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Frequently asked questions

Explore the list of FAQs below. If you can't find the answer to your question, contact us.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • be an Australian teacher, teacher educator or work in the field of education in Australia
  • be a partner or friend of the above who has registered for the program.

How do I register or apply?

To register as a full-fee participant, please go to the relevant study program and follow the links. To confirm your registration include payment via the University of Melbourne Payment portal to pay your *non-refundable Administration and Contingency fee to AEF. You will receive an email response shortly after, confirming your registration.

*A minimum of 15 participants is required per program. Where the minimum number is not reached and AEF cancels the program, the Administration and Contingency fee will be refunded.

What's included in the cost?

All costs associated with the in-country component of the program as per the program itinerary most meals, all twin share accommodation, ground transportation as per itinerary (including internal flights), professional learning briefings/meetings/workshops, entrance fees and cultural site visits are included.

What costs are not included?

Ground travel and flights from Australia to your destination in Asia are not included and are separate to the study program costs. AEF can provide contact details for the University of Melbourne's preferred travel suppliers to discuss your flight options and to coordinate the travel arrangements for participants. Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements and meet the group in-country at the hotel.

Out of pocket expenses:
Participants are responsible for the costs of some meals, tips, their own  expenses (such as laundry, telephone and internet), travel and medical insurance, health checks and inoculations, program gifts and resources, visa fees and other incidentals (as advised in pre-departure briefings).

Comprehensive travel insurance:
All participants are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance (to cover medical expenses, repatriation, personal accident and liability, and theft) for the entire period participants are travelling overseas. Please ensure your travel insurance is fully comprehensive and can cover cancellation costs.

I live in a regional area; do I have to make my own way to a capital city to access the group airfares?

Yes, if you book independently or through AEF's preferred provider please ensure you have booked your connecting flight and that you have allowed for plenty of time to connect from your domestic to international flight.

Can I earn frequent flyer points on my airfare?

Please discuss this with the travel agent at the time of booking your international airfare.

Are my travel dates flexible?

Yes. Participants are able to organise their own airfares or contact AEF's preferred travel provider to arrive earlier or stay on after a study program.

What is the difference between a full-fee and sponsored participant?

Full-fee participants cover all expenses related to the study program from personal funds.

Sponsored participants are subsidised by an education authority, school or Australian Government grant. 

What is the payment schedule?

All participants pay a non-refundable Administration and Contingency fee upon registration. 50 percent of the study program cost is required at least 60 days prior to the estimated date of departure from Australia. The final balance is required at least 45 days prior to the estimated date of departure from Australia.

Airfares payments are generally required within 24 hours of booking confirmation; please discuss this with the travel agent.  If you book your flights via the internet payment is usually required at time of making the booking.

Can I claim the study program costs on my tax?

Educators may be able to claim their study program expenses under a number of tax deduction categories. These include:

  • self-education expenses
  • excursions, school trips and camps if these trips have an educational benefit and are related to the curriculum or extra-curriculum activities of the school
  • teaching aids used for work.

Participants must contact their tax advisor or visit the Australian Tax Office website to confirm their eligibility.

Can a study program be cancelled?

Study programs can be cancelled. This can be due to a number of reasons. For example, a heightened Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory or low registration numbers for a study program.

What are the minimum numbers for a study program to run?

Study programs need a minimum of 15 participants to run. You will be informed shortly after the registration cut-off date if a program has been confirmed.

Would I get my money back if a study program is cancelled?

If a study program does not run due to lack of participants, AEF will refund the Administration and Contingency fee. You will also be given the option to sign up for another program that is running.

Participants are advised to ensure they have travel insurance to cover the cancellation of a study program due to a heightened Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory. This is of particular importance if you have paid more than the deposit. Please ensure your travel insurance is fully comprehensive and can cover cancellation costs.

Who will be in the group?

Participants will be educators and others employed in the field of education from a variety of learning areas and school levels. They will come from a mix of primary and secondary schools across Australia, as well as from within education jurisdictions and tertiary institutions.

Most of our study programs are assigned one or two group leaders who will accompany the group and work with participants to support and extend their professional learning. Group leaders will also assist in managing program logistics, finances, and liaise with AEF, service providers and travel providers to assist in the smooth running of the program.

What about accommodation?

Can I bring my partner or friend with me at their expense?

Yes. Participants are able to bring a partner or friends along for the experience. They are required to participate in all scheduled activities. During the teaching component, friends/partners who are non-teachers are able to participate or have free time at their own expense.

My colleague is also participating in this program; can we room-share?

Yes. You must inform AEF of this during the briefing process.

Can I pay a single supplement so that I can have my own room?

Yes. Refer to individual program itineraries for costs associated with this. You can also request this during the briefing process.

I am a smoker and would like to request a smoking room. Is this possible?

You can request this; however, it's dependent on the program destination and hotel if they still offer smoking rooms.

I have a medical condition; will there be assistance for me with my luggage?

No. You will need to be physically, mentally and psychologically fit to participate fully in all aspects of the study program. This includes carrying all your own luggage (including taking it in and out of transport vehicles, upstairs, etc), participating in up to 12 to 15 hours of planned activities per day, and having the ability to travel in a group situation for a period of approximately two to three weeks by various modes of transport, including boat, train, aeroplane, local transport and a considerable amount by foot.

Included in your Participant Agreement is a Certificate of Health form that will need to be signed off with a medical practitioner that you are satisfactorily fit to participate in all aspects of the study program.

