The British Invasion at SLA

By Sam Lovett-Perkins
Staff Writer
SLA is no stranger to visitors. With so many shadows in school each day, a few more students in class usually don’t get noticed–unless they have a British accent.

For one week in October, SLA played host fiftenn young women from the United Kingdom as a part of an exchange program with the school, sometimes referred as “Liverdelphia.”

The students are from Broughton Hall High School in Liverpool, England. For the program, one student from each schooll are paired together. In the fall, the Liverpudlians come to enjoy the pleasures of  SLA and a general American life. This includes spending time sightseeing in New York and Washington DC. It also includes visiting historical sites and other famous places This year, Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Art Museum were part of the experience.

The program capitalized on the mixture of two cultures. Each Liverpudlian students lives, eats, and sleeps with their housing partner. “Basically they are doing a home stay like having dinner and family time so they can get an understanding of student life,” described Ms. Echols, one of three SLA teachers assisting in the exchange. “They also talk to each other over the range of the different families.”

Although the visitors didn’t arrive until the 18th of October, they have been in contact with their American partners for some time. Shamus Kirby, an SLA sophomore involved in the program first had contact as early as July. “Over the summer on Facebook we went back and forth about things like what we like to do.”

When they were here, students both enjoyed and learned from each other’s cultural differences. For SLA Junior Jenn Wright, this included some jokes about different vocabulary. “I was attempting to fit in with them by using terminology that they taught me, but they didn’t indicate how offensive a particular word was, until I said it in front of their teacher. She laughed, but it was still really embarrassing.”

This process happens in reverse when students from SLA house with their partners from the UK and spend about a week living a British Life. The trip to the UK will happen at the end of March, during spring break. Wright is looking forward to new cultural experiences in England.

“Trying new foods and being totally immersed in a new culture. Because for her [Terr Duffy, her Liverpool partner] everyday life is different even though there are some similarities.”

This event has become a yearly tradition between the two schools, and will hopefully continued for years to come. Those interested should keep an eye out for applications this spring.

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