Testimonials

International students and program participants share their experiences with Connect-123’s internship, volunteer and study abroad programs. Whether through programs in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Dublin or Shanghai, each international program participant has a unique story to share. Take a look and see what Connect-123’s international students, volunteers or interns have to say! Connect-123’s blog also has great international study, volunteer and travel advice! Scroll down to view all testimonials - or filter by destination, opportunity or both.

James Sapali

James Sapali

Human Rights Intern
Malmo University, Sweden
31 January 2015
My name is James Sapali, a student of Masters Programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations at the Malmö University in Sweden. Actually I have acquired different philosophies and theories about the current international developments, the effect of globalisation and human mobility, issues of inclusion and exclusion of immigrants, majority-minority relations in diverse and complex society. It was my dream to do an internship during my third semester and the city of Cape Town was my choice. I decided to involve Connect-123 to find the perfect organisation where I can gain practical experience. I am very grateful to Connect -123 for attaching me with a refugee centre where I spent five months sharpening my skills.

Living in Cape Town is an experience of itself, by adding an internship to this experience one can get one of the most rewarding experiences a student could have during his/hers' study period. You cannot have a better taste of multiculturalism and diversity in any other city than Cape Town. Here I learned more than during my whole studies. I was able to work with refugees and asylum seekers who would like to receive a small businesses grants, evaluating application forms and interviews, whether over the phone or face to face, and the most difficult thing- taking decisions. All of this helped me to put my theoretical knowledge into practice and realize what from my knowledge is important and useful and what is not.

This internship taught me more then I expected. Not only in my field of studies, but it also developed my personality. At a university everybody is on his own. You study for yourself, do exams for yourself, the responsibility is only on yourself. Here I realized that whatever I do, I am responsible not only for my work but also for the whole team. I learned how to organize my work, how to deal with variety of situations and I improved my communication skills.

Generally, this internship was the best choice ever. I got new friends and most important experiencing the beauty of Cape Town. Thank you very much Connect-123 staff to let my dream come true. Special thanks to Claudette (Connect-123 Coordinator). Her kindness and tireless support to the interns are really worth acknowledging.

Lensa Bogale

Lensa Bogale

Journalism Intern
University of Southern California
05 January 2015

I had the privilege of interning with a television series that broadcasts mini documentaries on issues of social justice in South Africa. Traveling to Cape Town for an internship was one of the best experiences I have had in my life thus far. It gave me the opportunity to explore South Africa through the lens of a native as opposed to simply that of a tourist.

Connect-123 did an amazing job of pairing me with an internship that tailored to my passions/interests as a broadcast journalism major. My internship was very hands on; I was able to edit, interview, and pitch story ideas. At the end of my 6-weeks, I was privileged enough to receive a letter of recommendation to send to perspective jobs/internships. I have established life-long relationships with both my supervisors and co-workers. Creating a bond with the staff as well as the others participants in the program, Connect-123 genuinely felt like a second family. There was never a moment where I felt uncomfortable approaching a staff member with an issue I was facing and they were always more than willing to help in whatever way possible. From socials at the local pub to educational tours that delved into the history behind South Africa, I felt as though I was provided with a well-rounded experience. I sincerely miss South Africa and the people I met on my journey. The lessons of hard work, networking, and open-mindedness are ones that I will posses for a lifetime. To be able to simultaneously intern and travel was an experience I will never forget. I am beyond grateful and this internship will be noted as one of the highlights of my life.

 

Paul Moussa Cisse

Paul Moussa Cisse

Marketing Intern
Simon Fraser University
01 January 2015

Coming to Shanghai was the best thing that ever happened to me so far in my life. I decided to do a 3 month internship in a fashion company. Connect-123 was here from the beginning till they end of my internship. They find me a couple of internships first then I had to do a few Skype interviews. I was happy because my options were not limited. They found me the best internship that was most suited to my future career.

Before coming to Shanghai, they sent me a list of movies, books, and websites that I could check out since China is totally different from other countries. I mean every country is special, but China can be a cultural shock for people that did not travel a lot and by sending you a list of movies and books, you can start emerging yourself into the culture.

