A-Young Kwon doesn’t have an actual date of entry. She was born and raised in Switzerland and has South Korean roots. She is a teacher and holds a Bachelors of Science in Education.
A-Young, or Amy, as she sometimes calls herself, says she often perceives herself as “different” in Switzerland and especially at all levels of the education system. “Few people looked like I did. And this I noticed from a very young age.”
Although she always had the support of her parents, she still found the school system anything but easy. In particular, she struggled with the prejudices against Asians as model immigrants, being smart and hard working. The attribution of the “hard-working” character put a lot of pressure on her.
As one of the few Asian teachers in the Zurich area (and also in Switzerland), A-Young is aware of her representative role. But it doesn’t come without continued challenges, specifically from parents who question her competence as a perceived immigrant, as she has repeatedly experienced. She remembers one incident vividly, where a parent asked, “and you are teaching my child German?!”
She hopes that increasing diversity among teachers will reduce racist and discriminatory thinking within the educational context.