Welcoming Our Newest AMIDEAST Interns: Nathan Hayduk
Growing up in the small town of Kutztown, Pennsylvania allowed me to start small but want to experience more. As I went through grade school, I watched as one sister studied in Chile for a year as well as the other spending each winter in Australia. I watched this knowing that one day I wanted to experience something like they did. Even though I truly enjoyed growing up in a family that traveled a lot, nothing sparked my interest in which I thought, “This might be something I want to do full time!”. My background was firmly associated with information technology after going to a vocational school for Information Systems and Security. But as common with many of us, as time changes, plans change too.
Throughout high school, I took German courses that sparked my enjoyment in the ability to communicate in another language. Something as simple as having a great teacher in the seventh grade is where this new journey can be traced back to. After studying at the vocational school and completing high school and realizing that IT wasn’t for me, I took the one thing I was truly interested in, language, and enrolled in the German Studies program at Kutztown University. It was through this program that I was able to finally achieve the goal that always sat in the back of my head, studying abroad.
I studied abroad at the University of Hildesheim in Hildesheim, Germany. It was there that I truly discovered my love for different cultures and my desire to work together so that both are able to gain mutual understanding. This was fascinating to me. In this regard I traveled as much as could, to as many places as possible, trying to experience as many cultures possible while meeting so many wonderful people along the way. I gained the opportunity while being a judge for an organization called Odyssey of the Mind to travel to Russia as well as take bus trips to places with no next destination in mind allowing me to end up in the Ukraine, Croatia, Hungry, Italy and so many more beautiful places. And through these experiences, I was able to come away with a plan that I never really had before. I wanted to support what I later learned to be citizen diplomacy.
Most see diplomacy as an embassy or a consulate, but that’s just the broadest picture. After understanding what citizen diplomacy is, the effects it has, and being fortunate enough to take part in it first hand, I am excited to be able to pursue a BA in German Studies as well as a BA in Political Science. I hope to use these two degrees to pursue a career where diplomatic efforts, small and large, are used to create understanding between cultures. This is why I am thrilled to be a part of AMIDEAST Education Abroad as an intern because they exemplify these values so much. I am excited to be able to learn new skills in this area as well as do my best to apply what I have learned so far in a professional environment. I look forward to a wonderful few months here at AMIDEAST!