One of the most difficult tasks of studying abroad is making a decision on where to go! There are SO many program options available, especially in Europe. If you’ve been dreaming of backpacking through the Swiss Alps, indulging in local cuisine in Italy, learning about the historical and cultural remnants in Berlin, or visiting multinational companies in Barcelona, then keep reading to learn more about Forum-Nexus and their multi-country summer programs!
Forum-Nexus has 22 years of experience specializing in intensive summer programs throughout Europe for both undergraduate and graduate students. We thought the best way to learn more about the program was through an exciting guest blog post from Micah Kaats, who participated in a Forum-Nexus program in the summer of 2011!
Meet Guest Blogger: Micah Kaats
Paris had always been my favorite European city. So naturally, when I got the okay from my parents to study in Europe over the summer, Paris was the first place I looked. It didn’t take me too long to find some appealing options. In fact, I found plenty of appealing options. But I couldn’t find what I was specifically looking for. There wasn’t a single program that would allow me to take the kind of classes I wanted to take, for the amount of time I wanted to take them, and within the price range I had to work with. So I started looking for other alternatives.
I stumbled upon the Forum-Nexus website not too long afterwards. It was a different route than I had intended to take that summer and I had to give up my idea of spending an entire summer studying in my beloved Paris. I still don’t really know why I did. But visiting eight other European cities in addition to Paris, taking two accredited classes, traveling with over one hundred other college students from around the world, and doing it all for almost half the price I expected must have had something to do with it. I can’t be sure. In any case, after some exceedingly easy parental convincing, I applied to the 2011 Forum-Nexus program in Western Europe, signed up for classes in International Marketing and Cross-Cultural Management, and before I knew it I was on a plane to Barcelona.
Before June 29th, I had always said Paris was my favorite city in the world. But before June 29th, I had never been to Barcelona. The breathtaking Gaudi architecture, authentic El Born district, never ending nightlife at Port Olimpic, and amazing tapas restaurants were just some of the things keeping me busy during the day. And meanwhile, I somehow managed to learn the ins and outs of Spanish history and culture, visit the Codorniu vineyards and learn the details of the company’s marketing strategy, study at the IQS School of Management five hours a day and write two research papers.
Our next stop was an all too short blur of cafés, metros, parks, crepes and incredibly cheap wine. Yes, I’m talking about Paris! We visited the UNESCO and OECD headquarters, the Louvre museum, and studied at the American Business School. Switzerland followed suite with professional visits to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in Geneva and mountain climbing, sky-diving, canyoning, hiking and…midterms in Interlaken. The fresh Swiss air and $17.00 Big Macs were a tough act to follow, but Milan certainly held its own. Although we were only able to stay in Italy for four days, studying at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, walking the roof of the Duomo, traversing the entire city from its eastern to western side on foot, and partying at the world famous Club Hollywood were some of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip.
From there, the legendary Forum-Nexus overnight boat ride to Greece! As a group we visited and learned about the significance of the Acropolis in Athens and the historical monuments of Rhodes, and I took my own personal cultural visit to the island of Mykonos where I experienced the musical significance of Benny Benassi and Kaskade. The last stop on this wild ride with Forum-Nexus was Turkey. Completely different both geologically and culturally from everywhere else we had been so far, the cities of Kusadasi and Istanbul had something extremely unique to offer. In between visiting the ruins of Ephesus and the ancient mosques of Agya Sofia, we took our final exams, had a going away banquet and graduation ceremony, and said our final goodbyes before boarding planes the next day to return to our respective homes all over the world.
Since returning home from Europe, I’ve kept in touch with almost every single friend I made over the summer and we’ve already planned a reunion trip to Egypt. I was able to get credits for the courses I took abroad at my home university in Philadelphia. (I also get to look pretty damn cool answering every single question my marketing professor asks this semester before he even finishes asking it.) And all of this was made possible by Forum-Nexus. So would I recommend this program to my fellow college going contemporaries? What do you think??? YES!!!