Category Archives: Travel Tips

SUMMER ABROAD

Summer Abroad Packing Guide

The countdown to Forum Europe Summer 2018 is on!

6

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.

Soft Edit WM-IMG_8405

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

Soft Edit WM-_MG_2465

How to Pack

- Each student is permitted one suitcase and one side bag. Weight and height guidelines are:
Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 10.59.51 PM

- 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!

TITLE

A Guide to Study Abroad Scholarships & Financial Aid 2018

If you have your sights set on spending your sweet summertime abroad, then you’ve found the right program. We’re headed to 9 European cities and 5 countries at the end of June. Want to join but are tight on funds? Let us help you get there!

4

Trust us when we say that there is a ton of study abroad scholarships out there, it just needs to be claimed. Here is a complete resource guide that you can use to fund Forum Europe Summer 2018:

1) The Forum-Nexus Scholarship Program

This new scholarship program was launched to give highly motivated students the chance to study abroad, no matter their financial situation. For our final round of March scholarships, we’re awarding 12 study abroad scholarships between $500-$5,000 to students from the U.S. and other countries.

To apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be accepted into the Forum Europe Summer 2018 program, session A1
  • Be currently enrolled at a college/university
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Receive financial aid at your home institution

The final deadline to apply is March 31. Be one of our 12 recipients! More information here.

Soft Edit WM-IMG_5627

2) The Forum-Nexus Assistantship Program

It feels like an internship, but the trade-off is a scholarship instead of course credit, and less academic-based activities.

How it works: Students get to be a part of our summer team by working directly with Forum-Nexus staff and faculty in exchange for a tuition-reduction scholarship. The program typically involves 150 hours to be completed before, during, and after the summer. Student Assistants (SAs) typically receive a tuition-reduction scholarship of  $1,500. It’s the most fun and rewarding program we offer!

Details about the requirements and the application process are available here.

Soft Edit WM-IMG_6190

3) The Forum-Nexus Refer-A-Friend Program

Calling all creative and entrepreneurial applicants – this program is for you! Students can offset program costs by successfully referring other students to Forum-Nexus.*

You can refer:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Classmates
  • Fraternity brothers/sorority sisters
  • Dormmates
  • Fellow organization members
    The list goes on!

Best part? Each additional referral earns you more $. Check out the discount here.
*Note that referral discounts are awarded when a student officially enrolls in the program.

Soft Edit WM-IMG_9214

4) Financial Aid from your University

Good news: In most cases, you will be able to use financial aid from your university (merit or need-based scholarships or grants) toward the costs of a Forum-Nexus program. We recommend talking with your financial aid advisor to learn about the policies and requirements at your school. If you have any questions, contact us for help.

5) Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education

So you need a little extra funding – no worries! FYI: You may have the option to apply for Federal Student Aid from the U.S. Department of Education (aka FAFSA) to help pay for a Forum-Nexus summer. One of our partner institutions, Franklin University Switzerland, is also accredited in the U.S. and can be referenced for this process. Get more details here.

For further information, visit the Financial Aid office of your school and review the FAFSA web page.

6) Crowdfunding

If you’re on social media, you know that crowdfunding is a trendy and effective way to raise money. Let your family, friends, and followers know about your dream to study abroad! We guarantee that they will be more than willing to help.

Start by crafting your story; make it compelling and memorable. You can make a short video explaining why you want to study abroad or give them a glimpse of what Forum-Nexus is all about.

Sites to help you get started: GoFundMe, KickStarter, or fundmytravel.

7) Other Funding/Scholarship Options

Bonus: We accept most forms of external funding and scholarships!

There are numerous organizations that offer $$$ to help students cover the expenses of their study abroad experience. We recommend looking for funding opportunities on the following sites:

If you need additional information or guidance to complete any of these scholarship applications, please contact us at info@forum-nexus.com.

Happy applying, and best of luck in your study abroad scholarship hunt!

 

IMG_4664

Home, Sweet Chamonix

Chamonix was by far my favorite city visited during my summer with Forum-Nexus. I enjoyed being outside, hiking and loved the easygoing atmosphere. This town was very laid-back and athletic, and I felt as if it paralleled my personality perfectly. Many mornings when I woke up to go for a run, there were several people awake and active. Most people were waiting in line to buy tickets or getting ready for a hike.

courtney2

Courtesy of Victoria C.

The town of Chamonix is absolutely gorgeous; it felt like a fantasyland. From every angle of the town, I was able to see the snowy peak and beautiful mountains. Chamonix is also extremely quaint and has several little alleyways. The town is really well-structured and I liked the spacing of the buildings. I was able to go on a cable car all the way up to the top of the mountain. This was my favorite day of the trip! I got amazing pictures and the view was breathtaking. My friends and I were able to get drinks at the top of the mountain, which was really cool. I was also able to go on a four-hour hike and saw the waterfall and the glacier. This day was also amazing and I loved getting a good workout in. The hotel also allowed us to rent bikes which was really cool.

IMG_1584

Courtesy of Victoria C.

Chamonix also happened to have my favorite food while being on the trip. I ate at Big Horn Bistro Restaurant and the Monkey Bar. Both restaurants had a great salad that I craved throughout the rest of the trip. I was able to eat crepes and really good gelato, too. Oddly, they also had the best nachos. I felt as if Chamonix food had several American options. Not to sound basic, but I feel like that was one of the reasons I loved Chamonix – I felt as if I was home.

courtney

Courtesy of Victoria C.

After exploring Chamonix, I learned that most locals speak English and that the town thrives on tourism. Every local told me I needed to come back in the winter to ski and climb the mountain. The locals were extremely friendly and informative, which is one of the reasons I loved the town so much! I recommend to future FN students that they devote a day to just explore the city and figure out there way around. There is so much the city has to offer and dozens of little-hidden restaurants and stores. I also highly recommend going on the cable cars and hiking the mountain.

By:  Victoria C., Forum-Nexus 2017 Alumna

IG-27

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!

21055066_1980869118792763_1626020411542808896_o

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.

10322595_10153054027191632_2201577220456728078_n

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!

19477752_10154551389852633_3361809817050314253_o

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.

Summer2016-451
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.

19693682_10154568889007633_2639596981329919334_o

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.

13653452_10153622439247633_6353805852030974977_o

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.

QA4

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

neek

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!

IMG_0697-401

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.

IMG_3265-2171

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.

11879208_10153034398767633_8448087118193416837_o

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.

11700857_10154119785771632_3962867735518494254_o

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.

10658856_10153220419402633_7223446303683309211_o

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.

13692874_10155082889766632_1162247150465955513_o

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.

paris.

Twit- 5

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!

CC12

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.

Rhodes2

 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.

Rhodes1

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.

rhodes3

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

12370688_10153220419672633_1545628200165999721_o

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.

IMG_5923-331

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.

13919990_10153678550057633_6213390308250191069_o

 

Rome

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.

IMG_5254-2311

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.

Romanruins

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

IMG_5527-2481

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.

 IMG_5694-2671

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.

IMG_5311-2401