5000 Miles From Home: A Personal Reflection


The Netherlands exchange and SBP students moments before departure.

Sophianne Tervoort, Guest writer

From March nineteenth, until the twenty-sixth, me, and my classmates, have had the privilege of visiting St. Benedict’s Prep (SBP). I have been able to experience the school through the eyes of several students and was able to understand the important factors of a successful school and education from a different perspective.

I followed the classes of some students, which gave me perspective on the Boys’ division and the Girls’ division. The dynamics of the two were interesting to witness and very different from each other. Especially since our Dutch school, Supreme College, does not separate genders in such a way.

I do believe the school’s property is beautiful. As a stranger to the school, the building felt like a maze, but also ancient and gorgeous. Its insightful history amazed me.

In the Netherlands, school is something I have to attend daily. I go to my classes, have fun with my friends, and head home. For SBP, it felt like lives were led there. Not only is there an entire space, but students have their sports and other activities there. And group! We don’t have that either. I just cannot imagine spending so much time in school, but I’ve seen that SBP is much more than that. It was inspiring to see.

I look up to the accountability that the students hold up to each other and the leadership skills that are taught. Like in convocation. The staff did not interrupt or intervene at all. Everything was done by the students. It seems like a lot is asked of them. As an outsider, it made me wonder how the students dealt with the stress and pressure, but it did not seem to be a major issue. We Dutch kids could learn something about all this leadership and structure.

Overall, my time in the USA was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I highly enjoyed myself. Even the history classes. I never knew the Dutch history behind New York City. It was fun to explore Newark and New York City. To experience the public transportation, food places (can’t say I like much of them but that’s okay), hockey games, and NYC overall, of course. I never thought I would go to Broadway or see the Statue of Liberty.

I had a great time in the USA. It was a big change. Different lifestyles, routines, and habits, but it was fun to live in it for a week. I’m very grateful to have seen this school and to admire its accomplishments.

Thank you,
Sophianne Tervoort
Supreme College Student