The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Remarkable Leader To Study Economics at Duke Kunshan

Giulia de Cristofaro (Brazil/Italy) ’20 will study Economics at Duke Kunshan University, a Chinese-American partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University—both highly ranked institutions in their respective nations. She chose the unique liberal arts and research university over New York University, Boston University, Stetson University, and University of California, San Diego.

Fluent in English, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish, Giulia immediately made her mark on the TASIS community upon arriving for the start of her junior year in September 2019. It took little time at all for her teachers, coaches, and peers to recognize that she was a natural leader in the classroom, in the dormitories, on the volleyball court, and in both the local and global community through the work she did in the Opsahl Global Service Program. She would go on to win the prestigious Pritzlaff Leadership Award at the end of that year.

Giulia then followed up with an even more impressive senior year that saw her score 36 points on her IB Diploma Programme® assessment and capture two coveted Graduation Awards: The Michael Ulku-Steiner Leadership Award and the Excellence in Modern Languages Award. 

Soon after her graduation in May 2020, Giulia answered the following questions about her two years at TASIS The American School in Switzerland.

You were named MVP of the Varsity Volleyball team at the end of your senior year. Can you discuss why it was special to be a part of the volleyball program at TASIS?
Volleyball was the first activity I joined when I came to TASIS. This year I became one of the captains of the team, which was important for me since it was something I cared about a lot. The team gave me an escape from my academic challenges, and it was the place where I felt the happiest. Both the coaches and my teammates made practice fun and time would pass by without notice. The competitiveness made things exciting, and I made many memories that I will cherish forever. Receiving an MVP award my senior season made the ending even more special.

You joined the proctorship program your first year at TASIS and were named a Head Proctor your senior year. Can you talk about why this was meaningful to you?
It was important for me since I was able to stay in the Monticello dorm for my two years at TASIS and create meaningful bonds with the people there—both the dorm parents and the proctor group. I was able to connect with many of the newcomer girls and students in general and help them overcome struggles that I had faced when first joining the community. It gave me a position in which I could help others, which was really important to me. 

“Through living together we are able to create meaningful bonds, and I am sure that the friendships I made will be with me for a long time.”

I believe that being part of the proctorship program opened many doors for me on campus. I was invited to be the head coach of the Middle School Volleyball team and later even won the Pritzlaff award due to the leadership I had displayed during such activities. 

Do you feel that your time at TASIS has prepared you well for college?
I believe the boarding experience I had at TASIS will help me in college since it will not be my first time away from home. I can now navigate my way through future boarding programs with ease, and this is due to the experiences I had while studying at TASIS for these two years. In addition, having my two brothers here with me made us close for the first time, which I am grateful for. 

What experiences have you found most inspiring at TASIS?
Definitely my Kenya trip—I enjoyed every second of it and was able to meet the amazing young women at WISER. In contrast to other GSP trips at TASIS, we did not get to help build a wall or teach kids much. Instead, it was a time for us to learn through the girls in Muhuru Bay and their stories. They motivated me since they work harder than anyone I know, and they have this will to be someone and make a meaningful change. By watching their discipline and commitment, I was inspired to do better and put more effort into all I did. I had privileges that they did not, and yet they worked harder than I did. 

I was also able to have an amazing time and even go on a safari. It was definitely an adventure. I wish I could have gone again this year, but I managed to become a group leader and help the students who were going this year so that they also could enjoy their trip to the fullest and learn a lot.

What courses or teachers will you remember most fondly?
I was lucky to have had amazing teachers help me through the process of completing the IB curriculum. Due to the smaller classes, I think it was easier for students and teachers to interact and bond. Although some classes were less challenging than others for me, I will miss and want to thank all of my teachers—Ms. Simona, Ms. Carretta, Dr. Gress, Dr. Price, Ms. DuRee, and Ms. Tompkins—and Mr. Dukes, my advisor who was always ready to help and support me with anything. 

What do you think you will miss the most about your time at TASIS?
I think I will miss the community feel. Being able to have my brothers and friends so close to me at all times made everything easier. Through living together we are able to create meaningful bonds, and I am sure that the friendships I made will be with me for a long time. 

Clearly this wasn't the way you and your classmates wanted to end your time at TASIS, but is there anything positive you can take away from this very difficult spring?
If anything, this gave us an excuse to meet again as early as next year for a formal celebration of our graduation on campus.


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