Michael George to Study in Taiwan Next Year with Rotary Club Exchange Program


Emma Zankoul, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“Everything in life is temporary, but regret can last a lifetime,” said Michael George, sophomore at NDA who is planning on doing a year abroad in Taiwan during his junior year.  

George was born and raised in Dallas before coming to NDA, so it will not be his first time moving and going to a different school.

“I love the Notre Dame community,” said George. “I’ve found it really rewarding to get involved at school which allowed me to connect with so many people.”

But even though his time here has been great, he already has had his mind set on doing a year abroad since eighth grade. 

“I want to travel during my life, and this is a great opportunity to do so,” he said.

George has learned a lot about Taiwan since he found out it was where he was going, and he loves it. It was his second choice on his list, so he was very glad when he saw he was about to be a student there.

As a participant in the Rotary Club Youth Exchange program, a country is assigned to him by the organization, so there is no guarantee a student will get the country he wanted.

“A friend I met at a conference had previously been there. He had a lot of really cool stories and photos of his time there, and it seemed like a place I would love to experience,” said the sophomore.

George is very excited about it–and, admittedly, a bit nervous. But that is not going to stop him.

“You only live once, and I’m only going to have this opportunity once in my life.”

He has learned to not be scared of risky situations because he realized it helps him grow in a better way, “and one day you’ll grow to appreciate the things that scared you today.”

His parents were also questioning it at first, but they felt much better when they met the other students and got to hear their experiences.

He has also been to 10 other countries, so he is used to different cultures and should adapt quicker to the environment.

And despite the fact that school in Taiwan is a lot different, George won’t have to retake his junior year at NDA since the school accepts foreign credits. 

So he will leave in September and come back in July to start off his senior year.

For the future, he is thinking about studying abroad too, but he still doesn’t know what career he wants to pursue and isn’t worried about it.

“Life can be scary,” he said. “But if you don’t struggle, that means you’re not living. In the end, you’ll end up exactly where you are supposed to be, so don’t stress for now.”