New kids on the block


About Reach Out

TAS has many programs dedicated to helping new students adjust to the TAS community. Reach Out is a service club that pairs new students with buddies that are familiar with TAS. Buddies help new students navigate through their first few weeks of school. 

Chloe W. (‘23 she/her) is the co-president of Reach Out at TAS. She is passionate about pairing new students with the right buddies so they can easily transition into the TAS community. “It’s satisfying to know that by the end of the year our buddies end up being close friends with the new students,” Chloe said. 

Reach Out also hosts many gatherings and socials to help new students bond with other students throughout the year. For example, the club hosted a dodgeball activity in the Lower School gym last year. The game proved to be a great bonding experience for everyone who participated. “[Reach Out] may seem like a really cheesy school-affiliated welcoming committee but [the club] actually [provides] really nice bonding experiences,” Chloe said. “We have a lot of fun at our socials.” 

In the first several weeks of school, The Blue & Gold interviewed a few new students on their experience at TAS so far and any challenges they faced in the new school environment. 



Zoe L.

Zoe L. (‘26, she/her) is a new freshman at TAS this year and a transfer student from a local Taiwanese school. Before coming to Taiwan, Zoe used to live in the United States.

In her free time, Zoe enjoys playing video games and badminton. She plans to try out for the badminton team when Season 3 sports begin. Aside from badminton, Zoe has involved herself in other TAS extracurricular activities such as the Mahjong Club, Climate Change Club, and AARF (Animal Rescue) club. 

Compared to her old school, Zoe does not find TAS to be more academically rigorous and is adjusting well to her current course load. “The block schedule makes [the school workload] less stressful,” Zoe said. 

Zoe has had some difficulty adapting to TAS’s large campus. Nevertheless, with the help of her Reach Out buddies, Zoe has been able to navigate the school campus and adjust to the TAS community well.


Katie L.

Katie L. (‘26, she/her) is a freshman coming from Shanghai High School International Division. Katie is adjusting pretty well to TAS so far because it is similar to her school in Shanghai. The only differences are the smaller class sizes and longer class periods.

In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, playing the bassoon, coding and learning biology. Katie is thrilled to be part of the varsity soccer team this year and looks forward to hanging out with others who share the same interests. 

Navigating the new school environment and getting used to the different currencies has proved to be difficult for Katie. Despite these challenges, Katie is enjoying being at TAS because of the wide variety of options for her. “There are a lot of choices we can choose for class, and there is also a wide variety of sports we can join and lots of clubs,” she said. 


Yiran W.

Yiran W. (she/her) is a sophomore this year arriving from Sewickley Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She expresses interest in fashion and music, namely playing the guitar. 

Students at TAS aim to lend newcomers a helping hand upon their arrival. When asked about her thoughts on the TAS community, “It’s very easy to adjust,” she said. “There are lots of people that are very friendly.” 

Yiran is taking advantage of the diverse number of classes at TAS that weren’t available to her in the past. “I’m taking fashion and costume design, which is an elective that my old school did not offer,” she said. “There’s a lot of choices and a wide variety [of classes].” 

Although Yiran has faced some challenges in terms of getting to class on time and handling the workload, she has been adjusting to TAS with relative ease.  


Grace F.

Grace F. (any pronouns) is a sophomore new to TAS this year. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she moved to Taiwan after spending six years in Tianjin, China. Some of her interests include writing, playing volleyball and acting. 

The classes offered at TAS are a change from what she is used to at her old school, the International School of Tianjin. There, students were not offered electives nor were they able to choose classes. “You’re given English, Science, History, PE and Math. We didn’t have any electives. The class system was very different,” she said. 

Grace hasn’t been facing too many challenges transitioning to TAS, but she does recall having some difficulty finding the bathrooms and other utilities in the first couple weeks of school. She is also getting used to having slightly longer days and earlier mornings but has been enjoying her time here at TAS so far. 


Camryn L.

Camryn L. (‘24, she/her) is a junior this year, coming from Los Altos High School. Originally from the Bay Area in San Francisco, Camryn moved to Taiwan during the summer this year.  In her free time, Camryn enjoys playing soccer, reading, listening to music and playing video games.

TAS has a relatively small student population compared to her old school. In spite of the smaller class sizes and the different grade systems, Camryn feels welcomed in the TAS community. “The school community is like any other school community [in that it is] inclusive,” Camryn said. 

A few challenges that Camryn has faced in this new environment include having trouble finding bathrooms and navigating around the school campus without a map. Despite that, she is adjusting to TAS fairly well and feels comfortable in this new environment.


Mahdy M.

Mahdy M. (‘24) is a new junior transferring from Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he lived for three years prior to coming to Taiwan. Mahdy was born and raised in the United States until he was 13 years old and moved to Amsterdam. 

One of the main challenges Mahdy has faced adjusting to TAS is getting used to the large campus. “There’s no map to show you where [everything] is so [I’ve had] to rely on other people and [my] own memory to figure out where [all my] classes are,” Mahdy said. 

Nevertheless, Mahdy does his best to involve himself in the TAS community. At his first club fair at TAS, Mahdy was able to sign up for and learn about the many different clubs at TAS. “I actually really like how many extracurriculars there are and how [signups are all] set up. It makes it really easy to find and sign up for whatever I am interested in,” Mahdy said. 


Jazzton L.

Jazzton L. (any pronouns) is a senior transferring from Shanghai American School (SAS). Coming from Shanghai, Jazzton feels that the school environment here in Taiwan is similar to that of those in China. Having relatives that live in Taiwan also made moving and adjusting to life fairly easy.

As both SAS and TAS are international schools, many aspects of the schools, such as the electives offered and daily schedules, are similar. One challenge Jazzton faced when transferring, however, was the required graduation credits. They are currently trying to fulfill their Computer Science and Robotics graduation credit by taking Mechanical Engineering. TAS, while having a diverse range of classes and electives, does require students to take certain subjects before graduation. “Students must take US history, which isn’t required anywhere else,” Jazzton said. 


Darian T. 

Darian T. (‘23, she/her) is a new senior this year at TAS and a transfer student from Marymount International School Rome in Italy.  In her free time, Darian enjoys playing sports. 

The class sizes in TAS were a little different compared to her previous school. TAS has roughly 200 students per grade whereas there were only 40 students per grade at her old school. So far, Darian likes the TAS student body, “I make friends really fast and I like the [school] environment.” she said. 

Darian faced some difficulties getting to classes on time and familiarizing herself with new teachers and new classmates. A lot of her classes were on a different track than from her previous school, making it hard to get used to. Despite the difficulties, Darian is adjusting fairly well to the TAS environment.