Tag Archives: go abroad

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Destination 6: This is Lugano!

The sixth destination on the Forum Europe Summer 2017 itinerary is a sweet, day-long stop in the alpine city of Lugano, Switzerland.

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Stunning lakeside views of Lake Lugano greet newcomers with sparkling water and rolling mountains that cradle colored homes. It’s a postcard-worthy scene we recommend admiring in person. Along with the iconic Swiss chocolate, world-renowned brands, and beautiful sites, Lugano proudly fosters an Italian-Swiss infused culture. It’s completely different from Geneva in the best ways.

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The day trip to Lugano will be split into two parts: Class at the stunning Franklin University Switzerland campus followed by free time to enjoy downtown Lugano. FUS has warmly welcomed Forum-Nexus for years, graciously allowing FN professors to conduct an immersive educational experience for the day. While on campus, student can literally see what it’s like to study abroad. Once class concludes, students will be free to explore downtown Lugano for a few hours. Walk the lakeside, buy some chocolate, or take a pedal boat out on the lake (a favorite) – there is plenty to take in!

Lugano will serve as a middle point of transition from Milan to Como. This day trip is the perfect combination of enriching and fun.

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Take a glimpse of last summer’s sweet stop in Switzerland here.

Up next on the blog, we’ll share more about the 2017 itinerary, travel tips, and what alumni had to say about their time exploring Europe.

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

Lugano awaits YOU! Join us.

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Destination 5: This is Milan!

There’s a real beauty and privilege when it comes to multi-country study abroad program. You get a little taste of each region, immersion in some of the most iconic cities, paired with getaways to gems found off the beaten path. It’s the best of both worlds, study abroad and world travel. To say the least, you don’t want to miss out on our summer abroad.

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After a six day stay in the heart of France, a high-speed train will usher our group into the enchanting country of Italy, known best for its scenic cities, friendly citizens, and world-class cuisine. Italia is nothing short of an enriching international experience. Our first stop brings us to the capital of fashion, business, and finance. This is Milan, Italy!

Best known for the Duomo di Milano, the keeper of da Vinci The Last Supper, and a central location for high-end luxury brands, the city of Milan is everything you’ve ever dreamt it to be and more. Think Gothic cathedrals, alluring architecture, art, bustling city life, and endless shops. And don’t forget about the incredible food! Students are encouraged to spend their time soaking up the rich art history, museum gazing, or shopping at famous stores – Prada, Versace, or Moschino, anyone?

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Go ahead, watch a little preview of Italy the Forum-Nexus way on our YouTube channel.

During our 5 day stay in Milan, students will attend classes held at the historic campus of the Universita Cattolica, housed in a 14th century monastery. For weekend activities, Milan serves as a great travel hub to catch a train to popular nearby destinations such as Cinque Terre, Venice, Florence, and so on. Students can opt for a Forum-Nexus organized day trip, take a weekend excursion with their peers, or kick it in Milan. It’s hard to go wrong in Italy.

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Get that camera ready, brush up on Italian history, and save a few extra Euros for incredible shopping.

Follow along on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about this iconic city and our summer 2017 program.

Milano awaits you!

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A Weekend in Paris

While every city that we visited this month was incredible in its own way, my favorite city was Paris, France. My best friend Julia and I decided at the last minute to book a weekend trip to this magical city with a group of students who we had met the week before. To start, it was so wonderful to meet so many amazing students who quickly convinced us that the Paris weekend trip was a must. Soon after, we had our flights booked as well as a (surprisingly cheap) hotel room in a historic Parisian hotel.

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Photo courtesy of Allie M.

Following Friday class in Chamonix, our group piled into a van and made the trek from Chamonix to the Geneva airport in Switzerland. After an easy one hour flight from Geneva we arrived in the beautiful city of Paris, and it is safe to say that it was love at first sight. Further, my first impression of Paris was pure awe. As an iconic location that I have seen in pictures and movies for my entire life, it was truly a dream to be standing in the middle of it all. I soon realized that Paris is by no means overrated, but rather upholds a beauty and romance that cannot be portrayed in pictures or even described in words. More specifically, when walking through the streets, almost every building holds its own history, with monuments left and right. I also found that, in general, the city felt very clean, safe, and romantic. In addition to seeing many of the most famous monuments including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Tuileries, I enjoyed some of the best meals of my life! For two and a half days I maintained a steady diet of croissants, macaroons, steak and frites, baguettes, cheese, and of course, the occasional French wine pairing. Specifically, our typical French breakfast at the world-famous Laduree was one of the best meals of the trip!

To add to this wonderful experience, Julia and I met up with our friend from our university at home who was studying abroad in Paris for a whole year. This was a great touch to our perfect weekend as we had our own personal tour guide to bring us to locations not frequented by tourists. This part of our trip really helped us get the flavor of the city through the eye of a local while seeing as much as we could in a short period of time.

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Photo courtesy of Allie M.

In this experience, I was pleasantly surprised to break some common stereotypes or misconceptions about the city. More specifically, while many warned me that Parisians dislike Americans and can be very rude, my experience actually proved the opposite. In my short trip, I met many friendly locals who were more than welcoming and willing to give recommendations and or directions.

Overall, my weekend in Paris was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone taking this program in the future. In one short weekend I would recommend a picnic at the Eiffel Tower (with meats and cheeses from a local market), a walk through the Louvre, walking around the beautiful streets of Champs Elysee, taking a boat tour on the Seine river, and finally getting lost in the indescribable city with new friends!

By:  Alexandra M., Forum-Nexus 2016 Alumna

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Photo courtesy of Allie M.

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Destination 4: This is Paris!

Next, we’re sharing all about the fourth destination on the Forum Europe Summer 2017 itinerary and one of the most iconic cities in Europe… 12045794_10153086113137633_1622570489038539032_o

There’s a reason why Paris, France is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world; it’s everything good you’ve ever heard and more. Paris is the pulsing heart of French culture, politics, and business. The architecture, beauty, food, and glitz effortlessly captures the admiration of each visitor. To say the least, a real European excursion isn’t complete without a stop in the city of love.

So what’s a week in Paris like with Forum-Nexus? Read past accounts from our own alumni.

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Paris can cater to the desires of any traveler; there’s great shopping, art, museums, attractions, nightlife, food, and activities. While staying in the city of love, students will be able to stroll along the Seine river, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, say hello to Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and snap a picture of the Eiffel Tower, of course! Paris is home to several influential companies and international organizations, as well. Students will have the opportunity to participate in professional visits to places such as Le Cordon Bleu, OECD, and UNESCO. And don’t forget about classes, which will be held on the campus of the American Business School in Paris. On the weekend, students can participate in an optional Forum-Nexus day trip to the famous castles of the Loire Valley, or take an independent excursion to Amsterdam or London.

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Follow along on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about this beloved city and our Summer 2017 program.

Like they say, Paris is always a good idea!