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The Mad Box, Ferrari

Our professional visit to The Mad Box in Milan demonstrated several interesting aspects of running a fairly new company, characterized by a use of younger and innovative employees, as compared to the older institutions based on tradition we had previously seen. Based on an impressive list of clients and apparently a strong local reputation, it is clear that The Mad Box is a successful marketing firm despite its contrasting atmosphere. For me, the three primary aspects that stood out were the atmosphere, age of employees and means of advertising used by The Mad Box group.

One of the first and most interesting things I noticed at The Mad Box was their use of space and the friendly environment the management had created. For example, there was an outside area where employees could play table tennis or smoke as well as network during breaks. Also, they worked on large tables, with no division between spaces, in a friendly or almost family-style environment. However, to contrast this, when we visited UniCredit Bank, their office space was characterized by cubicles and division with less room for networking and collaboration amongst employees, which from my perspective made The Mad Box a much more modern and inviting place to work. Although the difference in sector between banking and marketing could also play a role in this discrepancy between two fairly new corporations, it is still interesting to see two completely different environments while each company still experiences their own success.

Second, it was quite interesting to see the average age of The Mad Box’s employees, as compared to everywhere else we have visited. When I first noticed the young age of the employees, I was quite skeptical that this strategy may be beneficial for reaching younger audiences, however I was unsure if a work force this young could create advertisements that were appealing to older generations. However, based on their initiatives of LED advertising and modernizing the marketing sector, it is clear that catering to older generations is not the focus at The Mad Box.

Finally, during the question and answer session, I found the means by which a marketing firm goes about advertising particularly interesting. For me, it makes perfect sense that within the Milanese and Italian markets, they can rely on word of mouth as well as just the fact that they produce quality advertisements as well as results. However, I was more interested in the means by which they plan on expanding into a more globalized group. When this question was asked, for the first time of our professional visits, I was shocked that they do not plan on expanding globally and seem quite content with the market share they hold in Milan. This aspect of their plan demonstrates that of a small corporation that is still in the development stage (as we learned in international business) and lacks the capital or need to expand, but will once it becomes fiscally desirable.

In all, the professional visit to The Mad Box was rather shocking to me, because the office set up and demographics of the company certainly did not parallel any other corporation we had seen and although their plans for expansion were not necessarily impressive, they did match that of the international production life cycle theory. In terms of future prospects, I believe that The Mad Box has excellent prospects for success due to the inviting and collaborative atmosphere it exhibits.

By: Nicholas Adams, Forum-Nexus 2014 alumnus

Nicholas Adams

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By: Alyssa Fronk

Marveling in Milan

My time spent in Milan, Italy was marvelous to say the least. After spending a lovely weekend in Bologna, the Forum-Nexus gang headed to our next three-day stop to absorb all the fashion, architecture, and food awaiting us in Milan.

One aspect I continually looked forward to upon the arrival of a new city was the architecture, and Milan certainly didn’t disappoint. The Milanese architecture is very distinct compared to the rest of Italy. Milan beautifully integrates an authentic, aged style with urban designs. There was everything from jaw-dropping skyscrapers to prized, artistic landmarks. Two of my favorite sites to see were the Duomo di Milano and UniCredit Tower. The Duomo di Milano is the oldest gothic cathedral in Europe and the pride of Milan. I, too, fell awestruck to the grand beauty. My friends and I went to the city center just to look at it every day. Frankly, pictures don’t do the Duomo justice. On the other hand, the UniCredit Tower was also a treat to visit with Forum-Nexus. Being the tallest building in Italy and the headquarters to Europe’s leading Bank, UniCredit made for a fascinating professional visit. The highlight of our visit was the extensive tour, which eventually brought us to the top floor to take in one of the best views in Milan.

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Since Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world, the importance of shopping and beauty to the Milanese was evident. Everyone was dressed well! There was at least one store on every street, not including the sprawling plazas in multiple parts of the city. My friends and I had fun exploring all of the little shops and visiting the many high-end retailers. To our delight, we didn’t leave empty-handed because there were shops for every budget.

