Diocesan News

Bayside School Hosts Students from Korea

This past January, Sacred Heart School, Bayside, hosted several foreign exchange students from Korea. The students spent the month going to classes and learning about life in America.

Dennis Farrell, principal, said that he was very proud of his students for helping the exchange students to acclimate to the American style of learning.

sh2“The students I have make me very happy and proud,” said Farrell. “They have gone beyond my expectations and have welcomed the exchange students more than I could ever hope.”

One student from Korea, Jeong Guk Lee, echoed those sentiments: “The kids are very nice here. I would like to come back to study again next year.”

The students made the most of their time in New York by going on tours of the city and Boston, going to hockey games, visiting Bryant Park and seeing “Mama Mia” on Broadway.

Sacred Heart School is the first grammar school in the Diocese of Brooklyn to host exchange students. This is a culmination of two years of hard work between Sacred Heart, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Education in the United States, an agency that places exchange students in schools around the U.S.

According to Farrell, trying to get all of the paperwork together and getting clearance from both religious and national departments took a very long time but was well worth it. The funding for the students came from their parents in Korea. The costs included a small donation to the school, a fee for the agency and for the host family, airfare and spending money for the students.

sh1Senior Deputy Superintendent Anthony Biscione praised the program, saying, “In addition to creating an exceptional student learning experience, this exchange program also facilitates multi-cultural awareness in a way that educates students beyond the classroom.”

It was a bittersweet ending when the students had to return to Korea on Jan. 31. Sacred Heart held a ceremony in the church with each exchange student receiving gifts, including a photo album and a Sacred Heart backpack.

The students gave their visiting teachers their own presents on the last day of school as well. With the first group of students having returned home to Korea, Farrell is looking forward to next year. Not only does he want to have a larger group, but he also wants an English as a Second Language Summer Program for the exchange students.

“Now that we have laid the groundwork, I would like to recruit more host families and be able to have students come at different times of the year,” he said. “We had a very enjoyable experience, and we want to continue this experience in the coming years.”

Photos © Sacred Heart School