead.
As the Teacher Exchange Program is classed as professional development, it is important for you to take advantage of being able to work in another country's education system for 12 months. You may like to discuss with your Principal the idea of a professional study project and jointly decide on a study project that will benefit both you and your school.
You are required to nominate a local person as a contact. This is a very important role and the person should be selected carefully and be clear about their responsibilities.
Should you require further information or assistance with the completion of the exchange application, please call Helen Gregory on 02 9779 3200 or 1800 467 943. Above all, be organised; be honest in your description of your school, community and accommodation, be flexible and you will have a great year!