When in Italy, you really can’t go wrong with the food. My friends and I found an abundance of laid-back restaurants that served modern Italian cuisine such as pastas and pizza. Traditional Milanese dishes included risotto alla milanese and cotoletta alla milanese. As for dessert, we discovered the Magnum Pleasure Store; a dessert bar for customizing Magnum ice cream bars. Yes, it is just as amazing as it sounds! I went twice while in Milan. 10553683_10153184516856632_787184137132575883_o-2

And lastly, the nightlife of Milan is definitely worth a mention. The city has everything from casual bars to high-end nightclubs and everything else in between. There were a few nice bars within walking distance from the hotel where Forum-Nexus students hung out at night. The locals were welcoming and the atmosphere was never intimidating; even amongst the beautiful and fashionable.

Milan encompasses all the best qualities of the Italian culture with a modern twist. From the people to the buildings – everything is beautiful. I hope to return again to stroll the streets and do some more great shopping!

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Summer 2015 Itinerary

So you’ve decided to study abroad? Awesome! Every student should. Now you just have to choose where. This is usually a decision many students have a hard time making. There are too many amazing places to be seen in the world. Luckily Forum-Nexus is a multi-country study abroad program and doesn’t believe in making students pick and choose.

One of the best elements of the Forum-Nexus program is the extensive itinerary. Why make students pick and choose when you can see it all? 5 countries + 8 amazing cities = 1 unforgettable European experience!

 

Here’s the itinerary breakdown:

1st stop: Barcelona, Spain. There really isn’t a better welcome to Europe than a beautiful, sunny, and vibrant country like Spain. For the first six days, students get to dip their toes into the laid back culture of Barcelona. The atmosphere is easy-going and there is much to see and do, not to mention students have the opportunity to attend class at the Ramon Llull IQS School of Management for the week. Barcelona also serves as a departure point for an optional weekend getaway to tropical Ibiza.

2nd stop: Paris, France. Yes, there is nothing quite like the city of lights and love. For the next six days, students get to embrace the exquisite and enchanting lifestyle of the Parisians. Paris is filled with rich historic culture which could keep one there for a lifetime. Time spent there is also beneficial for Forum-Nexus students due to the many networking opportunities and professional visits. Wrap up this stop with an optional weekend trip to London or Amsterdam, or spend a Saturday afternoon along the Seine and a Sunday at Notre Dame. Either way, a weekend spent in any of these three cities is a dream in and of itself.

3rd stop: Chamonix, France. Once you see Mount Blanc, it will be hard to leave. The next four days in the French Alps offer a relaxing, peaceful stay. Chamonix is beautiful and the people are friendly. Mountain life will give students the chance to refresh themselves and prepare for midterm exams.

4th stop: Geneva, Switzerland. Just when it seems Europe can’t get any more stunningly beautiful, Switzerland comes into the picture. A day in Geneva will leave you marveling at the beauty of nature, simplistic living, and the opportunities that the world holds. The professional visit to the United Nations makes for an incredible, well-spent afternoon.

5th stop: Lugano, Switzerland. Students get to experience another delightful day trip to the beautiful country of Switzerland. The lake scenery and city charm will leave students marveling. Franklin University in Switzerland warmly opens their campus to Forum-Nexus for another enriching day of cultural education.

6th stop: Milan, Italy. Arriving to the fashion capital of the world is an exciting welcome to the amazing culture of Italy. For the following three days, this modern city will inspire the professional aspirations of students after visiting UniCredit and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Milan is just a short train ride away from Venice and Florence, which are lovely weekend excursions, and popular among Forum-Nexus students.

7th stop: Rome, Italy. Rome is one of the most thrilling stops on the Forum-Nexus itinerary. Students will truly be able to absorb the deep culture of the Italian people in a lengthy six day span. The food is outstanding and there is a monument on every corner. Capri and Santorini are popular optional weekend trip destinations.

8th stop: Rhodes, Greece. There is no better farewell to Europe than a six day stay in the breathtaking country of Greece. From the sprawling beaches, to the tantalizing blue Aegean Sea and warm hospitality of the locals, Rhodes is the perfect ending to our European adventure. The fun but laid-back atmosphere provides a great environment to celebrate the end of an enriching summer abroad.

There is so much to see, do, and experience in Europe! You will be able to see more of the world in one month than most people get to see in a lifetime. The Forum-Nexus summer itinerary capitalizes on all the best and most diverse places of European culture. A summer abroad with Forum-Nexus will be a guaranteed unforgettable summer.

 

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Special discount for Veterans!

