German student and her high school uniform

Neither the Foreign Institute nor the participants can influence which school the German student will attend in Buffalo. The schools that we currently work with are Bishop Timon High School, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Mount St. Mary Academy, Mount Mercy Academy and Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart. Dependent on where the host family lives and whether there are host siblings attending any of the above schools, schools are chosen. Moreover, girls are able to attend Buffalo Seminary and live on campus for their 4 months stay in Buffalo or for a whole school year.

It is important to talk with the host student about school and what they would like to do. Since students rarely have choices in school in Germany, they won’t know how much there is to choose from in an American high school. In addition to their daily schedule of classes, it will be helpful to ask them if they want to join any clubs or sports teams after school. Although they are supposed to look at their school from Germany and prepare such matters, experience has taught us that they often don’t spend much time preparing their schedules. Therefore a trip to the school to get the uniform and let the student plan his/her schedule won’t hurt.

Bishop Timon High School

Entering the school bus © Greg Engle

The school is located on 601 McKinley Parkway in Buffalo (14220). It is a Roman Catholic college-preparatory high school working independently. As their mission statement says it is “committed to serving young men of diverse backgrounds in the Franciscan Tradition.” The school should not only prepare young men academically for college but also enable them to build their character and independency:

“Faithful to the Franciscan values of inclusiveness and respect for all, Bishop Timon – St. Jude High School serves as an academic and spiritual community which endeavors to educate young men to be responsible Christian citizens through rigorous academic programs, opportunities for individual growth and service to others in the local and global communities.”[1]

St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute

St. Joe’s is located on 845 Kenmore Avenue in 14223 Buffalo. There are 764 students attending St. Joe’s with a student-teacher ratio of 14:1. St. Joseph’s is a Lasallian and Catholic college preparatory school, which welcomes young men of all religions and origins. As a cultural diverse school men are educated in an atmosphere of social responsibility, equity, and justice. Their mission statement reads:

“St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute transforms the lives of students from diverse backgrounds through academic excellence and care for the whole person in a respectful, Lasallian Catholic community, developing each student’s unique talents in preparation for college and life.” [2]

Mount St. Mary Academy

Located on 3756 Delaware Avenue in Kenmore Mount St. Mary Academy was founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Mary of Namur, who dedicated their lives to Christian education. These Christian values are still transmitted at the school. “Students are challenged to understand people of varied backgrounds by using their diverse gifts to participate in service to the community.”[3] Mount St. Mary offers a varied curriculum so all students can develop their personality. Young women are not just academically prepared for College, but the extra-curriculum courses enhance their global understanding and their moral decision-making skills.

Mount Mercy Academy

German students visiting Mount Mercy Academy © Charlene Kowalczewski

The Catholic college-preparatory High School Mount St Mercy can be found on 88 Red Jacket Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14220. The school was founded in 1904 by the Sisters of Mercy. Its mission is to educate young women “for academic excellence, compassionate service, Christian leadership, global awareness and life-long learning”.[4]  Among its mayor values, Mount Mercy represents Reverence for the dignity of each person, Catholic Education, Excellence, Integrity, Justice, Empowerment, and Family in Partnership. With a student to teacher ratio of 10:1 a familiar atmosphere is granted.

Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart Academy, located on 3860 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14226-3398, was founded 1877 by Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity. The Catholic school “has remained faithful to its foundress’ values, providing a sound and challenging education with superior moral foundations for generations of young women.”[5] 75 faculty and staff members take care of approximately 400 students. Sacred Heart students enjoy a comprehensive, balanced and challenging Catholic education, from which they not only learn performance at school but how to develop into a confident character with a strong sense of integrity.