Tag Archives: FAO


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.


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.


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


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.


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.



How visiting the FAO of Rome re-inspired my career goals

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) branch in Rome was my favorite professional visit with Forum-Nexus because I think that working there would be a dream come true. I really admire the goals and objectives the UN has and how it promotes cooperation between countries to solve problems. Their motto is to, “Achieve food security for all… to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.” The Food and Agriculture department of the UN is extremely important because it is combating world hunger, which is a huge controversial issue. Any individual who works at FAO knows that they are making a difference in the world and that their job has a real purpose.


Just the FAO campus itself was extremely impressive. The amount of large conference rooms was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  I really enjoyed learning about how each country gets to design its own office and make it unique to its culture. Cooperation was clearly represented throughout the campus through the presentation of multiple flags all over conference rooms and multiple interpreters speaking 6 different languages, symbolizing that language is a barrier that will not keep nations apart.

During the visit I learned a lot about how the UN works together with large corporations to try to end world hunger. Prior to the visit, I assumed that the UN would fight against big food companies due to their poor nutrition content, use of GMO’s, and greedy reputations. I was definitely surprised by what I learned, but it made sense that it is better for individuals to have low-quality food than no food at all. Due to the amount of money and power these large corporations have, the UN needs to work together with them if they have any hope of solving this world hunger issue. I also learned how much influence money has over the food industry. Subsidies in the U.S affect the industry immensely. Honestly, I was unaware that the UN had a Food and Agricultural branch before participating in Forum-Nexus. I actually knew very little about the UN in general. After these two visits (the human rights branch in Geneva and the Food and Agriculture branch in Rome) I feel much more knowledgeable on how our world works together to combat huge issues. As Hugo, the director of Forum-Nexus, would say, my “International IQ” has increased significantly thanks to these visits!

This professional visit is extremely applicable to my area of study because business is all about cooperation and having meetings to solve issues and get work done. The UN Food and Agriculture branch functions just as a business does to solve issues. When running a business, the goal is always to be as efficient as possible. The Food and Agriculture Organization is always brainstorming to find faster and better ways to provide healthy food to more people, just as a business is always coming up with new ways to make their product better and cheaper. FAO also stresses the importance of cooperation with different countries and cultures. In my business career, I will most likely at some point have to work together with people of different backgrounds to solve problems. I would love to work for a corporation like the United Nations and fight for world issues that I’m passionate about so much so that I am going to look into their intern program for next summer. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations truly left a lasting impression on me and has motivated me to have a career in which I am helping people and making this world a better place, for us and for generations to come.

By: Liz Hawkins, 2015 Forum-Nexus alumna

Elizabeth Hawkins (LIZ) 2


Visiting FAO of the United Nations

Professional visits with Forum-Nexus help students gain a real-world perspective of international organizations operating on a global scale. As an individual who has received over five years of experience in applying theoretical applications to real world situations, I found the professional visits realistic and educational. Specifically, the visits to the United Nations and partnering organizations were the most enlightening for me. I also gained a deep insight from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

As a Ph.D. student, I have spent sufficient time in deciding a specific field to become an expert in. Through my journey of higher education, I have established a passion for policy-making in the government sector. As an official candidate on the 2014 general election ballot for the state of Ohio Representative of District 10, I naturally found curiosity in the United Nations. The FAO grasped my attention in relevance to one of my campaign platforms – which focuses on decreasing Cleveland’s hunger percentage, poverty level (32% of the population is below the poverty line), and food insecurity (of the 32%, elderly and families make up 79% of those who are seeking assistance with securing food) (U.S. Conference of Mayors 2013 Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness).

During my time at FAO, I was able to add another organization to my archive of resources in helping to achieve future goals of reducing hunger and food insecurities in Ohio. The FAO has access to a multitude of databases and resources that can provide insight and additional knowledge on plausible strategies, and policy-making ideas to assist in the successful fulfillment of those strategies. The presenter at FAO, Allison Smalls, provided realistic challenges to tackling hunger; such as dilemmas with quality and the use of technology.  Meeting the challenges with carrying out the organization’s mission and goals is most beneficial. Challenges provide a realistic view of a real world application, which are usually filled with multiple challenges. Personally, I found great significance in this professional visit. I was able to gain necessary insight on attacking a problem that not only affects my community, but is also a global issue. FAO reminded me that a community’s ability to solve a problem locally can lead to solving a global issue.

By: Danielle Shepherd,  2014 Forum-Nexus Alumnae

Danielle Shepherd