As we move towards Christmas and the end of the year, students at International House Santa Clara have been reflecting on their own personal highlights from the past twelve months. Here are some of the events they’ll look back on fondly…
(As some of the writers only agreed that their work could be shared anonymously, we’ve decided not to put any names to the texts below – they come from a range of levels and age groups within the school).
Trip to Barcelona
My personal highlight of 2012 was the week I spent in Barcelona with my friends. As it came just after we’d sat our national exams, it felt like a present to us from our school.
Even though the journey was long and tiring we had great fun and the gorgeous weather and wonderful company made it even more perfect.
I will never forget the day we went to Port Aventura because it was the most exciting experience of my life.
Concert by Keane in Porto
My personal highlight of the year was when I went to a concert in Porto by a band called Keane.
It meant a lot to me because, besides the fact that they are a fantastic band, the concert was just breathtaking.
Everybody sang a long while they were performing. The atmosphere was electric and the whole concert was full of unforgettable moments.
Victory for Académica
My highlight from the year of 2012 was watching Académica beat Sporting in the final of the Taça de Portugal.
This moment will live long in my memory because of the great performance by Académica, and especially by Adrien Silva who showed a lot of commitment by giving his best against his former club.
I also chose this event due to the fact that I’m a proud inhabitant of this lovely city and it meant a lot to me that the club had won such a prestigious competition in my country.
The fact that I also like Benfica and that Académica’s victory came over Sporting was just the cherry on top of the cake!
Celebrating my 30th
A memorable moment for me in 2012? Celebrating my birthday back in March. It was a really fun party because I brought together almost fifty friends. I chose a Mexican restaurant and a good cake to celebrate this special day.
Highlights of 2012
Looking back, what I’ll remember most was going to Campus Resernale and to the Algarve.
I went by myself to the campus and it was the one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I learned a lot about handball, how to play like a team and how we can be better individually. I met such great people there and the best handball players in Portugal. What I liked most about it was having the opportunity to learn with the best.
When I got there I was really scared but then they started to talk to me and asked me a lot of questions and they were all very nice.
Later that summer I went to the Algarve with my parents and my brother to relax and go to the beach. I also played handball on the beach with my father and my brother.
It was absolutely wonderful, I’ll never forget these highlights from 2012. I’m still in touch with the people I met at the campus and we hope to meet up during vacation in 2013.
Return to São Miguel
I returned to São Miguel in January.
I went there for the first time in June 2006 with my parents and my sister. I love that island because of its wonderful scenery.
This time I went there for work. I had a meeting of the National Students’ Association at the University of Ponta Delgada. I spent five days with my friends, working and visiting some delightful places.
My cousin finding work
My cousin is 22 years old and this year he got his first job working with computers. He did a course in this area and now he is finally earning some money he’ll be able to start an independent life.
Roadtrip to Aveiro
Looking back on 2012 I’d say that one of my personal highlights was a school trip to Aveiro.
We had a great time and I felt really happy.
One of the things I won’t forget about this trip was when we all went to lunch at a pasta restaurant. There was a huge amount of food per plate and it was absolutely delicious!
My second trip to London
My highlight of the year was my second trip to London. My first visit there was a long time ago so I can’t remember a lot of it. In October 2012 I had the opportunity to return there and I absolutely loved it! I visited lots of places, walking a lot through the streets.
I really like the atmosphere there and luckily the weather was strangely dry. I went with my boyfriend and my sister. Everything about the trip was really memorable. In fact, the worst thing about my second time in London was that I had to return! ; – )
An important moment
Looking back what I’ll remember most about 2012 was a conversation that my mum had with me about a special guy in my life. It took place in my room, last summer.
It came as a complete surprise to me when my mum came to talk to me about that. I really wasn’t expecting it.
It meant a lot to me because my mum understood the situation I was in, supported me and accepted him as my “special friend.”
I started trusting my mum more and now I feel like I can talk to her about “my things” whenever I need to.
It’s something I won’t forget in a long time.
April in Madrid
My highlight of 2012 was the trip I took to Madrid in April. I went there with my friends and I loved it.
The things I liked most were the evenings spent dancing and singing with my friends and the long conversations we had during the trip.
I regret not doing a few more things while I was there but I had a great time so I can’t complain too much!
Exchange visit to The Netherlands
When I reflect back on 2012 one of the things I’ll remember fondly will be when I went to The Netherlands on an exchange.
