This policy paper discusses the importance of critical reflection in short-term international teacher exchange programs. It draws from the findings of a larger research project investigating teachers' use of comparison as a framework for pedagogical transfer. The paper defines intercultural pedagogical transfer as an educators' engagement with culture through an exchange experience, which forms the context for policy and pedagogical sense making. Here, culture refers to the norms, values, and expectations that inform teaching practice and policy discourses. Participating in an international exchange program involves teachers' reflections on history, culture and policy as the contexts that inform classroom practices. The discussion presented in this paper highlights the importance of critical reflection on teachers' ability to make and sustain changes to practice following an international professional development experience of a Teacher Exchange Program, supported by the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.