Overseas learning experiences

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Overseas learning experiences help to broaden and internationalise the outlook of students and educators and involve opportunities to spend time in another country as well as for international delegates to experience Victoria and our education system.

Overseas learning experiences are available for Victorian teachers and school leaders and students in Victorian schools. Additionally, overseas delegations visit Victoria to deepen their understanding of Victorian education policy and practice.

The Department runs international delegation programs for international visitors that include school visits.

For educators

Overseas professional learning experiences provide school leaders and educators with the opportunity to develop their professional practice through study, benchmarking and undertaking teaching practice in overseas countries. These opportunities enhance school leaders' and teachers' intercultural understanding and improve learning and teaching practice.

The Department supports the provision of opportunities for Victorian school leaders and educators to participate in high quality overseas professional learning experiences through a study tour program delivered in partnership with the Asia Education Foundation, and the International Teaching Fellowship.

Victorian International Teaching Fellowship Program

The Victorian International Teaching Fellowship (VITF) Program is a high quality professional learning opportunity that enables Victorian teachers and school leaders to spend a year teaching in a school overseas.

Participating in the VITF Program can significantly enrich a whole-school teaching and learning program and supports the development of Global citizenship and intercultural capability as articulated in the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) and Victorian Curriculum Foundation to 10.

Extended overseas learning experiences, such as the VITF Program, can have a significant and often profound and transformational impact and contribute to whole-school change by building the professional practice of school leaders and teachers.

The VITF Program requires direct exchange of teaching positions and accommodation. Placements are normally from January to December however some July to July placements can be arranged with principal approval.

Countries involved include Canada, Germany, UK and USA and some International Schools.

While overseas, Victorian participants are ambassadors for the Victorian education system.

Successful applicants are required to complete a professional learning program focusing on innovative practices and pedagogies which can be adapted for Victorian schools.

The program is open to permanent, full-time teachers and school leaders from government, Catholic and Independent schools with a minimum of four years' tertiary education and five years' teaching experience prior to the year of exchange. Australian citizens working in primary, secondary and special schools are eligible.

All applications need to include the recommendation to participate from your principal (or relevant regional representative if the principal is the applicant).

Applicants must read the following terms and conditions before completing the application form:

To apply, see:

Applications for the 2018 program closed 31 May 2017.

Further information regarding the program can be obtained:

See VITF Frequently Asked Questions

Republic of Korea - Victoria (AUS) Teacher Exchange Program

To broaden the range of overseas professional learning opportunities available to Victorian teachers, the Department, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Asia Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), facilitates a reciprocal teacher exchange with the Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea - Victoria (AUS) Teacher Exchange Program - Teaching Abroad for Global Competency Program aims to promote mutual understanding among participating countries through the exchange of teachers. The program provides participating teachers and schools with opportunities to learn from one of the world's highest performing systems to build professional practice and leadership capability.

For more information on the 2017 ROK-VIC Teacher Exchange Program, see:

To apply, see:

Aichi - Victoria Teacher Exchange Program

The Department in partnership with the Aichi Prefectural Board of Education, Japan has developed the Aichi - Victoria Teacher Exchange Program. The program is a continuation of an exchange program that commenced in 2015 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the sister state relationship between the State of Victoria and Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

The Aichi - Victoria Teacher Exchange Program aims to promote mutual understanding between the education systems of Aichi and Victoria and provide participating teachers with opportunities to teach abroad.

The Program is implemented in two phases and involves Japanese language teachers from six Victorian secondary schools exchanging with six Aichi teachers of English. Phase one involves the Aichi teachers participating in professional development in Melbourne and immersion in a Victorian school for four weeks during July and August. Phase two involves secondary teachers from Victoria immersed in their Japanese partner teacher's school in Aichi for four weeks (dates to be determined).

