Project Overseas


Project Overseas is a joint endeavor by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and its member organizations (provincial and territorial teacher organizations) to give professional assistance to fellow teachers in developing countries. The project takes place during the months of July and August.

The program is governed by the following objectives:

  • To deliver in-service courses intended to help teachers in developing countries upgrade their competence.
  • To help overseas teacher organizations improve and strengthen their structures and activities.
  • To promote understanding and goodwill among teachers.

Started in 1962 with one program in Nigeria, Project Overseas has assisted teacher organizations in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Since its inception, a total of 1,853 Canadian teachers have participated in the program. The ripple effect of their participation has touched approximately 92,500 teachers and 2.6 million students around the world! Currently, approximately 50 volunteers are sent each summer to about a dozen countries.

The travel and living expenses of Project Overseas participants are covered by contributions from CTF member organizations, by a grant from the Canadian International Development Agency, from budgetary allocations of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

Projects occur in both French and English speaking countries.


Requirements for Participation

Any Canadian teacher who is a member of a provincial or territorial teacher organization that is a member of CTF can apply to participate in Project Overseas provided that he or she meets the following requirements:

  • Be a member of a provincial or territorial teacher organization that supports Project Overseas
  • Hold a valid teacher’s certificate
  • Have completed at least five years of teaching in Canada
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Be in excellent health and able to work in developing country conditions
  • Show evidence of flexibility, mature judgement, and a strong willingness to put the team and project needs above personal needs
  • Hold a Canadian passport valid until at least March 2020, at the time of application.


Terms of the Assignment

Volunteers with Project Overseas must be prepared

  • to go to any location in Africa, Asia or the Caribbean where there is a CTF project;
  • to work hard, as part of a team, both in and out of the classroom;
  • to devote most of their summer vacation to the assignment, which may last from three to six weeks; and
  • to share accommodation with other participants if necessary.

Volunteers should also be aware of the following conditions:

  • They will not receive a salary, but CTF will pay for their travel and living expenses.
  • CTF will arrange air travel by the most direct and economical route and will purchase, whenever possible, excursion air tickets, with the limitations that apply to such tickets.
  • They will not be permitted to drive a motorized vehicle during their stay abroad. The overseas teacher organization to which they have been assigned will provide transportation on location.
  • They will not be permitted to bring family members with them to the orientation program in Ottawa or to the assignment overseas.
  • CTF reserves the right to cancel projects at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances and cannot guarantee placement on other teams.




Selection of Participants

Participants are selected in two phases:

  • In early December, the ATA reviews the applications received and forwards the most promising to the Canadian Teachers' Federation.
  • In January, the National Selection Committee chooses applicants by matching the requests of the overseas teacher organizations with the skills and qualifications of the recommended candidates. Successful candidates are notified shortly thereafter.