2014 Review – Students’ Personal Highlights

This week some of our learners have been reflecting back on 2014 and telling us about their personal highlights…

First up, MM tells us why her experience at the Optimus Alive festival stood out for her…

Holidays and travel experiences were recurring themes in our student’s highlights.  For MP it was a cruise…

My personal highlight of 2014 was the cruise I went on during the summer holidays because it was the best experience I’ve ever had.

 I went to Barcelona, Marseille, Rome, Florence, Trappani and Valleta.  It was amazing being able to go to all these places while travelling with every possible comfort.  On the boat we could have a party every night and there was even a special celebration with the captain.

There were so many great experiences that I can’t describe them all.  The ones that particularly stood out were the kindness of the staff, the contests on the boat, the views and all the activities and shows put on by the on board theatre.

I’d recommend it to everyone because it is a once in a lifetime chance to visit so many locations without being concerned about travelling between countries.  It had an amazing effect on me because it broadened my horizons.

AD’s holidays took her to northern Europe and the experience left a lasting impression on her…

My personal highlight of 2014 was in August on my holiday with my parents and friends.  We went for twelve days to Germany and Poland and spent five days in Germany and the other seven days were spent in three different Polish towns.

It was an incredible trip, the greatness of the German buildings and the terrifying story of Poland’s concentration camps.  The place that shocked me most was Auchswitz.  It was horrible to imagine what happened there.  Visiting this place is something I’d recommend to anyone over the age of sixteen in order to become aware of how cruel human kind can be.

As someone once said, “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.”

It wasn’t just holidays that got our students travelling in 2014…

This year I spent a full week in Spain with some classmates and teachers.  The objective was to meet new people from Spanish speaking countries all around the world with the goal of working together in small groups on a project that was filmed and put on the Internet.

This was definitely a highlight because I made new friends who I still keep in touch with because we became inseparable.  I would certainly recommend it because you can improve your language skills, especially your pronunciation and fluency, and make friends at the same time.


AS also made the most of an opportunity to get to know new people…

My personal highlight of 2014 was the High School Festival.

This gathers high school students together from all over our country, even the islands.  For four days, thousands of students get together at the campsite in Gouveia, northern Portugal.

Music all night, activities during the day, all the freedom you want and friends.  In short, everything a teenager could ask for.  I’d completely recommend anyone to go.  It’ll give you a sense of freedom that you’ve probably never felt and a sense of responsibility that’ll help you in the future.

Sometimes holidays are just the break you need…

…other times a book is enough to transport you to another place…

My personal highlight of 2014 is a book that I read, Divergent, written by Veronica Roth.  It is about a society that’s clearly divided and people have to choose the faction they think they belong to.

Reading this book completely changed my life because before it, I didn’t enjoy reading at all.  This book made me both more aware of life and made me realise I really enjoy reading.  I haven’t stopped reading since.

I thoroughly recommend this book, especially for teenagers who like adventure/action/romance books, but also to adults, even if it’s just to enjoy a good book in an afternoon.



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