Australian exchange students take the halls

Maddie Coutts, Isabel Sigalla, Ruby Harrison and Eleanor Twomey visit Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich on exchange from Sydney and Melbourne, Australia for the month.
Alice Millerchip '15

Maddie Coutts, Isabel Sigalla, Ruby Harrison and Eleanor Twomey visit Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich on exchange from Sydney and Melbourne, Australia for the month. Alice Millerchip '15

Four Australian students have exchanged the sunny, 85-degree weather of Sydney and Melbourne for the 20-degree temperatures of Greenwich, Connecticut. Rising juniors Maddie Coutts, Isabel Sigalla and Ruby Harrison, who attend the Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart (KRB) in Sydney Australia, and rising junior Eleanor Twomey, who attends Sacré Coeur in Melbourne, Australia will learn about the Convent of the Sacred Heart customs and traditions during the month of Janaury. 

Maddie Coutts, Isabel Sigalla, Ruby Harrison and Eleanor Twomey visit Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich on exchange from Sydney and Melbourne, Australia for the month.  Alice Millerchip '15
Maddie Coutts, Isabel Sigalla, Ruby Harrison and Eleanor Twomey visit Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich on exchange from Sydney and Melbourne, Australia for the month.
Alice Millerchip ’15

Sacred Heart Greenwich juniors Catherine Keating, Jacqueline Golden and Cynthia Thomas are hosting Maddie, Isabel and Ruby respectively from January 3 through January 23Eleanor stayed with junior Maude Collins from January 4 through January 16.
“The transition was not too difficult because the girls at Greenwich are very welcoming and fun to be around,” Ruby said. “The setup of the school is also very well organized and it is easy to navigate our way around.”
Although the move from Australia to Greenwich has been fairly easy, the exchange students have noticed differences between their schools and Sacred Heart Greenwich.
“Our school has different classes. We have legal studies, business studies, and geography, whereas CSH Greenwich has broadcasting and photo,” Isabel said. “The schooling system is very different.”
The students also notice contrasts between Greenwich and Sydney’s athletic competitions.  
“Sacred Heart is a lot larger than KRB and also has different sports, such as lacrosse and crew,” Ruby said. “At KRB, we play sports such as Touch Football and netball.”
Yet perhaps the most noticeable disparity is the winter climate in Connecticut. Since schools in Melbourne and Sydney are currently on summer break, Maddie, Isabel, Ruby and Eleanor readjusted to waking up early and commuting to school in frigid temperatures.
“The biggest difference between Greenwich and Melbourne is definitely the cold. Melbourne winters are nothing like this and it never snows,” Eleanor said. “It’s definitely been pretty weird waking up at 6:45 and putting on my uniform in the morning.” 
Since they are in Greenwich for nearly a month, the students have a lot of new experiences and activities they are excited to try, such as dining at American restaurants and sightseeing.
“I’m really excited to eat a lot more Chipotle, since we don’t have it in Australia, and spend some time in New York City,” Eleanor said.
They are also explore everything New York City and Greenwich have to offer, including the cultural attractions and shops, such as Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue and Times Square.
“We were most excited to walk around and see all the sights in NYC and Greenwich and also do some shopping. Meeting new people was also another exciting prospect,” Ruby said.
Despite the differences in weather, classes, sports and scenery, the four exchange students have felt at home during their time in the United States because of the strong sense of community Sacred Heart Greenwich has offered.
“The biggest similarity is definitely how close the community is. I love how all the lockers are covered in photos from friends, and how sweet and upbeat everyone has been,” Eleanor said. “This is really similar to the vibes at my school, so it’s been a really cool atmosphere.”
-Anna Phillips, Content Editor