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Experiential Education

Teaching and learning at Convent & Stuart Hall is not confined within the physical walls of our institution or within the traditional classroom environment. Students are educated throughout San Francisco, across the nation and internationally. We invite authors, scientists, artists and civic and business leaders to deliver aspects of the program, complementing in-class learning with authentic experiences. Through travel and service, as well as artistic and entrepreneurial engagement, students challenge their comfort zone and develop into culturally competent, “globally tested” citizens.

The Elementary Years

The K–8 curriculum is designed to give students the opportunity to build life skills using San Francisco and California as their learning laboratories. With a focus on building leadership skills, individual responsibility to the community and resilience in the face of challenges, students encounter a ladder of experiences that increase in complexity as they move through the grades.

Examples of experiential learning include:
  • Grade 1: Animal habitats in the Randall Museum
  • Grade 2: Weather investigations in the Hiller Aviation Museum
  • Grade 3: Bison paddock at Golden Gate Park
  • Grade 4: Angel Island Immigration Station
  • Grade 5: Monterey Bay Camp SEA Lab
  • Grade 6: Tomales Bay kayaking and camping
  • Grade 7: Washington D.C.
  • Grade 8: Channel Islands National Park

Global Education

The global education program prepares students to be responsible and educated global citizens by providing students with opportunities to develop the mindset and skills they need to engage actively and ethically in a global community. Through curricular and co-curricular experiences, students are challenged to investigate the world and communicate with open dialogue, bridging linguistic, geographic, ideological and cultural barriers.

Sacred Heart Network Exchange Program

Students in Grades 8–12 can elect to participate in the Sacred Heart Network exchange program, which offers both domestic and international exchanges ranging from two to four weeks. Students live with a homestay and attend another Sacred Heart school, experiencing life away from home through immersion with a host family as well as a different community and culture. Our students have recently embarked on exchanges to:

  • France
  • Spain
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Austria

A group of six girls smiling at the camera with the arms around each other.
Junior Courtney Hall (right) poses with her exchange student while on a two-week exchange in April 2023 at Kilgraston, a Sacred Heart school in Perthshire, Scotland.

In order to qualify for the program, applicants must be in good academic standing and obtain recommendations from teachers and administrators. Interested students should become familiar with the Network exchange program expectations and submit an application.

President’s Sophomore Costa Rica Trip

The President’s annual coed sophomore trip to Costa Rica has become a foundational element of the high school experience, stretching students to widen and deepen their connections among one another and within the communities they encounter. The trip, which takes place in January, calls on students to push beyond their comfort zone while engaging in service projects and adventure activities.

Group of students standing with surf boards behind them on a beach in Costa Rica.
Service work includes planting garden beds, maintenance projects at a local school, delivering school supplies and digging sand pits to promote sea turtle conservation.
Girl smiling at the camera while riding a horse with brown and white spots.
Ziplining through the rainforest is one of several adventure activities students experience.
Group of volunteers gardening and smiling at the camera.
Playing soccer with the local children is always a highlight of the trip.

Culture and Language Immersion Programs

Annual trips organized by the Modern & Classical Language Department give students the ability to immerse themselves in the language of their study to develop greater fluency and gain a stronger understanding of the dialects and culture of the country they visit. Past immersion experiences include trips to:

  • France
  • Rome, Italy
  • Beijing, China

Network Summer Service Projects

Click the image to enlarge.

Sponsored by the Network and hosted by individual Sacred Heart schools in the United States and Canada, a wide range of Summer Service Projects are intended to provide high school students with immersive learning experiences during the summer months. Programs are typically announced each fall with applications due shortly thereafter. To learn more, visit the program page.