Sacred Heart Exchange Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

"About halfway through my trip to Chile, my exchange student Sofia, and her family invited me to visit the port city of Valparaíso. I quickly discovered that this city was no more a port city, than an art gallery and the walls that stood out were the ones NOT brightly painted. As we walked through various alleys and tunnels, I saw these steps and asked Sofia to take a picture with me. On the steps, there was a phrase, "nunca estaremos solas," which in English translates to, "we will never be alone." This message is a key aspect of the Sacred Heart Network. Forever interconnected, thanks to the exchange program, Sofia and I will never be alone, even if we are thousands of miles apart." ~ Cailley '20

Sam '20 and her host, Sienna in Melbourne, Austria.
Sam '20 and Maddie '20 enjoy Melbourne

"On my exchange, I gained a much deeper appreciation for my Sacred Heart sisters. Despite being half way around the world, I felt completely at home - surrounded by my Australian Sacred Heart sisters who share the same values and live by the same goals we set for ourselves at Stone Ridge. And I fell in love with the Geelong Cats!!" ~ Sam '20

Langley '20 with host Alba in Madrid, Spain

"My trip to Madrid was one of the most eye opening experiences. This exchange not only left me with a long life friend across the ocean, but it also provided me with a once in a lifetime experience. For a month, I slept on a tiny bunk bed, in a tiny room, in a tiny apartment, and I shared one bathroom with five people. Although this might not sound so appealing to some people, I would give anything to be there now. My exchange family’s way of life exposed me to the amazing European culture and I can’t wait to go back! Not only did I learn so much about the culture of Spain, but my Spanish improved tremendously. I became more confident in my speaking and I learned so many new words and expressions that wouldn’t be taught in a classroom. Personally, I became more independent and grew so much as a person. If someone told me two years ago that I would ride a plane by myself to Spain and then live with a family that doesn’t speak English for a month, I don’t think I would believe them. I am so lucky to be part of the Sacred Heart Network and now have a place to call home in Madrid. This exchange was truly one of the best trips of my life, no matter how small the bed was." ~ Langley '20

Zoe '20 with host, Josefina in Santiago, Spain

"The overall trip was an incredible experience. Each of Josefina's friends welcomed me with so much positive energy that it made the experience absolutely life changing. I was invited to play in a soccer game with one of their club teams and was invited to their school team's basketball practice as well! One of my favorite moments would have to be on the last day of my trip; her whole class, including the teacher, surprised me with a going away party including each of their favorite snacks and plenty of High School Musical songs. I also was honored to participate in the all school Mass on "El Día del Sagrado Corazon" or "Day of the Sacred Heart." ~ Zoe '20

Isabelle '20 and host, Aline in France

"The most amazing part of going on exchange was learning about and growing to love a culture in many ways completely different from my own. While I did experience a bit of a culture shock upon arriving in France, I quickly grew to appreciate the people, places, food, and experiences around me. Learning to love a culture different from my own has really opened my eyes to the idea of being a "citizen of the world", and, therefore, has inspired me to learn more about others' beliefs and cultures. I have found that this trip has helped me to understand others more easily, grow in my empathy, and further enjoy meeting others and experiencing new cultures!" ~ Isabela '20

Jamison '20 and her host, Paula in Barcelona, Spain

"While on exchange, the culture is not simply observed, but rather truly lived. I fell in love with the Spanish culture, the food, and the architecture all around Barcelona. My host family became like a second family to me. My exchange student’s friends also helped show me Barcelona from a teenagers’ viewpoint. Exchange helps students see another city and country not from a visitor’s viewpoint, but rather a native’s. The exchange is a program very unique to Stone Ridge. The opportunity to see another country as if you live there is unmatched. I highly recommend participating and would jump at the chance to do it again or return. My world and perspective has broadened and grown." ~ Jamison '20

Carina '20 attended class at Baradene, the College of the Sacred Heart with her host Molly from Auckland, New Zealand

"I had an incredible trip and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I am so glad I attend Stone Ridge, where we have such a great network of schools. This experience is something I will forever remember. I have connected with my Sacred Heart sisters in New Zealand!" - Carina '20 shared her experience through a photo journal.

Anna '20, Sophia '20 and Caroline '20 boarded at Kilgraston, Perthshire, Scotland

"I went to Kilgraston with two Stone Ridge friends. Kilgraston is a boarding school which offered a different experience than living with a host. We became friends with other boarders and I am still very close with an exchange student from New Zealand. The school did a good job arranging small outings for the boarders, and other outings we planned ourselves. While at Kilgraston, I took Geography, Modern Studies, French, Religion, and History. After school, I enjoyed riding lesson and helped in the barn. Every night the boarders could go down to the common room for a cup a tea and a chance to relax and talk. After this experience, it is safe to say that St. Andrews University is one of my top choices for colleges. " ~ Caroline '20

Chieko '20 made a one second a day video of her visit to Bondues, France. SUPER FUN!

The Sacred Heart Exchange Program offers our students opportunities for growth through the discovery of another culture. They become independent and self-directed young women in an environment that is different yet familiar, as they travel within the United States or overseas to Sacred Heart schools and to Sacred Heart families. This is a unique opportunity to master a foreign language, discover another part of the world, make new friends, and learn and appreciate another culture.

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