Connecting hearts over seas

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Tyla Comino from Kincoppal Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart in Australia tours New York City and participates in Senior Day with hostess, Alessia Barcelo. Grace Mather ’17

Convent of the Sacred Heart’s exchange program offers the chance for students to fully immerse in another culture and create lasting friendships and memories. Exchange students Paula Casillas, Paloma Carrion, and Tyla Comino traveled to Sacred Heart in Greenwich this fall to seize this opportunity.
Sacred Heart will welcome an additional 25 exchange students this year from Sacred Heart schools in different countries, such as France, Ireland, Italy, and Taiwan.
Paula and Paloma, from Colegio Sagrado Corazón-Chamartín, in Madrid, Spain, stayed with sophomores Sofia Caruso and Alexa Harris, respectively, during their time in America September 4 through October 4.

Tyla Comino from Kincoppal Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart in Australia tours New York City and participates in Senior Day with hostess, Alessia Barcelo. Grace Mather '17
Tyla Comino from Kincoppal Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart in Australia tours New York City and participates in Senior Day with hostess, Alessia Barcelo.
Grace Mather ’17

Additionally, Tyla Comino, from Kincoppal Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart in Australia, stayed with senior Alessia Barcelo September 18 through September 30.  
The exchange experience exposed the students to American culture and the Sacred Heart community in Greenwich. Both Paula and Paloma visited well known American tourist attractions, such as New York City, and local attractions such as Greenwich Avenue.
“The truth is, I have seen many new places and things that I have really enjoyed,” Paula said. “After shopping at many places in New York and Connecticut, I love going into the many shops on Greenwich Avenue.” 
Not only was Paula excited to shop in American stores such as Brandy Melville, but she also enjoyed the atmosphere an all-girls school provides.
At Sacred Heart in Greenwich, she saw evident friendships among the girls. Similarly, Tyla admired the unique environment at an all-girls school as well as the distinguished rituals the school offered.
“My favorite thing about this Sacred Heart is the senior traditions, like the senior color and going off campus during free periods,” Tyla said. “I also like the Core Center, where all the years can meet together. My school does not have a place like that.”
Tyla chose to visit America because she wanted to experience American culture. Her favorite part about staying in America for three weeks was the exposure to new foods, traditions, and languages while staying with Alessia.
“I was surprised to hear Alessia’s mom speak three different languages, English, Italian, as well as Spanish, casually at home,” Tyla said.
Academic Dean and Network Exchange Coordinator Mrs. Jenn Bensen finds value in the exchange program because it gives students the opportunity to mature and become aware of different lifestyles.
“These experiences help to develop self reliance and confidence as each student navigates their travel and acclimates to new cultures and living environments,” Mrs. Bensen said.  
– Grace Mather, Staff Writer