Last year, my husband pondered the idea of quitting his job many times. He just wasn't happy with his job and waking up each morning to drag himself to work was becoming hard work. It was hard to stand by and watch my husband feel defeated. He could just stay in a job to ensure he brings home an income for his family. He could just stay unhappy and work every day so we can afford nice things such as vacations and material objects we don't need. Instead he quit his job after much consideration and he now gets to stay home with our son. It has been a great bonding experience. As my husband would say, he has gained a lot of patience being a stay-at-home dad.
With time on our side, we talked about living abroad and applying for a teacher exchange seemed like the right fit. I was in contact with CEEF (Canadian Educators Exchange Foundation) and spoke to the coordinator Carol, who is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to exchanges. I filled out the paperwork in October 2015, got approved by the principal and superintendent and everything was processed by November. Then we were told to wait and that exchanges normally happen between January to March. In February we were contacted with a possible match that can have us leaving in July for Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately that match didn't work out so we were bummed out about not being able to start our exchange in the summer. Again, we were contacted in March that a match has been made with a teacher in Perth, Australia. Both school districts and organizations finally confirmed this match in May, and now we are heading out January 2017.
It still seems surreal. I have been in contact with my match through email and so far so good. We have much to discuss and organize prior to leaving. Carol at CEEF has been a great help with resources and answering questions. Unfortunately for us, she retired in July, but she left us in good hands with a new coordinator. I went to an information session hosted by CEEF in June and met teachers across Ontario who are also doing an exchange. We created a Facebook group and it feels great to connect with people who are in the same situation.
In July I applied for visa sponsorship, and currently I am still waiting for approval. In the meantime, we are purging and making plans for our departure.
Now it's September and school is starting, our exchange is 4 months away. Excitement and anxiousness is setting in but I must focus on the first week back for now.