A student view: Our CAS experience in Lisbon

by on 20/06/2019

On 21 March 2019 we were lucky enough to go on a study visit to sunny Lisbon as part of our Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) experience. We decided to film our adventures in Lisbon, to tell the story from our perspective.

Firstly, a bit of background. CAS is a key aspect of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which helps us grow as individuals through unique and interesting experiences outside the classroom. Our rich CAS offering at St Clare’s enables us to select from over 50 experiences, so we can develop new skills, enhance our language and communication skills, as well as engage and interact with different cultures – so a trip to Lisbon, in Portugal seemed the perfect choice! We set-off for an exciting weekend packed full of historic and cultural experiences.

We were accompanied by 26 classmates and 3 staff members Nisha Bauluck, Lewis Fraser and Ricardo da Silva. When we arrived, we were welcomed by sunshine, which was a promising start to the trip. We stayed at a boutique hotel in the centre of Lisbon which had fantastic views over the city and the São Jorge Castle. Initially, we collaborated with the five other students who were doing their CAS project in Lisbon, to arrange a walking tour which covered all of Lisbon’s highlights and treasures.   

Over the next few days we filled our time with exciting activities which included strolling through the traditional cobbled streets, tasting the local cuisine (including pastéis de Nata which are Portuguese custard tarts) and spending time together. We got free time to explore the thriving and bustling city for ourselves which was usually spent enjoying the sunshine with a cold drink on a terrace, shopping or riding a lime scooter on Praça do Comércio. It was pleasant to be surrounded by a culture who approached life in a more laid-back way, than we do here in the UK! Even though it was a break from the classroom, we learnt lots while we were away, we discovered many things about the culture, history and local traditions. We visited numerous historical landmarks which included São Jorge Castle, the oldest part of Lisbon known as Alfama, also Mosteiro dos Jerónimos where Vasco de Gama and Luís de Camões (famous Portuguese poet) were buried.

After four wonderful days, it was time to pack our bags and say goodbye to this magnificent city. It had captivated us all in so many ways! The 7 of us who had worked hard on our CAS project felt excited and inspired by our outcomes; this project had allowed us to develop our collaborative skills in a creative, entertaining and informative way.

We all realised that without this CAS experience, we would never have had the opportunity to gain such an enriching unforgettable cultural experience. Also, working on the project with such close friends was amazing. We know that we will carry these fond memories with us (as well as literally in the form of a video!) 

Written by Lucy and Denise, IB20.

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