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International Education Week 2017

Happy International Education Week! We’re celebrating #IEW2017 all this week from November 13-17. Follow along as we celebrate and reflect on our 28 years of international education.

So what is International Education Week? The U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs defines it as: “An opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.”

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At Forum-Nexus, we believe in providing a first-class international educational experience to foster an appreciation for the richness of other cultures, by offering unique and life-changing summer programs that encourage the exchange of ideas with individuals from around the world, while creating a community of students (over 3,400 alumni in 28 years) with a passion for learning and exploring the world with an open mind.

We celebrate IEW because it enhances global awareness, develops leaders, facilitates personal growth, encourages cultural tolerance, and adds value to education that can’t be found in a textbook.

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A few Forum-Nexus alumni from the past several years shared what international education means to them and how it has impacted their lives. Here’s what they said:

“Although I’ve always been traveling around ever since I was young, studying abroad was a completely different experience. You don’t just get to experience different cultures through the places you visit, but you get to live with international students who expose you to even more cultures than you expected and of course make lifelong friends from all over the globe. International education is an enriching experience from which you learn how to become more accepting, tolerating, and understanding of different ideas, people, cultures, etc. It changes your perspective towards life!”  -Nadine K., FN 2011

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“ International education is important because being able to study with diverse people and thriving in that kind of environment gives students a boost in confidence that will help in achieving goals. Students are able to gain a new perspective on the world and appreciate the similarities and differences between them.” -Tahir K., FN 2017

“What I most enjoyed about my international experience is the bonds that I made with other students on the trip. I never thought that I would have friends all around the world and now I do. I have formed such authentic friendships with people I had only known from a month, but now they are family to me.” -Jonna F., FN 2016

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“My international education taught me classroom content and life skills. It gave me new perspectives, friends from around the world, and a chance to experience different cultures, customs, and environments. It has made me who I am today. I encourage students to study abroad because it is the perfect way to get an international education and all of the benefits that come with it.” – Gabriella L., FN 2012

“International education is important because we live in a world with a rapidly globalizing economy. It is important for everyone to have a general understanding of global cultures simply because of the economic effects that other countries have on every individual. A well-honed international education can also help to increase one’s ability to empathize, which is incredibly important in management or customer service positions.”  -Nick B., FN 2015

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“An international education program was one of the first things that made me interested in exploring the world; in learning how people from other cultures lived, and what was “normal” or “common” for them, that wasn’t for me. Our communities tend to take many things for granted: costumes, activities, and perspectives that were defined a long time ago in our cities become ingrained in our society and are never questioned again. That’s where learning about the way of living (in all matters) in other parts of the world help us reevaluate our own values and ideas, so we can make a choice not by repetitive patterns, but by consciously comparing and analyzing different perspectives on daily topics, so we can choose what’s best for us.” -Carlos T., FN 2010

“Studying abroad added a priceless value to my education. I wasn’t aware at how little I knew about the world until I went abroad. International education is vital to becoming and being a good global citizen. Now I find myself craving to learn more about different cultures, see different countries, and meet people unlike myself.”  -Alyssa F., FN 2014

“Honestly the first thing I think of when people ask me why study abroad is important is that it just makes you so happy. Every day is an adventure and you meet so many different people from all walks of life and they teach you such valuable life lessons. Over the 2 study abroad programs I’ve participated in, I’ve learned how to prioritize the important things in my life, eliminate the excess, chase my dreams, and just live the best possible life I can. And even now at home, rarely does a day go by when I don’t think of some hilarious study abroad moment and smile. Every day, I’m inspired by the memories I have from abroad.” -Deenpreet D., FN 2015

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An investment in international education is an investment in yourself. Don’t wait to pursue a highly educational and life-changing experience!

NOW ENROLLING: Forum Europe Summer 2018: 9 Cities in 1 Month. Apply today for FREE! For more information, visit forum-nexus.com.

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This is Forum Europe 2018!

