Gabriella is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, USA, where she earned a degree in communications/public relations and psychology. Traveling, storytelling, and education have always been her passions. While in college, she spent a month in Europe with Forum-Nexus Study Abroad and remained a part of the team ever since. She is now the Assistant Director of Admissions, helping other students from around the world to have their very own life-changing summer abroad.
What is your favorite travel memory?
My favorite travel memory is actually my entire honeymoon! Being born and raised in the U.S., my husband and I decided to take a heritage honeymoon to some of the countries and regions that our ancestors have come from.
We traveled to Wales, Croatia, and Italy to explore our roots and get acquainted with the very same cultures, languages, and customs that were commonplace for our ancestors before they immigrated to the United States. The entire experience was so exciting and rewarding. I’ve written a lot about it on my personal blog, and I’m even helping some of my friends to start planning their own trips!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Studying abroad with Forum-Nexus (FN) taught me to think bigger and to be more curious about the world around me. FN helped me to be more informed and educated about history, politics, culture, and language in Europe – what we call increasing your International IQ – and I continue to evolve as a better global citizen because of that.
Now being part of the team at FN, each summer brings new experiences learning and growing in my role as well as the most rewarding feeling of watching the students that I speak with all year long finally have their own life-changing experience abroad.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
So many of our students will share with us examples of how they’ve been able to apply something they learned during Forum-Nexus to a class or a situation back home.
We always have a few students who love our program so much that they actually join us for another summer!
When they return to Europe they are so comfortable knowing how to get around, how to speak basic phrases in the language of the country that we are in at the time, etc. and they use those skills to help the new Forum-Nexus students that year. Watching them grow and change from one summer to the next is a testament to how powerful a study abroad experience can be!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Each summer we offer a multi-country program that travels through some of Europe’s best cities, in several different countries, all in about a month! I absolutely love this program because it provides a mix of big cities and small towns, with the views ranging from skyscrapers to mountains to sandy beaches.
There is so much to see and do, and the program really gives students a taste of everything. They gain applicable knowledge in their classes, learn about businesses and strategies during professional visits, visit historical and cultural sites during their free time, and they can even travel to more cities and countries over the weekends! It’s the perfect way to see and do a lot in Europe without missing an entire semester at home. I think it’s the best way to spend a summer!
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Our organization is unique because our team is comprised of like-minded people from around the world – the U.S., Argentina, Egypt, Mexico, etc. – who work together for the same goal of providing the most enriching and exciting summer study abroad experience in Europe. Our program is like an extension of our team. It’s fun, energetic, multicultural, and a combination of many experiences. We learn from each other all the time!
I’m always proud of the way my team comes together to handle challenges, collaborate on projects, and celebrate each member’s best skills. Each of us has such a passion for travel and education and it’s really rewarding to be able to work together!
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I think what is most important to being a successful company in our industry is to provide an experience that all students can take advantage of. We are proud to host a program that has something for everyone, in terms of classes and internships, to professional visits, to trips and excursions, to different environments in each city we visit.
Our program is open to both undergraduate and graduate level students, as well as first-year students and incoming students. We believe that it’s never too early or too late to study abroad, and we want to make it a possibility for any student in any country around the world.