Welcome to the second entry in our Student Stories series, where we feature engaging conversations with students from our diverse community. Today, the spotlight shines on a friendship circle that spans two countries: Italy and Portugal. Meet Mariana, Lena, Vitoria, Lisa, Francisca, and Teresa— six young learners who first met on our Bell The Leys campus last year, and have formed a close bond that’s grown stronger with every passing day.
This Summer, the friends reunited at Bell Tudor Hall, as Vitoria explains: “We went to Bell The Leys last year, and so we decided to come back here all together and to try a different school but always from Bell.” Their friendship blossomed quickly, thanks in part to living together. “Some of us were in the same room. So, we had the chance to get to know each other better,” Francisca and Lisa added.
“We had to chat in English, or talk on the phone in English, because we are Italian, and they are Portuguese.”
After parting ways last Summer, they stayed in contact through social media. “We made a group to talk. On Instagram and Snapchat, and sometimes we did video calls,” said Teresa. The language barrier wasn’t a problem, but a chance to continue their learning. “We had to chat in English, or talk on the phone in English, because we are Italian, and they are Portuguese,” Lisa explained.
Though they live in different cities, some of the group were able to meet up again after their first experience at Bell. “I also went to her city, and she went to mine,” Lena explained, highlighting how the friendships have transcended beyond the school. Vitoria even mentioned teaching her Portuguese friends basic Italian phrases like “‘Hello, how are you?’ ‘I’m fine’ and ‘How old?’ when they visited each other’s homes.
Coming back to Tudor Hall was special. “It’s a way to meet each other again easily, so it’s great for us,” Lisa said.
The group shared stories about the activities they’ve enjoyed together this Summer, including a memorable trip to Oxford. “Oxford. We went shopping, visited the city, and enjoyed a boat ride on the river,” they all fondly recalled.
They all acknowledged the added advantage of meeting people from diverse backgrounds. “It’s a wonderful experience that we can meet people with different cultures and different languages,” Francisca emphasised.
In this circle of friendship, each person brings something unique to the table, and they extended an open invitation for future visits. “I told them that whenever they want to, they can come to my house and stay together,” said Vitoria.
These students prove that language and cultural barriers can be easily overcome with friendship and shared experiences. Their story stands as another remarkable example of how rewarding life at Bell can be, not just in terms of academics but also in personal growth.
As we wish them the best in their future endeavours, we eagerly await more uplifting stories from our dedicated students at Bell. Stay tuned for more inspiration.