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Alumni Spotlight: Zehra Khan

Introduce yourself in one sentence, please.

Hello! I’m Zehra, I’m 18, and I’m from Pakistan. I joined AAS in August of 2020, so I’ve been here for both 11th and 12th grade.

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience at AAS and what you love most about the school?

I was naturally quite nervous to be joining a new school halfway through high school, especially in a place I was very unfamiliar with and where I knew no one. But, my classmates, teachers, and the wider AAS community welcomed me with open arms and I was able to settle down very quickly. This was especially important for me since the IB years are very stressful, so having a strong support network like the one AAS offered me was a huge lifesaver. This is partly what I love so much about AAS: the small, tight knit community and how familial it all is. From an academic standpoint, I greatly appreciate how teachers are able to nurture students’ ambition without instilling feelings of insecurity or self-doubt within them and without creating a toxic environment of competition between students. This was extremely important for me and something I’ll always be grateful to them for.

What do you think is the most important thing one has to learn at school?

I think empathy is really at the core of what a good school would teach its students. The diverse student body at AAS definitely helps a lot in achieving this.

What have you found to be most surprising/unexpected about AAS?

I found it quite unexpected how much focus was put on supporting students through even smaller parts of the IB curriculum, like the Extended Essay. I remember how surprised but relieved I was to receive lessons each week on how to research and write a proper academic paper – it was definitely a big stress reliever! I was also pleasantly surprised by how much open communication there was between the faculty and students.

What are your plans? Do you feel prepared to face new challenges?

I’m planning on heading to the Netherlands for university, which is something I’m really nervous but excited for! My university has quite a flexible curriculum in the first year, so I’m hoping to explore subjects like Economics and History when I’m there.

I think being at AAS for these two short but vital years has helped me gain so much more confidence in my ability as a student and all that entails. I feel so much more prepared and determined to tackle whatever challenges this new chapter in my life throws at me because I have more faith in myself.

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