Each year SLUH welcomes international students from several countries. In turn, Jr. Bills have the opportunity to travel to various countries to learn about and experience another culture firsthand.
- Australian Student Visitors
- Chinese Exchange Students
- Colombian Exchange Students
- French Student Visitors & Twinning Program
- Russian Exchange Students & Twinning Program
Our Jesuit high school brothers from Saint Ignatius' College-Riverview in Sydney, Australia visit once every two years. They stay with SLUH host families for five days as part of a business trip that tours other cities. Their focus is to study American corporations and marketing. While in St. Louis, they go to classes with Jr. Bills, visit civic landmarks and financial institutions, and immerse themselves in student life.
Since 1997, SLUH has implemented the International Student Program with Nanjing Foreign Language School (NFLS), one of the top schools in China. Based on their senior high entrance exam results and NFLS teachers’ recommendation, two outstanding male and two female students receive scholarship from SLUH to cover tuition, and students pay for their international airfare, health insurance, personal and other expenses. They enroll as sophomores for the second semester.
Chinese students stay with a host family from January through May. After completing their sophomore second semester, they can apply to transfer to SLUH and finish their final two years before graduating as Jr. Bills.
As SLUH extends this exchange program to offer multiple years of education for each student, it will continue the previous four scholarships for one semester. Students transitioning to full-time status will be regular tuition students. Eventually, this program may accommodate up to eight Chinese students and be used as a model for other international exchange partnerships.
SLUH will continue to send students to Nanjing for 15 days in the spring. This immersion experience allows Jr. Bills to take field trips, classes and learn firsthand about the Chinese culture.
In 1999, then-President Paul Sheridan, S.J. and the presidents of two Jesuit schools in two Colombian cities established a partnership that, since then, has allowed two Colombian students to spend their first semester freshman year at SLUH.
In the summer of 2014, Jack Costello '15 visited El Colegio de San Pedro Claver in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Following is a summary of his experience, in his own words:
I was able to go through the foreign exchange student program here at SLUH. I stayed with a very nice host family who had their son come to SLUH during the last school year. The kid’s name was Diego and every weekday we would get on the bus in the morning and go to school, El Colegio de San Pedro Claver.
Just like at SLUH, I went to all the same classes that the other students went to, and learned similar subjects there as the students in SLUH do, but all the classes are completely in Spanish. I played on the basketball team for the school and was the center of attention of the students because no one from the United States had ever been to their school before and they just wanted to talk to someone from the U.S. The weekends were very similar to weekends in the United States because the kids from my class would just get together at someone's house to hang out.
What is very interesting is that I am the first SLUH student to go to El Colegio de San Pedro Claver in Bucaramanga, Colombia. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience that I wish more people would take advantage of as I did. Not only did I learn how to communicate better in Spanish and the interesting Colombian lifestyle, I also made amazing friends that I am still able to communicate with through social media.
In 2015, SLUH began its official "twinning" with the Institution Notre-Dame in Chartres, France. Notre Dame is a co-ed Catholic school, with students from primary grades through high school, plus advanced preparatory programs. Our exchange involves students whose level corresponds with our sophomore through senior years.
In 2016, SLUH hosted 10 boys from N-D Chartres for 16 days. On school days, the Chartres students toured the region, and on weekends they took part in the life of the families hosting them.
SLUH made its first trip May 31-June 19, 2016, when the Chartres correspondents returned the hospitality to eight Jr. Bills for 12 days. The American students lived with their host families, and enjoyed cultural day-trips and in-town experiences while their French "twins" were in class. The SLUH group then broke off on its own for seven days in Paris to explore a wide variety of sites and learn more about the French culture.
In the fall of 2016, SLUH hosts two Russian boys from St. Petersburg Gimnaziya #209 for most of the first semester. They will be sophomores, and will stay with the families of two of my current Russian students until the end of November.
The Russian summer exchange is an academic program first and foremost—in fact, it counts as course credit. Ten juniors/rising seniors stay with host families from Gimnaziya #209, go to school each day and get three 45-minutes classes, then visit a museum or place of cultural significance. They are in Russia for 16 days. The last three days of the program include an excursion to Moscow, from which the group flies home. After returning, the students submit their final reflection papers (in Russian) about their experiences.
“SLUH is a place with really great opportunities, diversity, and friendship. There are so many new things to try, new subjects to pick up, and greater freedom in conducting my learning and socializing.”
- Lancer Li '17
Pictured (left) with Laith Armouti '16, whose family hosted Li in 2016. Li is the first exchange student from Nanjing Foreign Language School—regarded as a top school in China—to continue his education at SLUH with the opportunity to graduate as a Jr. Bill.