Westmont Magazine An International Internship
Nathaniel Hansen ’97 got in the habit of traveling at an early age. Four times during his youth his family moved to a new country: Canada, England, the United States, and Singapore.
He crossed borders again to enroll at Westmont in 1990. But after two years, his wanderlust led him back overseas. He lived and studied first in France. Then, with his wife, Kim Sullivan Hansen ’93, whom he married in 1993, he backpacked throughout Asia for seven months.
While they journeyed to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, the Hansens spent the most time in Nepal. Following an old trade route, they hiked the Annapurna Trek through an 18,000-foot pass. As the altitude changed, so did the people and their way of life. Nathaniel came to know both the Himalayas and the Tibetan refugees displaced by Chinese communists.
This fall, he returned to Westmont to complete his degree in English. He also found a way to continue his interest in Asia.
Nathaniel’s knowledge of Nepal has led him to an exciting internship at Direct Relief International. Based in Santa Barbara, this non-profit organization sends medical supplies throughout the world to ease troubled situations.
Hoping to help Tibetan refugees and orphans at a hill station in Northern India, Direct Relief needed someone knowledgeable about the area to oversee the project.
Mike Hayes, a 1993 Westmont graduate and Direct Relief staff member, heard that Nathaniel had returned to campus and encouraged him to work with the organization. Mike knows the value of internships—he learned about the work of Direct Relief as an intern. After he graduated, he landed a full-time position there.
This semester, Nathaniel spends two days a week at Direct Relief making arrangements to ship medical supplies, vitamins, and dental and eye care products to remote hill stations in the Indian Himalayas. He will travel there in November to oversee the distribution.
Nathaniel hasn’t decided what he wants to do when he graduates. He may pursue international relief. He does know he wants to travel—and make a difference in the world.