The people at my work were just amazing. They guided me through each step and Jimmy (coordinator of Connect-123 in Shanghai) was so helpful. He helped me with lot, especially towards the end of my stay.

Also, you can not be bored in Shanghai! The nightlife is just crazy and you meet people from all over the world. I have made so many friends in here in such a short period of time.

I would like to thank Lea, Jimmy, and the Connect-123 family for having made this happen. I will definitely recommend Connect-123 to fully have a Shanghai experience.

Chelsea Casey

Chelsea Casey

Health Care Intern
California State University Graduate
30 December 2014

Don't speak Spanish? Is it holding you back from coming to South America? Do you feel like you will not be able to have the same experience with little to no Spanish? Have no fear, I am proof that you will indeed reach the highest level of happiness and satisfaction interning in this beautiful country. Let me first say that when I was thinking about interning abroad I was fearful that my Spanish skills were not advanced enough to survive in a medical setting. Although the first couple days I was still fearful, Connect 123 helped me in ways I cannot thank them enough for. They set me up with a healthcare provider that spoke English who translated for me most the time. I will say, being in this position is not easy but extremely rewarding. Connect set me up with an awesome Spanish learning center that helped me improved my interpersonal skills tremendously! In no time I was able to speak with patients and providers!

Aside from the language barrier obstacle, I have to point out that out of all the internships I've done, this internship set me up with a hospital that will forever have a special place in my heart. The amount of love and support the Hospital provided me was something I did not know was possible! They were extremely helpful, teachable, and patient. I met so many wonderful doctors, specialists, and residents who let me assist in procedures, shadow surgeries, consultations, the list goes on! What I brought back to the states was not only new skills and medical knowledge, but excitement and a new found love in healthcare. Connect 123 was so organized, professional, and willing to help whenever I needed them. I will forever be grateful for Connect 123 and the public Hospital. I would do it all over again!

Cindy Tran

Cindy Tran

Health Care Intern
Western University, Canada
24 December 2014

Connect-123 helped me find an opportunity to work in a public hospital working with children. I have never travelled by myself before let alone live in a foreign city for two months! However, the people at Connect-123 were so caring, kind and helpful. They would make sure everything is all set before your arrival, helping you feel comfortable when you arrive and they would also meet up with you during your stay to make sure everything is going ok. They also plan events so you can easily meet other interns/volunteers.

The opportunity to work as an intern at the public hospital I worked at was extremely valuable. Though I did know some basic Spanish before my arrival, working at the hospital really forced me to speak/understand Spanish because no one really spoke English. Being able to communicate with patients in Spanish, specifically in a health care setting is so beneficial - I am thankful for this experience.

Buenos Aires itself, I miss this city and the people everyday. It really is the Paris of South America. Not only is it a beautiful city with a lot of culture and trust me, a crazy nightlife, you will one way or another become friends with a local and or other people travelling/working/studying abroad from all over the world. It is really nice to have international connections, making friends and memories that will last a lifetime. I would also recommend travelling around Argentina during the weekends! It's a win/win. You gain international work experience and travel when you don't work. My summer in Buenos Aires is the best summer of my life and really changed my life.

 

John Sanford

John Sanford

Finance Intern
Rhodes College Graduate
23 December 2014

I can only comment positively with regard to the service and personnel provided to me by Connect-123 throughout the entirety of my internship process in Buenos Aires. Katie and Paula are very personable people who not only found me a great internship, but put in the after hours work to make sure that myself and the other interns were comfortable in an unfamiliar city. The experience gained through my time in Argentina has proven to be very useful and is already paying dividends. I would not hesitate to recommend this program to any young professional or student that is interested in advancing their career in an international setting.

Connect-123 found me an internship in the mutual fund of an Argentine investment firm located in the heart of the Buenos Aires banking district. Considering the volatility of the Argentine economy, it was an eye opening experience that forced me to stay on my toes and ensured that every day was a new challenge. While I was already proficient in Spanish, the internship expanded my professional vocabulary by introducing me to finance terminology that I otherwise would not have known. The daily research I was doing forced me to stay up to date on the Argentine economy and transformed what was originally a burden into a genuine interest. At my current job, I still find a few minutes each day to check in on the firm’s mutual fund and see if they are making a buck or two. I have chosen a career path other than finance, but the lessons learned from my time in Argentina are still applicable. It was a great experience and I recommend Connect-123.

