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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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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