Want to know more about how our students feel about their Taipei American School experience?
As our humanities teachers remind our students, primary sources are key!
We asked our divisional teachers about students who they believe exemplify the TAS mission and values, students who are committed to living a life that places equal weight on the importance of learning, personal well-being, and service — and these are some of the MANY students whose name we received. We know that all 2,400+ students on our campus are creating their own path through learning, personal well-being, and service.
Just as no Tiger shares the same stripes, each of our Tigers is creating their own path on our campus and beyond. We hope you enjoy getting to know just a few of our incredible students on their journey.
"I am a ballerina, author, and event planner."
I took my first ballet class just before I turned 3, and fell in love with it instantly.
Now, 8 years later, I still dance every chance I get. I think I love it most because of how free it makes me feel. When my body moves to the music, everything around me disappears and I’m transported to a different world. Ballet also helps me understand other people, because although we are all doing the same movements, each person is different and unique at the same time. Ballet is hard work, but there’s nothing like the feeling of stepping out onto the stage and performing. TAS has shown me the importance of pursuing what I’m passionate about, and I’m so glad that my teachers support this dream of mine. TAS has also taught me about perseverance, something which I need all the time when I dance.
I also love to write short stories. Sometimes I'll sit down at my desk with a pencil and a blank piece of paper, and hours will pass without me even realizing it. I've created entire worlds and characters that only exist in my mind, and it feels exciting to bring them to life on paper. When one of my teachers encouraged my friend and I to share with our class a play based on a story we wrote, it inspired me to write even more and showed me how fun it can be to share your work with other people. Writing is my way of expressing myself, and it gives me a break from the real world, into my imagination.
At school, I've discovered a new passion: event planning. I love organizing things and making sure everything runs smoothly. Whether it's a class party or a school assembly, I'm always eager to help out, and TAS has provided so many opportunities, big and small, for students to get involved. Even outside of school, I enjoy planning activities for my family and friends. It may take a lot of time and effort, but seeing the smiles on their faces makes it all worth it.
I transferred to TAS about 2 years ago after moving to Taiwan, and I'm so glad I did. It was daunting at first, but everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I've made some amazing friends and have had some incredible experiences. I feel like I've found my place here, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.
"I am a dancer, engineer, and astronomer."
These might seem like totally different things, but to me, they’re all connected by one thing: creativity and exploration. And that’s why I love them all so much.
Dance is my passion. Especially hip hop. There’s just something about the beats and the energy that gets me moving. When I’m dancing, I feel like I can express myself in ways I can’t with words. My teachers at TAS, especially Ms. Dethy, have created a space for us to explore and make mistakes. I don’t feel like mistakes even matter. It’s like I’m telling a story with my body. And the best part is, I get to do it with my friends. We practice together, we perform together, and we support each other no matter what. It’s a community, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
Robotics is another one of my favorite things. I love building things and figuring out how they work. It’s like a puzzle that I get to solve with my hands. And when my robot finally does what I want it to do, it’s the best feeling in the world. Plus, I get to work with a team and learn from other people who are just as excited about engineering as I am.
And finally, astronomy. Outer space is just so cool. There are galaxies and black holes and planets and stars, and we’re just a tiny part of it all. Studying it helps me understand more about our place in the universe. Space is like this vast, empty blackboard where I can let my imagination run wild. It's true that many of these ideas floating in my head aren't realistic, but I can still learn a lot by thinking and trying to put them into reality.
For dancing, robotics, and astronomy, there aren’t that many concrete answers. You express yourself, you try to learn more, you make mistakes, and then you get better. So yeah! I’m a dancer, engineer, and astronomer. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’m so glad that I can just be myself at TAS.
"I am a communicator, dancer, and community builder."
I love to talk, debate, and share my opinions with anyone who will listen.
At first, when my teacher asked me what my passion is, I was torn between talking about debate and public speaking, which I have been involved with since Grade 2. But after thinking more and more about it, I’ve realized that I don’t just like these organized activities. I really love to communicate with others, and share my opinions, even if it’s just talking to one or two people or to a whole crowd. TAS has given me the opportunity to develop both debate and public speaking skills, and I have participated in many debates and competitions both at TAS and outside of school. I always feel energized when I get to stand up in front of a crowd and express my ideas. It's not just about winning; it's about having fun, sharing my opinions, and learning from others. And also arguing. I like arguing, too. If people don’t learn how to argue, talk, and share their ideas, they won’t be able to stand up for themselves when they’re older.
