Application Timeline

exchange application timeline

Objects in calendar take longer than they appear

Our Exchange Application Timeline

This timeline of our teacher exchange application is not definitive and may or may not be typical of most exchange processes. Nevertheless, it will provide some sense of what to expect when applying for a teacher exchange. It will be updated throughout the process.

EDIT: We did not get a match for our 2013 application and our application for 2014 was also not successful through the regular channels. Fortunately, we made a connection with another unmatched applicant and are now on our way on exchange for 2014! It is a long process with lots of waiting and anticipation, and now, a tremendous list of things to do to prepare!

September 2011

  • discussed teacher exchanges
  • researched benefits and challenges
  • talked with family and decided to pursue
  • determined finances were in order
  • downloaded applications

October 2011

  • completed draft application
  • took photos of house to include with application
  • spoke with my principal about the exchange
  • completed final application – principal’s signature
  • submitted application to school board for approval at their next board meeting

November 2011

  • school board approved application
  • reviewed and finalized application
  • submitted application to provincial coordinator

December 2011

  • Received confirmation from province that application was in order and has been sent to Australia for the matching process

January 2012

  • Made list of home improvement projects to finish before leaving: planning, cleaning, purging.
  • Savings plan in full swing preparing for travel.

February 2012

  • Tried not to dwell on things. Application is in, word is at least two months away. Nothing to do but live life as usual.

March 2012

  • March trough June, matches are made and shared with Superintendents, Administrators, and exchange applicants.
  • Hopeful trips to the mail box – no word yet.

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

  • Official word that there is no match for us for a 2013 exchange.

July 2012

  • Had contact from an unmatched Australian teacher. Determined that our situation were incompatible. Were staying home for 2013.

August 2012

September 2012

  • Preparing application package for 2013. To re-apply requires only the permissions page from school administrator and school board Making the paperwork much easier.
  • Received administrative and board approval. Application is in the mail again.

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

  • Received letter from exchange program that our application is in order and is on the way to Australia.

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

  • Receive notice of a possible exchange. After some careful thought we decide that the conditions are not suitable for us and do not pursue the exchange.

June 2013

  • Official word that the matching process is complete and there is no match for us for a 2014 exchange. Disappointing.

July 2013

  • Made contact with another unmatched teacher in Australia. After exploring our situations we approached our respective coordinators to pursue an exchange.
  • Completed acceptance of exchange forms signed by principal, superintendent, and me.

August 2013

  • Received information package from NSW with several forms to complete
  • Corresponded with exchange partner to discuss the exchange. Explored vehicle exchange, utility options, available services, and more.
  • Explored possibilities for travel to Australia and layover opportunities
  • Researched our exchange location, schools, and surrounding area
  • Began deep cleaning and purging around the house

September 2013

  • Received information package from NSW with several forms to complete
  • Applied online for certification in NSW, mailed required certified documents to support application (transcript, existing certification, proof of identity)
  • Applied to provincial health department for extension of health benefits while overseas
  • Renewed passports early because they would have expired while we were away
  • Obtained proof of extended health care coverage from employer plan.
  • Completed visa application (included criminal record and sensitive sector check, copy of exchange agreement, resume, teaching certificate, passport sized photos, copy of passport info page, proof of health coverage while in Australia. Copies of original documents have to be certified.)
  • Received final confirmation that NSW has accepted my application for exchange.
  • Correspond and Skype with exchange partner
  • Start working with travel agent (after a lot of exploring on our own)
  • Deep cleaning continues

October 2013

  • Received Statement of Eligibility to be Accredited as a Teacher in NSW
  • Requests for additional information from Australian High Commission to process Visa (permission for family to be in Australia during the exchange, and copy of signed bilateral agreement between the two administering governments)
  • Book flights to Sydney with a layover in China for a few days
  • Mailed passports to Ottawa for Chinese travel visas (means we are without a passport for a few weeks!)
  • Received application for son to attend school in Australia along with letter waiving fees (a benefit of the visa under which I’m working)
  • Studying Australian curriculum for content and to understand how its’ organized
  • Compiled unit plans and projects for exchange partner
  • Yet more deep cleaning, sorting, organizing, packing away personal items

