Tag Archives: Switzerland


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


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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!


Europe Essentials


-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
-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!



-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
-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


-Converters/adapters for all electronic items
-Chargers for electronics
-Euros  *We recommend bringing 150-200 euros upon arrival
-One bag/backpack and/or purse
-Copies of credit cards, IDs, etc.

 Non-essential, but useful items

-A small fold-up umbrella
-Fold-up plastic bag for grocery shopping
-A hat for shade while walking around and sightseeing
-Hand sanitizer
-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


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.




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.


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.


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.


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.



Destination 3: This is Geneva!

The third destination on the Forum Europe Summer 2017 itinerary is a sweet, day-long stop in the breathtaking city of Geneva, Switzerland.

Piercing blue skies, a beautiful lakeside, rolling hills, and mountains adorn the cosmopolitan city of Geneva. Best known as the European headquarters for the United Nations, this Swiss city also offers luxury shopping, famous watch brands, world-renowned chocolate, and more!


The day trip to Geneva will be split into two parts: A professional visit the United Nations headquarters and city exploration. Upon arrival to the UN, students will get the unique opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the Palais des Nations. Highlights may include seeing the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, The Council Chamber, Salle des Pas Perdus, art from around the world, a recap of the current activities, and more! The best part? Cameras are welcome! After the professional visit concludes, students will get free time to explore the Geneva at their leisure. Walk the lakeside, buy some chocolate, eat at a cafe – there is plenty to do, see, and learn!


Take a glimpse of last summer’s visit to Switzerland here.

Geneva will serve as a middle point of transition from Chamonix to Paris. This dely memorable.

This week on the blog, we’ll share what Forum-Nexus alumni have to say about their time exploring the city of Geneva and experiencing the United Nations.

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

Geneva awaits YOU!




CERN: Particle Physics Galore

Few people ever have the pleasure of seeing the largest particle physics laboratory in the entire world with their own eyes, but I’m happy to say that I’m now one of those lucky people. CERN,  the European Organization for Nuclear Research, with its thousands of dedicated staff members and miles upon miles of gigantic circular particle accelerators running underneath the surface of Geneva, Switzerland, is undeniably a scientific wonder of the world. Visiting it in person felt like peeking into a huge, mystical corner of the particle physics community, and I absolutely loved it.


Our tour guide was a passionate young scientist who explained CERN in an eloquently simple way, making it easy for us all to understand at least the basic idea of how the whole thing works. It was exhilarating to be in the same room as giant machines that have played such a huge role in the advancement of science and technology. We weren’t able to visit the Large Hadron Collider due to the radiation it was emitting, but knowing that we were so close to it was thrilling enough in itself. And even without having the privilege of descending to the famous Collider, it was fascinating to see the other equipment that is used in the facility.


One of the most interesting parts of this visit, though, was getting to see the first particle collider ever created, which was introduced to us with a flashy high-tech video. The history behind CERN and the exciting evolution of particle physics was effectively and concisely explained at the same time. It really brought to life the rich background of the laboratory, and of the entire field of particle physics, in an engaging and thought-provoking way.

Not only was this visit a chance to see a famous laboratory with famous equipment, it was also highly scientifically educational. Because our tour guide was so good at talking to us on our level, I feel like I gained a nice, basic understanding of how particle physics works. I’m still not quite on the level of a professional scientist (close, though, of course), but I do know at least a smidge more about this scientific field and the history of it than I did before having the chance to visit the glory that is CERN.

By: Molly Kaup,  2015 Forum-Nexus alumna

Molly Kaup 1


Welcome to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

My favorite professional visit was our visit to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Although the main UN headquarters are in New York City, the office in Geneva specifically deals with humanitarian efforts and human rights issues. The office in Geneva is perfectly located in a neutral zone, allowing countries from all over the world to come together and make decisions benefiting their people. I’ve always been very passionate about human rights and have chosen a career path that will make an impact, so this professional visit really resonated with me.


The architecture of the building itself was very empowering. The building was made of very strong, sturdy materials, which I believe represents the organization well. The humanitarian room was covered in a vibrant ceiling that is supposed to represent each country separately, but also merging together.


I had only briefly researched this office before visiting. I knew that it focused on the humanitarian aspect, but didn’t have much knowledge beyond that. This means the discussion of issues pertaining to the people and the benefit of the people. Our tour guide was very informative and explained even minor details about the work done at the UN Geneva headquarters. I was amazed to find out that Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the Human Rights Declaration there! It is a crucial part of our world’s history and it was such a powerful experience to see where it was created.


This visit was very important to me both academically and personally. I enjoy working with people and helping people. I always volunteer when I can and give back to my community. I even started my own student organization at my university that focuses on human rights issues. My club, Change Makers, organizes events throughout the year to inform others about various human rights issues and give back. I have a passion for people and I hope to be able to work at the UN Geneva office someday.

By: Kirsten Himle, 2015 Forum-Nexus alumna

Kirsten Himle 1


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