We’re back for our 28th year of providing enriching, multi-country study abroad programs, and thrilled to announce our next program… Forum Europe Summer 2018: 9 Cities in 1 Month. Interested in studying abroad next summer? Here is the inside scoop on our upcoming life-changing program. For full program details, visit forum-nexus.com/summer2018 

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Destination 1: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Our full month in Europe kicks off with a 4-day stay in the heart of the Netherlands. Our staff will greet Forum-Nexus students at the Schiphol Airport, coordinate transfers to the hotel, and officially welcome everyone at the Opening Ceremony celebration that afternoon.

While in Amsterdam, you can visit the Van Gogh Museum, tour the Anne Frank House, or take bike or boat rides around the city. Students will begin their academic experience with classes and professional visits to leading global companies and international organizations unique to the Netherlands.

We dare you not to fall in love with the mesmerizing canals, unique architecture, kind locals, and rich history in Amsterdam.

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Destination 2: Paris, France

Together with Forum-Nexus staff and professors, the group will travel by high-speed train from Amsterdam to the center of French culture, politics, and business: Paris!

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During our 5-day stay in the capital of France, you will be able to visit the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and stroll along the banks of the Seine River and the famous Champs-Elysees. The week also include visits to prominent French companies and enriching class time.

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That weekend, there will be an Optional FN Day Trip the one and only Palace of Versailles. You are also welcome to take your own Independent Weekend Excursions to nearby London or Barcelona.

Destination 3: Geneva, Switzerland

Next, we’ll bid Paris “Au revoir” and board a private coach to the Swiss Alps. Our day trip to Geneva will be spent visiting top European organizations (United Nations and CERN), taking in the Swiss lakeside city, and finding the best chocolate. We love Geneva for its highly cosmopolitan feel and gorgeous scenery.

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Destination 4: Chamonix, France

After Geneva, breathtaking mountains, lakes, and forests will welcome our group to the resort town of Chamonix. For 4 days, you can unwind from big city life and get the opportunity to explore the beautiful French Alps.

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Classes will be held during the morning in the hotel’s conference center. The afternoons are free to explore local attractions and participate in several outdoor activities, at your leisure of course. The best part of our stay? Taking in the spectacular views of the snow-covered peaks of Mont Blanc.

Destination 5: Lugano, Switzerland

From Chamonix we depart on a day trip to the Lake District at the border of Italy and Switzerland. The first stop will be to the picturesque lakeside city of Lugano, an established center of business, banking, and higher education.

The group will visit the pristine campus of Franklin University Switzerland, a U.S.-accredited liberal arts university with a highly international student body.

Destination 6: Lake Como, Italy

We continue to the Italian city of Como, known for its picturesque waterfront, bustling piazzas, and prominent silk industry. You will have time to eat, explore, and learn about Como’s unique history. Our visit isn’t complete without gelato and a group picture by the lake!

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Destination 7: Milan, Italy

After a day spent by beautiful lakes, we will arrive in Milan, Italy’s proud capital of business, finance, and fashion. Get ready to shop and feast during our 3-day stay. Cultural highlights include the Duomo di Milano, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper” , and the designer district of Via Montenapoleone.

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On the weekend, you can participate in Optional FN Day Trips to Venice and/or Florence. Berlin and Prague are also easily accessible for an Independant Weekend Excursion.

Destination 8: Rome, Italy

Once our time in Milan wraps up, we’ll pack our bags and board a high-speed train to the eternal city of Rome! Known best for its unique culture, abundant history, and food, the following 5 days in Rome will be well spent. Get ready to check off the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, and more off your travel list.

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You can look forward to class sessions at the hotel and a professional visit to the headquarters of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

During the weekend, there will be an Optional FN Day Trip to the famous Island of Capri. For Independent Weekend Excursions, we suggest Athens or Santorini.

Destination 9: Rhodes, Greece

Our month of travels concludes with a 6-day long getaway to the beautiful Greecian Island of Rhodes. The group will stay at a 5-star beachside resort, attend classes in the resort’s conference center, and enjoy free time to explore the charming Old Town or relax at the beach. At the end of the week, you can look forward to a farewell dinner and diploma ceremony featuring traditional Greek food and music.

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During the week, there will be an Optional FN Day Trip to Lindos, which includes a visit to the stunning Acropolis overlooking the sea. Once Forum Europe 2018 concludes, you may fly back home or to their next destination.

