Category Archives: Academic and Professional Benefits

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Finding Inspiration at France 24

I’ve enjoyed several of the professional visits with Forum-Nexus, so it is difficult to choose an absolute favorite. For various reasons that I’ll explain, my favorite visit was to France 24. France 24 is an international news corporation that broadcasts in several languages and mediums, including both the Western and Eastern spheres. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into the visit, but I emerged feeling more enlightened and purposeful about my studies and my work than I had before. As for my own backstory, I graduated from Creighton University last year with English and journalism degrees; additionally, the entirety of my past work experience has been within marketing, communications, and editorial internships, so it was fascinating to witness in person how a major newsroom operates, as well as learn the various facets of the company.

Soft Edit WM-IMG_9722France 24’s initial presentation was relevant not only to my general interests but also to my experience within the journalism field and my journalism classes during undergrad. France 24’s multilingual, multicultural approach was especially interesting to me, and I found myself asking our guide by the end of the tour what would hypothetically give a new applicant an edge over other candidates. As the tour went on, I could easily envision myself working in that environment, which excited me—that is, as long as I learned to fluently speak French beyond the very little I currently know. While economics and business are interesting to me as an outside perspective, France 24 was one professional visit that directly applied to my own experiences and aspirations. Furthermore, our tour guide was kind, thorough, and informative, walking us through the various elements of the company within several departments and levels. We got to peek into rooms with control panels as well as some of the informational centers in which story assignments go out. It was intriguing to see the endless elements that go into producing reliable new content, whether that be from technical, editorial, or communicational angles. The experience overall was a neat convergence of broadcast, technological, and editorial efforts.

I think I was mostly taken aback by the company’s immensity and complexity in its operations. Other than the tiny newsroom for my university paper, I’ve never seen the workings of a newsroom firsthand, so the tour and presentation definitely expanded my interest in some of the present functions of journalism, as well as its current and future trajectory. Journalism and communications are rapidly metamorphosing fields, requiring consistent functional alteration within companies and businesses. It was interesting to see France 24’s means of keeping pace with ever-changing communication mediums—as well as their means of connecting to various audiences across various countries, within rural or urban areas.

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As for my personal experience, I’ve worked pretty much unilaterally toward my Masters in English for the last year, prompting me to neglect some of my journalistic work and interests. France 24 reignited my passion for journalism, and acutely reminded me why I studied and worked in the field in the first place; I found myself considering several times throughout the professional visit the various post-graduate jobs and careers I could pursue within journalism or communications. As I previously mentioned, France 24’s dialectical multiplicity was a key point of interest, as well as their current endeavors to expand that international presence. Ultimately, I would like to work in a company similar to France 24 at some point in the near future, even if only for a little while—even if only for the rush and experience of it all.

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Courtesy of Claire M.

By:  Claire M., Forum-Nexus 2017 Alumna

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Q&A: Alyssa Fronk

Since 1990, Forum-Nexus has provided one-of-a-kind study abroad programs for 28 years to over 3,400 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. Follow along as we share Q&As with those who lead the FN team year-round.

We continue our staff spotlights with Social Media Manager & Admissions Counselor Alyssa Fronk. Fun fact: Her first trip abroad was with Forum-Nexus! Read about her personal study abroad experience, what she recommends for future FN students, and learn what she does in her role with Forum-Nexus. Meet our resident millennial… #ThisisForumNexus!

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Courtesy of Laura Alvarez

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

AF: I’ve been U.S. based my entire life – so far! I was born in New York, but grew up in North Carolina. I attended UNC Charlotte where I majored in Mass Media Communication, and now reside in Charlotte post-grad.

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

AF: Wow… four now?! I attended Forum-Nexus for the first time in 2014 as a student and have been back every year since to serve as a staff member. Obviously it’s the best program ever because I can’t stay away.

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Courtesy of Alyssa Fronk

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

AF: Year-round I serve as the Social Media Manager: I’m the human behind the FN Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Google+, LinkedIn, and blog– give us a follow! In addition to that, I’m also an Admissions Counselor for students in the U.S.

During the summer program, you can find me coordinating operations with our awesome crew and running around Snapchatting everything, lol.

Q: What languages do you speak?

AF: For now, I only speak English, but Dr. Hervitz (Hugo) has inspired me to pick up another language – which I plan to do!

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

AF: Forum-Nexus is more than a study abroad program. It’s truly a life-changing experience and an amazing community to be a part of. I love that we are made up of people from all over the world with different backgrounds, lifestyles, beliefs, etc. but we are all bonded by a love for travel and interest to learn about other cultures. Also, we all know how to have fun. I’ve had the best four summers of my life thanks to Forum-Nexus.

I really admire all of the FN students. Everyone is genuinely interesting and accomplished in their own way. Meeting different people from all over the world is the most special aspect of Forum-Nexus.

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

AF: Forum-Nexus is a kickstarter of careers and professional development. Students who study abroad are usually more open-minded, better communicators, willing to work with different cultures, and natural self-motivators. FN summers are fast-paced and extremely enriching, which is a huge takeaway for students post-summer. I don’t know a student who hasn’t left their FN summer inspired to chase their dreams and goals.

Q: Why are professional visits important for FN students?

AF: The professional visits are so important and really make Forum-Nexus stand out in excellence compared to other study abroad programs. The opportunity to meet with top employees of world-renowned organizations/businesses in your twenties is almost unheard of. The professional exposure is beneficial for networking, career inspiration, and to of course learn about international businesses.

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

AF: Amsterdam is a new addition to the 2018 itinerary and I’m so excited for future students to be able to experience that whimsical city! I’ve visited in past summers and have always enjoyed my time there. I also love Chamonix; there is a reason alumni and staff members talk about it all the time. There’s no place like it! But make no mistake, all of the cities on the itinerary are lovely.

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

AF: A few things…

  1. Climbing up the Eiffel Tower. This was actually an accident because I stood in the wrong line, but it’s so much cooler to be able to say that I climbed up the tower.

  2. Hanging out at the top of Mount Le Brévent in Chamonix. Words don’t even do it justice. If I could physically share that experience with everyone, I would.

  3. Cove hopping on a boat in Greece. Full disclosure, I did this as a staff member after the program ended this past summer, but it was a bucket list moment for me.

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

AF: Come with an open mind, ready to step out of your comfort zone, and try new things. Specifically, try to befriend another student of a different culture/background than you and someone who isn’t similar to your friends back home. My FN friends are some of my most cherished relationships. We’re all very different and have learned, and continue to learn, from each other.

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

AF: To never think that your own culture/country/way of life is the “best.” There’s no such thing and it’s not a competition. That mindset is narrow and shallow; we have so much to learn about people of other cultures that can better our perspective of life.

Q: How many countries have you traveled to?

AF: I have marked 9 countries off my list so far: Germany, Ireland, England, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Greece.  Many more to go!

Courtesy of Alyssa Fronk

Courtesy of Alyssa Fronk

Q: Where do you want to travel to next?

AF: I would love to explore Canada soon and visit a handful of Asian countries during my twenties. And now I have dozens of study abroad friends spread out all over the world to visit!
Ready to book your ticket to a life-changing summer abroad? Apply today for FREE at forum-nexus.com.

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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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