The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
AP Standout Lands a Spot at UCLA

Only a spot on the waitlist at the University of California, Berkeley, prevented Jonathan Xie ’16 (United States) from going a perfect 10-10 on his applications. Following three excellent years at TASIS, the trilingual scholar has decided to study Political Science or Economics at the excellent University of California, Los Angeles, after also gaining admission to University College London; London School of Economics; King's College London; McGill University; University of California, San Diego; Durham University; Queen Mary University of London; and Northeastern University.

Jonathan closed out his outstanding career at TASIS by receiving both The Ambassador’s Cup for Excellence in US History Award and the H. Miller Crist Award, the latter defined as “the highest recognition accorded by the Faculty to a senior who best embodies or pursues the ideals, aspirations, and goals of the School.”

Rather than pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma, Jonathan chose to load up on Advanced Placement courses at TASIS, earning a 5 on the AP Language and Composition exam and a 4 on the AP European History exam as a junior and performing quite well in five AP courses—Calculus (scored a 5), Microeconomics (5), US History (5), English Literature and Composition (4), and Physics (3)—his senior year, in which he also self-studied for the AP Macroeconomics exam and earned a 4.

Jonathan served as a Dorm Proctor, traveled to Malawi with the Ethical Food Service Learning Group, and was a three-sport athlete, captaining the Varsity Swimming team while also competing for the Varsity Rugby and Golf squads. He discovered a latent passion for theater after waiting until his senior year to secure a requisite art credit.

“Abruptly taking part in the musical Kiss Me, Kate during the spring of my senior year was one of the greatest things I did at TASIS,” he said. “Had I not needed an art credit to graduate, this sudden passion for theater and music would never have emerged. I now truly appreciate music, dance, and acting. I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity.”

“Abruptly taking part in the musical Kiss Me, Kate during the spring of my senior year was one of the greatest things I did at TASIS.”

Theater Director Valerie Bijur Carlson was just one of many teachers who helped guide Jonathan to success. “All my teachers have been fantastic,” he said. “One class I will always remember is 10th grade World Literature with Dr. Love. It was the most stressful yet most rewarding class I have taken to date. Dr. Love's sheer devotion to everything he did captivated his classes. A million good things can be said about him: he is absolutely professional, remarkably charismatic, and thoroughly empathetic.”

Jonathan concedes that it wasn’t always easy to manage applications to 10 different schools while also navigating a very rigorous course load. He credits the College Counseling Office for keeping him on track and making sure he met the “oftentimes obscure college deadlines.”

Jonathan started his days at TASIS earlier than most, and he won’t forget the beautiful solitude of the Montagnola mornings.

“This sounds strange, but I will miss the brisk walk I take at 5:45 am, in the dark, as I shiver over the wet cobblestones to get to the gym. I play music from my phone and am alone in a different world for an hour. Then, I leave the basement, shut the doors, and stare at the sky as a tangerine-tinted blue sweeps over San Salvatore. I will miss this the most.”

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