I had a fantastic time there with new friends and I was able to understand how different their culture is.
The things that I liked the most were the theme park, the swimming pool and, of course, the people.
This is a life experience that I will always remember.
A trip to Holland
When I look back on 2012 one of the things I’ll remember most is the exchange my friends, classmates and I went on to Holland in September. We met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends. The atmosphere was great and I can honestly say that I hadn’t expected it to be so good.
I’m sure it will live long in my memory.
Triumph for Académica
When I look back on 2012, one of the things I’ll remember most is my trip to Jamor to see the Portuguese cup final between Académica and Sporting.
It came as a complete surprise to me when I found out I was going because although I’d seen the ads on TV, I didn’t think I’d actually have the chance to go myself.
In short, it was an absolutely awesome day. The atmosphere was great. Everyone enjoyed the moment when Académica lifted the cup (apart from the Sporting fans of course!)
The painting in a church in Spain
The restoration of a painting in a church in Spain by a lady in her 80’s was talked about all over the world this year and is one of my most memorable events of 2012.
She totally changed the original picture but her restoration attracted more visitors to the church than ever before.
The best memory from 2012
Among all the things that happened to me during the year, the best thing was just spending time with my friends.
One particular moment that I remember very well was the performance of a theatre play which I wrote for science. In the middle of the play, I had to let a star fall and when I dropped it, it made a huge mess on the library floor.
Another good time was on the last day of school this term when we took a lot of photos of each other wearing Christmas hats. We spent the whole lunchtime taking pictures in twos and threes and with all the class. It was really fun, considering the fact that I don’t like taking photos.
Trip to Madrid: Fun at the Bernabéu, the theme park and downtown
Looking back, what I will remember best was my trip to Madrid. It was absolutely amazing. At first I went to Real Madrid’s stadium, where I saw the whole history of the club. It was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen. I also went to a theme park called Warner Bros and the Hard Rock Café, where I had dinner.
I went to Madrid with my cousin, my aunt and my uncle. I enjoyed almost everything; the only thing I didn’t like was the number of hours that we needed to get there.
What I liked most about Madrid was going to Bernabéu Stadium, seeing the downtown area and, of course, visiting the theme park.
At the theme park I went on rollercoasters, met the stars like Bugs Bunny and saw Batman’s house. It was absolutely great. The only thing I didn’t go on was one rollercoaster that had five loop the loops, just looking at it was extremely scary!
Before I went, I knew that Madrid was a great city, but the truth is that I was impressed by some things that I hadn’t expected. On the whole it was incredibly good fun because I laughed all the time and really enjoyed myself. I was also impressed because I wasn’t expecting so many things to do.
Meeting someone special
Looking back on 2012, I would say that one of my personal highlights was when I met my current best friend. To be honest, I hadn’t been expecting it but that’s probably what made it so special.
It means a lot to me because we are so close nowadays that I can trust him 100%.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget it because it was a really special day.
I’m sure it will always live long in my memory. It’s not something I’ll forget in a hurry because part of my happiness started on that day.
Summer in Peniche
The highlight of this year was going to Peniche. It meant a lot to me because I met wonderful people who I now keep in touch with. I also met a lot of good-looking boys. I went to the beach every day during my stay and the weather was great – not too hot and not too cold.
I’ll never forget this experience because nobody could make me feel as good as I felt during those wonderful summer days.
School trip to Madrid
Looking back on 2012 I would say that the most memorable experience I had was a school trip to Madrid.
I wasn’t expecting anything apart from visits to museums and sightseeing trips but what made the trip special was the people I went with. My best friends, my classmates and I had an absolutely great time. I’ll never every forget it.
I think the best thing was that we had to “sleep” in a gym together. As you can imagine, we spent ages talking, joking and laughing throughout the night.
The trip was great, but it wouldn’t have been so magical and wonderful, if I hadn’t been in the company of my crazy friends.
That trip made sure I’ll never forget my ninth grade class.
My trip to Madrid
I went to Madrid in September with my mother and sister because my brother-in-law works there. I think i visited the most important sights there like the Mercado San Miguel and many squares. I walked a lot and it was very hot but I loved it!
I liked Spanish food too because they have many restaurants with tapas and the spirit is “snack, eat, drink and have fun!”
The streets were very lively with a lot of people which means there’s a great atmosphere there.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of our students’ highlights from 2012. How will you remember 2012 in years to come?