Teacher Exchange Program
The Teacher Exchange Program is open to IEUA-QNT members from Queensland and the Northern Territory. It is offered as a member benefit to teachers with at least five years experience.
Members swap jobs and homes with teachers in similar roles, maintaining their employment and entitlements as if they were still employed in Australia.
Trust is very important in an exchange as you would be living in someone else’s home and using their belongs for 12 months and vice versa.
Exchange opportunities are available for Canada - Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Alberta and the USA – Colorado.
(The exchange program with the United Kingdom is presently on hold. Check back here regularly for future updates.)
NEW two-week exchange
Members in Brisbane Catholic Education and Northern Territory Catholic Education schools now have the opportunity to participate in a two-week short-term exchange program.
An application fee of $190 applies but unsuccessful applicants will be refunded $115.00.
Please note that you must first download the form to activate the capabilities of the interactive form.
To submit your application, complete the following steps:
- Complete the interactive form by typing the information in the spaces provided;
- Print the completed interactive form; and
- Mail the original per instructions contained in the application form.
Should you require further information or assistance with the completion of our exchange application please do not hesitate to contact Kay Holloway at firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 3839 7020.
Stories from the exchange
- Click here to read David Price's experience of leaving North Queensland behind for the mountain peaks of Colorado.
- Click here to read Judy Melling's story from snowy Canada.
- Click here to read Lauren Barclay's experience of being on teacher exchange in British Columbia, Canada.
- Click here to read from a group of Australian teachers on exchange in Alberta
- Click here to read Gillian Bohnet's story of leaving Canada to teach in sunny Queensland
General exchange information
Teacher exchange generally involves a reciprocal exchange of accommodation and teaching position.
- As an exchange teacher you would still be paid by your home school/employing authority and would accrue all entitlements whilst on exchange.
- Wages are usually paid to your account in Australia to allow transfers (rent, loans, mortgages, etc). If you are a member of Queensland Teachers' Mutual Bank (QTMB), 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, towels, sheets etc. in addition to finding and paying 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.
- Your application form must provide as much information as possible. A good rule is to remember to provide the type of information you would like to receive from an overseas applicant, ie photos of house, floor plan, school prospectus, department details, etc.
- 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.
- Your Principal is required to approve your application. We also require two references, one from your current Principal and one from either your Head of Department or Parish Priest.
- If you are working in a Catholic School/College (CEO) you should be aware that the Director also needs to approve your application. The signature of your Diocesan Director is required on the application and also on the Statement of Institution Policy on Non-Catholic Teachers in Catholic Schools/Colleges. (Most CEO Diocese Directors will only accept a Catholic match.)
- If you are employed by an Order Owned Catholic School/College, your Principal also needs to complete the Statement of Institution Policy on Non-Catholic Teachers in Catholic Schools/Colleges.
- 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 should discuss a professional study project with your Principal and jointly decide on a study project that will benefit both you and your school.
Links to overseas unions
Teacher unions in the USA and Canada with reciprocal arrangements for IEUA-QNT members:
The Alberta Teachers' Association
Ontario Teachers' Federations include:
The Ontario Teachers' Federation
Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF)
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
British Columbia Teachers' Federation
National Education Association (NEA)
- The IEUA-QNT Teacher Exchange Program is offered as a member benefit. If you are not currently a member of our union please contact our Membership Department for information on current fees. Your application cannot be fully activated until you are a financial Union member.
- Our agreement with overseas exchange authorities requires applicants to have five (5) years teaching experience to be eligible for our exchange program.