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Finding Inspiration at France 24

I’ve enjoyed several of the professional visits with Forum-Nexus, so it is difficult to choose an absolute favorite. For various reasons that I’ll explain, my favorite visit was to France 24. France 24 is an international news corporation that broadcasts in several languages and mediums, including both the Western and Eastern spheres. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into the visit, but I emerged feeling more enlightened and purposeful about my studies and my work than I had before. As for my own backstory, I graduated from Creighton University last year with English and journalism degrees; additionally, the entirety of my past work experience has been within marketing, communications, and editorial internships, so it was fascinating to witness in person how a major newsroom operates, as well as learn the various facets of the company.

Soft Edit WM-IMG_9722France 24’s initial presentation was relevant not only to my general interests but also to my experience within the journalism field and my journalism classes during undergrad. France 24’s multilingual, multicultural approach was especially interesting to me, and I found myself asking our guide by the end of the tour what would hypothetically give a new applicant an edge over other candidates. As the tour went on, I could easily envision myself working in that environment, which excited me—that is, as long as I learned to fluently speak French beyond the very little I currently know. While economics and business are interesting to me as an outside perspective, France 24 was one professional visit that directly applied to my own experiences and aspirations. Furthermore, our tour guide was kind, thorough, and informative, walking us through the various elements of the company within several departments and levels. We got to peek into rooms with control panels as well as some of the informational centers in which story assignments go out. It was intriguing to see the endless elements that go into producing reliable new content, whether that be from technical, editorial, or communicational angles. The experience overall was a neat convergence of broadcast, technological, and editorial efforts.

I think I was mostly taken aback by the company’s immensity and complexity in its operations. Other than the tiny newsroom for my university paper, I’ve never seen the workings of a newsroom firsthand, so the tour and presentation definitely expanded my interest in some of the present functions of journalism, as well as its current and future trajectory. Journalism and communications are rapidly metamorphosing fields, requiring consistent functional alteration within companies and businesses. It was interesting to see France 24’s means of keeping pace with ever-changing communication mediums—as well as their means of connecting to various audiences across various countries, within rural or urban areas.


As for my personal experience, I’ve worked pretty much unilaterally toward my Masters in English for the last year, prompting me to neglect some of my journalistic work and interests. France 24 reignited my passion for journalism, and acutely reminded me why I studied and worked in the field in the first place; I found myself considering several times throughout the professional visit the various post-graduate jobs and careers I could pursue within journalism or communications. As I previously mentioned, France 24’s dialectical multiplicity was a key point of interest, as well as their current endeavors to expand that international presence. Ultimately, I would like to work in a company similar to France 24 at some point in the near future, even if only for a little while—even if only for the rush and experience of it all.


Courtesy of Claire M.

By:  Claire M., Forum-Nexus 2017 Alumna


This is Forum Europe 2018!

We’re back for our 28th year of providing enriching, multi-country study abroad programs, and thrilled to announce our next program… Forum Europe Summer 2018: 9 Cities in 1 Month. Interested in studying abroad next summer? Here is the inside scoop on our upcoming life-changing program. For full program details, visit forum-nexus.com/summer2018 

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Destination 1: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Our full month in Europe kicks off with a 4-day stay in the heart of the Netherlands. Our staff will greet Forum-Nexus students at the Schiphol Airport, coordinate transfers to the hotel, and officially welcome everyone at the Opening Ceremony celebration that afternoon.

While in Amsterdam, you can visit the Van Gogh Museum, tour the Anne Frank House, or take bike or boat rides around the city. Students will begin their academic experience with classes and professional visits to leading global companies and international organizations unique to the Netherlands.

We dare you not to fall in love with the mesmerizing canals, unique architecture, kind locals, and rich history in Amsterdam.

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Destination 2: Paris, France

Together with Forum-Nexus staff and professors, the group will travel by high-speed train from Amsterdam to the center of French culture, politics, and business: Paris!

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During our 5-day stay in the capital of France, you will be able to visit the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and stroll along the banks of the Seine River and the famous Champs-Elysees. The week also include visits to prominent French companies and enriching class time.

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That weekend, there will be an Optional FN Day Trip the one and only Palace of Versailles. You are also welcome to take your own Independent Weekend Excursions to nearby London or Barcelona.

Destination 3: Geneva, Switzerland

Next, we’ll bid Paris “Au revoir” and board a private coach to the Swiss Alps. Our day trip to Geneva will be spent visiting top European organizations (United Nations and CERN), taking in the Swiss lakeside city, and finding the best chocolate. We love Geneva for its highly cosmopolitan feel and gorgeous scenery.

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Destination 4: Chamonix, France

After Geneva, breathtaking mountains, lakes, and forests will welcome our group to the resort town of Chamonix. For 4 days, you can unwind from big city life and get the opportunity to explore the beautiful French Alps.

