DUBAI // Kylie Rose Snyder, 15, can hardly be described as a nervous newcomer. Dressed in a shirt and a dark grey full-length skirt, the tenth grader oozes confidence in her new school, American Academy in Al Mizhar, where she began classes last week.
Many her age might find moving to another country halfway around the world, adapting to a new culture and making new friends somewhat daunting.
But this Ohio-born youngster has quickly embraced her new life.
"So far, I have been here only four days and I've learnt more in my foreign language classes in one day than I have had in weeks there [in the US]," said Kylie, who moved with her parents and two siblings to Dubai in June.
"The teaching skills are a lot better here because they kind of adapt to what you are used to and everybody's learning skills are different."
She said her curriculum was not very different from what she had learnt in the US, but being at an all-girls school made her socially more confident.
"I went to a co-ed school back in the States. I struggled talking to people. I didn't make friends. I was always worried about how I looked. But here I am so much more comfortable."
The teenager had never heard of the UAE until her stepfather landed a job as an airline pilot with Emirates Airlines.
"At first, I was sceptical about it. I wasn't sure as I had to leave my friends and family. I'd be moving to a country where I didn't know how things worked... Then I realised no matter where I moved, everything is going to be different.
"After the whole shock of that happened, I was pretty much excited because kids from where I am from do not get this opportunity ever. I got to do something that nobody else I had ever known has ever got the chance to do."
And so far she is happy. "It's nice to have the warmth all the time. It's my favourite part. People are all so kind. It is a melting pot and it's interesting. You don't have one culture, you have dozens."