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Are you ready to book your ticket to a life-changing summer? Apply online for free at www.forum-nexus.com. Submit your application before October 31 and save $1,200 on tuition cost!

For more information on Forum Europe Summer 2018, visit www.forum-nexus.com. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and check out our YouTube channel for more travel inspo and study abroad news.

 

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Q&A: Nick Bondy

Since 1990, Forum-Nexus has provided one-of-a-kind study abroad programs for 27 years to over 3,300 students and counting. Our team of faculty and staff is made up of internationally diverse, successful individuals who are all equally passionate about travel and education. For the next few months, we’ll be sharing Q&As with those who lead the FN team year-round.

We caught up with one of our Admissions Advisors to learn about his favorite moments from traveling with Forum-Nexus over the years, and how studying abroad has inspired him to pursue an international master’s degree. Get to know the adventurous and ambitious Nick Bondy… #ThisisForumNexus

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Courtesy of Nick Bondy

Q: Tell us about your background. In what cities and countries have you lived? Where did you study?

NB: I have lived in the Detroit Metro area of Michigan my entire life. I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in May of 2016 from the University of Detroit Mercy. I will be moving to Barcelona in the fall for the first leg of a traveling master’s program.

Q: How many times have you participated in FN programs?

NB: I have participated in the Forum-Nexus programs for 2 summers now. In 2015 I was a student assistant, and in 2016 I was a staff member. I am very excited to return for round 3 this summer!

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Q: What are your responsibilities as a FN staff member?

NB: As an Admissions Advisor, I am in charge of reaching out to interested students during the academic year. I answer questions about the program and share my experiences with them. I work with an Admissions Committee to recruit amazing students from around the world.

Q: What languages do you speak?

NB: I speak English fluently and I can speak Spanish at a conversational level; however, I try my best to learn the basics in every country that I visit. I can say please, thank you, hello, and cheers in about 10 languages!

Q: What do you find special about Forum-Nexus?

NB: Forum-Nexus is unique because it’s hyperactive! In just 5 weeks students are able to see some of the top travel destinations of the world while also taking relevant courses and earning valuable credits. Even our fearless leader Dr. Hugo Hervitz is extremely active; he keeps things very positive and very fun for everyone.

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Q: How does participating in FN help students with their future careers?

NB: Participation in FN adds depth to students’ abilities. It combines cross-cultural experience with higher education, building skills that many other students are unable to attain. On top of that, it lays the groundwork for a global network. Fellow students, staff, faculty, and our hosts at various universities and international companies are just some of the connections that FN students make and use to advance in their future careers.

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Q: Why are professional visits important for FN students?

NB: Professional visits are vital to the FN experience! Our professional visits are one of the coolest things that our program has to offer. The ability for students to see exactly what an international education can do for them is key. It allows them to not just see the potential for their future, but for the future of globalization itself.

Q: Which are your favorite cities in the FN itinerary and why?

NB: One of my favorite cities of all time is Barcelona. I actually went to Spain for the first time in high school with my Spanish class. Barcelona is amazing to me because there is so much youth but also so much history. Not to mention there is a very large skateboarding scene, which I am a fan of. Chamonix is also absolutely breathtaking to me. I love the outdoors, so the opportunity to hike and enjoy nature during the program was an awesome surprise for me.

Q: What is your favorite activity you did as a FN student?

NB: When I was a student with Forum-Nexus, my absolute favorite activity was participating in a professional visit to the United Nations. I never imagined myself visiting the UN headquarters in Geneva! I was absolutely astounded when we walked through the halls and saw all of the huge conference rooms.

And as a staff member this past summer, I really enjoyed hiking in Chamonix, seeing waterfalls, gorges, and taking in the mountain views, which was a very nice break between the big cities.

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Courtesy of Nick Bondy

 Q: What is your advice to future FN students on how to benefit the most from their study abroad experience?

NB: My best advice for fully benefitting from your experience with Forum-Nexus is to pause and reflect every few days or so to put the things you’re experiencing into perspective. This will help you fully understand what you can do with your international education.

