Amela Buzi (Albania) ’20 will study Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design, choosing the esteemed art and design school over University of the Arts London (London College of Fashion), City University London, Coventry University London, Pace University in New York, and Fordham University. Her goal is to become a creative business entrepreneur.
Amela speaks five languages—English, Albanian, French, Turkish, Italian—and earned an IB Diploma, but she is most proud of the artistic contributions she made to TASIS over the course of her three years at the School. Among other accomplishments, she played the lead role in Annie Get Your Gun, acted in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed a vocal solo at Lugano’s magnificent Palazzo dei Congressi, and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the 2020 Commencement Ceremony.
Shortly after her graduation in May 2020, Amela answered the following questions about her time at TASIS The American School in Switzerland.
Do you feel that your time at TASIS has prepared you well for college?
My time at TASIS has not only prepared me for college but, more importantly, has shaped the growth and evolution of my mindset to enter the next stage in my life. Being part of TASIS, where each day we encounter cross-cultural differences, has deeply impacted the way I integrate in environments where I might be foreign to the culture. I learned to empathize with the feelings of the people around me and was constantly reminded that each action I took could impact us as a community. In particular, being a boarding student certainly played a role in my approach to various issues and problems on a daily basis. Having learned all this in TASIS, I feel more than prepared to face any challenges in college as I slowly enter adulthood.
|“My time at TASIS has not only prepared me for college but, more importantly, has shaped the growth and evolution of my mindset to enter the next stage in my life.”|
What experiences have you found most inspiring at TASIS?
The thing about TASIS that leaves me awestruck to this day is the history it carries throughout the years along with the community’s ability to maintain a strong bond even after we all graduate. I find it so interesting because most times people tend to grow apart easily, whereas at TASIS it seems as time progresses the bond strengthens.
This brings me back to my most inspiring experience at TASIS, which was my Global Service Program trip to Kenya. When I first went there I could not really understand the purpose or why it was that important, but by the last day I had already created a bond that I knew would last. After that trip I started advocating for global issues around the world, and I even joined the Service Learning Board during senior year because I felt the need to do more—to raise more awareness about issues that I chose to ignore before but was now inspired to pursue and deeply care about so much more.
I believe that all the experiences I had at TASIS are just as relevant and inspiring because I know that in the future I will be looking back knowing that I am maintaining a stronger bond with all that I had the opportunity to pursue.
What courses or teachers will you remember most fondly?
The teacher and course that I am the most grateful for is my IB English Literature class taught by Ms. Rosenberger. In that class, my understanding and appreciation for the arts overall was heightened. To Ms. Rosenberger, I am extremely thankful for understanding the passion that I had inside for the arts and what it truly meant to me. She was able to resonate with me in moments when no one else could.
What do you think you will miss the most about your time at TASIS?
I used to wake up every day to a beautiful sunrise from the mountains and watch dusk take over with the moon each night. TASIS was an extremely reflective period for me in my life, and I know I will miss all the times I looked out at the views and wondered about so many things, in the end coming to the conclusion that I would be fine because I was there and felt safe. So I will definitely miss the feeling of the familiar comfort I got from everyone.
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?
Through the whole time of being away from TASIS I thought about a lot of things, contemplating over and over the whys of the situation. The one thing that this difficult time revealed for me was that we need to “show up to ourselves before we show up to the world.” I realized that before we live each day in pursuit of making it “out there” in the world, we must not fail to pay attention to the inside of our minds and souls. During this time I learned to open my heart and sit in gratitude for all that I could do for myself—all the things that could bring me joy and lightness no matter how trivial. I truly learned to put more emphasis on the importance of the self and my ability to watch myself grow inside even without the support of the external factors that we would have in our “normal daily lives.” I felt more aligned with myself for the first time, and it has improved my interactions with everyone and everything overall.