Submitted by Dylan Tan Stephenson
#1. While he’s an American citizen, he was raised in Turkey for six years and goes back every summer.
Despite Minnesota’s notable immigrant community, the percent of students attending Saint Paul Academy that come from international backgrounds is still relatively small. One of the students who counts themselves among that small group is sophomore Dylan Tan Stephenson.
Stephenson, who was born in the United States, lived in Turkey for much of his childhood.
“I was born here… and then we just immediately left [for Turkey], I came back and started living here in first grade,” he said.
Since moving back to the United States for school, Stephenson still manages maintains a close connection with his childhood home.
“I live in Turkey every summer, I speak the language fluently and I come here for school but otherwise, I go to Turkey every chance I get.”
#2. Tan has a lot of stamps in his passport.
But Turkey wasn’t the only stamp on his passport. From Singapore to Belgium and Australia, his father’s job ensured that Stephenson would be a truly global traveler before starting school at SPA.
#3. The American mindset takes some getting used to.
Even at school, Stephenson draws on his experiences and knowledge to think about ways in which SPA (and the US as a whole) could further globalize its outlook.
“I think the American mindset is very straightforward and facing inwards, and if people open their minds to the experience of other people and where other people have gone, they could learn a lot more and I think it’d a lot more fun.”
#4. He likes to study religions.
When Stephenson isn’t navigating airports or school, he loves to spend his free time with friends or on hobbies. One hobby, in particular, stands out.
“I like reading religious texts, just to see what the different ones say,” Stephenson said.
Of the texts he has read, so far, there is a clear winner.
“The Bible is pretty cool, it’s got cool stories. Maybe it’s not the best, but it’s more interesting than some of the other ones.”
#5. It may be Minnesota cliche, but the lakes are the best.
Stephenson likes working over the summer and hanging out around the lakes.
“When I’m hanging out with friends, walking around the lake is always a great option,” he said.
Regardless of what he’s doing or where in the world he is located at any particular moment, Dylan Tan Stephenson makes himself at home.