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Q: What is one “life lesson” you’ve learned from your time with FN?

NB: One of the primary lessons that I have learned from my experiences with FN is to go with the flow; whether that means to fit into whatever culture you’re immersed in during any given time, or to deal with situations as they arise. This is an attitude that FN has caused me to adopt, and has allowed me to be a much more positive and independent person.

 Q: How many countries have you traveled to?

NB: I have traveled to 10 countries including the U.S. and Canada. I currently have a goal to hit 50 countries by the end of 2018.

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Courtesy of Nick Bondy

 Q: Where do you want to travel to next?

NB: I am working on plans to travel to Amsterdam this summer, but there aren’t too many places that are not on my list!

For more information on our upcoming programs, visit www.forum-nexus.com. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out our blog and YouTube channel.

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Destination 9: This is the Island of Rhodes!

Last but not least, we end our city spotlight series with the final destination on the Forum Europe 2017 itinerary: Rhodes, Greece! Want to experience all 9+ cities yourself this summer? Join us!

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After saying “ciao!” to Rome, Forum-Nexus will hop on a plane headed south to trade the bustle of mainland life for island time on the magical Island of Rhodes, Greece.

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 Greece is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world; Google a few pictures of any Greek island and it’s easy to see why. Besides the scenery, Greece is deeply loved for the friendly locals, incredible food, and overall affordability.

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The Island of Rhodes holds all of the charm Greece is famous for: Deep blue seas, medieval towns, white houses scattered among the rolling hills, sprawling beaches, and endless breathtaking views. The island is located in the very eastern part of the Greek islands; in fact, you can see the mountains of Turkey from the shores of Ixia Beach!  Rhodes isn’t as touristy or as populated as other Greek destinations, which is a nice change of pace after 4 weeks of jam-packed fun.

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We really do save the best for last! See how our students from last summer spent their time exploring Rhodes in this recap.

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During the final 6 days of the program, the group will stay reside ocean-side at the magnificent Sheraton Rhodes Resort. Students will attend their last classes before taking final exams, explore the island, unwind by the resort pool or Aegean Sea, have the opportunity to explore nearby town Lindos on an Optional FN Day Trip, and celebrate the end of the summer at FN’s iconic farewell party + graduation ceremony. To say the least, the week will be a perfect way to conclude an unforgettable summer abroad.

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Is Greece on your travel bucket list? Now is the time to check it off!

Follow along on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about this one-of-a-kind city and our summer 2017 program.

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Destination 8: This is Rome!

Our second to last city spotlight is upon us and our trip to Europe is weeks away! Still haven’t locked down plans for this summer? There are a handful of spots left on the Forum Europe Summer 2017 program… 9 European cities, transferable college credits, friends from all over the world, professional networking opportunities, and memories to last a lifetime; why not take the leap? Apply for FREE here.

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Once our time exploring Northern Italy wraps up, Forum-Nexus will catch a high speed train to one of the world’s most beloved and ancient cities, the glorious Rome, Italy.

Known for its deep history, iconic landmarks, and proud culture, Rome is everything great you’ve heard it to be and so much more. The capital of Italy is often known as home to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, neighbor to Vatican City, film location to The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and as the former Roman Empire.

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Watch all the magic that Rome holds in this recap of our week spent there last summer!

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Why do Forum-Nexus students love Rome so much? Because there is so much to do! Rome is brimming with awesome sites, people to meet, and food to eat. Seriously, there is a monument and eatery on every corner. Five days will go by in a flash! Students can look forward to spending their time exploring the city( on their own and on group walking tours), attending classes, participating in a professional visit to the FAO, and having nonstop fun. On the weekends, students are invited to take an optional FN day trip the incredible Pompeii ruins, the Vesuvius Volcano, and Naples.

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Sound too good to be true? Allora, come along and see for yourself this summer. The Eternal City is waiting to win you over; this is Rome, Italy!

 Follow along on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about this one-of-a-kind city and our summer 2017 program.

