Category Archives: Travel Tips for Europe

SUMMER ABROAD

Summer Abroad Packing Guide

The countdown to Forum Europe Summer 2018 is on!

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Preparing for a month (or longer) abroad may seem challenging, but don’t sweat it! Here is a guide for seamless packing, recommended by Forum-Nexus alumni. Feel free to customize this list to your own personal needs and preferences.

The Essentials

  • Clothing
    - Casual attire for sightseeing and traveling
    - Casual professional attire for class
    - Business casual attire for professional visits
    - Clothing for occasional cooler weather (ex: 1-2 pants, 1-2 sweaters or long sleeve shirts)
    - One nice outfit for the graduation ceremony in Rhodes
    - Active attire for swimming, exercising, etc.
    - Comfortable walking shoes
    - Comfortable dress shoes
    - Athletic shoes
    - Undergarments
    - Socks
    - 1 light jacket (consider a rain jacket for multi-purpose ware)

Pro-tip: There are laundromats in all host cities to wash clothing

  • Toiletries
    - Toothbrush and toothpaste
    - Brush/comb
    - Advil or Tylenol and any prescriptions
    - Razor/shaving cream
    - Hair products/hair styling tools*
    - Shampoo/conditioner**
    - Body wash**
    - Sunscreen
    - Feminine products

Pro-tip: Toiletries will be available at local markets and stores. Save room and pack light!
*Most hotels offer hair dryers
**All hotels offer travel-sized shampoo/conditioner and body wash/soap

  • Class supplies
    - One notebook or binder with paper
    - Writing utensils
    - Required textbooks
    - Pre-Program Assignment, printed to submit on the first day of class

Miscellaneous

- Converters/adapters for all electronic items
- Chargers for electronics
- Money converted to Euros (we recommend bringing 200-250 Euro to start with, and using an ATM for additional transactions once in Europe)
- Main credit/debit card and a backup card
- Passport
- Scanned copies of credit cards, IDs, passport, etc.

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Non-Essential Items to Consider Packing

- A small fold-up umbrella
- Fold-up plastic or cloth bag for grocery shopping
- Sunglasses
- 1 hat for shade while walking around and sightseeing
- Laptop/Tablet/iPad recommended for classwork and personal use
- Hand sanitizer
- Camera
- Neck pillow for travel
- Portable charger/battery pack
- Water bottle for refilling
- Travel journal
- Headphones
- Laundry detergent packets

Pro-tip: Many of these items can found at most markets and stores in host cities.

Our Favorite Travel Items

- External battery, for portable phone and smart device charging
- Water bottle with filter
- Converter/Adapters
- Microfiber towel, perfect for beach/day trips
- Instant photo camera
- Travel umbrella
- Sturdy travel gear

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How to Pack

- Each student is permitted one suitcase and one side bag. Weight and height guidelines are:
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- It’s best to roll items tightly to conserve as much space as possible. Start with bulky items like pants and jackets, roll them up, and place those items at the bottom of your bag, followed by lighter items on top.
- Save room for souvenirs and gifts to bring back home.
- The best tip we can offer? Pack light! You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
The adventure of a lifetime awaits you. Feel free to reach out to any Forum-Nexus staff member for additional questions or recommendations. Happy packing!

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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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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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Destination 7: This is Lake Como!

After an exciting and culture-packed weekend in Milan, Forum-Nexus will head off to one of the most cheerful lake towns in Europe. Nestled in the foothills of the Lombardy region in Northern Italy, destination seven brings us to the infamous Lake Como!

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Known for its favor among Hollywood stars (George Clooney, Madonna, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone), Lake Como’s natural glamour, elegant villas, and colorful towns have made it a standout destination of Italy. The scenes are jaw-dropping, the food is divine, and the locals are kind; simply, it’s all of Italy’s best features in one sweet city.

Sound too good to be true? Picture yourself exploring Como the Forum-Nexus way this summer.

The first part of this day trip is reserved for a guided group walking tour of Lake Como, featuring beautiful city gems. Students will get to see iconic churches and buildings, and learn about the fascinating history of the local silk industry. Once the tour concludes, students are free to roam the edge of the lake for tasty lunch spots and optional shopping. (Pro-tip: The water and rolling hills make a gorgeous backdrop for photos.) Afterwards, the group will head off to destination number eight, up next on our city spotlight series!

This world-renowned lakeside city is waiting to win you over; this is Lake Como, Italy!

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

Courtesy of Julia Ryan

Courtesy of Julia Ryan