Henry Ryan

Henry Ryan

Business Intern
Bentley University
22 December 2014

I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina and it was truly a life changing experience. I didn’t even speak spanish and yet it was the best decision I have ever made.

Internship: I had an 8 week internship with a start-up company. The process of getting the internship was incredibly easy. I simply spoke with a Connect 123 advisor on the phone, sent my resume to her, and within weeks I was able to align a Skype interview. Over the course of my internship, I was not only able to gain work experience, but I was also able to fully enjoy the culture and social life in Argentina.

Argentina: I was pleasantly surprised to find that the city of Buenos Aires was much larger and busier than I had previously expected. With the surplus of bars, clubs, and social events; the only problem with Buenos Aires is that there is too much to do. If partying is important to you, then you will never want to leave. The cuisine is fantastic. Meats, cheese, and fruit are among the Argentine specialties and my personal favorites. From world renowned restaurants to delicious street vendors, I have had some of the best food of my life in Argentina.  Lastly, everyone needs to take trips to Iguazu Falls, Patagonia, and Uruguay or Chile.

Connect-123: By far, the best thing about Connect 123 is how helpful the advisors are. When you arrive in Argentina, they give you everything you need to get started. If anything were ever to happen to you, then the Connect 123 administration would be there to help no matter what. My advisor was willing to meet with me wherever and whenever if I ever had any concerns.

Salomey Osafo-Ampadu

Salomey Osafo-Ampadu

Sustainable Development Intern
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
17 December 2014

My time in Cape Town was absolutely adventurous, educative and life changing. I was able to mingle with people from all over the world and gained so many experiences. Working at a company that was solely run by interns gave me a great responsibility to the position I was given. I had to contact investors and organise events with the world design capital and also help upcoming entrepreneurs. I plan on working on something financial related but on my arrival at the company the opportunities I had made me realise what I really wanted to do. Working in a social enterprise help me use my people skill as well us learn a lot from my co-workers. Not only did I gain a good work experience but had so much fun that there was never a dull moment. The people I met were incredible and we all became good friends. We went on road trips together and planned so many activities. Weekends were always something we looked forward to. Cape Town has so much to offer and we couldn’t wait to explore the depth of it and its history. Our Saturday routine to The old Biscuit Mill, hiking the mountains, touring around the beautiful Stellenbosch for wine tasting, visiting townships, going for music festivals were all memorable. The people in Cape Town were heart-warming and Connect-123 was always there to assist us whenever we needed anything. I felt I was safe because their office was in the same building as we were so it was easy to get assisted by them. I will never trade my time in Cape Town for anything else, it was my best spent summer ever. I gained the opportunity to be independent and learn so many new cultures and be able to mingle with people from different countries. I am glad I made the decision to travel to Cape Town and through Connect-123.

 

Christina Christophi

Christina Christophi

Entrepreneurship Intern
Endicott College
17 December 2014

Having worked within the financial industry in London for some years I decided that I didn’t want just a job but I wanted to find something that I am actually passionate about doing.

Having whittled it down to working with small businesses, I then found Connect-123 who were offering entrepreneurship volunteer programmes in Cape Town. Within a short period of time they had organised everything necessary for me to make this massive move.

Having spent three months in Cape Town as an intern, I fell in love with the people and the City. Cape town to me was like a melting pot for culture and creativity and a city of incredible contrasts.

One of the best things about doing an internship is that you can, if you want, experience what it means to be a local, much more than if you were just visiting on holiday. I experienced my highs and my lows, I was both in awe of the cities beauty and also heartbroken by some of its struggles. It was a privilege to be able to be a part of individual lives that are as contrasting as the city itself and it was also a privilege to be a part of the entrepreneurship world at its grassroots.