Dancing is my other passion. I have been taking different dance classes since I was four, and I love the feeling of being on stage and performing. It's like I can express myself without words. My teachers – especially Mr. Chuang - have helped me become more confident in my movements, but he also helped me learn that moving is about more than your body. You can use it to express yourself and have a deeper meaning, like letting your body talk for you. I am so grateful to have a school that supports the arts, that encourages us to move every day, and that lets us have fun while learning.
Lastly, I love being a community builder. I know this is a little hard to describe, but it’s kind of a combination of my love for talking and my love for helping others. Whether it’s through leadership council or planning bowling play dates with friends, I enjoy using my skills to help others, especially to help others make friends. I always try to make sure everyone feels included because that’s the best thing about TAS – how inclusive the community is. I believe that everyone has something to offer, and I want to help them find their strengths, just like my teacher Ms. Mutschler does with everybody in our class. I've been at TAS since kindergarten, and I know that not everybody knows this school as well as I do, but if you’re thinking about coming to TAS, know that your teachers are here to hype you up every day, and that I’ll be here to help you make friends, too.
"I am a diver, athlete, and dancer."
I've been attending this school since KA and I have to say, it's been an incredible journey.
From learning how to read and write to overcoming my fear of water, this school has provided me with unique opportunities that I will never forget.
Scuba diving has been one of my favorite activities, especially since I got certified a couple of years ago. But I never could have done it without TAS because it was when I was in the Lower School that the swimming program helped me learn how to not be so afraid of water. Now I obviously love water! The feeling of weightlessness and the vibrant colors of the ocean always leave me in awe. It’s like a different world down there. I also love to scuba dive because it’s a family activity. We are all divers, and we do it together. TAS may not have a scuba program yet, but I did learn how to swim here. I also learned how to stay calm under pressure, and those skills have allowed me to explore different parts of the ocean and learn about the creatures that call it home. It's an experience that not many kids my age gets to have, and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of it.
Sports have also played a huge role in my life, and the school's athletics program has allowed me to participate in a variety of different sports. I honestly can’t just choose one! Badminton, rugby, and cross country are some of my favorites. I got into badminton first when I was really little as a way to connect with my family. I love that I can play it with my dad and grandpa. Both rugby and cross country came a little bit later in my life, but both helped me channel my competitive nature and blow off steam. I think it’s so fun to push yourself and compete with others. But at the end of the day, when I go running with my dad and we’re both listening to music, I know that athletics isn’t just about competition. It can also bring people together, like it has me and my dad. Not only have they taught me important life skills like teamwork and dedication, but they've also helped me build confidence in myself. Whether it's running alongside my teammates or cheering them on from the sidelines, being a part of a sports team is an experience that I cherish.
Lastly, I really love to dance, but I never thought that it would end up being as important to me as it is now. The school's dance program has allowed me to express myself in ways that I never thought possible, and I am so thankful to Ms. Dimple, Ms. Dethy, and Ms. Chuang for their help. They teach us a lot of different types of dance here, but my favorite is hip hop by far. I like to move to the fast beats and just let the music take over. It's an amazing feeling to be able to create something fun with my body and share it with others. TAS gives me and my friends so many opportunities to learn things, even if you’re not the best at it. I used to be scared to dance or try new things, but I don’t feel that way anymore because dance (and everything else put together) has helped me be more confident in general. Now I dance with my heart, and I don’t care what other people think of me.
"I am a musician, philanthropist, and scientist."
My sister and I have been students at TAS twice now: once from Grades 1-2, and again from Grade 5 until graduation (so soon!). And even though we’re twins, our experience at TAS couldn’t be more different.
TAS has helped ignite my passion for three very distinct areas: music, service, and the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). I love that at TAS the teachers give us so much agency. We can do what we want to do. We can start new clubs, join existing programs, and choose from hundreds of different courses. I didn’t know that I would love these three different topics so much when I first started here, but TAS helped me branch out and try new things.
I have to start with my love of music. I am a “choir kid” and I love it. I remember my first day in 5th grade when I hadn’t even chosen which music class I would take, and I got lost on my way to class. I showed up to the choir classroom– which was not my intent – and the rest is history. I was hooked. I got lost on my way there, and I still get “lost” in music every day. I started composing and arranging my own music in my free time, and Mr. Taylor supported me in the fall of 2022 so much so that the choir performed three of my original acapella arrangements, with me directing my classmates.
My love of service has been an important part of my life for quite a while, too. I love interacting with others and seeing my actions help other people lead a better life. Whether it’s through Hunger Awareness Week as part of the Orphanage Club, or my leadership with Class Gov, I always try to focus on making changes that have an actual impact on others. There really isn’t a better feeling in the world than knowing you’ve impacted someone in the community.