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Classes will be held during the morning in the hotel’s conference center. The afternoons are free to explore local attractions and participate in several outdoor activities, at your leisure of course. The best part of our stay? Taking in the spectacular views of the snow-covered peaks of Mont Blanc.

Destination 5: Lugano, Switzerland

From Chamonix we depart on a day trip to the Lake District at the border of Italy and Switzerland. The first stop will be to the picturesque lakeside city of Lugano, an established center of business, banking, and higher education.

The group will visit the pristine campus of Franklin University Switzerland, a U.S.-accredited liberal arts university with a highly international student body.

Destination 6: Lake Como, Italy

We continue to the Italian city of Como, known for its picturesque waterfront, bustling piazzas, and prominent silk industry. You will have time to eat, explore, and learn about Como’s unique history. Our visit isn’t complete without gelato and a group picture by the lake!

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Destination 7: Milan, Italy

After a day spent by beautiful lakes, we will arrive in Milan, Italy’s proud capital of business, finance, and fashion. Get ready to shop and feast during our 3-day stay. Cultural highlights include the Duomo di Milano, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper” , and the designer district of Via Montenapoleone.

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On the weekend, you can participate in Optional FN Day Trips to Venice and/or Florence. Berlin and Prague are also easily accessible for an Independant Weekend Excursion.

Destination 8: Rome, Italy

Once our time in Milan wraps up, we’ll pack our bags and board a high-speed train to the eternal city of Rome! Known best for its unique culture, abundant history, and food, the following 5 days in Rome will be well spent. Get ready to check off the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, and more off your travel list.

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You can look forward to class sessions at the hotel and a professional visit to the headquarters of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

During the weekend, there will be an Optional FN Day Trip to the famous Island of Capri. For Independent Weekend Excursions, we suggest Athens or Santorini.

Destination 9: Rhodes, Greece

Our month of travels concludes with a 6-day long getaway to the beautiful Greecian Island of Rhodes. The group will stay at a 5-star beachside resort, attend classes in the resort’s conference center, and enjoy free time to explore the charming Old Town or relax at the beach. At the end of the week, you can look forward to a farewell dinner and diploma ceremony featuring traditional Greek food and music.

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During the week, there will be an Optional FN Day Trip to Lindos, which includes a visit to the stunning Acropolis overlooking the sea. Once Forum Europe 2018 concludes, you may fly back home or to their next destination.

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Are you ready to book your ticket to a life-changing summer? Apply online for free at www.forum-nexus.com. Submit your application before October 31 and save $1,200 on tuition cost!

For more information on Forum Europe Summer 2018, visit www.forum-nexus.com. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and check out our YouTube channel for more travel inspo and study abroad news.



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


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.


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.


 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!


 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.


 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.


 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.


 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.

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.


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.


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.


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


Photo courtesy of Allie M.


Destination 2: This is Chamonix!

The second destination on the Forum Europe Summer 2017 itinerary is unforgettable, to say the least.

Nestled in the French Alps, surrounded by mountains, lakes, and forests, Chamonix, France seems as if it sprung from a fairytale. Best known for being the first host city of the 1924 Winter Olympics, Chamonix is a charming French town with mountains, streams, trails, restaurants, quaint stores, and a cozy nightlife. While in Chamonix, students will be able to admire, rewind, relax, and rediscover the unique naturesque side of Europe. For years, tourists and our students have fallen hard for this town.


So you may be wondering what to expect on a getaway to the sweet, French mountain region. Get a glimpse of last summer’s visit to Chamonix here.

Afternoons will be free for students to explore the striking beauty of the area and participate in activities such as hiking to the Mer de Glace, one of the biggest glaciers in Europe, or taking the Aiguille du Midi cable car, offering a spectacular view of the snow covered peaks of Mont Blanc. For those who don’t feel as adventurous, students can explore the town filled with shops and restaurants or unwind at the Hotel L’Helopic Sweet and Spa. As for the weekend, students can participate in an optional Forum-Nexus Day Trip to the charming medieval city of Annecy. Think Beauty & The Beast charm with breathtaking water features.


Up next on the blog, we’ll share what Forum-Nexus alumni have to say about their time in the Alps.

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


Chamonix awaits YOU!


International Education Week 2016

Happy International Education Week! That’s right, #IEW2016 is all this week from November 14-18. Follow along as we celebrate and reflect on 27 years of international education.

So what is #IEW2016? The U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs defines it as: “An opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.”


At Forum-Nexus, we believe in providing a first-class international educational experience to foster an appreciation for the richness of other cultures, by offering unique and life-changing summer programs that encourage the exchange of ideas with individuals from around the world, while creating a community of students with a passion for learning and exploring the world with an open mind. 27 years with over 3,300 students.