This internship was one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences that I have had and it has sparked much creativity and enthusiasm for future plans.

I would highly recommend Connect-123’s programs and friendly staff to accommodate a positive internship experience for anyone!

Ray Lau

Ray Lau

Architecture Intern
Northeastern University
15 December 2014

Working in Cape Town has been an unforgettable experience. Not only have I had the opportunity to pursue my passion for architecture but also to be exposed to a new and vibrant culture. This is my first time living in Africa and the past four months living in Cape Town has allowed me to dive deep into the local culture and explore hidden gems that range from drinking the best Rooibos tea in in a shabby alley coffee shop to 216 meter bungee jumping on Blaukran Bridge. As the major city of South Africa, Cape Town has a unique building infrastructure. It has European-style architecture and modern high-rises as well as poor districts of slums and shacks. The architecture firm I worked at serves all types of clients, which has provided me with exposure to the wide range of building types being constructed here. This has taught me how to think about and see things differently to create spaces that are applicable to the particular environments. The firm is located near the commercial district and the company culture is intense yet friendly and enthusiastic. The office faces both Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, so it is always very nice to walk to work in the morning. The office is always busy so I am able to get my hands on almost every project.

Living in Cape Town has expanded my horizons. Encountering both local people and the international community here has given me a broader perspective on the world and has allowed me flourish both personally and professionally.

 

Taylor Nelson

Taylor Nelson

Human Rights Intern
Salem University
10 December 2014

I knew I wanted to come to Cape Town a year and half before I started my internship. I came across Connect when I was searching for a study abroad program. Connect-123 was the only organization I found that seemed like it'd work out for me. I knew I wanted to go into the field of human rights and I knew that I couldn’t spend a lot of money. Also it seemed so perfect to doing human rights work in a nation with so much social justice history and not to mention the most forward human rights constitution in the world.

Before I came to South Africa I mentally prepared myself that this trip was about work and not fun. I told myself that this trip would help me get serious about my career and that would be my number one focus. I could not have been more wrong. Not only did I get a lot out of my internship working with refugees but I also made life long friends. I did things I never thought I would ever do such as jump out of an airplane and off the highest bungee in the world. I went to my first musical festival and experienced an authentic South African Braai. My trip was more than just about my work but it was about the experiences I had and the people that I met along the way. Not just people from Connect or from work but locals I met on the train, at a park, or out on Long st. My internship was really hard seeing people who have experienced the worst in life: homelessness, war, and genocide, but it gave an insight and appreciation for life after seeing it in their eyes. It is going to be really hard to leave Cape Town but I will never forget it and I will definitely be back.

Ellie Tallis

Ellie Tallis

Environment / Sustainability Intern
Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
05 December 2014

Over the summer I spent 3 months completing an internship at an environmental company who are based in Cape Town. I was part of their Product and Reach team mainly assisting the product team members with sales and fundraising. Any nerves and worries I had about working for a company in such a new country were cast aside after my first day at work. Being able to work with such a like-minded team who are so passionate about the environment and sustainable living was truly a privilege. I met some amazing people during my time in Cape Town who I will never forget, it astounded me that how in such a short space of time friends can become like family. In completing my internship I learnt a wide variety of new skills especially when it comes to understanding different cultures and interacting with people who hold different values and perspectives.

No words or pictures can ever capture just how wonderful Cape Town is from the food markets to the vibrant nightlife on Long Street there really is something for everyone. You will never be bored in Cape Town there is so much to do but I recommend you make time to see the other side of South Africa the not so touristy one, make sure you leave time to visit one of the local Townships, meet some of the people and experience what true happiness really means. The thing that stands out most for me about Cape Town is the hospitality of each individual, if I can give you one piece of advice it would be not to travel to South Africa with expectations from what you have read or been told by others, go with an open mind. I cannot not praise Rachel and her team at Connect 123 enough for what they do, I urge anyone who is thinking about doing an internship in Cape Town to go for it, believe me you will not regret it!