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Summer 2017 Study Abroad Packing Guide

There’s nothing like a summer abroad in Europe, including the adventure of packing for a trip that is several weeks in length. We put together a packing guide, tailored to the Forum Europe Summer 2017: 9 Cities in 5 Weeks program, and recommended by longtime FN staffers. This list promotes light, efficient packing for hot to mild climates and everything in between. Feel free to customize this list of recommendations to your own personal needs and comforts. More packing tips and tricks to come!

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Europe Essentials

 Clothing:

-Casual attire for sightseeing, traveling, nightlife
-Casual professional attire for class
-Business casual attire for professional visits (recommended 5-8 outfits)
-Cocktail attire for graduation ceremony in Rhodes
-Active wear for swimming, hiking, exercising, etc.
-Comfortable walking shoes
-Comfortable dress shoes
-Sneakers
-1 light jacket *bring a rain jacket for multi-purpose wear

 Insider tip: 30 days on the road does not mean that 30 different outfits are needed. Mix and match clothes and pack light! Laundromats are available in each destination – use them to your advantage!

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Toiletries:

-tooth brush & toothpaste
-hair brush/comb
-razor/shaving cream
-contact/glasses care
-Advil/Tylenol and any prescriptions
-hair styling tools (straightener, curling iron)

Insider tip: There is a hair dryer in every hotel available by request
-shampoo/conditioner
-body wash
-feminine products, if applicable

 Insider tip: Most toiletries will be available at local markets and stores. Save room and buy the essentials once you make it to the first destination.

 Class supplies:

-One notebook/binder with paper
-Writing utensils (pens, pencils, highlighters)
-Required textbooks

Insider tip: A laptop/tablet is recommended but not absolutely necessary

Miscellaneous:

-Converters/adapters for all electronic items
-Chargers for electronics
-Euros  *We recommend bringing 150-200 euros upon arrival
-One bag/backpack and/or purse
-Passport
-Copies of credit cards, IDs, etc.

 Non-essential, but useful items

-A small fold-up umbrella
-Fold-up plastic bag for grocery shopping
-Sunscreen
-Sunglasses
-A hat for shade while walking around and sightseeing
-Hand sanitizer
-Camera
-Neck pillow for travel (insider recommendation)
-Portable charger/battery pack
-Travel journal
-Laundry detergent packets (can be purchased at markets)
-iPod/MP3 player
-Water bottle for refilling

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Packing hacks:

-roll clothing, instead of folding
-pack clothing items that are easy to mix and match
-place the heaviest items at the bottom (nearest to wheels) of the suitcase to properly balance weight
-leave 10-25% of your suitcase empty – depending on how much you plan to shop
-Bring a small Febreze bottle or dryer sheets to keep items in suitcase smelling fresh
-Hygienic items can be purchased at any time during the trip. Some things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. are provided by hotels.
-Keep essential items in your carry-on bag

Keep in mind…

-Most airlines have strict baggage policies. Check with each booked airline before packing/buying extra items to bring home.
-Each Forum-Nexus students is permitted one suitcase and one “carry-on” bag
-Pack light! You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Suitcase: Maximum length: 26″ (66 cm), Maximum width: 20″ (51 cm), Maximum height: 12′ (30 cm). Combined length + width + height cannot exceed 40″ (102 cm). The weight should not exceed 40 lbs (9 kg).

Carry-on: Combined length + width + height cannot exceed 40″ (102 km). The weight should not exceed 20 lbs (9 kg).

 Happy packing! Europe, here we come.

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Q&A: Carlos Trevino

Since 1990, Forum-Nexus has provided one-of-a-kind study abroad programs for 27 years to over 3,300 students and counting. Our team of faculty and staff is made up of internationally diverse, successful individuals who are all equally passionate about travel and education. For the next few months, we’ll be sharing Q&As with those who lead the FN team year-round.

We chatted with our Director of Admissions and Operations to hear why he supports international education,  learn about his role at Forum-Nexus, and catch a glimpse of his travel-infused life. Meet the one and only Carlos Trevino…  #ThisisForumNexus!We chatted with our Director of Admissions and Operations to hear why he supports international education,  learn about his role at Forum-Nexus, and catch a glimpse of his travel-infused life. Meet the one and only Carlos Trevino…  #ThisisForumNexus!

