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  Sea ExChange    

Sea ExChange

National Marine
Educators Association

How to apply for Sea ExChange

Who should apply

NMEA and MESA members who work at the following agencies/facilities:

  • Aquariums and other marine theme attractions, such as zoos and museums.
  • Marine Discovery Centres, field stations, laboratories and other teaching or marine education facilities.



  • Government agencies associated with coastal and marine national parks or marine research facilities.
  • Government sponsored community based organizations. In Australia this could include Coast Action and Coastcare.
  • Non-government sector, e.g. marine conservation societies.
  • Students and teachers wishing to visit partner schools to share and learn.


  • You must be a current MESA or NMEA member to apply. If you are not a NMEA or MESA member, it is a simple matter to join the appropriate body at the time of application. .
  • As teachers have access to International Teaching Fellowships and similar international job exchange schemes teacher exchanges are not included here.

How to apply

There are three forms of Sea ExChange:

Partner and Education Group ExChanges
These are short-term exchanges. Partners travel to their host sites and spend time at the host facility to review marine education programs methods and techniques. They return home and make arrangements for their partners to then visit their facility. Length of time to be agreed upon by the partners but would normally range from one week to one month.

Participants would travel in their own leave time or with the approval of their employer ? hence no additional salary costs for host organisations. As for accommodation overseas, it would be up to partners (traveller and her or his host) to arrange accommodation. Billeting is one option here. Host organizations would be responsible for office accommodation and other work related expenses.

Applying for a Partner or Education Group ExChange

1. Discuss the ExChange with your employer and gain in-principle approval for your application. Check your MESA or NMEA membership status.
2. Use the Application Form to submit a brief resume, job description and details of your home agency/facility.
3. Within 10 days this information will be posted on the Sea ExChange section of the MESA website so that both NMEA and MESA members will have access to this information.
4. Those interested in becoming partners will then contact you by email.
5. MESA and NMEA's responsibility now ends.

Steps to arrange a Partner or Education Group ExChange

Once initial contact has been made, the rest is up to you and your prospective partner.

1. Correspond with one another to see if duties are close enough for an ExChange to be possible. Work out timing, travel and accommodation for both elements of the ExChange.
2. Prepare a request listing the professional development opportunities and other benefits that the ExChange will provide both parties for review by employers.
3. Confirm the details of your proposed ExChange are still supported by employers.
4. Finalise details of the ExChange and obtain formal support letters from employers.
5. Send details back to the Sea ExChange coordinator for posting on the web site.

Begin the logistics of the ExChange

1. What time period will be involved? Since these ExChanges occur between Northern and Southern hemispheres the reversed seasons could be used to the advantage of the partners.
2. What work or visit schedule will be worked out between the partners?
3. What insurance coverage will be needed? (NMEA and MESA do NOT provide insurance).
4. What funding might be available to help with travel expenses or will it be paid out of pocket by each partner. What professional development funds are available to you.
5. Start to plan the post ExChange program. In other words, please don't see the reciprocal ExChange as the end of the program. Ideally this should be the start of a longer-term partnership between the host facilities.

Job ExChanges

Job ExChanges are longer term ExChanges that involve trading places and conducting each others job responsibilities for an agreed upon period of time, usually six months to one year. As teachers have access to International Teaching Fellowships and similar international job exchange schemes teacher exchanges are not included here.

Applying for a Job ExChange

Same procedure as above.

Issues to consider for a Job ExChange

  • What time periods will be agreed upon for the job ExChange?
  • Obtain letters of approval from employers.
  • Work with partner to work out details of the ExChange. Will you trade houses or help locate apartments or other accommodation? Will you trade cars? What insurance considerations are there with this arrangements?
  • How will you cover travel expenses? Check out possible sources of support but expect to foot the bill for your own travel expenses.
  • How will you be paid by employers? Work out details with employers.
  • What health care insurance will you need? Does your policy cover you while overseas?

Steps to arrange a Job ExChange

  1. Correspond with one another to see if duties are close enough that an exchange will be a possibility.
  2. Approach and gain the support of your employers to see if they will be supportive of an exchange. Obtain letters from employers supporting the ExChange.
  3. Prepare a request listing the professional development opportunities that the exchange will provide both parties for review by employers.

Application Form for Sea ExChange

The form is available as a word document. This can be completed offline and then emailed to Sea Exchange (Sea_ExChange@mesa.edu.au).

Download Application Form for Sea ExChange. (Word file 32 KB)

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"Sea Exchange" site created Oct 2003
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