The exchange program is an opportunity to have a life changing experience, while having the comfort of being under the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Exchange is an example of Goal 5, “Educating to personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.” The hope is that through this program, students will be inspired to become more active, informed and responsible members of the School community and the larger global community.
Any student entering tenth grade may apply for exchange as early as their freshmen year and as late as the end of the summer leading into junior year. An application must be completed with all the signatures before plans for the exchange can begin.
A student must be in good standing academically, have faculty approval and be in good social standing. Any student who has been place on academic or social warning/probation may not represent the School on an exchange program.
An application must be completed with the preferred choice of schools to exchange with listed in order of preference.
Medical forms, permission to travel forms and insurance information must also be completed with the application.
Once all the forms have been completed, a meeting will take place with the student, her parents and the exchange program coordinator to review all information and begin to reach out to Network schools to find a match.
Any student who goes on exchange must be willing to host a student from a Network school in her home for the desired length of time. The program is reciprocal.
The location of the exchange will have an impact on the dates when a Sacred Heart Greenwich student may go on exchange.
Often a student will use part of a school vacation, such as the two weeks in March, to add to an exchange, for a total of three to four weeks away. This often lessens the academic pressure of missing classes at Greenwich.
Some students, who wish to travel farther, such as Australia, will use the month of June to go on exchange. This allows a student to be fully immersed with no academic pressures of Sacred Heart Greenwich.
Once the exchange has been confirmed by each school and the exchange coordinator, the two families will begin to communicate and plan the dates of the visits. It is the responsibility of the families to choose dates, which are convenient, and to work together on the schedule. The application and contact information will be shared with both families.
The host family is responsible for transportation to and from the airport, upon arrival and departure. The host family offers room and board, and the same expectations they have for their own daughter living in the home.
While it is nice to offer to show the visiting student the surrounding area and city, it is NOT a requirement to make the experience a continuing tourist adventure.
The host family will also work with the school on transportation to and from school each day. If busing is used, the school will help with completing necessary forms and filing them with the district office.
We do our best to match each student with her first choice of school for exchange. However, there are times when the desired school does not have a place for students. When that happens, we look to place students at the second or third choice of school. This is why it is so important to consider several places for exchange opportunities.
Each student will need a current passport to travel to any Network school outside the U.S. It is a good idea to make a few copies and always carry a copy with you when you are away. Keep the original in a safe and secure place when you are abroad.
A letter from the host school inviting the student is also needed. This letter may be requested by Customs. The host exchange coordinator will produce this letter, and send it prior to the exchange dates.
Depending on the airline used, some families may feel more comfortable using the services available to list their daughter as an unaccompanied minor. Fees and age requirements vary, depending on the carrier. Parents must arrange this.
The best way to decide where to go on exchange is to search the Network website (www.sacredheartusc.education) for ideas. You can search the Network of Sacred Heart Schools within the United States, or click International Schools to search the opportunities abroad.
Not all Network schools participate in the exchange program. If there is a school we have not worked with before, we will do our best to make it happen.