We at Forum-Nexus Study Abroad recognize the commitment and sacrifice U.S. veterans have made for their country. We encourage veterans to pursue a study abroad experience, to enjoy an educational and recreational trip abroad, and are now offering a total of 5 scholarships to U.S. veterans who participate in the Forum Europe Summer 2015 program each worth a tuition-reduction of $1,750.

Eligibility Requirements:

·      Applicants must be an honorably discharged veteran

·      Applicants must participate in the Forum Europe Summer 2015 program, and have already applied prior to submission of scholarship application (there is no application fee)

·      Applicants must have a GPA of 2.8 or higher

Application Materials:

·      Completed application form

·      Resume

·      A letter of recommendation

·      A recent academic transcript

Application deadline: April 10, 2015

All application materials must be sent electronically to info@forum-nexus.com.

Academic transcripts must be official, issued by the applicant’s university. For more information on how to apply or questions, please send us an email to info@forum-nexus.com with the subject, “Veteran Scholarship.”

Forum Europe Summer 2015: 8 Cities in 1 Month is a unique study abroad opportunity in which students from around the world travel to 8 cities in 5 European countries in 1 month! Students have the opportunity to earn up to 9 credits, and courses are open to all majors. More information may be found at www.forum-nexus.com/summer2015.

*To receive the application form, please email us.*

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A day trip to Cinque Terre

Italy is commonly known for its beautiful cities – particularly Rome, Venice, and Florence. But there is another land, just west of La Speiza, hidden in the Italian Rivera; an area in Italy not to miss. The Cinque Terre, or “The Five Lands” is made up of five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare, All are full of life, culture, and beauty. Hiking trails, paths, boats, and trains connect these five Italian villages, which bring tourists into a world where they can feel taken back into an old Italian culture.

Brightly colored homes, hidden paths along streams and vineyards, and small local shops along the Italian coastline make for a relaxing, beautiful escape from reality. One could get lost in the quiet village of Corniglia, full  of small cobblestone alleyways, friendly faces, and shops filled with hand painted ceramics. Walking through the maze of small streets to the city center, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had gone back in time to an older Italy.  Leaving Cornigilia, via the trail known as “Sentiero Azzuro,” I was challenged to coastline trails winding in and out of changing terrains. After stopping for pictures in a few locations to capture the beautiful scenery, I arrived at Vernazza. I was stunned to see a town filled with restaurants along a mini boat-filled port, fresh seafood, wines, and a small waterfall emptying into the sea. Beach bums flock to rest on the rocks at the waterfall, in hopes of getting a beautiful Italian tan. Colorfully painted boats float on their buoys, leaving a picturesque setting as the sun shines brightly on the ocean. After finding the trail hidden between some shops to continue on the journey, a more difficult terrain left me exhausted and lost in an exhilarating trek. Ocean views high in the hills, rivers to cross, and waterfalls to soak in took me to the village of Monterosso al Mare. Here I found a larger village with several lounge chairs, volleyball nets, and bocce ball. The abundance of gelato and fresh seafood still leaves my mouth watering for the village of Monterosso al Mare. Friendly locals greeted me as I walked down the road to the village, high up on a hill. This was a great place to grab a bite, sit out in the sand, or take a dip in the ocean.  Carrying on to Riomaggiore, I came to a larger village where I grabbed a treat to sit amongst cobblestone steps and people watch. Sweet couples, fishermen, and children filled the small streets of Riomaggiore.  In just that short time, I felt very accustomed to the villages of Cinque Terre.

Whether you take a boat, train, or walk the trails to the villages, you will gain a deeper respect for the Italian culture when visiting Cinque Terre. Walking trails let you witness the locals’ way of living. By exploring trails behind small homes and crops, I was challenged with jumps over streams and ducking beneath fallen trees. Seeing the colorful homes in the distance on the way to the next village left me awestruck and curious about this quaint way of living. Cinque Terre is a beautiful and remarkable escape, a place everyone should see in his or her lifetime.

By: Jillian Peterson, Forum-Nexus alumnae

Jilian peterson

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The beauty and charm of Venice

Visiting Venice was my first day trip during the Forum-Nexus summer 2014 program. The train ride was 2 hours from Milan, but it was beautiful. The greenery was bright and vivid, and the farmland had an extra light to it compared to what I see in the States. You could tell the farmers were organized and on top of their work. In between the different valleys and farms, there were little towns to admire. Some were small with little houses, and some were big with multiple houses stacked up the hills.

