The exchange year

Information on what happens during your exchange year.

Exchange 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.


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.

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.

Costs for participants

Some expenses participants may incur in preparing for and while on exchange are:

  • Passport costs
  • Visa costs for participants and family members
  • International airfare
  • 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.

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

During the exchange

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. 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.

After the 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

Contact the teacher exchange team:

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