The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Standout English Literature Student Inspired to Study International Relations

Tanya Paul ’18 (India) will pursue a degree in International Relations at King’s College London, having turned down admission offers from University of Kent, University of Warwick, University of Exeter, The George Washington University, American University, University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara University.

A full IB Diploma student, Tanya scored an impressive 35 points on her assessment while also notching a 4 on the AP European History exam as a sophomore. She capped off her four years at TASIS by being named a Highest Honors student—boasting a stellar 3.82 GPA—and earning The Cynthia Whisenant Award for Excellence in English Literature at her class’s Commencement Ceremony. Described as “vital and passionate” by her Literature teacher Dr. Christopher Love, Tanya’s commencement award highlights her brilliance as an inquisitive and eager learner with an unparalleled appreciation for English literature. She just so happens to be fluent in Bengali and French as well.

Tanya credits the challenging IB Diploma Programme for preparing her well for college. “The classes I have taken over the course of the two-year program have helped with my all-around critical thinking and honed my evaluative skills,” she said.

Tanya’s passion for international relations was kindled by her participation in the Model United Nations (MUN), for which she served as a leader for two years as well as a Head of Delegation and Ambassador to two separate The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conferences. Representing her group and country/organization at the conference’s Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Tanya was especially proud of being the Main Submitter of her resolution, which got passed in her final trip as a senior. She cites her involvement in the MUN, the Senior Humanities Program (now known as the TASIS Speaker Series), and the Global Service Program—she was a student leader for the Understanding Ulgii (Teaching in Mongolia) group—as the major influences that shifted her aspirations of becoming a lawyer or a writer to the sphere of international relations and business, as she “wishes to play a part in the larger conversation that surrounds us.”

“I would eventually like to work in the business sector,” she added. “My IB Business class allowed me to experience different aspects of business management, and I realized that I would do well in that field.”

Tanya taught English to children in Mongolia the summer after her sophomore year.

Other experiences that had a profound influence on Tanya include listening to Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau give her speech for Girls Not Brides at the 2018 THIMUN conference and meeting young filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, who are best known for their award-winning documentaries Living on One Dollar and Salam Neighbor. “Both experiences impressed on me the need for action,” she said. “At that time, I felt a lot of pressure to choose a major that would determine my life path. Princess Mabel’s speech put my entire life into perspective, and hearing Chris and Zach talk about their journey from economics students to filmmakers opened my eyes to the value of opportunity and chance. They also taught me that sometimes exposure and simply listening can be just as powerful as providing financial aid.”

"After spending so much time with my friends the last few years, and seeing them every single day, going to different schools will be bittersweet."

Tanya concedes that she will one day reminisce about many of her classes at TASIS, especially her 9th-grade Ancient and Medieval History class with Mr. KC McKee. “Even to this day every time someone mentions Istanbul, a song about Istanbul and Constantinople that Mr. McKee played for us rings in my head,” she said. “That class [and its accompanying Academic Travel trip to Greece] was my first introduction to TASIS and its amazing teachers.”

Tanya added that she will miss many other faculty members who provided invaluable support and help over the course of her four years at TASIS—both inside and outside the classroom—including History Teacher Mr. Daniel Kirsch, Business Management Teacher Mr. Paul Diviani, Math Teacher Mr. Dan Schwartz, Biology Teacher Ms. Peg Crockett, EAL Teacher (and her Lanterna Dorm Parent) Ms. Tamara Schumacher, Vocalist Teacher Mr. Jonathan Morris, Model UN Faculty Advisors Mr. Matt Federico and Mr. Brendan Shea, and “most especially” her English Literature Teacher Dr. Love. “Dr. Love has been my teacher for the entire duration of my time at TASIS, even in 9th grade when I wasn't formally in his class yet,” she said. “All our English classes over the last three years helped hone my analytical and written skills, but our IB Literature class holds the fondest memories for me.”

Tanya notes that she’ll fondly remember many other things about TASIS, such as the breathtaking view from campus. “I loved having nature and all its beauty right at my doorstep or at my windowsill, as it were,” she said. “Regardless of whether it was winter or spring, Lugano has always had an incredible view.”

She’ll also miss her tight-knit group of friends even though many of them will also be studying in London. “After spending so much time with my friends the last few years, and seeing them every single day, going to different schools will be bittersweet,” she said.

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