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Teacher Exchanges Whilst on a Career Break

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 7 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
Teacher Teaching Exchange Career Break

Teachers are lucky. Their profession is needed all over the world, so they never need be out of work. And if they want to travel for a few months or a few years to a far-flung locale - or even to a neighbouring town - they can do so secure in the knowledge that they can easily find new employment.

Teacher exchanges are perfect for teachers contemplating a career break, or those who just want to do something a bit different for a while. Often you can teach somewhere new for as little as six weeks, or longer if you wish. And your salary can often stay the same.

About Independent Exchanges

Interested in a specific country, or dreaming about living in a specific town near the sea? You might what to try your luck at setting up your own teacher exchange. Contact the local education authority in the area in which you'd like to teach, or the headteacher of the specific school in which you fancy working. Get your documents, accreditations, CV etc in order first.

Teaching Exchanges in France, Germany or Spain

This programme gives teachers of modern foreign languages the chance to teach abroad at the secondary level for six weeks, a term or an academic year. Teachers participating will have to find an exchange partner themselves. Contact the British Council.

Fulbright UK-US Exchanges

This programme is run jointly by the British Council and US Dept of State, and allows teachers from the UK to teach in an American school for either the autumn term or an academic year. You will be paid by your employer while you are in the USA, and all transport costs are covered. For more info, contact the British Council.

Commonwealth Exchange Programme

Organised for one term minimum by the League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers (LECT), this exchange takes place between schools in the UK and Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For more info, contact LECT.

English Language Assistant

If you are currently in a non-teaching career and are considering a career break to consider going into teaching full-time, then becoming an English Language Assistant may be the answer. You qualify as long as you are a native English speaker with two years of higher education behind you, although certain countries also require other skills. Contact the British Council for advice pertinent to your chosen country.

Be aware that all teacher exchanges have minimum requirements, and often requires teachers to have at least three years' teaching experience before they apply. Make sure you check to see that you meet all necessary requirements before you apply.

A teacher exchange is a fantastic way to learn about a new culture and new styles of learning whilst keeping your old job. The chances for personal and professional development are immense, and the experience you will bring back to your old school is invaluable. A career break can be the perfect way to take some time off and do something different, while still improving your expertise in your chosen field. Go for it!

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