What did Forum-Nexus do for you and what did you need to do on your own?
Tiffany: Forum-Nexus provided us with housing and breakfast during the duration of the program. Most of our hotels were located in a central location near by tourists attractions and/or subway lines. Our program director made sure the hotels were in the safest part of the city. I really enjoyed waking up to the breakfast each morning. Most often free breakfast is normally bagels or croissants, but we had buffet style cuisine each morning. Our transportation to and from class was provided by the program.
If you could do-over one thing on your program, what would it be and why?
Tiffany: I have no regrets about the program. I lived each day with its fullest potential. I'm a risk taker and a thrill seeker so I live for the moment. However, if I could change one thing I would have preferred to have a general understanding of a new language. Although we travelled to seven different cities often I confused the language. If I had the opportunity to do another thing over prior to the trip I should have researched tourist attractions. This was my first time in Europe so I was unsure of what to expect. Next time I will get a book of popular tourists attractions, famous restaurants, must see landmarks, etc. I think background research is important.
Describe your most meaningful souvenir and why you love it?
Tiffany: While away I walked into every souvenir shop imaginable. It was difficult at times to not buy everything I saw. However, my first souvenir shop was where I purchased my most meaningful souvenir in Barcelona, Spain. A bought a beautiful stain glass cross, across from the famous La Sagrada Familia cathedral. Every morning before I leave the house I take a look at the cross and I am reminded of my trip. The design of the cross reminds me of windows in the cathedral. It is safe to say that my cross is my favorite souvenir to myself.
Where was your best photo taken and what was it of?
Tiffany: It is hard to pick my favorite photo because I had so many memorable experiences. However, if I had to choose one I would say, I love my picture at the Trevi Fountain also known as the fountain of love. The lighting hit the statues and water perfectly at night, it was almost like the fountain was glowing. The best time to go to the Trevi Fountain is at night , don't mind the crowd and bring your camera for a amazing photographs.
What were the biggest language-barrier challenges you faced?
Tiffany: Language was not a huge barrier throughout my trip. At times I was not always positive of what I was ordering on the menu, but I could generally figure out the menu by word recognition. I tried to speak the language of the country I was in and if I pronounced a word incorrectly I was applauded for my effort. Everyone was extremely nice and gracious that I took the time to try and learn their language, most times they will show pity on you. However, the first time I was nervous about not knowing the language was when I first arrived to the airport in Spain. I was waiting on the rest of my group members and I branched out in the airport on my own. With me all I had was my cell phone and a translation book from Spanish to English. The national language in Spain is Catalan which is slightly different from Spanish. It was a bit challenging to find my way back through the airport, but I made it back safely.