When we finally arrived to the train station in Venice, we followed Hugo’s advice and walked to the right of the canal to get to the square. Everything about Venice was amazing. On our way to the square, we saw here little market kiosks lining the street. Some kiosks just had touristy things, while others had clothing and jewelry. We really enjoyed ourselves with all of the shopping! My favorite part of the city was that literally at every turn there was a canal. Some were big and some were small, but every canal had a bridge leading to a new section of town. People in Venice don’t use cars because of the smaller streets. The canals are their streets and boats are their cars. I think it’s very cool that their form of transportation to work or stores is either by foot or a boat.

After walking for about 45 minutes, we made it to the square. It was huge and had buildings with amazing architecture. The outskirts of the square were filled with restaurants and shops. We walked and shopped a little more and then found a place to eat. I had delicious pasta with oil and garlic, which was the perfect meal for lunch! Afterwards, we continued walking around the market areas before heading back to the station. We decided to take the opposite route back to the station, so that we could see as much of the city as possible – and that’s just what happened. By the time we got back to the station, we had walked a full circle around the city and some in between. Before getting on our train we grabbed some gelato and stopped to rested our feet. Visiting Venice  was an amazing shopping and sightseeing-filled day. I’m really happy that I decided to take a day trip during the program, and I think that the beauty and charm of Venice is  definitely something everyone should see in his or her lifetime!

By: Callan Chapman, Forum-Nexus 2014 Alumna

Callan Chapman

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A day in Florence, Italy

If you are ever given the opportunity to visit Florence, Italy, do not walk but RUN to this majestic city. Florence showcases all of Italy’s best qualities: art, food, hospitality, goods, and rich culture. Florence is an absolutely beautiful Italian city and my day trip there with fellow Forum-Nexus friends is an experience I will never forget.

After a short train ride from Bologna, a few friends and I arrived in Florence to begin our day of exploration. After a few blocks of walking we suddenly found ourselves emerged in the heart of Florence. Everywhere we looked there were old yet beautiful buildings which gave a very Renaissance feel. Little shops and cart markets were set up on nearly every street corner. Artists were sprinkled throughout the town selling their work. There was a unique sense of energy in the air. I knew it was going to be an unforgettable day of exposing myself to more incredible Italian culture.

Thanks to a few art history classes, I had my heart set on seeing a few historic sites such as the Bell Tower, Ponte Vecchio across the Arno river, and Florence Cathedral. Yes, Florence is home to the Statue of David but due to costs and wait time to see the figure, my group decided to spend our day seeing more of Florence.

The first group feat was Giotto’s Bell Tower. My friends and I bravely set out to climb the 414 steps to the very top of the Bell Tower. Climbing 414 steps in the middle of summer was definitely challenging. However, when we finally reached the top, the view was beyond rewarding. I was speechless as I gazed over the sprawling and colorful landscape of Florence. The great thing about the tower is that you can walk around the edge of the tower and see every angle of the city. It is truly the most beautiful view of Florence and forever a high point in my Forum-Nexus adventure. I encourage every future traveler to climb the Bell Tower, you won’t regret it!

Once we accomplished our climb we waltzed into a few shops and wandered around the city until our appetites got the best of us. We refueled at a cute and cozy Italian pizzeria. Florence has an abundance of casual restaurants to grub on amazing Italian cuisine; in fact, everywhere in Italy has great food, really.  Afterwards we went in search of gelato, *traveler tip: eat gelato after every meal in Italy to get the full Italian experience*. That’s when I discovered the “Festival del Gelato”. This fabulous shop held the most delicious gelato I’ve ever tried in my entire life. Plus, the shop was incredibly decorated and fun! It felt like a night club that served gelato. I would visit Florence again just to go back to Festival del Gelato, it’s that amazing!

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The rest of the day was spent gazing over the Arno river, visiting the town market square, and taking in all the art. A few particularly beautiful spots included the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi which features several sculptures.

Florence has so much to offer; beauty to the eye, culture to the mind, and entertainment to the soul. To get a sense of the history of Italy and culture, Florence is a prime spot. It’s far different from Milan, Venice, Bologna, and Rome but in the best ways. Though my time there was short, it was a blast! I’m looking forward to one day going back.

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