We asked a few Forum-Nexus alumni from the past several years what international education means to them and how it has impacted their lives. Here’s what they said:

“My international education taught me classroom content and life skills. It gave me new perspectives, friends from around the world, and a chance to experience different cultures, customs, and environments. It has made me who I am today. I encourage students to study abroad because it is the perfect way to get an international education and all of the benefits that come with it.” – Gabriella G., FN 2012

“What I most enjoyed about my international experience is the bonds that I made with other students on the trip. I never thought that I would have friends all around the world and now I do. I have formed such  authentic friendships with people I had only known from a month, but now they are family to me.” -Jonna F., FN 2016


“International education is important because we live in a world with a rapidly globalizing economy. It is important for everyone to have a general understanding of global cultures simply because of the economic effects that other countries have on every individual. A well-honed international education can also help to increase one’s ability to empathize, which is incredibly important in management or customer service positions.”  -Nick B., FN 2015

“International education gave me the ability to understand different cultures and see how they communicate, conduct business, and live. I was exposed to real world experiences and witnessed different countries and their real-time economic challenges. Every step taken overseas was a learning lesson for me. I took in everything I saw, felt, and did like a sponge. It opened my eyes to continuing with the same mindset upon returning home.”  -Selin B., FN 2014


“An international education program was one of the first things that made me interested in exploring the world; in learning how people from other cultures lived, and what was “normal” or “common” for them, that wasn’t for me. Our communities tend to take many things for granted: costumes, activities, and perspectives that were defined a long time ago in our cities become ingrained in our society and are never questioned again. That’s where learning about the way of living (in all matters) in other parts of the world help us reevaluate our own values and ideas, so we can make a choice not by repetitive patterns, but by consciously comparing and analyzing different perspectives on daily topics, so we can choose what’s best for us.” -Carlos T., FN 2010

“Although I’ve always been traveling around ever since I was young, studying abroad was a completely different experience. You don’t just get to experience different cultures through the places you visit, but you get to live with international students who expose you to even more cultures than you expected and of course make lifelong friends from all over the globe. International education is an enriching experience from which you learn how to become more accepting, tolerating, and understanding of different ideas, people, cultures, etc. It changes your perspective towards life!”  -Nadine K., FN 2011


An investment in education is an investment in yourself. What are you waiting for?

Learn more about our upcoming multi-country study abroad programs at forum-nexus.com


Cava in Catalonia

My favorite professional visit during Forum Europe 2016 was our visit to Codorníu in Barcelona, Spain. It was the first professional visit of the program, and I was very eager to experience what a “Forum-Nexus professional visit” entailed. The buses dropped us off by the vineyards, where I was able to capture some great photos. We went inside and split into groups to tour the Codorníu estate. We learned a lot of history behind the family business. Codorníu was founded in 1551. It is the oldest family-based company in Spain, and one of the oldest in the world. Today, Codorníu produces around 60 million bottles of wine and has over 200,000 people visit annually. Hearing those statistics made me feel so grateful to be one of the 200,000 people this year given the chance to experience and learn about such a famous and successful company.


Our visit began with a 3D video highlighting the history of Codorníu. The video included information about the architecture of the winery, and how the wine is produced and manufactured. After the video, we all boarded a small, electric tram. After learning a few more facts about the winery, we were able to see it for ourselves on the tram ride. The winery is twenty miles of tunnels and three stories deep. It holds over 100 million bottles of wine. The ride seemed a little spooky at first since we were deep inside of a cellar on a tram track, but the cellar caves were beautiful and hold so much history throughout them. The ride lasted for about 5 minutes. It was very neat to be able to see the underground storages of the Codorníu winery.


After the train ride, our groups met together for a cava tasting. We were given the opportunity to taste both the white cava and the rosé cava. There I learned that Codorníu cava is sparkling rather than flat. I loved the rosé so much that I decided to purchase a bottle of Rosé Anna as a souvenir. The gift shop was cool and included the wines we tasted in the cava, along with many more flavors.

My major is Public Relations, so I took the Cross-Cultural Communications course with Forum-Nexus. Although the visit to Codorníu seemed more business oriented, my concentration in communications allowed me to take a valuable information from the visit as well. I was able to see and learn how Codorníu communicates through international markets to sell their products worldwide. In addition to learning about Codorníu’s international sales, I also observed the way in which the cava winery marketed their products by offering the complimentary tasting at the end of the tour. Each person was given one glass of white cava and one glass of pink cava, then taken directly to a gift shop exit, which was full of Codorníu cavas and other goods. I am not ashamed to admit that although it was an obvious ploy to have their products purchased, the wine tasting strategy worked on a large majority of our tour group, myself included! Overall, the professional visit to Codorníu was very educational since prior to the visit, I was not familiar with this leading international company.

 By: Rachel R., FN 2016 Alumna


Courtesy of Rachel Rowan