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Exchange Programs

The global classroom

Upper School Sacred Heart Exchange Program (SHAEP)

As a member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, every Upper School student at Stuart has the opportunity to study abroad at one of our 150 sister Sacred Heart schools around the globe.

Our young women spend at least two weeks living with students and attending classes in cities such as Lima, Peru; Sydney, Australia; Paris, France; as well as closer to home in San Francisco, New Orleans, Montreal and many more. Our students reciprocate by hosting their “SHAEP sisters” at Stuart, enriching the entire Stuart community, and fostering international connections that can last for life.

Eighth Grade Exchange

In eighth grade at Stuart, girls have the opportunity to participate in a week-long academic exchange program with a student from another school from our Sacred Heart Network of Schools throughout North America. The program started ten years ago with one Stuart girl exchanging with a student from Sacred Heart Schools in San Francisco. Over the years, students have traveled to Seattle, San Francisco, Halifax, New Orleans, Greenwich, Michigan, Bethesda, Miami, St. Charles, Bryn Mawr, St. Louis and Chicago.

SHAEP: Celebrating 10 years of Global Exchange and Sisterhood

“Travel is fatal to prejudice and narrow-mindedness... Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

One of the great advantages of attending a Sacred Heart school is that students are automatically part of a global network of schools.  This network provides the opportunity for every upper school student to study abroad at one of our 150 sister Sacred Heart Schools around the globe.  

The Sacred Heart Exchange Program or SHAEP was developed to propel students towards acceptance and understanding of different cultures and communities while broadening their knowledge of the world.  For over 40 years, Stuart girls have been participating in global exchange and now through SHAEP every upper school student has the opportunity to participate in this enriching and life-changing exchange program.  

Our young women spend at least two weeks living with students and attending classes in cities such as Lima, Peru; Sydney, Australia; Paris, France; as well as closer to home in San Francisco, New Orleans, Montreal and many more. Our students reciprocate by hosting their “SHAEP sisters” at Stuart, enriching the entire Stuart community, and fostering international connections that can last for life.

Although COVID-19 prohibited exchange in 2020, Stuart is committed to a safe return to this invaluable exchange program in the future, which Stuart has participated in for more than 40 years.

As we reflect on the impact of over 40 years of exchanges, we are pleased to share these reflections from students, alumnae, and faculty on the lasting impact of SHAEP.

Sacred Heart Exchange Program at Stuart

 

The two weeks I spent in Dublin, Ireland over SHAEP were some of the most memorable experiences in my life.  It was my first time travelling on my own so I was definitely out of my comfort zone.  Nonetheless, I put myself out there and found a second home among my host family as well as my fellow Sacred Heart sisters at Mount Anville Academy.  Over my time in Dublin, I grew accustomed to going to girls’ field hockey matches and yelling the school’s chants and cheers as if I already knew them by heart.  Besides the many new sites I saw and people I met, I made what I think will be a lifelong friendship with my exchange student who I still chat with to this day.”  Penelope Luchs ‘21 

 

Through SHAEP in my sophomore year, I lived with a host family and attended Sophianum in Lima, Peru. SHAEP was truly a life-changing experience because I was completely immersed in both the traditional and quotidian aspects of Peruvian culture. My friends and I flew on a plane by ourselves, and upon arrival, we were soon welcomed by the Peruvian Sacred Heart community. Overall, I learned so much about Peruvian family life, food, education, and Spanish that I could not have done if I did not participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. “

Vivian Chen ‘21

Sacred Heart Exchange Program at Stuart

 

Sacred Heart Exchange Program at Stuart

 

Researching new ways to apply my basic knowledge of Spanish, I was immediately intrigued with how this exchange program (aka SHAEP) applied classroom teachings to the real world.  After months of exchanging WhatsApp messages, I was excited to travel to Peru with 3 other exchange students.

While Peru was an amazing cultural experience, communicating with my host family was challenging since they did not speak or understand English. Choosing to rely on my exchange student and technology to communicate what I needed, I became complacent with my Spanish oral skills. Worried about being judged, I opted to speak English instead of practicing my Spanish.  While I felt that I was inhibiting myself from being my best self as a student, I now know that my evolution as a global citizen was just beginning. After Peru, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and did another exchange in France.  This was different from Peru, because I was putting myself out there without the safety blanket of a familiar face. At the end of this trip, I could see the evolution of myself as a student and as a global citizen.

Reflecting back as a college student, I can now make clear connections to those moments where I peaked in my individuality. I see institutionally how education is important, but through the lens of a global citizen.  Experiences that have shaped my desire to seek out opportunities to learn elsewhere, whether it is through community service or study abroad opportunities. “ 

Dhymond Revan ‘18 

Frequently Asked Questions

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