November 2013

  • Passports with travel visas for China received
  • Visa application from Australian High Commission approved for all of us
  • With the visa information, can now send son’s school registration
  • Creating meal plans to use up as much fridge and freezer food before we leave (having to get very creative!)
  • Looked at and created a plan for transition from Winnipeg through Vancouver and Beijing then on to Sydney to minimize jet lag.
  • Completed form for NSW Teachers Federation Membership card (reciprocal union membership while on exchange.)
  • Received directory of other exchange participants from NSW for 2014
  • Received newsletter from NSW Exchange Teachers League with information about an orientation and some other events they host throughout the year
  • Registered online for NSW Working with Children Check to be completed as soon as we arrive in Sydney

December 2013

  • Double check all the paperwork, reviewing email correspondence for outstanding jobs, preparing flash drive with unit plans, resources, instruction manuals and vids for things at home. Created backups of identity and travel documents.
  • Many farewell visits with friends and family. Putting everything away in the house. Clearing out last of the opened food items in fridge and pantry. Oil change for car, furnace filters cleaned, driveway plowed, sidewalks shoveled, call in utility meter readings.
  • Drivers’ License renewal forms for
  • A few days with family in BC, then a few days touring in Beijing before the last leg to Sydney.

55 Responses to Application Timeline

  1. cteachr

    You never do say if you’ve been matched for 2014. Any news yet? I hope to re-apply and exchange in 2015.

    • Lara Szuhan

      I’m a teacher in Australia, and would love to do an exchange….. How do I do this?????????

      • cteachr

        Lara, I was hoping to hear whether Miles had got an exchange as well.

        To apply for your own exchange, you have to contact your local branch of the education dept or google teacher exchanges in Australia. Currently, I think only Vic, NSW, South Australia and WA are participating in these programs.

      • Andrea

        where do you live in australia. I would love to do an exchange. I live in Montreal

        • Nikki

          Hi, I would love to exchange for the 2018 year. My application is in and I’m trying to help it along. I live in Warrnambool, Victoria a beachside town at the end of the Great Ocean Road. Feel free to contact me if interested.

    • teacher0220

      I am a Primary School Teacher (presently teaching Kindergarten but have taught up to Grade 6)and would like to teach in Australia (Sunshine Coast) in January of 2015. How can I start to prepare to make this possible?
      Thank you,

      • milesmac

        It would help to know where you live – participating governments negotiate exchange agreements and will have their own application process.

        • teacher0220

          I have a tenured position in Quebec City, Canada. I am presently teaching English to children in Kindergarten (they are French-Speaking learning English at one of our few English schools in Quebec City).
          I am looking forward to hearing more about the exchange process as I would like to start the application procedures asap to ensure a placement for January 2015 in Australia (on the Sunny Coast in Queensland if available).
          Many thanks,

          • cteachr

            Arlene, I am not sure who takes care of exchanges for Quebec. You might contact Carol Wilkins is our coordinator for Ontario and BC. She might be able to point you in the right direction.

  2. cteachr

    So what happened? Is there a specific area of Australia you are trying for? I am shocked it is taking so long to find a match.

  3. cteachr

    Hurray! Can’t wait to read about it and also fully expect an article for the CLEE newsletter.

  4. Helen

    Hi Arlene

    I am entertaining the thought of a Canadian teacher exchange. Perhaps we could chat about it?

  5. teacher0220

    That sounds great Helen! Where are you presently located? I have a tenured position in Quebec City, Canada. I am presently teaching English to children in Kindergarten (they are French-Speaking learning English at one of our few English schools in Quebec City).
    I am looking forward to hearing more about the exchange process as I would like to start the application procedures asap to ensure a placement for January 2015 in Australia (on the Sunny Coast in Queensland or New South Wales if available).
    Looking forward to hearing back from you,

  6. teacher0220

    Thank you for the information. I will contact the coordinator for Ontario and BC. I also hold teacher certification in Newfoundland.

  7. Miles MacFarlane

    Arlene – Best of luck with your application. I was also once certified to teach in Newfoundland as I did my B.Ed. at MUN. Loved it on the rock even though I was only there for 8 months and studying for most of it.

  8. teacher0220

    Glad you loved the rock…I think Australia would be a nice place to be…similar to Newfoundland in the diversity of cultures and way of life.
    If you have any advice about how I should go about the application process, please let me know. My parents are still living in Corner Brook (Western Newfoundland) and I just got back from there as I spent Christmas holidays with my parents. My older brother lives and works in St. John’s with his wife.
    I really want to be accepted on a teacher exchange…I have an B.ED, a second language teaching certificate (French/English) and have worked as a researcher at a University in the field of Education while completing Master’s Degree courses. I really would to teach in the Sunshine/Sunny Coast (rural areas or bigger cities would be ok for me). I love being in the outdoors, especially coming from a small place in Newfoundland.
    Please let me know if you hear of anything opportunities as I have to apply from the province of Quebec as I currently hold a tenured teaching position here.