Eric Savoie

Eric Savoie

Marketing & Communications Intern
Michigan State University
26 November 2014

It is hard to believe that it has been almost four months since I have returned from my internship in Barcelona. It is still an experience that I reflect upon nearly every day, especially as I approach my graduation and try to figure out what I want do with my future. Although I am still figuring out exactly what I want to make of my life, I am now confident that I will one day find it, and will forever be thanking Lea Levy and Connect-123 for helping me get there.

From day one, Lea was extremely accommodating in helping me find the proper placement and ensuring I had a top-notch experience. We Skyped about my aspirations, and within a short period of time I was set up for an internship with a company that matched my interests and resume perfectly. As soon as I landed in Barcelona, I was shown around town and given suggestions about where to shop, eat, and have fun. If I ever had any questions or needed assistance, I could count on Lea to be just an email or phone call away. I couldn't have ever guessed that what I anticipated to be such a huge "leap of faith" would be such a smooth transition.

After having two weeks of exploring the city and learning Spanish at my quickest rate ever with Camino Barcelona, it was time for me to begin my Marketing & Communications internship. I was pretty sure that I would enjoy the work and learn quite a bit, but I had no idea to what extent. Every single day I was faced with new challenges, and with each moment spent in the office I grew closer to my co-workers and developed my professional skills. By doing my best to immerse myself in the local culture, while also traveling about half of the weekends, I became more in-touch with myself and expanded my worldview more than ever before.

Interning abroad was an experience that I will never forget, and will always be thankful for. During all of my interviews thus far, potential employers have been very excited about my experience in Barcelona and have told me how impressive it is. If you want to boost your resume while also gaining a stronger understanding of yourself and the world, I urge you to intern abroad through Connect-123.

Anna Lim

Anna Lim

Human Rights Intern
National University of Singapore
24 November 2014

Choosing Cape Town for my overseas internship was the best decision I’ve made. I was filled with trepidation before arriving, mostly because of the impression of South Africa as somewhat unsafe and dangerous. Yet Cape Town exceeded my expectations by a mile. This is a place with a rich culture, breathtaking scenery, friendly locals and much more.

Connect-123 did a good job arranging my internship, accommodation and facilitating my stay here. Because of their tremendous help, I faced little hassle in settling down and making Cape Town my home for 5 months. The coordinators are always there to fix any problems promptly and efficiently. Also, they are very friendly and willing to help any time. I’ve also forged valuable friendships here with the other interns, despite coming from different countries with cultural differences. The smooth transition from Singapore to Cape Town and my fellow interns definitely contributed to the amazing experience I’ve had here.

I worked in a non-profit which focuses on refugees’ rights, and I have learnt a lot from it. I familiarized myself with South Africa’s human rights law and refugee law, which demonstrated the gap between theory and reality. My internship exposed me to the injustices that many refugees faced, and it was a harsh reminder that human rights progress is still far from maturity in South Africa. Also, I was thrown many challenging tasks – such as going for a business trip to Johannesburg and attending meetings alone, presenting on my organization’s operations, and attending a parliament session. They are stressful, but I treat them as opportunities to grow, and I did. The internship allowed me to translate things I’ve learnt in my Political Science modules to real life, and I’ve gained a clearer perspective on human rights issues and an edge over other students; because I had a first-hand experience that others lacked. The internship caused me to reflect on what I want to achieve in the future, and I can say that working here in Cape Town has helped me find my goal in life.

Besides the internship, Cape Town as a whole is amazing. The experience here will not be complete without hiking up the many mountains this place got to offer, as well as exploring the Cape Malay quarters in Bo-Kaap, the bustling nightlife in Long Street, the scenic route from Muizenberg to Simon’s Town, and most importantly, interacting with the friendly locals. The garden route and the west coast are beautiful places to venture to, and Stellenbosch also offers the luxury to indulge in great wines coupled with lush scenery. The best part is, Connect-123 arranges many tours to the various attractions, thus making it more convenient for those who prefer to experience everything without the hassle of planning them.

I will definitely miss my time here in Cape Town, and I have no regrets choosing this city for my internship!

