Victorian International Teaching Fellowship FAQs

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

Application process

I wish to apply for the 2018 Victorian International Teaching Fellowship program. Where can I find information about the program and how to apply?

Information about the application process for 2018 will be distributed to all government schools through a circular. This information will also be available through the Department website.

Catholic school and independent school teachers and school leaders will be notified when applications open through normal communication channels.

I have been on an exchange previously and would love to do another one. Is that possible?

The VITF program is open to permanent, full-time teachers and principals from Government, Catholic and Independent schools in Victoria. Those working in primary, secondary and special schools with Australian citizenship are eligible. Applicants must be in full-time on-going positions, have a minimum of four years tertiary education and five years teaching experience at the commencement of the exchange.

If you have previously participated in an exchange and are still eligible you can apply again for another exchange. You must note details of your previous exchange in the appropriate section of the application form. Of course you must have the support of your principal (or relevant regional representative if you are a principal).

The application states that the program is only open to Australian citizens. I am a permanent resident of Australia but a New Zealand citizen. Am I eligible?

Yes, however you should note that as a New Zealand citizen you may be subjected to different visa requirements set by your exchange country. You should apply and any visa issues can be dealt with when and if they arise.

I have completed my application for the VITF program but I am unable to send it via email as it exceeds the data limit for my email. Is it possible to send it to you in a hard copy instead?

Your application needs to be emailed in. Compile your document and scan as one document. When scanning please check your scanner/photocopier's scanning options to ensure that you scan the document as a PDF with low or standard resolution (preferably). The file size should not exceed 10-12MB as files larger than this may not be received. Please do not send separate image or jpeg files.

I have downloaded the information about the program off the DET website and noticed that it asks for a medical certificate. Do I need to get a medical certificate? If so is it just a certificate to say I am fit to travel and work?

All applicants for a Fellowship must have a medical examination at their own expense and submit a current medical certificate as part of their application. The certificate should attest to your fitness to participate in the program.

I am Principal of a school. Who should I ask to complete the relevant section of the application form and Principal's MOU?

Principals in Government schools applying for exchange need to get their Regional Director – or designated representative - to approve the Principal's application and provide comment in the application in the relevant sections. The Regional Director also completes the MOU confirming their ongoing support for the participating Victorian principal and the incoming ITF.

Principals from the Catholic sector will need to arrange a approval from their diocesan Catholic Education Office.

By what month of next year would an applicant find out if they were successful or not?

It is anticipated that the first round of matching will usually be confirmed by July 2017. Sometimes matching continues through the year as some adjustments are required due to changes of personal circumstances.

Can I submit a late application?

Late applications were accepted up until 31 May 2017. Applications received prior to 1 December 2016 will be given priority during the matching stage.

General

I am only renting my house. Will this be a problem?

Under this program participants pay their own travelling costs, and are responsible for their own arrangements for health and travel insurance. While on exchange they will continue to pay any mortgage repayments or rent in Victoria. Likewise, the overseas exchange Fellow will continue to pay any mortgage or rent required on their property.

All Fellows are expected to pay for amenities (gas, electricity etc.) in the accommodation in which they are residing for the exchange year. It is a condition that both fellows and their respective families have sole occupancy of the accommodation.

Where are the most common places to go on exchange? I would be interested in Canada or America?

This year exchanges are being arranged with overseas teachers from Canada, USA, Germany and England. Canada is or most popular destination. The Department is seeking to expand the program into additional overseas jurisdictions in 2018.

When would I need to arrive and commence teaching duties in the exchange country and what date in the following year would I be released from the contract?

An exchange year will vary according to the jurisdiction in which you are located. But generally speaking it is from beginning of January until December of the exchange year. In some instances you may be required to teach from late January 2018 to early January 2019. Of course this time would include the long northern hemisphere summer break.

Matches from July to July can also be arranged with the agreement of your principal.

Can I request a specific area in my preferred exchange country?

You can certainly request a country and a region or area but you need to be mindful that the criteria for matching is broader than just preferred location.

Is there support in helping a spouse find work in the assigned country?

DET cannot provide this support. Your exchange partner or returnee Victorian International Teaching Fellows through the International Teachers Association may be able to provide advice.

I am interested in participating in the VITF program. I am in my third year of teaching.

Applicants must be in full-time on-going positions, have a minimum of four years tertiary education and five years teaching experience at the commencement of the exchange.

If I am successful in gaining an exchange can my 18 year old daughter - who will be coming with the rest of the family - have permission to work if she is listed as a dependent on the visa application?

Visa requirements regarding granting permission to work are always subject to change. You need to seek advice from the relevant immigration authority.

I am planning to apply for a 2019 Victorian International Teaching Fellowship. When would the applications for 2019 be available?

Applications for 2019 would generally be called for in the second half of 2017.

I am a principal in my school and would like to do an exchange. Can principals exchange? I would be prepared to exchange with a classroom teacher.

Principals may apply for an exchange. It is acceptable for a principal to exchange with a teacher if we are not able to organise an administrative exchange. In fact it happens often.

While it is usual for the incoming teacher to be placed at school of the outgoing principal, if necessary the teacher could be placed at another school in the Region if that was preferable.

I am an assistant/deputy principal in my school and would like to do an exchange. Can I exchange with a classroom teacher?

It is acceptable for an assistant/deputy principal to exchange with a teacher. Both usually take on classroom responsibilities. As your principal has to endorse your application it may be preferable to him/her that the incoming exchange take up a teaching role and other arrangements are made for an acting assistant/deputy principal.

I am very interested in participating in the program and was wondering about the teaching experience requirement. I'm currently in my third year of teaching but have 10 years of work experience in my previous roles in sales/consultancy in industry.

Applicants must be in full-time on-going positions, have a minimum of four years tertiary education and five years teaching experience at the commencement of the exchange. VITFs are educators of the highest calibre who are selected for their aptitude, experience and contribution to the profession. They have a record of sustained excellence in teaching and are prepared to participate in varied teaching situations.

While you obviously have extensive previous experience outside of education unfortunately this experience is not counted towards eligibility for the program.

I am interested in applying for the VITF program. Do you think I would be able to find another teacher working in my method? I teach visual arts in a government secondary school. Are there many visual arts exchanges?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide comment on the historical frequency of such exchanges. Of course the broader the range of subject areas you are able to teach naturally the greater the range of possible matches. Offering a larger choice of countries will also provide a wider scope for a placement. If you wish to submit an application and are consequently selected as a possible Fellow then your application can be kept on file for several years.

I am intending on applying but wanted to know which states in the USA are part of this program. I know that Washington State used to be a part of this program but over the last few years have not had any exchanges.

Presently exchanges are facilitated with Colorado in the USA. Washington State has suspended participation in recent years but we are always seeking to develop exchanges with new jurisdictions and are hopefully that others will re-join the program.

I was just reading the information about teacher exchange and was wondering if there is an age restriction for applying? I travel widely and still work and study and now find myself in a position to think about this option. Before I launch into the application it would be useful to know if that is one of the unspoken criteria.

If you meet all the eligibility criteria you are welcome to apply to participate in the program. Applicants for a Fellowship must have a medical examination at their own expense and submit a current medical certificate when requested. Age is not a criterion for VITF program participants. You should familiarise yourself with all the terms and conditions of the program before making an application.

I am interested in a match to Canada or the UK. Can my partner get a work permit/visa in either country?

Questions regarding a partner's ability to work in either Canada or the United Kingdom need to be referred to the relevant immigration authorities.