Will my special dietary requirements be catered for?

Meals will generally be local dishes, adjusted where necessary to western palates. Organisers will attempt to cater for participants with particular dietary requirements, but personal preferences cannot always be guaranteed. Please note that we endeavour to cater for vegetarians and vegans, but this can be a particular issue for countries that use animal fat for cooking purposes. We do encourage participants to bring dietary supplements if this will be an issue.

What happens if I need to cancel my participation?

Cancellation of participation must be received in writing. The date of withdrawal will be the date on which written notice is received by AEF.

Cancellation charges for withdrawal are as follows:

  • More than 45 days prior to departure – AEF will retain the Administration and Contingency fee and if part or all of the Study Program costs have been paid to AEF's licensed travel provider you will receive a refund of what has been paid
  • 30 to 45 days prior to departure – a cancellation fee equal to 50 percent of the Study ProgramCosts
  • Less than 30 days prior to departure – a cancellation fee of equal to 100 percent of Study Program Costs.

Participants are strongly encouraged to take out travel insurance when they are informed the study program is going ahead. This will aid you in claiming any funds lost due to personal circumstances.

Do I have to write a report?

All participants are asked to complete an evaluation at the end of the study program.

Sponsored participants may be required to complete a second evaluation (report) to track their progress in engaging Asia in their classrooms. This data is collected for reporting purposes and is forwarded to sponsors.

When does registration close?

We aim to close registrations at least three months before departure.

What do I need to do to prepare?

Participants must undertake the following before departure:

  • obtain a health check and investigate inoculations required (45 days prior to departure)
  • ensure passport is current (at least six months validity) and has at least two blank pages
  • obtain the necessary visas for the study program
  • take out comprehensive travel insurance (to cover medical expenses, repatriation, travel cancellations, personal accident and liability, and theft)
  • prepare teaching materials for the in-country teaching component of the study program if necessary.

Please note: participants are advised not to undertake any of the above tasks until advised. This is to ensure you are not out of pocket if a study program does not occur due to travel warnings or minimum numbers not being reached.

Participants will be provided with three electronic mail-outs prior to commencement of the program. Participants are expected to read all information outlined in these mail-outs. These are:

  • welcome letter – acknowledgement of your registration on the program
  • pre-departure briefings – documents requiring action, such as survey monkey link to gather your information that will be useful in-country, general travel bulletin and Participant Agreement. pre-departure agenda and briefing specific information to support your in-country experience
  • departure documents – e-ticket if you have booked through the University of Melbourne, participant manual, name tag and contact details to leave with your family.

How do I get a passport?

All participants are required to have a passport which must have at least six months validity and two blank pages. To renew or obtain a new passport, visit your local post office to obtain the necessary forms

Will I need a visa?

Visas are required for many countries in the Asian region. This does depend on the passport you are travelling on and we suggest you discuss visa requirements with a travel agent. In short, visas are required for Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. You are able to find information regarding visas via a number of avenues:

  • Do a Google search to find the local embassy or consulate for lodging a visa.
  • Use the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for an index of embassies and diplomatic missions in Australia. You are able to visit individual embassy websites and subsequently view and download up-to-date visa information and applications.
  • Use a private company such as Visalink that provides visa requirements for Australian, New Zealand, British and Indian citizens, and allows you to lodge your visa application through them.
  • Use our preferred travel agent or your local travel agency to obtain a visa.

In applying for any visa, it is essential to keep the following in mind:

  • All participants are to apply for a 'tourist' category visa.
  • All participants are to enter all countries as 'tourists'.
  • Ensure you have your arrival and departure dates correct as per the study program itinerary.
  • Typically, you must provide a contact/hotel for the country you are visiting. Refer to the briefing materials provided by AEF for accommodation listings (choose the first hotel in the itinerary).
  • Attach a copy of your flight itinerary to prove your arrival and departure into the country. Make sure you enclose appropriate payment (usually only money order or bank cheque) and passport photographs as per the relevant country's instructions with your visa application.

Please note: Participants should not apply for a visa until advised by AEF. This is to ensure you are not out-of-pocket if a study program does not proceed due to minimum numbers not being reached.

Can I choose what places I want to see?

Study programs are designed to provide opportunities for participants to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the destination country including opportunities to focus on specific learning areas e.g. Arts, Geography/Environment, History and Languages. Programs are structured to maximise opportunities for professional learning with some free time for participants to pursue personal interests.

Will I have time to buy resources for my classroom?

Participants will have some opportunities to conduct curriculum research and purchase resources for classrooms.

I have a sister school 20 kilometres from where we are staying; can I visit the school?

Yes, you may make your own internal and local travel arrangements in the free time outlined in the itinerary. You must leave your contact details and travel arrangements with the group leader prior to departure. Please note free time is limited.

My brother will be in the area; can he come and visit me?

Yes, as long as the visit does not coincide with any scheduled activities in the itinerary. Please note that the visitor cannot be included in group activities or room-sharing arrangements.

I will be away from home on holidays/changing my address in the lead up to the study program; will I receive my travel documents/final travel mail-out?

You will need to nominate an alternate address, and be aware that in the case that a courier is necessary (e.g. if you live remotely), someone at that address will also need to be present to sign for your package.

It is essential that any change of address is passed onto AEF promptly. All mail-outs will go to your preferred address as advised by you unless specified otherwise.

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