 

Chiyvonne Shennan

Chiyvonne Shennan

Social Work Intern
University of Salford Graduate
07 November 2014

I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to intern in one of the most amazing cities I had ever been to, Buenos Aires, I have travelled extensively and have to say that BA is incredible and always something for everyone to do, it is rich with culture and diversity and Connect 123 made this possible.

Being a social science student and coming from Manchester, England, I found it impossible to find a placement in Argentina that would be in the same field/industry that I wanted to work in. That was until I contacted Connect 123 who from start to finish were professional and the most friendly helpful staff ever. I was matched with an addiction service in Buenos Aries which well-matched my academic interests in drug and alcohol addictions and I was privy to other addictions which I had not been exposed to before, which I learnt a lot from. I was also co-ordinated with a Spanish school which was an amazing school with amazing friendly staff that not only organised your classes but put on activity days and evenings for us all to join in.

My internship lasted for almost 2 months and South America had been a bucket list dream for as long as I can remember and Connect-123 made this possible so I have the utmost gratefulness for their constant support and help throughout my time and for making this the best work experience of my life. I lived with the most wonderful family who I will keep in touch with always, they made me feel very welcome and it was a home away from home. The social events that Connect 123 arranged every other week were always great and had something for everyone.

I would also like to mention that being a vegetarian in this city was easy, which I was not expecting but most of the restaurants and café bars serve vegetarian food which was fab and helped me settle in. This had been one of my anxieties.

To conclude both the internship and Spanish school facilitated me to form relationships with patients, who I have learnt valuable life lessons from and also peers who were undertaking similar interns. My experience in BA was truly amazing and one of the best decisions of my life…thank you ;)

Dan Weise

Dan Weise

Hospitality Intern
DePaul University
29 September 2014

Even after being away from Barcelona for almost 2 months, I can say that Connect-123 has provided me with the best opportunity I have ever been afforded. This past summer, I was a food and beverage intern at a 4-star hotel in downtown Barcelona where I was able to meet others from all around the world, develop Spanish language skills, and gain professional development. However, the experience extended far beyond the walls of the hotel. Connect-123 regularly contacted me to make sure that I was having a safe, enjoyable experience and even coordinated so many different activities all throughout Barcelona! Without Connect-123, I would have been much more intimidated by the process of living and working and abroad.

Barcelona could not have been a more ideal city to hold an internship. The people and sites are equally amazing and living 15 minutes away from the sea was incredible. As I move through my “day-to-day” back in Chicago, I will forever remember the time I spent in Barcelona and the great people who surrounded me. Hasta pronto!

Priscilla Choi

Priscilla Choi

Tourism Intern
Rhodes College
29 September 2014

When people ask me “How did you enjoy Barcelona?”, I always respond: “I loved it. I want to go back and stay there forever.” And then they laugh. Little do they know that I’m only half joking.

My summer experience in Barcelona can be summed up in one word: AMAZING, and I have to thank Connect-123 for that! My dream has always been to travel to Barcelona, Spain and it was surreal to me that I was able to go to Barcelona and not only get real-world experience, but also have the time of my life! I was introduced to Connect-123 by a college friend, who also went to Barcelona through the same program and after his glowing review, I also decided to take the Connect-123 route. The coordinators at Connect-123 are awesome (special shout out to Lea, who is the bomb!) and make sure you’re getting the most meaningful experience you can have. And that’s why I would recommend it to everyone interested in interning abroad!

Barcelona will forever be in my heart. I was able to work with a small startup company based in Barcelona, which has shaped my professional experience background in a whole new way. Getting international internship experience is so valuable and I’m glad to have been able to do it! The great part was that aside from working, I was still able to enjoy myself, getting to know the city, exploring, traveling and of course, eating!! Being able to spend two months in Barcelona and integrating myself into the culture was one of the greatest experiences I ever had. After work, I would spend time getting to know the city and discovering the hidden gems and the major attractions of Barcelona! On the weekends, I would take day trips to cool places nearby Barcelona, like Costa Brava and Sitges. I even did a weekend trip in Madrid which was fantastic!

