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**As of November 2021, Max has been able to embark on his Fulbright. However since the original interview was conducted, his country location was moved to Taiwan due to the pandemic.*

Max St. George is a 2019 Duke alum and former Men’s Swimming and Diving team member. Participating in ACE in China in the summer of 2017 encouraged St. George to continue to pursue international civic engagement opportunities. This winter, five years after participating in ACE, St. George will begin his Fulbright Fellowship and move to Malaysia to teach English. Reflecting on the most impactful aspects of ACE, St. George shares the unexpected rewards that can come from stepping outside your comfort zone.

What are you doing now? How did ACE influence your career?

I am currently working for an organization centered around restoring the Louisiana coastline. My role is to help fishing communities adapt to disasters and coastal restoration projects. In January I will move to Malaysia to teach English under Fulbright. ACE influenced me to seek opportunities in civic engagement following my graduation. In the future I hope to work with developing countries overcoming challenges (or something along those lines).

What was the most meaningful part of your ACE experience?

The most meaningful part of ACE to me was getting to know the locals in the community I was in. They have changed the way I view life.

Share a lesson you learned from your ACE experience that still holds true today:

As I got to know Lobsang, a local and staff member, he taught me about the difficulties Tibetans are having with youth leaving their cultures behind to go live a modern life abroad. The question of cultural preservation comes up in my current job, and I hope to continue down a career path where I am trying to find solutions for it.

teacher and student stretching

Share a fun ACE memory:

I missed my first of five flights to Tibet. On the way there my luggage got lost, but luckily people let me borrow some clothes at the site.

Describe your ACE experience in as few words as possible:

Life changing.

What’s one thing you want people to know about ACE?

It can open up doors to very interesting career opportunities.

What’s your hope for the future of ACE? What advice do you have for future ACE participants?

I hope it continues to grow. For future participants, embrace the culture you are in and step out of your comfort zone.