FAQs

Get answers to your questions about the application and selection process.

What is exchange?
Who is eligible to apply?
How do I apply?
Do I need to find another teacher to exchange with?
Which countries could I go to on exchange?
Can I change my application after I have submitted it?
Can I apply for a rural teacher exchange as well as an international teacher exchange?
I applied for an international teacher exchange last year but was unsuccessful/a suitable exchange counterpart wasn't identified. Can I apply again?
What happens after I submit my application?
How are applications assessed?
How are applications matched
What happens if I decline an exchange proposal?
Will both successful and unsuccessful applicants be notified of the outcome?
What happens if both spouses/partners apply?
Will I have to organise my own accommodation for the period of the exchange?
Will I receive my normal salary while on exchange?
How much does an international teacher exchange cost?
What will my professional responsibilities be during and following the exchange?
Where can I find out more?



What is exchange?

Participants swap teaching or work positions for the duration of the exchange (generally twelve months from January to December, but July to June is also an option). Salary is not swapped; the participants continue to be paid their salary by their home employing authorities.

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Who is eligible to apply?

Permanent full time NSW public school teacher, executive staff member or principal who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for an international teacher exchange

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How do I apply?

To apply for a International Teacher Exchange, you will need to:

  1. Discuss your interest in the International Exchange Program with your principal.
  2. Complete the application form.

Note: all forms must be completed and submitted electronically.

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Do I need to find another teacher to exchange with?

No, our teacher exchange team will attempt to match successful applicants with a suitable exchange counterpart, however, you can request to exchange with a particular teacher on your application form.

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Which countries could I go to on exchange?

Our teacher exchange team currently co-ordinates exchanges to the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Denmark and the United States of America. Note: If your application is successful, you will need to be able to meet immigration and entry requirements of the host country. Some exchange locations may require a copy of your teacher education studies and NSW Teachers Certificate.

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Can I change my application after I have submitted it?

Yes. To make changes to your application after you have submitted it, email the teacher exchange team: corporate.exchangeprograms@det.nsw.edu.au

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Can I apply for a rural teacher exchange as well as an international teacher exchange?

Yes, you can apply for both programs if you meet the eligibility criteria.

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I applied for an international teacher exchange last year but was unsuccessful/a suitable exchange counterpart wasn't identified. Can I apply again?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

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What happens after I submit my application?

The teacher exchange team will contact your Principal to obtain a completed Principals' reference in support of your application for an international teacher exchange. You will then be requested to attend a personal interview with your Director, Public Schools, NSW. The Director will then provide a final recommendation to the teacher exchange team.

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How are applications assessed?

Applications are assessed on the basis of:

  • Responses to selection criteria
  • Professional experience
  • Teacher exchange preferences
  • Anticipated assignment for the international exchange counterpart
  • Personal preferences, including location and accommodation requests.

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How are applications matched

After the closing date, the teacher exchange team will suggest possible placements to the Principals of selected applicants. If the exchange is accepted by school, the placement will be offered to the applicant. The exchange will also need to be accepted by the overseas parties as well as the department. Priority is given to exchange participants who are highly recommended by their Principal and Director.

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What happens if I decline an exchange proposal?

The offer of a second proposal cannot be guaranteed in the event that you decide to decline an exchange proposal. Only one proposal can be offered at a time.

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Will both successful and unsuccessful applicants be notified of the outcome?

Yes. Both unsuccessful and successful applicants will be notified of the outcome via email once the selection and match-making process is complete.

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What happens if both spouses/partners apply?

In cases of joint applications between teaching spouses/partners, both applicants must state the other is applying on the application form and indicate whether the applications should be considered jointly or individually. If only one spouse/partner is selected for exchange, the teacher exchange team will make every effort to facilitate leave arrangements for the other spouse/partner. Note: there is no guarantee that leave of absence will be granted. As with exchange participants, the spouse/partner will have right of return to their teaching position immediately following the exchange period.

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Will I have to organise my own accommodation for the period of the exchange?

No. Accommodation is swapped or provision is otherwise arranged which is suitable to both exchange participants. Accommodation and vehicle exchange arrangements are entirely the responsibility of the exchange participants. The swapping of vehicles is not recommended.

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Will I receive my normal salary while on exchange?

Yes. Salaries are not swapped between exchange participants. Note: if you currently hold an executive or principal position and accept an exchange to a lower executive or classroom teacher position, you will receive the salary applicable to the level of the exchange position. Principal and executive participants who exchange to a lower or non-executive position should consult their superannuation scheme regarding the implications of a reduced salary during the exchange year. There may also be implications for certain workplace compensation claims if exchanging on a reduced exchange salary.

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How much does an international teacher exchange cost?

Below is a list of some of the expenses you may incur in preparing for and while on exchange:

  • Passport costs
  • Visa costs for yourself and family members
  • International airfares
  • Additional costs associated with repairing/maintaining accommodation and/or vehicles in preparation for being away on exchange
  • Medical examination expenses
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Purchase of cold-climate clothing, luggage, teaching resources, etc
  • Incidental expenses while en route
  • Travel costs during the exchange year (exchange participants usually travel on weekends and during school holidays)
  • Costs associated with providing for a non-working spouse/partner.

You should also take into consideration that currency exchange rates and general living costs will vary between locations.

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What will my professional responsibilities be during and following the exchange?

Just as you would fulfil your duties in your home workplace, you will need to fulfil your exchange placement duties at your host school. Participants need to be flexible and adaptable in order to teach in different education systems, with a range of structures, routines, curriculum, assessment, staff and students.

In September prior to exchange commencement, an orientation conference is held for successful exchange applicants to assist in preparing for their exchange. However, exchange participants are ultimately responsible for their professional and personal organisation. In making professional arrangements, successful applicants must ensure that they:

  • correspond with their exchange partner and obtain information on the foreign education system and the professional requirements of their exchange position;
  • correspond with the overseas or interstate principal;
  • nominate a school or college sponsor and community;
  • prepare units of work and resources for the first part of the exchange, prepare the classroom and provide curriculum documents; and
  • inform and prepare the students, staff and parents for the arrival of the incoming exchange participant, making them aware of the implications and benefits of the exchange situation.

An additional requirement for NSW exchange participants is to gather information for the completion of a two-page research brief, to be delivered shortly after their exchange concludes.

After the exchange, you will need to teach with the department for at least 12 months.

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Where can I find out more?

If you can't find answers to your questions in the above FAQs, contact our teacher exchange team, via corporate.exchangeprograms@det.nsw.edu.au or phone: 02 4224 9085.

Refer to the Terms and Conditions (DOCX 82 KB) document for details regarding the Teacher Exchange Program.

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