I know it’s cliché to say that traveling abroad is life-changing, but it really is! I’ve learned so much more about myself and it’s such a great feeling! When I got back to the US, I thought to myself, “Man I really wish I was in Barcelona again!” If you’re considering studying/interning abroad, go for it! I promise you’ll have an amazing time once you’re there and there’s a reason why everyone loves traveling! Thank you so much Connect-123 for allowing me to grow as a person and helping me fulfill my case of wanderlust!

 

Daniel Cooke

Daniel Cooke

Public Policy
Michigan State University
28 September 2014

Before I even knew which college I wanted to attend, I had already made up my mind about one important aspect of my collegiate career: I wanted to study abroad. I had been blessed with many international trips prior to my summer in Barcelona, but there is truly a difference between visiting a city and living in a city, intensively experiencing a new culture, stepping way out of your comfort zone, and all the while growing more confident as a global citizen. That is why I wanted to study, work, and live abroad for an entire summer, and the efforts of Lea and the Connect-123 team made that dream possible and unforgettable.

Barcelona has become another home city to me. The twelve incredible weeks I spent there were irreplaceable with regards to the people I met, the lived, and the memories I made. I was matched up perfectly by C-123 with not only an NGO that truly sparked my interest in social investing in Latin America as a career path, but also a supervisor that quickly became a mentor and life-long friend. The city itself is absolutely amazing… Barcelona has something for everyone: some of the best food in the world, relaxing beaches, mountains for hiking, classic Spanish plazas filled with street life, world class art, architectural gems, medieval and gothic-era quarters, some of the best nightlife in Europe, and some of the friendliest people I have ever met. In spite of what I just wrote, that is only the very surface of that remarkable city… Every day in Barcelona is an adventure with regards to your career aspirations, language abilities, and life experiences while submerging into a foreign culture.

As mentioned before, Barcelona is now another home for me, even after only 3 months of living there. I fell in love with my work, the people I encountered, and the incredible city that never ceased to amaze me. I always look back on my time in Barcelona with C-123 as a major milestone in my life, and I strongly encourage anyone else interested in the program to do the same and experience the amazing city of Barcelona!

Christina Koehler

Christina Koehler

Nursing Intern
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
23 September 2014

Draining spider bites and tango dancing—not two things that I would usually associate together. That is, not until I completed an internship through Connect-123 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

I interned in a hospital for two months, and it was hands down one of the most worthwhile, exciting, and informative times of my life. My internship was not only suited to my academic interests in nursing and Spanish, but also to my personality as I was able to form relationships with both patients and doctors. I shocked myself with the realization that I want to pursue trauma nursing, a discovery that came through the hands-on work that the doctors allowed me to do. 

Besides the placement for my internship, Connect-123 was also helpful in helping me connect with peers. Buenos Aires is a huge city, and it can be intimidating to go in alone. Connect-123 set up both my housing and different cultural events, like tango, that allowed me to meet fellow interns that became close friends. 

I could write all day about the incredible experiences I had in Argentina. Many thanks to Connect-123 for providing a home away from home. 

 

Tanya Nanthakumar

Tanya Nanthakumar

Health Care Intern
University of Toronto
18 September 2014

Deciding to travel to Cape Town was a big step for me. I’ve travelled before, but there was always someone on the other end to receive me and show me around. Connect123 and the lovely ladies in Cape Town made sure that my stay was safe, fun and memorable. My 4-week internship at a secondary hospital was completely eye opening. Learning how the health care system in Cape Town worked and being around such knowledgeable doctors and nurses was a privilege. What I learned was not just medical facts and assessments, but real life lessons that I will carry with me for many years. I didn’t feel like an outsider, but a part of the team.

Cape Town as a tourist was riveting. Though it was July and slightly cold, I quickly adjusted and found myself enraptured by my surroundings. Perspectives, being right in city center, provided me with a gorgeous view of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. My roommates were amazing and we would attend any of the events Connect123 held, such as the Langa Township Tour and Social night. These events allowed us to meet the other interns and form lasting friendships. All in all, my experience with Connect123 was amazing. The support was constant and amazing. If you asked me if I would ever go back to Cape Town in the future, my answer would be an immediate, irrevocable “yes”.