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Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Q: Tell us about your background. In what cities and countries have you lived? Where did you study?

CT: I was born and raised in Monterrey, a city in northern Mexico, where I studied at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. I majored in Electronic Systems because I always loved math and engineering. I started working as a programmer in a steel company, while also doing some freelancing on web programming at night. Eventually I quit my day job to become a freelancer and moved to Barcelona to explore new worlds. Besides those two cities, I have lived in Edinburgh (Scotland), Martinique (a French island in the Caribbean), and Mexico City, where I currently live.

Q: How many times have you participated in FN programs?

CT: I started working with FN more than 10 years ago, and I’ve traveled with the program in Europe 6 times so far.

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Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Q: What are your responsibilities as a FN staff member?

CT: I serve as director of admissions and operations. I work with our excellent team of admissions counselors, all of whom are former FN students! I coordinate our marketing campaigns and I’m responsible for the FN website. During the program in Europe, I supervise our staff and interns on everything related to accommodations and logistics, making sure both students and professors have everything they need in order to have a great experience!

Q: What languages do you speak?

CT: My native language is Spanish, I’m proficient in English, and I know some French (almost enough to get by!)

Q: What do you find special about Forum-Nexus? About FN students?

CT: Our program attracts students who are eager to discover the world and embrace new cultures. The entire Forum-Nexus family (students, professors, and staff) is very international and made up of individuals who are always thrilled about new cultures and in a state of constant learning and constant appreciation of the amazing beauty of the world. And that’s the special thing about Forum-Nexus: we strive to give a glimpse of that type of life, that perspective, to young students, in just one month. We show them a tiny bit of the infinite marvels of the world, expressed through cultures and landscapes around the globe. And we love it when we see that awe in FN students, when they go from being somewhat apprehensive in Barcelona (the first city in the program) to feeling more and more comfortable as world travelers as the program advances from city to city, from country to country. They are far away from home but they start feeling “at home” exploring cities and villages and mountains in new and exotic places.

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Q: How does participating in FN help students with their future careers?

CT: The FN program opens their minds to cultural differences, to the abundance of alternative ideas, customs, and lifestyles that exist around the world, and it makes them eager to learn all about them. This enriches the students’ perspectives and ideas. It allows them to assess their own culture, customs, and behaviors in a more mature way and develop more respect and empathy towards people who are different. This is very useful for their personal development and certainly for their professional development. Employers have a growing appreciation for young professionals with international and multicultural experience, and who have the skills and empathy to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. In some cases, the cultural eye-opening process encouraged by Forum-Nexus makes students consider significant changes to their career plans.

Q: Why are professional visits important for FN students?

CT: Professional visits give students a first-hand experience of what the professional world looks like, and feels like. It gives them amazing insights into how multinational corporations and international organizations operate. It shows them the kind of knowledge they’ll be applying, and which skills are required for each field. And all of this happens from country to country, so they get to understand the differences of the work culture between Spain, France, Italy, and other countries.

Q: Which are your favorite cities in the FN itinerary and why?

CT: Well, it’s not a fair question, since I lived in Barcelona for 9 years and I really love the city! But I also love the peace and spirituality of hiking in the mountains of Chamonix, and the beauty and beaches of Rhodes. I’m crazy about Paris, and I really like Milan, too!

Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Q: What is your advice to future FN students on how to benefit the most from their study abroad experience?

CT:  Arrive with an open mind. Get into the mindset of, “I am going to have an amazing summer, experience new foods, meet new people, and learn so many new things. Bring it on!”.  Keep your eyes, mind, and heart open and appreciate everything new you encounter, or anything that is different than what you are used to. Don’t be judgmental. Instead, watch, learn, experience, and most of all, enjoy every little thing you are about to run into.

Q: What is one “life lesson” you’ve learned from your time with FN?

CT: Humans are unique and amazing. It’s thrilling to meet someone who grew up in a different culture, with different values and customs, and connect on a personal level, enjoy similar things, and find what’s common between the two of you, or what’s different, and why. It’s lovely to see how each person values and enjoys different but also similar things.

For more information on our upcoming programs, visit www.forum-nexus.com. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out our blog and YouTube channel.

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