  9. Dhani Bux Brohi

    I am a Secondary English teacher in teaching service is 27 + years.I have participated so many professional teaching training programs like PITE,CIDA,MSP BBSYDP and also participated Teaching Excellence Achievement program in USA in 2012 California State University ,Chico. Now I would like to teach in Australia on Teacher Exchange program plz help and guide thanks for cooperation in advance.

    • milesmac

      I had a quick search for exchange programs in Pakistan and didn’t see anything specifically. Call your government’s education department and ask if there are any teaching exchange agreements between Pakistan and Australia. You might also look at the Agencies & Resources links here:
      All the best with your efforts!

  10. jessica

    Our exchange to NSW Australia is almost finalized for next January. I was wondering if you could put me in touch with your wife, just to chat with a woman and get her perspective.

  11. Lara

    I have been accepted into program for 2015, but have not been matched yet. I am in Melbourne looking for US or Canadian exchange 🙁

    • milesmac

      Lara – can be frustrating, for sure! It’s a long wait. Feel free to provide some more details about your teaching area. Gives other unmatched applicants some sense of whether a match would work with your situation. All the best!

  12. Lara Szuhan

    My current position is an English Humanities & Drama teacher – currently at Year 9 but part of the Senior School (Year 9- 12) and my school is a P-12 school that is very flexible with placement. My school is in the western suburbs of Melbourne. I live a 3 minute drive from school and takes about 15 – 20 minutes to walk. I live about 25 minute drive from Melbourne and are hoping to have a west coast exchange. Would be happy to speak to anyone interested and available for exchange through the program 🙂

  13. Alex

    We are also interested in an exchange. We are in the process of applying now. Looking for Canada, USA, Germany or Denmark. We live in newcastle NSW (1.5hrs north of sydney) 10 mins to the school & 10 mins to the beaches. My husband is a hight school science teacher. We have 3 children aged 7, 8, 9 years.

    • milesmac

      All the best with your application! We spent a few days in Newcastle and loved it! Lots to see and do there, great character. The folks at the NSW Teacher Exchange program are terrific and the NSW Exchange Teachers’ League are very supportive. Keep in touch!

    • Sheri Prescott

      Hi Alex,

      My husband and I are interested in an exchange to Australia. We both teach at the same highschool in Toronto, Ontario. My husband teaches Phys. Ed, science and geography. I teach English and Dramatic Arts. We also have three kids, ages 12,10 and 5. Any chance we could be a match?

      • milesmac

        Double exchanges are possible. The challenge is having someone on the other end that has the same ability to teach what you’re teaching and is willing to go where you are living. Another possibility is to get one match and the other take a leave of absence then substitute, or look for work when you’re in Australia.
        Get your forms ready and submitted… It took us two years before we had a match. Also doesn’t hurt to “beat the bushes” looking for a potential match. As long as they also have their paperwork done the exchange coordinators can process the exchange.
        Talk with your local exchange coordinator 🙂 all the best!

      • Lara

        Hi I am a teacher in Melbourne. English and Performing Arts. I have put in the applications already and am at matching stage. My email address is – i dont have a doible exchange, but we have one.

      • Lara

        I am an English Drama teacher in Melbourne. My home is 4 bedroom and is 15 minute walk to my school and nearby to other schools. Perhaps through negotiation my school could support your husband through substitute work. We have a huge PHysical Education department. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
        Lara Szuhan

      • welcometomybubble

        Hi Sheri Prescott,
        I’m an English teacher and am interested in exchange to Toronto. I live an hour south of Sydney. Are you interested for 2017?? If so, email me!

  14. LIsa Koppe

    dear Miles,
    have there even been exchanges between Dutch teachers and Australian teachers ? also I would like to inform if there are options to work as a voluntary teacher or work for a shorter period, say a semester.
    I am looking at options to visit Asutralia for a shorter term than abovementioned. I am a very experienced teacher with roots in business school and commercial economy, before being re trained as a teacher. so multiple working experience!
    Kind regards form Holland

    • milesmac

      Lisa – contact your government’s education department or ministry and ask about international teacher exchange options. I had a quick search for teaching exchange programs in the Netherlands but didn’t see anything. It is possible to arrange shorter term exchanges if there is someone on the other end that is agreeable to the term. I imagine it will also depend on the school administration and so forth. Sorry don’t have more Info for you, keep searching though!

