Your application must provide as much information as possible. Be meticulous in your planning and scrupulously honest with your exchange partner - no frills, no carefully staged photographs. First impressions can make or mar an exchange experience. Don't let your exchange partner's first reaction be one of disappointment. Don't dismiss your own concerns about the overseas situation either. Ask questions and clarify everything until you are satisfied.
The most successful exchanges have been where the most communication has occurred between the two teachers and their families. Contact in advance with the overseas school principal and the students is also a great start. Be prepared to talk about Australia and go armed with books, pictures, powerpoint presentations, DVDs and CDs.
We cannot guarantee an exchange with a teacher in a Catholic or private school. Therefore, you should be prepared to accept a placement in an overseas public school. Past exchange teachers have been placed in public schools and thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the exchange experience.
The last page of the application requires your Principal's signature to endorse your application. A reference is also required from your current Principal and any other recent references you wish to enclose.
If you are working in a Diocesan school, you should be aware that the Director or designate also needs to approve your application. Please make an appointment to see your Diocesan office to have your application endorsed.
Once an exchange is confirmed, your Principal needs to notify the Diocese that the exchange is going ahead.
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 may like to discuss with your Principal the idea of a professional study project and jointly decide on a study project that will benefit both you and your school.
You are required to nominate a local person as a contact. This is a very important role and the person should be selected carefully and be clear about their responsibilities.
Should you require further information or assistance with the completion of the exchange application, please call Helen Gregory on 8202 8900 or 1800 467 943.
Above all, be organised; be honest in your description of your school, community and accommodation, be flexible and you will have a great year!