Tag Archives: thisisForumNexus

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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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Q&A: NADINE FARRAG

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 longtime team member (6 years and counting!) Nadine Farrag to learn how traveling with FN has influenced her life thus far, what she does in her role with Forum-Nexus, and to hear what adventures she’s tackling next. Get to know our favorite Egyptian… #ThisisForumNexus!

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

NF:  I was born in Egypt but lived in Saudi Arabia for the first two years of my life. Then I lived in Kuwait for six years until I returned to Egypt and have lived there ever since. My primary education was in Kuwait but l the rest of my school years and university occurred in Egypt. I studied Marketing and Journalism at the American University in Cairo and graduated in 2012.

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

NF: My first time with Forum-Nexus was in the summer of 2011 and I’ve been with the program ever since :)

This summer will be my 7th!

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

NF: I’m an Admissions Counselor  and I manage the team that supports students and prospective students from countries outside of the United States.  I also support the Marketing team through my involvement with our  marketing materials, and on-ground events and activities.

During the program, I help with logistics and the coordination of students’ activities and academics.

Q: What languages do you speak?

NF: I speak English and Arabic, and I know a little bit of French. I plan on learning Spanish next.

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

NF: The experience one gets with Forum-Nexus is truly life-changing. The international exposure, the immense travel experience, and making lifelong international friends is not a combination that you come across everyday.

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I still remember my first year with Forum-Nexus. I left with a changed perspective, not just about the world, but about myself as well. With FN, you broaden your horizons, you discover things that you never thought existed; it all helps shape you into a better citizen of the world.

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

NF: Employers now look for candidates who can work under pressure, communicate with different people, and cope with anything. Students get that with Forum-Nexus because you get to interact with students from all over the world, learn to adapt to different cultures quickly, and gain exposure to a lot of different situations that you wouldn’t normally face in your home country.

FN also gives you an edge if you’re looking to work abroad; you’ve already been to at least 9 cities in a month!

Q: In your own words, what is special about Europe?  

NF: Every city is different than the other; you experience different cultures and cuisines. There’s a lot of heritage and beautiful scenery. Europe is indeed magical for hosting something for every taste!

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Q: Why is knowledge of Europe important?

NF: It’s a central part in the world and everything that happens there will affect you somehow. Take Brexit for example, or the financial crisis in Greece.

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

NF: That’s a very tough question because they’re all amazing in their own way. If I had to choose, I would pick Barcelona. I believe it combines everything that all cities in Europe offer. I love the language, the people, the energy. It has the beach, nightlife, scenery, heritage, and great cuisine. I think it’s so special to me because its atmosphere reminds me a bit of my home country, Egypt, so it feels like a second home. I’ve been to Barcelona around 8 times so far and I still find new places to visit every year!

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Q: What is your favorite activity you did as a FN student?

NF: Getting lost wandering around new streets probably – haha! Leaving the touristy places behind and exploring the real city like a local is always more fun.

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

NF: Make sure to explore as much of the city as you can. Every city we’re offering is a home to wonderful places and activities so plan in advance so you have enough time to experience them all. And definitely mingle with the locals. Everyone is so friendly.

Q: Where do you want to travel to next?

NF:  I’m very interested in Asia. I went to Nepal last year and it was an amazing experience – very different from any traveling I’ve done before and I have traveled A LOT. Now with the plans of Forum-Nexus in Asia in 2018, I can’t wait already!

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 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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Q&A: Dr. Batia Cohen

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 Dr. Batia Cohen, professor of European Art and Architecture, to hear her take on the importance of international education. Get to know our wise and worldly faculty member, and learn how she enriches the FN team… #ThisisForumNexus

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

BC: I was born in Mexico City. I studied graphic design at the Metropolitan University in Mexico City. Later on I specialized in art history and got a PhD from the National University of Mexico (UNAM).

17 years ago I moved to Miami with my husband Rafael, where we raised our three daughters.

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Courtesy of Batia Cohen

Q: What languages do you speak?

BC: I speak four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Hebrew.

Q: What courses do you teach for Forum-Nexus during the summer?

BC: During the summer I teach European Art and Architecture. I also serve as the advisor of Independent Studies and Internships.

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Q: What are your academic and professional activities during the fall and spring?

BC: During the fall and spring I teach art history courses in the Miami area at several institutions, including the University of Miami and Florida International University.

