6 + 12 =







Location & Contact Details

Office Hours

Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.


West Catholic High School
1801 Bristol Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Events Calendar

[add_eventon tiles=”yes” tile_count=”2″ tile_bg=”1″]

Italian Exchange Program

International education exchange is a growing trend. It is estimated that 20% of students study in countries other than their own. Therefore, it is important to provide opportunities to prepare our students for this globalized world and workforce. We strongly believe that getting in contact with a different culture and first-hand daily life abroad can greatly benefit the personal growth of our students.


Fall 2023 | Spring 2024

DEADLINE: Registration for 2023-2024 has closed. If you are interested in participating in a future trip, please contact International Program Director Leann Garrison at [email protected] or (616) 233-5938.

About the Experience

For the first time ever, West Catholic students have the opportunity to participate in a unique study abroad experience in Grand Rapid’s sister city, Perugia, Italy! Students participating in the exchange program will be partnered with an Italian student. In the fall, their Italian peers will join us at West Catholic for three weeks, while WC students will travel to Perugia in the spring.

This opportunity is open to West Catholic students in any grade level and is expected to take place EVERY OTHER YEAR. Please be aware you do not need to know Italian to participate.


  • September 27 – October 19 (Italian students at West Catholic)
  • March 19 – April 9 (West Catholic students in Perugia)

ESTIMATED COST: $1,800-$2,200
*Payment plays will be available to families

CREDITS: Any student who successfully completes this experience will earn 1 credit toward graduation. In order to earn full credit, students will give a presentation at our partner school in Perugia.

PREPARATION: Students will be expected to attend a weekly Focus period in preparation for their trip. Topics of focus will include learning conversational Italian, planning activities for their Italian counterparts to participate in while at West Catholic and preparing for their educational presentations in Italy.

HOSTING: Participants will host a guest student during their time at West Catholic. If a family cannot host, they will be responsible for finding a family member or friend to host their partner student. When West Catholic students are studying in Italy, they will stay with the family of their partner student.

Partner Schools

IIS Giordano Bruno

Via Mario Angelucci, 1 – 06129 Perugia

IIS Giordano Bruno was founded in 1941 and has a longstanding tradition of educational excellence. The school focuses on four fields of study: linguistics, applied sciences, chemistry/biotech and fashion.

Liceo Pieralli

Piazzale Anna Frank, 11 – 06124 Perugia

Liceo Pieralli aims to integrate the traditions of an Italian high school with research and culture. The dynamic education Liceo Pieralli provides prepares students to meet the needs of an ever-changing global society.

Perugia & Excursion Locations


Perugia is the capital of Umbria in central Italy and one of Grand Rapids’ sister cities. Perugia is known for its universities as well as its culture and art. It is also home to a number of high schools, including our partners: IIS Giordano Bruno and Liceo Pieralli.

Other Destinations

During their time in Italy, West Catholic students will go on three excursions to exciting destinations: Rome/Vatican City, Florence and Assisi. They will also be in the country during Easter celebrations and have the chance to partake in some of Italy’s most beloved religious traditions.