Where Do TASIS Students Go To College?
Any student graduating from TASIS has earned, at a minimum, a standard US-accredited High School Diploma and can expect to gain admission to quality universities, particularly in the United States. Students who are driven to find a home at one of the world’s most selective universities can do so by pursuing an International Baccalaureate Diploma (as 49 of 109 students in the Class of 2020 did) or by taking a number of Advanced Placement courses and scoring highly on the corresponding exams. Students may further bolster their candidacy by performing well on standardized tests, writing excellent personal statements, securing strong reference letters, and exhibiting an impressive commitment to some combination of the arts, athletics, local and global service, and leadership positions on or off campus.
In short, there are many paths to success at TASIS. Below we examine the roads traveled by a number of recent graduates.
Serena Rand Bardi ’18 (Italy/United States) has decided to seek a degree in International Management at King’s College London after also considering offers from London School of Economics, University of Edinburgh, University of Bath, and Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University.
Serena attended TASIS for all four of her high school years and leaves behind a distinguished academic record that includes a 3.94 GPA, a spot on the Dean’s List and Honor Roll each semester, a slew of Academic Excellence awards, a Young Scholar Award for Academic Achievement, an IB Bilingual Diploma in English and Italian (she also speaks Spanish), and 37 points on her IB Diploma assessment. She believes that the demanding nature of the IB program has set her up for success at King’s College London.
“The IB Diploma requires dedication, determination, hard work, organization, and time management skills,” she said. “It enables the formation of exacting written and verbal communication skills, research skills, and complex problem solving based on logic and reasoning. I believe that this study strategy and skill set will translate well to the requirements for a demanding university career.”
Serena applauds Howard Stickley, Greg Birk, and Carroll Birk for helping her successfully navigate the daunting college application process—“starting with a class trip to the Netherlands and the UK to visit a number of interesting university prospects, they provided invaluable guidance in course selection, the application process, and securing promising college offers”—and notes that she had many extraordinary teachers who “extended their mandate beyond ‘teacher’ to mentor, advisor, and role model, including Mr. Schiff, Dr. Love, Ms. Crockett, Mr. Diviani, Mr. Cawthorne, and our incomparably talented music teachers, Ms. Forrest and Mr. Morris.” Serena is grateful to all of these teachers for dedicating themselves to her “formation as a student and a person.”
Serena’s decision to pursue a career in international management was influenced by her experiences both inside and outside the TASIS classrooms. While completing her coursework for the IB Diploma, she learned of the World Economic Forum’s list of global challenges, which includes overpopulation, food security, arable land degradation, climate change, and epidemics/antibiotic resistance.
“These unifying threats to humanity provided focus to my academic interests in management, finance, and biology and to my career aspirations for responsible corporate leadership and sustainable EU economic growth,” she said. “I am hopeful that strategic investments in clean technologies and biological engineering will offer EU businesses the chance to prosper through innovation and to realign their interests with those of society and the planet. When it came time to commit to an academic path for college applications, I was torn between management and biology. The higher-level IB classes in these subjects helped me clarify and define my interests and realize that I could apply an interdisciplinary approach toward a career path that would combine the two.”
I will most miss being part of a truly international community founded on culture, wisdom, truth, integrity, and knowledge. I will take this example forward with me as an ideal through the rest of my life.
Serena also drew a great deal of inspiration from her three trips to the Netherlands for The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference—where through her roles as ambassador, team co-captain, and head of delegation she was able to focus on issues she’s deeply committed to, including women’s rights to land ownership, reducing sexual violence in conflict zones, and protecting refugees from human trafficking and organized crime—her participation in the Understanding Ulgii (Mongolia) and WISER (Kenya) Opsahl Global Service Program groups—calling the program “an important and unique opportunity to create and foster lifelong empathy, to assist people in need, to expand our understanding of the developing world, and to introduce us first-hand to issues of global concern”—her two years as a Student Council member—where she represented student interests, organized community-building activities, and worked toward establishing a micro-financing link for the Global Service Program—and through her impressive dedication to the TASIS Music Program, which included a spot in the choir, a lead role in Kiss Me, Kate, a co-captainship of the TASIS A Cappella group, and regular performances at major school events, enabling her to “find a language that overcomes cultural and linguistic differences and enhances community spirit.”
Serena credits her notable array of extracurricular activities for teaching her that “we can all contribute to making our world a better place, regardless of our age, size, gender, or physical limitations,” and she is grateful to TASIS for “providing a mindset based on the ideals of multiculturalism, humanitarianism, and global citizenship and a value set based on integrity, respect, responsibility, compassion, humility, service, and vision.”
It all starts, in her estimation, with a student body that represents 60 nations. “TASIS creates a global village that enables the formation of global citizens,” she said. “The opportunity to make friends from all over the world normalizes cultural diversity and helps us respect and learn from our differences while celebrating our commonalities. I will most miss being part of a truly international community founded on culture, wisdom, truth, integrity, and knowledge. I will take this example forward with me as an ideal through the rest of my life.”