Supporting the independent education community


Teacher exchange generally involves a reciprocal exchange of accommodation and teaching position.

Wages are usually paid into your account in Australia to allow for transfers (rent, loans, mortgages etc). If you are a member of the ME Bank or Teachers Mutual Bank (TMB), 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. 

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, linen etc in addition to find and pay for new accommodation.

The Exchange Teachers League

The Exchange Teachers League (ETL) is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers to assist teachers before and during their teaching exchange.

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. Treat your exchange house as you would treat your own!

Payment of bills is negotiated between partners and should be equitable to both parties. Usually, it is 'user pays', ie electricity, water and telephone. It is usual for the owner to pay for the repair of appliances and damage as a result of normal wear and tear, while breakages or damage to items as a result of abuse are paid for by the exchangee. Always advise your exchange partner of breakages or damage to contents.

Many exchange teachers, even avid pet lovers, do not exchange pets. Accepting the responsibility of looking after pets should be considered carefully.

Remember, teachers return to their home schools with renewed enthusiasm and ideas. In both cases, schools can benefit from the contributions of the visiting and returning teachers.

An Orientation Conference is held in September each year jointly with the Department of Education and Training for all outgoing exchangees. Representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, Department of Foreign Affairs, Consulates, the IEU and Teachers Federation, and STA Travel are in attendance. This is a great networking day and we encourage all confirmed exchangees to attend.

Teacher Exchange FAQS