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

BC: Forum-Nexus is a great study abroad program where students can experience 9 exciting European cities while earning college credits. They learn first-hand about the different countries, cultures, and traditions, and about impressive art and architecture. While traveling with Forum-Nexus, students develop very close relationships with each other and with the professors. We all become a close family as we share exciting experiences while traveling.

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

BC: Students who participate in FN  acquire a broader perspective on Europe and the world. They become more tolerant and open minded towards cultural differences. This will make them better prepared to tackle similar issues in their professional careers. They become more comfortable engaging with different cultures, adapting to their customs, and more willing to understand and empathize with different points of view.

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Q: Why are cultural and professional visits important for FN students?

BC: The cultural and professional visits enrich the overall experience of the students. The European institutions that open their doors to FN are world-class, and the students get to meet successful and influential leaders.

Q: What is special about Europe? Why is knowledge of Europe important?

BC: First of all, Europe is beautiful! The big cities, the little medieval towns, the countryside – they are all amazing. Furthermore, European countries have played such a prominent role in the history of ideas and in the development of western culture. Each country has a rich and proud history and tradition. It’s very important for an educated person to be familiar with it.

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

BC: One of my favorite cities is Barcelona because it has the best examples of 19th century architecture. By exploring its wide avenues we find ourselves submerged in the Modernismo era. The works of the famous architect Antoní Gaudí stand out, and the intricate decorations of the facades and structures capture my admiration every time. But I also love Barcelona for its overall atmosphere: the mountains, beaches, energy, and young vibe!

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Q: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from traveling?

BC: Be prepared for the unexpected. Enjoy every minute of it!

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 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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Q&A: Dr. Hugo Hervitz

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 sat down with Program Director Dr. Hugo Hervitz, founder of Forum-Nexus Study Abroad, to ask him everything from what inspired him to start a multi-country study abroad program to where he wants to travel to next. Here’s what you should know about him… #thisisForumNexus

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

HH: I was born in Argentina and I have lived in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. I have a Master’s degree in Management from Imperial College in London, another Master’s degree in Economics and Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in Economics from Indiana University. I have been a professor of Economics and International Business in Miami for many years. My wife is a clinical psychologist. We have three children who live in New York and Chicago.

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Q: What languages do you speak?

HH: I speak 10 languages. Five fluently, two at an intermediate level, and I have basic knowledge of three more. Spanish is my native language. I use it quite a bit with family and friends, and when we are in Barcelona during Forum-Nexus. Our three children are US-born but we made a point of speaking to them in Spanish, so now they are fluent. When I lived inJerusalem I learned Hebrew and Arabic. I have traveled extensively in Europe and I learned French, Italian, and German. I love Brazil and I learned Portuguese, which is quite easy for Spanish speakers. In recent years I’ve acquired a basic knowledge of Russian and Greek. I am now in the early stages of learning Mandarin Chinese in preparation for a new Forum-Nexus program in China, scheduled for Summer 2018. I love learning languages. Speaking other languages makes it so much easier to understand other cultures. It’s fun and it’s not hard. You just need the motivation! You can always find time in your schedule if you decide that learning a new language is an important priority.

 Q: What are your academic and professional activities during the fall and spring?

HH: I direct and coordinate the year-long work of the Forum-Nexus staff, involving the work of admission counselors, our social media team, contacts with the universities, processing of transcripts, addition of new courses and new professors, contacting companies for professional visits, addition of new cities and hotels, etc. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the Huizenga College of Business at Nova Southeastern University.

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 Q: Why did you start Forum-Nexus?

HH: Twenty-seven years ago, in the early days of globalization and soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a lot of things were happening in the world, especially in Europe. The international business course I was teaching in Miami required students to understand how countries differ in their economic, political, and cultural environments. I realized that I can impart quite a bit of knowledge through lectures and class discussions on campus, but learning can be more real, more intense, more personal, and more profound if it’s experiential; that is, if I can bring the students to the countries being studied and let them experience the local culture, observe the local economy first-hand, visit local companies and international organizations, talk to government officials and business leaders, talk to local students, interact with local waiters and taxi drivers, and understand the locals’ pride in their history and culture. I realized that being there was not just a better way for the students to acquire a more sophisticated level of knowledge, but also a way for the students to be more emotionally engaged with the new culture, to have more understanding, more empathy towards cultural differences. So, I decided to start a yearly summer program that would include 3-credit international courses taught on-site in various attractive European cities.

Q: Describe your role during the Forum-Nexus summer program.