To say that I’m passionate about STEM is a bit of an understatement. It really started in lower school because, for the longest time, I told anyone that I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. At TAS, our classes and teachers present so many challenges for us, academically, socially, and emotionally – and I always feel like I’m my most “me” when I’m working hard: that’s when and where I’m happiest. Each one of my teachers has asked me so many questions to make me think deeper about my work – and they’ve let me make mistakes, mistakes that would enable me to learn even more.
Long story short: our people here are awesome, and they will challenge you if you’re open to it. So be open to it!
"I am an artist, athlete, and global collaborator."
I have three passions in life: art, athletics, and Model United Nations.
Taipei American School has been helping me to discover my passions since I became a Tiger in Grade 1. I feel eternally grateful for all of the teachers and curriculum that have supported me over the years, including Ms. Moulton, Ms. Rowe, Ms. Kuisle, Mr. Morris, Coach Deziek, Coach Fan, Coach Peotto, and Ms. Kao (among so many others).
The first time I began thinking about myself as an “artist” was in Mr. Morris’s ceramics class in my freshman year of upper school. That class really spurred my creativity and made me want to expand my skills, of course, but more importantly, art has created an outlet for me to explore the inner parts of myself: it is through my artwork that I’ve realized the profound truths about who I am and who I can become. The other thing that I love about the TAS art community is that everyone is very accepting and encouraging about different types of artwork. All pieces of criticism I receive about my creations are constructive, and every compliment I give to other students is shaped by the feedback that I received. In turn, teachers and friends at TAS are embedded in all facets of my creative journey, ultimately resulting in the artist I am now.
I also consider myself an athlete, and I am extremely passionate about soccer and rugby. My love of sports came to me when I wanted to prove other people wrong, that girls ARE as athletic and strong as boys. My dad always vouched for my brother to be the athletic one in the family, and ever since I was in 1st grade, I have been determined to prove him wrong. My soccer journey was rocky though, I remember getting hit by a ball in the face, repeatedly, in Grade 1, and even though it hurt, I was hooked. When I came back to TAS in Grade 5, the very well-developed soccer program here made me step up my game a bit, but I didn’t let it get me down. It inspired me to train harder to get better. I applied this same mentality when I decided to play rugby. When I wanted to play on the Boy's Rugby Team, there were many hurdles to pass through in order to achieve my goal. I was the first girl to want to join, and the first girl in TAS history who even had the idea. However, all of the coaches made it easy for me to join rugby. They enriched my skills, let me play full-time on games against 80 KG boys as a Grade 11 girl, and reminded me of my self-worth when I wanted to crumble under the pressure; they told me that I was important, how I had to run so that other girls like me could walk. I owe it to my coaches and teammates here because they believed in me at times when I didn’t believe in myself.
My last passion is the one that is the hardest to define because it’s got several pieces. I’m extremely devoted to my work as a delegate and leader in the TAS Model United Nations program, something I’ve been involved in since Grade 5 – but it’s not just about the extracurricular activity or the travel. The thing that has made the biggest impact on my life is the mentoring that I’m able to do through the program. Model UN is fundamentally about emphasizing collaboration and cooperation across differences. I love that I’ve been able to give back to future generations of Model UN delegates over my time at TAS. I love that MUN isn’t about trophies or competition – it's about collaboration. The happiness and pride I feel when younger MUN students start to “get” what we’re doing as a team is a feeling unlike anything else in the world.
TAS is a very open community, and I think it’s very well-engineered for people who start here genuinely not knowing what they like to learn. The school provides so many opportunities for students to learn with many different and great teachers who actually and genuinely care about supporting you, no matter which pathway you choose. It’s truly a privilege to be here at TAS, and I know that it’s because of the teachers here that I have these deep passions today.
"I am a debater, writer, and change-agent."
I am a debater, writer, and change-maker. These activities don’t just reflect me at my best: they also reflect how I approach the struggles and uncertainties in my life, and how TAS has given me unique opportunities to transform those low points into ways that I can have positive impacts on others.
One of my biggest passions is debate. I love public policy or macroeconomics issues, and debate pushes me to research and discuss these topics in great depth and complexity for different resolutions. Yet the most powerful way debate impacted me was learning how to deal with loss and failure; a naturally awkward public speaker, I was no debate prodigy, and rarely placed well nationally in my first two years. This made me drastically rethink why I did the activity: was I doing debate for the records and the trophies? Or the skills to advocate for myself and others, to speak out, and push for change? I gradually realized that I loved the formative aspects of debate most: the public speaking and critical thinking abilities I gleaned; the greater awareness of the world’s issues I developed; the friends I met, who share my geekiness about these issues, and much more. By refocusing on these things, I approached debate in a healthier way, and, in the long run, ended up obtaining the very results I’d originally wanted.