  15. Sophie

    I am a media/photography/film high school teacher at a private school in the south west of Western Australia. I’m looking into the possibility of teaching in Canada, but because i don’t work for the education department of WA I am not eligible for exchange via the Dept, is there another way??? Thanks

    • milesmac

      Have you contacted the exchange coordinators for WA and explained your situation? Apart from the department programs, I really don’t know. Is there an association of private schools? I expect you could coordinate something on your own but visa, salary, home-swap issues would be a lot to manage. Do you need an exchange or could you take a leave of absence and do a temporary work in Canada. Just tossing out ideas…

  16. Sophie

    hi miles,

    I just found a exchange program run by the Independent Education Union of Wa that looks similar to the wa departments! FINGERS CROSSED!!!

  17. Debbie

    Does anyone know if New Zealand participates in teacher exchanges?

    • milesmac

      Debbie – not entirely certain if they do now, but it appears they have in the past. Check with your local exchange coordinator for current exchange agreements and ask about New Zealand. Let us know what you find out!

      • Jackielou D.Acido

        Hello I am an elementary Teacher from the Philippines. Can I participate the exchange teacher program?

        • milesmac

          Jackielou – you will have to look for exchange programs in the Philippines. This site does not run exchange programs, just talk about them 🙂 all the best with your search.


    hi,i am from SOUTH AFRICA,teaching at a primary school.Would like to participate in an exchange program with a teacher from one of the ff countries:Denmark,Norway,Scotland,Sweden,Germany,Ireland.BOBBY

  19. MERRY


    • bg

      hi Merry,if you are willing to come to Durban,South Africa pls let me know.It is possible here

  20. Sam

    My partner and I are both Primary a School teachers from a private school in Perth, Western Australia. We are desperate for an exchange to Canada or USA for 2016. We have all our applications filled out and approval from the school. To date we have not been able to find a match. One of us is willing to take leave without pay if we can only find a single. There has to be someone out there?

  21. Debbue

    Hi there, I am just in the process of applying. I am looking for an exchange to NSW, Melboune, Perth areas. I live on the West Coast of BC, Canada. I teach in an elementary school grade 3/4.

    • Haydos

      I am a Teacher in Western Australia and I am interested in a international exchange for the 2017 or 2018 school year. I am interested in opportunities for teacher exchanges available in Canada or the US for the 2017-2018 school year. I teach a Broome Senior high school in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The school in a culturally diverse school of around 850 students 40% of which are indigenous Australians. The school in a culturally diverse school of around 850 students 40% of which are indigenous Australians. Broome is a beautiful town in an area of great natural Beauty and is considered to be the gateway to the real Australia. I live in a 4 bed 2 bath house 5 mins from school and 5 mins from the iconic Cable Beach.

    • Nikki Calderwood

      Hi, I’m in the process of applying now and looking into either USA or Canada. I’m a primary teacher currently teaching a 5/6 class. I live in Warrnambool, Victoria, 3 hours west of Melbourne at the end of the Great Ocean Road. Beautiful beach town. I have 2 sons that will also be with me on the exchange.

      • milesmac

        Nikki – We exchanged to Coonabarabran, NSW but made the drive south to Melbourne and loved the Great Ocean Road in the first month there. All the best with your application.

  22. Sophi

    I am a High School Media Teacher at a private school in a seaside town just out of Perth Western Australia. Currently on the list for exchange to Canada in 2017/2018. Thanks

    • Amanda

      Hi Sophi, Did you find a match? My husband is a computer teacher for high school here in Winnipeg, MB Canada and we are interested in a possible exchange.

  23. NicoleL

    Hello, we are in the early stages of planning (2020?) but wanted to share that there is also a Facebook group titled “CEEF Teachers on Exchange”.

  24. Marc-Andre

    Hi…. Looking for an exchange in Europa in 2018-2019 school year… I work as a phys ed in a secondary school near Montreal, Canada.

    • cteachr

      You are very late to apply for September 2018. Contact the for applications. They are currently placing exchanges for 2019.

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