To qualify as a potential exchange candidate, a teacher must:
• have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience;
• be recognized by his/her employing authority as an exemplary teacher who is a credit to the profession; and,
• obtain formal approval for the exchange from his/her principal, supervisory officer, school board or authority; and,
• have a full time assignment and a permanent contract,
• meet the criteria established by the exchange country to which he/she wishes to apply.
Please refer to Destinations section for details.
Since most school boards have policies and procedures established for participation in educator exchange programs, an early inquiry to your human resources/personnel department is recommended.
Laws in some of our exchange partner jurisdictions prohibit questions about an applicant's religious affiliation. Although CEEF has been able to increase the range of destinations for teachers from Catholic school boards significantly, your school board's policy on acceptance of non-Catholic exchange teachers is very important.
• $200.00 CDN + HST = $226 non-refundable application fee.
• $400.00 CDN + HST = $452 fee payable upon confirmation of a mutually acceptable match. This fee is non-refundable except for cases where the exchange could not take place due to chronic illness (participant or one of the exchange accompany), death in the family (immediate family) or if the exchange partner cancels.
• All other costs (including travel and insurance) are the responsibility of the individual exchange participants or their home school boards.
Note: Should an applicant find an exchange partner privately, these fees still apply since CEEF must complete all the legal paperwork involved and finalize arrangements between the Canadian school board and the exchange jurisdiction.
The cost of living varies from country to country. It should be researched for your destination so that you can factor it in when doing your financial planning for an exchange.
Normally, the exchange also involves trading homes with your exchange partner. Exchanges where no accommodations are provided are rare. If you are in a position of having to arrange accommodation, be as specific as possible about what you will guarantee to provide. A situation where accommodation is shared is also very difficult to match. Some jurisdictions will not consider a candidate with shared accommodations. If you are in this position, you might consider arranging for private accommodation to increase your chances of being successfully matched. If that is not possible, you should at least give a complete description of the shared accommodation, and of the person or people with whom you share it.
Exchange co-ordinators share relevant databases. Looking at assignment, destination preferences, family needs, accommodation offered and accommodation needed, they look for possible matches. Once a potential match has been identified, the documentation for the proposed incoming exchange partner is forwarded to the authority designated by the Provincial Department / Ministry as the initial recipient. This may be the provincial registrar, district administrator or principal. The match must be approved by the principal, the employing board/ authority, and you. At that point it will be important that you assume responsibility for seeing that the "Acceptance of Exchange" form has all the required signatures, the start and completion dates of exchange and is returned to CEEF as soon as possible. Generally, consideration of the exchange takes place simultaneously in both jurisdictions.
CEEF does not operate on a quota system, but tries to match as many applicants as possible each year. Every match requires an appropriate partner and placement on either end of the exchange. Some countries, subject areas, and grade levels are harder to match than others.
It is difficult to predict whether a match can be found for every applicant to the exchange program. The more exchange destinations an applicant is willing to accept, and the more flexible a school can be in the teaching assignment for the incoming educator, the easier it is to find a suitable match. Both exchangees must be capable of handling the teaching task and other professional responsibilities in their host school/institution. On a personal level, each applicant must be able to supply satisfactory accommodation for his/her exchange partner.
Some applicants try more than once before a successful match is made.
Once an exchange is finalized, Canadian exchangees receive detailed information from both CEEF and their exchange jurisdictions. This will help to ensure that your preparation and orientation are thorough. Support leagues of former exchange educators may host an orientation session well in advance of the exchangee's departure as well. During the period of time that your exchange partner is in Canada, these same educator support organizations often provide a schedule of orientation, professional development, social and cultural activities. In most of the jurisdictions with which CEEF has exchange agreements, similar organizations exist to make your year more rewarding. Exchange coordinators are also available to assist.
It is much more difficult, but sometimes possible, to arrange an exchange for spouses.* To deal with this type of application, however, it is helpful to give CEEF permission to match either one of the applicants should a double exchange not be possible. The spouse not placed could apply for a year's leave of absence from his/her Canadian school board or authority, and possibly still find an employment opportunity in the exchange country.
Commonwealth exchange countries allow spouses to work. For most other countries, employment may only be possible if no local citizens are qualified for a particular job.
*It is much easier to find a double match at the elementary level than secondary.