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Survalienne Alexa Aguilar Izquierdo returns to Surval Summer Camp

03 August 2022

Alexa Aguilar Izquierdo, a fellow Survalienne, who studied her foundation year at Surval Montreux in 2016-2017, came back this year to work at our Summer Camp. Alexa has been given the opportunity to reflect on her time here at Surval and gave us the opportunity to discuss how Surval shaped and had an impact on her. Alexa first comments on her time spent here for foundation year.

It was a perfect age for me to pick up a language. Due to my age, I also had a lot of older role models and was given the opportunity to mature a lot. My main goal in attending was to try new sports, learn a language and etiquette… The school created a very safe and independent environment. I was cared for but also given the opportunity to plan and organise an agenda for my weekends.” Alexa mentions that her greatest accomplishment during her time here was being awarded student of the year.


Alexa came back to Surval to be a summer camp helper. When she was contacted about the role through the Survalienne network, she thought it was a wonderful opportunity: “I knew I would feel at home again. After being here as a student, I understood this would be an enriching place to work, where I knew I would find a close-knit community, and where I was familiar with the routine, excursions and activities.”

We asked Alexa to reflect on how she felt coming back to Surval, she commented: “It felt surreal, but ultimately I am happy that I am able to use my years of experience here as a student to understand how the girls are feeling when they first come here. Because I was also learning French here, I understand the importance of putting the language to use, therefore I encourage girls to talk in French with me to help their learning process.

"It has also made me reflect on how much I've grown in my time here and how the opportunities I was given provided me with the ability to grow in myself. Everything I was given here shaped me into a person who can travel the world  confidently and safely.”

We pride ourselves on how we shape the future of young women through our all-girls curriculum. We wanted to ask Alexa how she thinks Surval has shaped her life and career path. She reflects:

I believe I discovered my passion for physics and engineering during my time at Surval. I had a very inspiring teacher, Ms. Sexton, who was a brilliant woman in physics and a distinguished professor. She made everyday classes interesting and engaging. We also had a school trip to CERN [home of the Hadron Collider], which gave me an introduction to particle physics, as well as the questions that are yet to be researched in the field. The trip was fascinating despite learning about much more complicated topics than what I knew about physics, and it opened my eyes to the potential in physics and academia…

"My academic experience in Surval was very thoughtful in its curriculum. Compared to other academic experiences, where I would be held back in class because it did not progress according to my rhythm, in Surval I was able to accelerate at my own speed - even being offered extra lessons to advance further, which was motivating and exciting for me.”

We always say, once you have attended Surval, even for a short amount of time, you’re termed a Survalienne. We asked Alexa what this means to her: “It means I am now successfully prepared for life and a variety of social situations because I was exposed to such an international community. My global etiquette classes gave me the ability to present myself and react to situations, as well as understanding how to navigate communicating effectively with people of diverse contexts.”

After Surval Summer Camp comes to an end, Alexa will be continuing her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas in Austin. She is hoping to go on to study for her Master's Degree in Robotics.

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