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Taking Care of Business in Canada
03.10.14 |

Canadian Matt Becker ’10 and Lebanon, Pa., native Dr. Lauren Horst ’09, D’11 met as students at LVC. Becker had come to the States to play hockey, and soon found his way to Annville. “I thought LVC would give me a better education than other schools that were recruiting me at the time,” he said.

The business administration major didn’t find it hard to adapt to American college life. “There were other Canadians on the team, and most of the guys on the team were not from the area, so we were all in the same situation,” Becker said. “You make friends quickly on a team, which made the transition easier.”

For her part, Horst had never traveled to Canada before meeting Becker, and certainly never expected to live outside the U.S., but the couple decided to settle near Matt’s family after graduation. “I actually always thought I’d move somewhere warmer,” Horst admitted. “But you never know where life will take you.”

The LVC health science/physical therapy major had a physical therapy job lined up in Canada six months before she received her doctorate in physical therapy in 2011. But getting her license was a little more complicated. “After Matt and I were married in February 2011, it took seven months to get permanent resident status in Canada,” Horst said. “Then I had to have my education reviewed and approved before I could take the licensing exams here. I had to pass a written and a practical exam before I was allowed to practice unsupervised—but the D.P.T. Program at LVC prepared me well for both exams.”

Today, Becker works as a health, safety, and environmental manager for the Mistras Group Inc., in Olds, Alberta, Canada, and runs Meridian Custom Builders, a homebuilding company, as well as his own contracting firm, Matt Becker Construction. Horst is a physical therapist with Olds Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation.

Living in Canada has its advantages and disadvantages, Horst said. “It’s really tough to be away from family and friends,” she said. “But I love my job, and experiencing a different health care system has made me a better physical therapist. Living away from home pushes you outside your comfort zone and you end up meeting amazing new people and gaining new perspectives.”

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