I had the opportunity to travel to Nantes, France this past summer, and was able to make many friends while there and immerse myself in a different culture, while developing my love of the French language. I had such a great time getting to know my exchange student, Rachel, and still keep in contact with her and her family. The Network Exchange is such a rewarding experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Catherine o'shea '21

Here are what some exchange students had to say:
 
“In my wonderful eleven years at Sacred Heart, I can confidently say that the exchange program has been the most unique and eye-opening opportunity that Sacred Heart has provided me with. I attended the Sacred Heart School in Rome, Italy, known as the Institute of the Sacred Heart Trinità dei Monti of Rome. My exchange experience was wonderful for many reasons: I met new friends, I tried new foods, I  saw ancient ruins, and I was able to see my family’s culture in the country of its origin. However, the most amazing part of exchange was living the day-to-day life of an Italian. One can simply book a flight to any city and mimic the lives of the locals, however, the exchange program allows one to see a country through the lens of a student. For me, I was fascinated when we learned history in Rome because they learn about certain events differently than we do. Also, I found great comfort in knowing that I was attending a Sacred Heart school, even when I felt far from home. At the Rome Sacred Heart school, I would see copies of the Mater painting or the schools’s open heart symbol scattered around, and each time I saw these familiar sights they reminded me of the interconnectedness of Sacred Heart schools and how, even though these students live completely different lives than we do, they too have been raised by the values I have held close to my heart since the day I walked into Sacred Heart eleven years ago.”
- Isabella Nardis '24
 
“I had the fantastic opportunity to go to Seville, Spain, through the exchange program at Sacred Heart. The program allowed me to understand the life of a Sacred Heart student worldwide. I spent three weeks getting to know my host, Irene, and her family. They were the most respectful, loving, and funny people I have ever met. I also got to make new friends at the Sacred Heart school in Seville. They were so welcoming and always so fascinated about my life in the United States. I got to experience many school events such as their performance of Grease and their graduation. These school events reminded me of life at Sacred Heart Greenwich. Along with getting to know the student life, I got to see different sites such as La Plaza de España, Las Setas, and La Giralda. These sites showed me the rich history and the beautiful architectural designs of Seville. The Sacred Heart Greenwich Network Exchange Program provided me with the opportunity to travel to Spain and see various cultures while making friendships I will never forget.”

- Jaimie Alva '24

 

"On my exchange trip, I spent two weeks in Madrid. There, I immersed myself in Spain’s rich culture, which is so different than my own. I enjoyed living in the city and walking to school each day, canoeing in El Retiro Park and exploring the Plaza Mayor, and tasting authentic Spanish cuisine, such as churros con chocolate caliente and cochinillo asado. Perhaps my most memorable experience in Madrid, though, was meeting the amazing people there. My host, Elena, and her family were so hospitable and eager to expose me to their city, and the girls at Elena’s school, Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, went out of their way to talk to me. They especially loved discussing “Nueva York” and comparing it to Madrid. It was amazing to make new friends across the globe! I even saw one of the girls last week, and we discussed how much we missed our exchange experiences. Overall, the exchange program was the highlight of my sophomore year and an experience that I will always keep close to me. I am so glad that I decided to participate and encourage everyone else to do so as well!"
- Ceci Duncan ’21

"Coming into the Upper School, one program that I knew I wanted to participate in was student exchange. I remember the morning the applications were due, almost everyone in my class had their laptops out, ready to send in their applications at exactly 8 am. I had an absolutely wonderful time in Barcelona. My host family was so nice and considerate. They always went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed. I hope that I am able to go and visit them in the upcoming years. I loved being able to explore the city of Barcelona and learn more about Spanish culture. I am so grateful that I had an opportunity to participate in a program like this, and I would do it again in a heartbeat."
- Mary Clare Marshall 21

"I chose to go to Sydney because I have always wanted to go to Australia for a few reasons. First of all, I love the beach and the ocean so I have always wanted to visit the famous Bondi Beach and Many Beach. Second of all, my dad works for an Australian company and has visited multiple times, which also sparked my interest. The school that I attended while on exchange was Kincoppal Rose Bay, and it was one of the most beautiful schools I have ever visited! Overlooking the Rose Bay with a direct view of the Harbour Bridge and the city gave the school a spectacular view. While in Sydney I got to experience a completely different culture from my own and try so many new things. For example, the school system in Australia is very different from in the United States. In order to go to college or “uni” as they call it, they must achieve a certain score on the HSC exam. GPAs do not matter, nor do individual tests. Another aspect of Sydney’s culture that I found very different from the United States was the sports culture! I play a sport in the fall, winter, and spring, yet only one of these sports was popular in Australia. I was able to watch games of sports I had never even heard of such as netball and Aussie rules footy. Another part of my exchange that I really enjoyed  was visiting all of the prominent landmarks throughout the city. I went to the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Icebergs, Manly Beach, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay Lunar Park, and the Gap Park. Overall, I think my favorite part of the trip was doing the Sydney Bridge Climb. I was able to see the entire city from on top of the Bridge as the sun set, and it was absolutely beautiful! All in all, I loved my exchange experience and would definitely do it again!!!"
- Grace Lillis 21

STUDENT STORIES