Testimonials

International students and program participants share their experiences with Connect-123ís 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-123ís international students, volunteers or interns have to say! Connect-123ís blog also has great international study, volunteer and travel advice! Scroll down to view all testimonials - or filter by destination, opportunity or both.

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”.

Katie Sumpter

Katie Sumpter

Health Care Intern
University of Iowa
18 September 2014

My experience in Cape Town is something I would never trade. I had a better time their than I could have imagined. I was able to work side by side with doctors who were very willing to teach me anything and everything. There was a lot of medical students as well, which just showed how great a teaching environment the hospital had. There was some great hands on experience as well as plenty of time to observe. Even if nothing too exciting was going on in the hospital, someone was always willing to help us find something new and interesting to see. I liked learning about the differences between government hospitals and private hospitals and comparing them to ones back home.

Going to a different continent on my own was a new adventure for me. I was  a bit nervous. But Connect-123 provides a great way to meet people, and I made friends in no time; because after all, most everyone is in the same boat. We all were excited to explore a new place and squeeze as much fun as we could in the short time we had. I was able to travel around on the weekends and see and do things I don't get to see at home in Iowa. I bungee-jumped of the highest bungee in the world; I visited the southern most tip of Africa where two oceans meet; I saw penguins; climbed mountains and watch the sunset AND sunrise. The scenery in South Africa is absolutely stunning.

There were definitely challenges along the way and I really learned to get out of my comfort zone and see what kind of person I can be when thrown into a whole new way of life. I can't wait until I have another chance to get to travel abroad!