The aims of the Aichi - Victoria Teacher Exchange Program are to:

  • strengthen language education in Victoria and Aichi by providing an opportunity for teachers from both countries to explore and develop effective practice in second language teaching
  • provide an opportunity for Victorian teachers to improve their Japanese language skills and for teachers from Aichi to develop their English language skills
  • strengthen internationalisation of Victorian and Aichi schools through the promotion of ongoing collaboration between schools
  • promote mutual understanding between the two sister states

Applications to participate in the program in 2017 will be sought from interested secondary schools with a current Japanese language program or a demonstrated interest in Japanese language and culture.

  • selected schools must commit to releasing their teacher for the reciprocal exchange to Aichi
  • the Aichi teacher will be home-stayed in accommodation organised by their Victorian host school. DET will provide a homestay allowance to host schools
  • DET will provide accommodation for Aichi teachers in Melbourne for their attendance at an orientation program
  • Victorian teachers must cover their own return airfare and travel insurance
Asia Education Foundation study tours

The Asia Education Foundation (AEF) conducts study tours for Victorian teachers and school leaders to a range of countries in Asia.

A key element of these tours is to provide opportunities for the development of professional practice through participation in overseas study programs to countries in Asia.

AEF promotes Asia literacy for young Australians, which includes knowledge, skills and understanding histories, geographies, societies, cultures, literatures and languages of the diverse countries of our region.

These programs support the Department's goal to enhance international experiences for Victorian students and educators.

For more details about these study tours, see: Study programs to Asia

Maximising the in-country experience

Evaluation of program trials has indicated that the following factors are essential to ensure the success of a networked teacher overseas learning experience:

  • participating schools are ideally from an existing cluster and can collaborate to share experiences and learnings
  • careful consideration by participating schools and region to identify and agree on a country for the study program and objectives that meet local needs
  • strong commitment at school level to the internationalising education agenda with support from the region
  • involvement of a school team, comprised of the Principal and up to two teachers
  • commitment to building sustainable sister school relationships that can support ongoing opportunities for student and teacher exchange and enhanced language learning at the school
  • a return visit to consolidate the relationship

For more information on the network based teacher overseas learning experience, see:

Contact Lu Hong Shen, Senior Project Officer, International Education Division at shen.lu.hong.l@edumail.vic.gov.au

For students

An overseas learning experience provides students with the opportunity to live and undertake school-based study in a different culture and so develop cultural literacy, global knowledge and cross cultural communication skills as well as international networks.

These skills have been identified as essential to 21st century learners who will be looking at their future employment opportunities and life choices from a global perspective.

For more information, see: Victorian Young Leaders to China Program

Overseas learning experience initiative

The Department supports students to take part in these experiences through the overseas learning experience initiative. This initiative provides Year 9 and 10 Victorian government school students who have not travelled overseas with the opportunity to study in another country.

Schools involved in this initiative are required to design a comprehensive inquiry based learning program for the students. Students complete projects relevant to their schools and local communities, built around curriculum areas such as languages, environmental sustainability and cultural awareness, as well as the development of leadership skills. When they return home, students present their experiences to a range of audiences in the community such as schools, service clubs and local media.

The accompanying teachers undertake a professional learning inquiry to address either an individual need and /or a school based need as predetermined in consultation with the relevant principal.

There are many benefits to an overseas learning experience including:

  • a more global outlook on life and an increased awareness and appreciation of different cultures
  • increased independence, maturity, confidence and self-awareness
  • a new perspective on and respect for school and the importance of education
  • improved research, oral and written communication skills
  • motivation to further engage with other cultures through future travel, language skills and considering employment opportunities overseas

Additionally, it is expected that teachers who participate in an overseas learning experience will improve their teaching practice. New skills can be share with colleagues, including curriculum planning, regional network forums and staff presentations.

Overseas Learning Experience Resource eBook

The Overseas Learning Experience Resource is now available for use. The purpose of the resource is to support schools in effective planning, implementation and integration of student overseas learning experiences into school programs. It draws upon the work of schools that have successfully incorporated such experiences into whole-school programs for international education.