Year-Long Teacher Exchange Program

Educators undertaking exchange placements are full-time permanent teachers with at least five years' successful teaching experience and endorsements from their principals and directors. Exchange counterparts are matched on both a professional and personal level. Successful placements occur where both educators are able to teach the others’ teaching assignment and where both are willing to exchange personal accommodation. The program is undertaken according to Terms and Conditions.

While on exchange, teachers continue to be paid their own salary by their home employing authorities, and continue to pay their own personal commitments such as mortgages and rates. International travel and living costs are met by the participants.

Upon return from their exchange placement, teachers are required to submit a research report on a topic of educational currency as determined by the department. Teachers are also required to continue teaching with the department for one year following their exchange.

Exchange locations may vary from year to year; however, recent exchange placements have occurred with teachers from Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and international schools in Germany and Portugal.

Selection Process

Permanent full-time NSW public school teachers, executive staff members or principals who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for an international teacher exchange.

Applicants need to discuss their interest with their principal and complete the application form. Principals/directors of applicants then provide references and recommendations regarding the application.

Applicants are assessed for eligibility and considered on their merit for placements, with preference being given to teachers who have: demonstrated exceptional practice, in particular if they have achieved Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher accreditation; a strong recommendation from their principal/director around their professional and personal suitability for an exchange.

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 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/director.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome via email once the selection and match-making process is complete.

In the event an applicant who meets the eligibility criteria is not successful or no matches are found, they may apply again in the following year.

The exchange year

Accommodation. Accommodation is swapped or provision is otherwise arranged which is suitable to exchange participants. Accommodation and vehicle exchange arrangements are entirely the responsibility of the exchange participants. The swapping of vehicles is not recommended.

Salary. Salaries are not swapped between exchange participants. Participants who currently hold an executive or principal position and accept an exchange to a lower executive or classroom teacher position, will receive the salary applicable to the level of the exchange position.

Participant costs. Participants should take into consideration that currency exchange rates and general living costs will vary between locations. Expenses participants may incur in preparing for and while on exchange may include: Passports and visas, airfares, medical examination expenses, travel and health insurance, and travel costs during the exchange year (exchange participants usually travel on weekends and during school holidays).

Teaching. Participants need to be flexible and adaptable in order to teach in different education systems, within 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. Exchange participants are ultimately responsible for their professional and personal organisation, including corresponding with their exchange counterpart and host school principal and preparing units of work for the initial weeks of exchange.

Post-exchange. 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, participants are required to teach with the department for at least 12 months.

More information

This program is currently on pause due to international travel bans into Australia. For more information contact the exchange team on 02 7814 3820 or

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