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Summer Abroad Packing Guide

The countdown to Forum Europe Summer 2018 is on!


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


- 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!


A Weekend In Bologna, Italy

Our weekend stay in Bologna, Italy was short but absolutely delightful, to say the least. Being one of many Italian cities on the Forum-Nexus summer itinerary, I found Bologna to be the most authentic to the Italian culture. Bologna was much more laid-back and less touristy, giving me the opportunity to walk around and explore more freely.

Walking around the city was an absolute treat. The architecture was beautifully aged, yet vibrant. During my stay, I discovered Bologna is home to the oldest university in the world, The University of Bologna, a title highly esteemed by citizens and visitors alike. Bologna also had many other beautiful focal points including the Fountain of Neptune, Due Tori (two towers), Piazza Maggiore, and the Basilica of San Petronio. The rich Italian culture was evident everywhere I looked. Another popular feature of Bologna were the many shopping markets around the city. The markets were affordable and they were great places to buy leather products. The best aspect of discovering Bologna was how easy it was to navigate the city and not feel overwhelmed by tourists or city dwellers because it’s a very spread out and relaxed city.

What I was not expecting was how insanely delicious Bologna’s cuisine was. Of course, Italy is known for delicious food, but Bologna surpassed all of my expectations, especially compared to other cities in Italy we visited. I was not disappointed at any point during my food quests in Bologna. There were gourmet pizzerias and gelato shops on nearly every corner. The shops were friendly, affordable, and most importantly, the food was delicious. Throughout the weekend I was able to try a few customary Italian dishes including linguine with Bolognese sauce, tortellini, and Tagliatelle alla bolognes. I completely understand why Bologna is regarded as the “Foodie Capital of Italy”- and I agree!


 Another great advantage to staying the weekend in Bologna was the flexibility to hop on a train and visit a nearby popular Italian city. The two most popular destinations were Venice and Florence. There was a very accessible train station near our hotel in Bologna. In a short five-minute walk, I was able to buy a ticket and board a train for a day-trip with my friends. Many other Forum-Nexus students took advantage of this as well.

Bologna might be considered one of those spots “off the beaten path,” but I am so happy I was able to visit. It was a relaxing, culture-infused, and memorable stay. I hope to return one day to re-experience the magnificence of Bologna, Italy.


Our Visit to Estrella Damm

My favorite professional visit was to the Damm Brewery in Barcelona, Spain. I found this visit to be very interesting.

In particular, I found it especially fascinating that their factory only has 6 people working on the floor at a time yet there are hundreds employed by the company. Their factory is almost completely automated, which is both impressive and unbelievable. The exact science in their assembly is incredible; how they programmed the machines to do certain tasks, at the exact right time, in order to get the final product. Along with the assembly line, I also liked the presentation about how they market their product. I found it interesting to compare their marketing techniques to those of American beer companies. Particularly that they try to capture the Mediterranean lifestyle, while the United States companies try to capture the American lifestyle. It is also interesting to see how Damm wishes to expand in the coming years. Their market is mainly in Catalonia and Spain, while their target market is the rest of Europe and the United States.

In addition, the visit would not have been complete without beer testing. I liked this visit a lot because it was very interactive. We weren’t just sitting and listening to a speaker present about their company. We had a short presentation then got a walking tour around the factory and finally a beer tasting. The moving around helped keep the visit interesting and exciting. Damm was a wonderful visit and I fully recommend future Forum Nexus programs to go there!


By: Zoe Miller, Forum-Nexus 2014 alumna

Zoe Miller


Barcelona, Our First Destination!

Arriving to the city of Barcelona was overwhelming, between the excitement of the city and the curiosity of getting to know Forum-Nexus students, but it turned out to be one of my favorite cities. Barcelona beautifully incorporated Spanish architecture through its neighborhoods with Gaudi’s influence found all around the city.

 The free time activities to choose from in Barcelona were amazing! The clubs were lively and Las Ramblas was always brimming with tourists from all around the world. Las Ramblas is the center of the city with stores, restaurants and lots of souvenir shops. We usually bargained at the shop, which was fun for my friends and me, especially when we got a good deal.  There was nothing better than ending the day with a gelato in front of the fountains in Catalonia square. Catching the metro back to the hotel by midnight was challenging most days after having such amazing evenings in Barcelona with friends!

One must-see in Barcelona is la Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is a unique church completely engrosses by the gothic architecture design. The church is full of details, particularly in the exterior, which makes it more astonishing. Inside the church there is a huge hall that is designed differently versus the gothic style as the exterior, but still very interesting with fine details.

My friends and I got to see more of Barcelona by going on a morning walk to Parc Guell.  Through the walk, we got to see many neighborhoods filled with Spanish spirit. We were guided by many locals who were quite helpful. As we got closer, we were astonished by the escalators that take you up the mountain, which were one of the unique marks of Barcelona, at least in my opinion. The park was amazing and full of colors, again reflecting Gaudi’s unique style.

More must-sees in Barcelona are the great beaches along the Mediterranean Sea along with many great seafood restaurants. Seafood Paella, or just paella in general, became one of my favorite dishes that I will miss the most after the trip. Not to mention the delicious patatas Braves as my favorite tapa.

Barcelona is a great city with lots to see! Surely there is something for everyone there. It’s what I would consider a complete city that combines culture, civilization and great people and I would definitely like to come back!


By: Rowa Senan, Forum-Nexus 2014 alumna

Rowa Senan

Group picture instant camera rhodes

Our 2014 Summer Program – Chapter 1

The Forum-Nexus summer 2014 program was one for the books, or in this case, blogs. Students of diverse nationalities eagerly awaited a summer of discovery, exploration, and fun. With an impressive itinerary to Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece, the Forum-Nexus month-long study abroad program almost seemed too good to be true.

Prior to the quickly approaching adventure, the Forum-Nexus team worked diligently to ensure every student was prepared and accommodated for the time abroad.  The travel plans were carefully set. Tickets purchased, passports secured, monies converted, and minds braced for the unknown.

On July 2nd, 2014, 52 college students arrived in Barcelona, Spain, ready to embark on an unforgettable summer adventure. Students representing the United States, Egypt, China, Ukraine, India, Palestine, and Russia; 53 complete strangers joined together in a foreign country. Some had never left their home countries, while others were well-seasoned travelers. 53 students of  different backgrounds, ages, and majors all united to learn about the wonders of Europe and the deep culture it possesses, in hopes that the Forum-Nexus goal of each student becoming a more globally aware citizen would be reached.

Leading this great adventure were the most culturally-intelligent and qualified professors any student would dream of being taught by: program director and founder, Dr. Hugo Hervitz, an outgoing, gracious, Argentinian professor dedicated to teaching ambitious students about the world; George Rocourt, an easygoing professor, always eager to teach and share his vast knowledge with inquiring students; and Peter Resch, the good-humored and friendly German professor known for challenging students to expand their critical thinking of the world and culture. These were three completely different professors ready to pour their knowledge into each pupil for the next five weeks.

One enriching month lay before the eager group of students. In this time, they would learn about the European Union, cross-cultural communication, international business strategy and they would develop their international IQ. However, to the students’ advantage, they would learn about these concepts first-hand, in host countries, and not just from a textbook or classroom lecture.

Little did this ambitious and diverse group of students known how life-changing this experience would be. The promise of deep friendships and one-of-a-kind cultural experiences awaited each individual as they stepped off their plane and onto Barcelona soil.

Stay tuned for more!

By: Alyssa Fronk, Summer 2014 Alumnae