Teacher and school leader exchanges

Take your vocation to a new location. Get out of your comfort zone and see how your peers in Canada and around the globe engage with teaching and school leadership.

Educator Exchange Programs (EEP) lets Alberta teachers and school leaders experience a different school system through a short-term (in-person or virtual) or a year-long (in-person) exchange.

The ATA administers EEP under existing exchange agreements between Alberta Education and its partners in Canada and abroad.

Program flyer

Short-term exchange

You can choose an in-person or a virtual (e-exchange) short-term exchange.

In-person exchange

How does the short-term in-person exchange work?

The short-term in-person exchange is a one- to two-week experience.

First, you are billeted by your exchange counterpart and go with them to their school for one to two weeks. You then host your counterpart for one to two weeks so they can experience Alberta’s education system.

Administrators and teachers arrange cultural visits to correspond with the interests of both parties.

Matches can be with Spain, Germany, Australia, Iceland, and may be possible in other regions of Canada or within Alberta.

When does the short-term in-person exchange happen?

A short-term in-person exchange typically occurs over a break or holiday that staggers with the host country’s school schedule.

How much does the short-term in-person exchange cost?

You cover your airfare and associated travel costs.

What does EEP provide?

EEP secures the exchange and provides program support throughout the exchange process.

Apply

Download the short-term in-person exchange application form.

Téléchargez le formulaire de candidature à un échange en personne de courte durée.

Note: Download the application form before you fill it out.

New! Alberta week-long in-person exchange

How does the Alberta week-long in-person exchange work?

The Alberta exchange is a one-week experience with another teacher or school leader in Alberta. You and your exchange partner will job shadow each other to learn more about what teaching and leading look like in another part of our province. Embark on a journey that will inspire, inform and transform!

You will stay with your exchange partner and job shadow at your partner’s school on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, you will both travel to your community to job shadow at your school on Thursday and Friday. You can also arrange weekend cultural activities to start and finish your exchange journey together.

Matches can be made throughout Alberta, but most placements are within three hours of travel.

When does the Alberta week-long exchange happen?

The exchange takes place in late April or in May, based on what works for both participants.

How much does the Alberta week-long exchange cost?

You and your partner take turns hosting each other in your homes. The program will reimburse mileage to and from your exchange location, as well as replacement costs as necessary.

What does EEP provide?

EEP secures the exchange and provides program support throughout the exchange process.

Apply

Download the short-term in-person exchange application form.

Téléchargez le formulaire de candidature à un échange en personne de courte durée.

Note: Download the application form before you fill it out.

E-exchange

What are the benefits of an e-exchange?

Collaborating with teachers or school leaders in another education system is a great way to promote cultural understanding and reflect on and enhance your teaching practice. An e-exchange offers a unique opportunity for you to learn and to compare and contrast education systems without having to travel.

How does the e-exchange work?

The e-exchange is a one-on-one virtual exchange that pairs you with another teacher or school leader with similar educational interests.

Matches can be within the province, within Canada or with our international partners in Spain. Matches may also be available with Germany, Australia, Mexico, or with one of Alberta's accredited international schools.

Projects or other activities take place over four to six weeks.

A project could involve student wellness, global citizenship, technology and innovation in the classroom, instructional leadership, women in leadership, rural and remote schools, immigration, second language learning, STEM, inclusion or another topic.

You and your exchange partner engage in discussions and video chats outside of class hours, much like virtual pen pals. The frequency is up to you. We recommend connecting a couple times per week.

When does the e-exchange happen?

The e-exchange happens at any time during the school year, with the exact timing to be determined based on school calendars.

How much does the e-exchange cost?

The e-exchange is free.

What does EEP provide?

EEP provides program support throughout the exchange process.

Apply

Download the short-term e-exchange handbook (french)

Download the short-term e-exchange application form 

Téléchargez le formulaire de candidature

Download the short-term e-exchange application form for teachers and school leaders working at an Alberta Accredited International School

Note: Download the application form before you fill it out.

Year-long exchange

The year-long teacher exchange program is currently paused.

In-person exchange (paused)

How does the year-long exchange work?

Unlike a short-term exchange, in the year-long exchange, you don’t job-shadow your exchange partner. Rather, you switch places at the same time. You teach in their school and live in their accommodations while they live in your accommodations and teach in your school.

You remain an employee of your Alberta school district and retain your benefits and pensionable service.

Essentially, you are a long-distance commuter while on exchange!

When and where does the year-long exchange take place?

The year-long exchange takes place over one year (from January to the next January) in Australia.

What do I provide?

You pay for the cost of your travel (including visa and teacher certification).

You provide accommodations in Alberta for your counterpart.

What does EEP provide?

EEP finds a match for you and provides guidance before and after the exchange.

Am I eligible?

You must

  • be a full-time continuous contract teacher with a permanent teaching certificate and
  • have the approval of your superintendent.

Some districts have their own requirements (such as three to five years of teaching experience).

How do I apply for the year-long exchange?

If you are a teacher with Calgary Public, Calgary Catholic, Edmonton Public or Edmonton Catholic, submit your application to your district’s human resources department. Check with your district for the exact deadline (usually the first week of December).

If you are a teacher with another school division, send the form directly to EEP.

The ATA must receive the approved application from you or your district by the second week of December. It is your responsibility to ensure that the form is received by the ATA.

Eligibility 

You must

  • be a Canadian citizen,
  • have a permanent teaching certificate,
  • have district approval and
  • possess at least five years of teaching experience.
2023 24 In Person Exchange Dates
Country/region Orientation     Albertan travels Albertan hosts Debrief
Castille y Leon, Spain January  Spring break 2024 10 days February- May (Exact TBD) 2024 June 2024
Catalonia, Spain February  Spring break 2024 10 days March-May (Exact TBD) 2024 June 2024
Hessen, Germany February  Spring break or July 1-10, 2024 Oct 7-17, 2024  (Exact TBD) October 2024
Iceland     Fall     Spring break 2024 October 2023 June 2024
South Australia Fall  July 22- August 5, 2024 (Exact TBD) 2 weeks in October or January TBD
Queensland, Australia Fall  July 7- 21, 2024 (Exact TBD) 2 weeks in October or January TBD

Please note that it may be possible to arrange alternate exchange dates, depending on the applicants’ breaks.

2023 24 Virtual Exchange Dates
Country/region Orientation Virtual Start Virtual End Debrief
Europe-Spain, Germany TBD Flexible-duration: 1 month TBD TBD
Australia TBD Flexible-duration: 1 month TBD TBD
Jalisco, Mexico October October 2 November 3 November
Alberta Accredited International Schools February February March 2024 March

 

2023 24 Partner School Holidays
Castille y Leon March 23 - April 1, 2024
Catalonia March 23 - April 1, 2024
Hessen March 25 - April 13, 2024
Iceland March 25 - April 1, 2024
South Australia July 5 - 22, 2024
Queensland June 24 - July 5, 2024

In your application, you should demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, intercultural skills and a strong capacity to act as an ambassador for your school authority and the exchange program.

Communication skills, resourcefulness, initiative and community involvement are all desirable attributes.

You do not need to be fluent in the destination country language, as the overseas teacher will be fluent in English.

Read: Procedures and Guidelines for Educator Exchange Programs

 

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