Debate isn’t my only means of expression; when I’m not advocating external change, I turn to writing to introspect, reflecting on both my emotions at the time and more lasting parts of my identity, like my values, motivations, and worldviews. Writing creates worlds from thin air: with just pen and paper, my childhood can morph into a raindrop slipping between my fingertips, pulled by the harsh gravity of reality away from formless and unbound clouds, splattered on some unyielding concrete; the fleetingness of life takes on the likeness of dreams, gone in a flash upon waking; and the struggles of my parents in poverty becomes an odyssey of bloody feet and torn ankles, the rare and unique education which they have bequeathed to me expressed in a pair of beautiful shoes so that I could run as fast as I wanted without falling. My writing is often formless, grammatical butchery; merely streams of thought for sifting through emotions, it puts logic in madness, and helps me think things through. Often, I start writing as a way to cope with times of difficulty, and it helps me turn even the most disquieting and painful of experiences into beauty.
The final passion TAS helped me realize is my ability to make tangible change through our school’s Orphanage Club. OC serves orphans and low-income families through various ways, including tutoring disabled children, funding low-income scholarships, and more. I’ll always remember my first OC workday, where we packed goods like food, sanitary items, and stationery into bags for delivery before Christmas. It was menial, repetitive, mind-numbing work–my job was stuffing baby toothbrushes into different bags, and, after a few hours, I ached all over. By the end of the workday, though, I got to see the fruits of our labor: rows upon rows of bags assembled in the room, hundreds of them filled with critical goods. It is because of these moments that OC gives me deep satisfaction in service– after every workday, I got to see the unquestionable impacts our actions had: I knew someone would wake up to a bag full of goodies the next day; knew a child would get to brush their teeth; knew a family could go to bed on a full stomach. There are so many things in the world we can’t control, such as events on the news we can’t prevent or have no input in, yet what OC gives me is awareness of things I can change, including material actions I can do with my bare hands, with results I can visually see take place. It has given me hope that, as a student, even if it's baby toothbrush by baby toothbrush, box by box, I am still able to change the lives of others around me. That, I think, is what makes OC so meaningful to me.
"I am a debater, human rights activist, and writer."
My love for these three things might seem unrelated, but they all share one common thread: they allow me to use my voice to make a difference. I think this is the best thing I could possibly do with my time and talents.
Debating and public speaking have always been my passion. I technically got started with debate in fifth grade, but it was a slightly different type of debate than I pursue now. There's something exhilarating about standing up in front of a room full of people and persuading them to see things from your point of view. It's not just about winning arguments, it's about using language to make a real impact. Whether it's discussing immigration policy or climate change, I always leave the debate floor feeling energized and inspired. This is especially true because I feel like as a young woman in public policy debate, I am one of very few of my gender who choose to take part in this style of debate, a style that has long been dominated by males and which rewards participants for showing stereotypically male communication traits, such as aggression and quick speech. My love for debate hasn’t been dimmed by the blatant gender discrimination I’ve faced from judges in the past. It’s reaffirmed my love for public policy debate and helped me understand that I am reclaiming spaces for women in public policy debate each and every time I use my voice.
But using my voice isn't just limited to debates - I'm also passionate about human rights activism. I'm involved with Amnesty International and Walk for Refugees, organizations that work to protect and promote human rights around the world. I’ve taken classes that have helped me understand the glaring discriminatory issues facing people around the world today. My awareness of these issues is obviously only the first step in my journey, and it reminds me that many people don’t notice those among us who are oppressed. It's incredibly important to me to use my privilege and platform to speak out against injustices and advocate for change. From organizing protests to writing letters to government officials, I feel like I'm making a real difference with my peers now. I’m helping to make this information more accessible to my friends and peers, people who will eventually be in leadership positions and be able to do things with their knowledge of human rights abuses.
Finally, I love to write, which should come as no surprise since both of my other loves – debate and human rights activism both involve quite a lot of both reading and writing. But I don’t just like writing for debate or writing to educate. I actually really love creative writing and self-expression. Whether it's poetry or prose, there's something incredibly cathartic about putting my thoughts and emotions down on paper. Writing is a way for me to explore my own mind and connect with others. I love how words can be used to transport readers to different worlds, or to express complex emotions in a way that might not be possible through spoken language. Language is our most powerful tool, something which can shape both public opinion and our own inner world.
Attending TAS and living in both Taiwan and Japan has given me a unique perspective on the world. I've seen firsthand how different policies and systems affect people's lives in different ways. But more importantly, it's taught me that we all have a responsibility to use our voices for good. Whether it's through debating, activism, or writing, I believe that we all have the power to make a difference.