By Aaron Tooyak
Settle oneself abroad, the definition of expatriate (expat). We hear stories of students coming from another country to study in the United States, but what about our graduates who cross the ocean to teach in another country?
APU alumni, Nathan Van Der Most (’09) is one of these expats who settled himself abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam where he now teaches English. Prior to Vietnam, Nathan taught English for one year at Dara Academy, a private school, in Chang Mai, Thailand.
He obtained his undergraduate degree in Outdoor Studies in 2009 and his Masters of Business Administration in 2013. Nathan has been traveling and living abroad in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Holland and Indonesia since February of 2014.
During his time at APU, Nathan was a student leader and his contributions to the university speak for themselves. Nathan was a Resident Assistant, a student-worker for Outdoor Programs, Nordic Ski Club President, and ASAPU President.
He encouraged students to, “take initiative and get involved because APU’s small community offers students the opportunity to gain leadership skills and learn about different parts of the university”. He also advised against being passive and losing the chance to build a network within our community.
Nathan practices this skill of connecting with others by adapting to a new culture, lifestyle, language and environment – which beckons a patient mentality and determination. “APU’s field courses improved my patience and gave me a good foundation for learning and developing my leadership skills.
I can comfortably lead people in different environments, whether outside or in the classroom. APU field courses, at times, can be mentally and physically demanding trips. Especially, in bad weather, but these experiences helped develop me into who I am today”.
Nathan’s favorite classes as an undergraduate included diverse course offerings such as Scott Frederickson’s – Marketing, Mike Loso’s – Climate Change, and Paul Twardock’s – The Business of Recreation which conglomerated all the necessary educational elements for a solid foundation into a life living abroad.
Learn more about Nathan’s life as an expat on his blog where he writes about his recent adventures, tips for expats, and travel advice.