Student exchange programs

Exchange programs are a great way for students to learn about different cultures and languages.

The Alberta government offers virtual (online) and in-person language and culture exchanges with:

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Quebec
  • Spain

How to apply

All student applications must be submitted to [email protected] by the relevant program deadline date.

Applications that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Virtual student exchanges

The deadline to apply for 2021-22 virtual student exchanges are:

  • Quebec: October 1, 2021
  • Spain:
    • October 15, 2021 (for November to December 2021 program)
    • November 15, 2021 (for February to March 2022 program)
  • Japan: November 1, 2021
  • Mexico: November 15, 2021
  • Germany: November 15, 2021

in-person exchanges

The deadline to apply for 2022-23 in-person exchanges is March 15, 2022.

Note, the application form for in-person exchanges will be available in December 2021.

After you apply

Students and liaison teachers will be notified when Alberta Education receives their application. They will be provided with more information about next steps at that time.

Students will be matched with an exchange partner based on similar interests and compatibility. Students and families will be notified of when the matching process will occur. Matching timelines will differ and will depend on the specific exchange program.

Applicants of in-person exchanges must submit a Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check to the Student Exchange Program for everyone 18 years of age or older who lives at home while the exchange student is in Alberta.

Resources

The following brochures provide an overview of our student exchange program. A poster is also available for schools to use to promote the programs.

Student Exchange Programs – Poster (PDF, 4.3 MB)

Virtual exchanges

In-person exchanges

Liaison teachers

Liaison teachers play an important role in the success of our student exchange programs.

Liaison teachers help:

  • promote the programs
  • screen applicants and their families
  • support Alberta students studying in other countries
  • support exchange students studying in Alberta

Find out more about this professional development opportunity by reading the Liaison Teacher Guidelines (PDF, 202 KB).

Other reciprocal exchanges

Students can participate in an organized reciprocal student exchange program similar to what government offers. They can arrange these exchanges privately through an organization or on their own through an agreement with friends or family.

A one-to-one reciprocal student exchange involves 2 students who either:

  • switch places and study at one another’s schools, or
  • study together in an Alberta school district and then in the exchange school for equal periods of time

Students participating in a one-year exchange program not provided by Alberta Education must complete a Reciprocal Student Exchange Approval Form (PDF, 44 KB) before they leave for their exchange.

Find other exchange programs for youth in Canada.

Educator exchange programs

The Alberta Government and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) offer professional development opportunities for teachers and school administrators under educator exchange programs. These programs give Alberta educators the opportunity to work abroad while learning about new cultures, education systems and teaching practices.

Benefits

Exchange programs can help give participants:

  • a better understanding of other cultures
  • enhanced language skills
  • exposure to different education systems and assessment methods
  • an opportunity to build an international network
  • new teaching ideas

Types of educator exchange programs

Short-term exchanges

Short-term exchanges give teachers and administrators 1 to 2 weeks of job shadow experience.

They are available in:

  • Australia
  • Iceland (administrators only)
  • South Korea (pilot for special education teachers)
  • Canada (Alberta)
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Learn more in the Short-term exchanges brochure (PDF, 985 KB) or by visiting the Alberta Teachers’ Association website.

Long-term exchanges

Long-term exchanges give teachers a full year to work in another county or province outside Alberta.

Opportunities are available for full calendar (January to January) or school (July to July) years.

They are available in:

  • Australia
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada (provinces other than Alberta)

Learn more in the Year-long exchanges brochure (PDF, 603 KB) or by visiting the Alberta Teachers’ Association website.

How to apply

Visit the Alberta Teachers’ Association website to apply.

Contact

Student Exchange Programs

Connect with the Student Exchange Programs:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 403-297-5896
Email: [email protected]

Educator Exchange Programs

Connect with the Educator Exchange Programs:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-447-9400
Toll free: 1-800-232-7208
Email: [email protected]

Address:
Educator Exchange Programs
Barnett House
11010 142 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5N 2R1

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