Tag Archives: study 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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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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Q&A: Carlos Trevino

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 chatted with our Director of Admissions and Operations to hear why he supports international education,  learn about his role at Forum-Nexus, and catch a glimpse of his travel-infused life. Meet the one and only Carlos Trevino…  #ThisisForumNexus!We chatted with our Director of Admissions and Operations to hear why he supports international education,  learn about his role at Forum-Nexus, and catch a glimpse of his travel-infused life. Meet the one and only Carlos Trevino…  #ThisisForumNexus!

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Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Q: Tell us about your background. In what cities and countries have you lived? Where did you study?

CT: I was born and raised in Monterrey, a city in northern Mexico, where I studied at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. I majored in Electronic Systems because I always loved math and engineering. I started working as a programmer in a steel company, while also doing some freelancing on web programming at night. Eventually I quit my day job to become a freelancer and moved to Barcelona to explore new worlds. Besides those two cities, I have lived in Edinburgh (Scotland), Martinique (a French island in the Caribbean), and Mexico City, where I currently live.

Q: How many times have you participated in FN programs?

CT: I started working with FN more than 10 years ago, and I’ve traveled with the program in Europe 6 times so far.

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Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Q: What are your responsibilities as a FN staff member?

CT: I serve as director of admissions and operations. I work with our excellent team of admissions counselors, all of whom are former FN students! I coordinate our marketing campaigns and I’m responsible for the FN website. During the program in Europe, I supervise our staff and interns on everything related to accommodations and logistics, making sure both students and professors have everything they need in order to have a great experience!

Q: What languages do you speak?

CT: My native language is Spanish, I’m proficient in English, and I know some French (almost enough to get by!)

Q: What do you find special about Forum-Nexus? About FN students?

CT: Our program attracts students who are eager to discover the world and embrace new cultures. The entire Forum-Nexus family (students, professors, and staff) is very international and made up of individuals who are always thrilled about new cultures and in a state of constant learning and constant appreciation of the amazing beauty of the world. And that’s the special thing about Forum-Nexus: we strive to give a glimpse of that type of life, that perspective, to young students, in just one month. We show them a tiny bit of the infinite marvels of the world, expressed through cultures and landscapes around the globe. And we love it when we see that awe in FN students, when they go from being somewhat apprehensive in Barcelona (the first city in the program) to feeling more and more comfortable as world travelers as the program advances from city to city, from country to country. They are far away from home but they start feeling “at home” exploring cities and villages and mountains in new and exotic places.

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Q: How does participating in FN help students with their future careers?

CT: The FN program opens their minds to cultural differences, to the abundance of alternative ideas, customs, and lifestyles that exist around the world, and it makes them eager to learn all about them. This enriches the students’ perspectives and ideas. It allows them to assess their own culture, customs, and behaviors in a more mature way and develop more respect and empathy towards people who are different. This is very useful for their personal development and certainly for their professional development. Employers have a growing appreciation for young professionals with international and multicultural experience, and who have the skills and empathy to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. In some cases, the cultural eye-opening process encouraged by Forum-Nexus makes students consider significant changes to their career plans.

Q: Why are professional visits important for FN students?

CT: Professional visits give students a first-hand experience of what the professional world looks like, and feels like. It gives them amazing insights into how multinational corporations and international organizations operate. It shows them the kind of knowledge they’ll be applying, and which skills are required for each field. And all of this happens from country to country, so they get to understand the differences of the work culture between Spain, France, Italy, and other countries.

Q: Which are your favorite cities in the FN itinerary and why?

CT: Well, it’s not a fair question, since I lived in Barcelona for 9 years and I really love the city! But I also love the peace and spirituality of hiking in the mountains of Chamonix, and the beauty and beaches of Rhodes. I’m crazy about Paris, and I really like Milan, too!

Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Courtesy of Carlos Trevino

Q: What is your advice to future FN students on how to benefit the most from their study abroad experience?

CT:  Arrive with an open mind. Get into the mindset of, “I am going to have an amazing summer, experience new foods, meet new people, and learn so many new things. Bring it on!”.  Keep your eyes, mind, and heart open and appreciate everything new you encounter, or anything that is different than what you are used to. Don’t be judgmental. Instead, watch, learn, experience, and most of all, enjoy every little thing you are about to run into.

Q: What is one “life lesson” you’ve learned from your time with FN?

CT: Humans are unique and amazing. It’s thrilling to meet someone who grew up in a different culture, with different values and customs, and connect on a personal level, enjoy similar things, and find what’s common between the two of you, or what’s different, and why. It’s lovely to see how each person values and enjoys different but also similar things.

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 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