WEB EXCLUSIVE Sophomore Emily LeBlanc is experiencing the life of a Sacred Heart student in San Francisco as she stays with her exchange host, sophomore Audrey Scott, this week.
“I did an exchange in London last summer and I had a really good time,” LeBlanc, who goes to Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana, said. “I wanted to do an exchange in the U.S. and I had never been to San Francisco, so I decided it would be a fun place to go.”
LeBlanc is staying with Scott and her family until Friday, March 8 and is going to school and track practice every day with Scott. Network Exchange Coordinator Allyson Maebert worked with Scott and the coordinator in New Orleans to pair the students and find appropriate times for the exchanges.
“Part of the exchange program is that it has to be reciprocal. If a student is interested in visiting a school, they should know that they will be hosting a student as well in San Francisco,” Maebert said. “Once we make sure there’s a match, we can set up the exchange and make sure the students on both ends feel comfortable with where they’re landing in regards to school and their host family.”
Students can choose to go on an exchange domestically or internationally for one to four weeks at a Sacred Heart School to experience a new culture while still staying in the broader Sacred Heart community.
“I wanted to go to New Orleans to see a different environment, broaden my horizons and see a new perspective while still in school,” Scott said. “It was interesting because there were a lot of Sacred Heart traditions that were similar, like chapel and Congé, but yet a lot of things that were different.”
LeBlanc has the opportunity of experiencing the classes and sports offered at Convent and is also able to explore San Francisco through the duration of her stay. While exchange students do go to classes, they don’t have the stress of doing assignments and tests, according to Maebert.
“I essentially call it an extended shadow visit because students just want to have a cultural experience,” Maebert said. “I would love to see more students engage in exchange opportunities. We have the network, so let’s use it.”