HH: During the 5 weeks of the program in Europe my main responsibilities are:

-Being the program director, making sure that everything runs smoothly and ensuring that everybody has an amazing experience

-Teaching the International IQ Seminar, which is a course that all FN students take. The idea is to raise everyone’s level of International IQ by providing the essential knowledge that they should have about European history, geography, current events, art, culture, etc. It’s a very popular course, and my teaching style is to cover the material in a fun and informal way.

-Lastly, and most importantly (!), I am responsible for making sure that there is a lot of happy music (and dancing) everywhere we go :)  - in particular on the bus rides and train rides. I have to maintain my reputation as…DJ HUGO!

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 Q: What sets FN apart from other programs?

HH: There are a number of elements that combine to make Forum-Nexus programs quite unique:

-Instead of staying the whole month in a single city, the program is multi-country, allowing the students to be exposed to the culture and environment of several countries in one summer.

-There is a very close and warm relationship between the professors and the students, on and off class time. The professors are very experienced and come from different countries, and travel together with the students from country to country.

-The program includes numerous visits to European companies and international organizations. These are activities that you don’t get to do as a tourist. You learn a lot by interacting with business leaders and government officials.

-The participating students come from several countries, so there is a lot of learning that takes place by developing close friendships with young, intelligent, and cool people who live and study in totally different environments.

-The style of the program/the vibe of the program is relaxed and friendly. We are like family. We travel together through the best cities in Europe, learning a lot, while having a great time!

 Q: What do you find special about FN students?

HH: FN students are an amazing group of warm, bright, and ambitious young people who want to learn about the world, encounter new cultures, make new friends, acquire state-of-the-art knowledge and skills, acquire foreign language skills, and who realize that international knowledge and experience are becoming essential for successful careers in most fields.

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 Q: What do you find special about Europe?

HH: Europe is an enchanting continent. So much history, so many beautiful cities, towns, cathedrals, and landscapes within really short distances. And, above all, so much cultural diversity. Europe is an amazing laboratory for learning and understanding how societies cooperate and prosper, how Europe has been the birthplace of so many brilliant ideas, discoveries, and works of art, but also, a critical look at European history offers plenty of cautionary notes about how countries and empires fall apart as a result of political or economic mistakes.

 Q: Why is knowledge of Europe important?

HH: We are experiencing many winds of change in the international arena. China and Asia are emerging as stronger economic and political players, and both the US and the European Union are undergoing important political transformations that may determine new directions for the future. This is a crucial period for understanding the achievements and failures of the European Union and understanding the changes that are likely to occur in the next few years and being ready for them.

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

HH: Employers are looking for individuals who are competent in their field of expertise (say finance, marketing, communication) but who also have street smarts, knowledge about the real world, experience traveling, ability to deal with cultural differences, and flexibility in coping with new situations. All of these skills are honed at Forum-Nexus. FN alumni tell us all the time how often during job interviews the interviewers are impressed by the student having personal experience visiting important European companies and international organizations. These kind of experiences certainly strengthen their resumes.

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

HH: Each city in the itinerary has something special, something unique. I really love them all! Barcelona is an incredibly vibrant city — the people, the architecture, the beaches, the mountains, the food, the nightlife. The beauty of Paris is incredible. The river and its bridges are so picturesque and romantic. I love the French language and listening to accordion music on a sidewalk café. So many beautiful monuments and museums. I am also crazy about Italian cities. The warmth of the people, the musicality of the language, the colors of the cities, being surrounded by history everywhere, the fact that the pizza and the pasta are so good and affordable! Greece is culturally like an extension of Italy, in that the people are warm, emotional, and love music and dancing, with the addition of the beautiful Greek island landscapes, with blue seas everywhere, plus so much history around. In the middle of the program we spend several days in the mountain resort of Chamonix, which is very close to being in paradise! A small and pretty town, with lots of flowers, surrounded by snowy mountains and forests, waterfalls, and lakes.

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 Q: What is your advice to FN students about how to benefit the most from their experience?

HH: I tell the students to do some homework before the start of the program by reading about each city, its history, its culture, and the main attractions to visit, in order to be better prepared to make optimal use of their time. Also, I encourage them to take advantage of the program for improving their language skills: improve their Spanish, learn the basics of French and Italian, learn the Greek alphabet, etc. But above all, my advice is to start the program with an open mind about other societies and other cultures. The name of the game is not to decide who is better, but rather to celebrate the beauty of diversity and cultural differences.

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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.