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.

Laurie Green

Laurie Green

Public Health Intern
University of British Columbia
26 August 2014

I came to Cape Town in order to accompany my husband on a medical residency elective, and chose Connect-123 in large part because - being a large organization - they seemed well-resourced, and very experienced in placing visiting students. I wasn't sure whether my one-month opportunity would be as fruitful as my husband's, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I was taught. During my placement, he and I were able to better dialogue about hospital-based stroke care (my interest) as well as general differences in health care education between South Africa and our home country. We learned much, and were humbled by the broad set of skills/knowledge many of the clinicians in Cape Town had/have. In the end, it was one step in the direction of potentially serving a health care system outside our own in the longer-term, and seeing where our home country's system fits into the global health care community. I would encourage future volunteers to really dive in to the health care placements with a posture of humility, an eagerness to learn, and an excitement for what is - truly - a good experience. Come with a good attitude, and you'll really be rewarded. Thanks, Connect, and thanks to my host hospital.

Lauren Frank

Lauren Frank

Marketing Intern
University of San Diego
25 August 2014

My experience with Connect-123 has been absolutely amazing!  I was terrified coming to Cape Town by myself, but Connect made it super easy to get acclimated to life in South Africa. Putting on awesome events that got us out and about in the city! My expectations were far surpassed. I am not kidding when I say that Cape Town is my favorite city in the entire world. I’ve traveled quite a bit in other countries around the world and other cities pale in comparison to Cape Town. The city sits nestled in the mountains and looks out to endless oceans. There is an endless list of fun activities to participate in while here, such as jumping off the world’s highest commercial bungee jump, shark cage diving, hiking and surfing. It’s the perfect place for anyone seeking adventure. South Africa has an extremely interesting history, which you cannot escape while visiting. Also the food is incredible! The city is filled with a vast variety of markets and restaurants that are to die for!!

In terms of my work experience in Cape Town, Connect-123 set me up with the most amazing internship! I loved going to work every single day and I felt I gained incredible hands-on experience. My internship was in the exact industry I want to pursue a career in, so it was seriously spot-on! Also, my co-workers in Cape Town basically became my family there. They were definitely invested in making sure I was situated and enjoying my time in Cape Town and at work. At the end of my internship, I was offered the opportunity to continue writing for their global website once I headed back home. My internship in Cape Town will without a doubt help me professionally in the future.

Kirsten Marschke

Kirsten Marschke

Community Service Volunteer
University of Nebraska
25 August 2014

This summer I wanted to take the opportunity to do something for myself unrelated to school. I volunteered at a community resource centre helping with a summer project, which provides at-risk youth a safe and fun environment during their summer holiday. This opportunity taught me so much about myself and also about working with other people. One of the things I wrote in my application was that I wanted to emerge myself into a culture and have a chance to not only change my life, but also have a chance to impact others. This sentence puts into words my whole experience. I was constantly learning about the Irish culture working with those who know it best. I felt that I made a huge impact in the work that was done at the resource centre and my life has changed because of this experience. Connect-123 understood what I wanted and gave me an opportunity of a lifetime.

At first I was nervous to be moving to a foreign country not knowing a single person, but I don’t regret that one bit. Not only was I roommates with other Connect-123 interns, but we all lived in the same building. I made so many new friends that I will cherish forever!

Dublin is truly an incredible place. The city is beautiful, small enough to become acquainted to quickly, and the people are amazing. I am currently already planning my trip back!!

 

Maria Estrada

Maria Estrada

Fashion Design Intern
Michigan State University
19 August 2014

Coming to Spain has been on my bucket list, and I never imagined it was actually going to happen. I am a Textile and Apparel Fashion Design student, thirsty for experiences and making world wide connections that will help me later on in life, seeking a job. association who’s objective it is to promote and empower activities in the field and development of fashion design.

The internship location was equipped with specific machinery, cutting tables, and room for creativity i.e. such as working on a customized bicycle raincoat. I was able to participate in workshops and courses: pattern design, basic sewing, bikinis, underwear and baby clothing. I was able to be part of the Master class de Papirolexia de Gori de Palma, who've collaboration with Swarovski, Vans, American Apparel y General Optics. My ten-week experience in Barcelona was the perfect balance of work and play. I worked morning in the first month and afternoons the last two months, which gave me the opportunity to explore and live the local life of Barcelona.

I cannot emphasize how helpful it was to be a part of the Connect-123 program – thanks to the amazing director Lea Leavy, I was established in my housing and well equipped for my summer and internship. A casual orientation included useful resources about moving around the city as well as other parts of the country. I was extremely pleased with the internship they found for me and guidance that was given to me through out the 3 months I stayed in Barcelona, Spain.

Falihah Anisah

Falihah Anisah

Public Policy Intern
National University of Singapore
18 August 2014

Spending my first overseas internship in Cape Town for three months was amazing, and honestly I couldn't have chosen a better place. Cape Town, or South Africa generally, is rich with culture and diversity and had so much to offer to the interns. It was undoubtedly the best environment to grow personally and professionally. The process prior to this was straightforward and simple, and Connect-123 facilitated everything very well, being there for me whenever I needed any form of assistance.

Work-wise, it has certainly been fulfilling. Being keen on migrant rights back in Singapore and currently studying on War and Security, Connect-123 hooked me up with an NGO refugee centre who was an implementing partner of UNHCR. This was a phenomenal experience - one that I wouldn't get elsewhere - because it provided a raw insight into the lives led by refugees from all over Africa, who are often shunned and discriminated against, and allowed me an opportunity to interact and serve the needs of asylum seekers and refugees directly, whether it was determination of their refugee status or short-term assistance. It was incredible to see my efforts translate into direct impacts on their lives, and I was blessed to work with truly knowledgable and wise co-workers with the years of experience under their belt with regards to refugees, and who taught me so much about the situation with immigration policies in South Africa. Such a job scope can be heavy and challenging at times, but this experience helped me grow as a person, putting things in perspective for me. I was fortunate enough to also be part of a fashion show held on World Refugees' Day, empowering both South African and refugee designers.

Outside the office, the people I've met, both locals and Connectors, have made my stay even more unforgettable, and it's easy to underestimate the kind of friendships you forge over such a short period of time. Cape Town is truly a beautiful and dynamic city with so many things to do, from hiking at the various mountains to the nightlife at Long Street, and it never really stopped being beautiful. Having stayed in Cape Town for about 3 months gave me plenty of time to explore the city and even outside it as well through road trips with friends. If you ever do get lazy to plan your weekend, Connect's always there to plan group outings as well. It was difficult to leave and I'm pretty sure I left a part of me there, so I'll definitely be coming back!

Kirubaashini Kanesan

Kirubaashini Kanesan

Project Management Intern
National University of Singapore
16 August 2014

My 8 weeks in in Dublin was truly a memorable one. I had a lot of fun and learnt a lot during my internship as an executive intern. Dublin is just full of friendly and helpful people and it was easy to feel at home. I also made great friends via this programme. The process of applying for the internship, arriving in Ireland and settling down in my accommodation was very smooth and working with Connect-123 made my life much easier. I also got to live with and meet other interns, so I didn’t feel alone.

I learnt a lot during my internship. The great thing about Connect-123 is that they monitor your progress at your internship and discuss with you about your goals before you begin and mid-way your internship, so that you have a clear picture on what you want to gain at the end of the experience. They are also very willing to help us during our stay there. I am glad that I came to Dublin for my internship. I am definitely going to plan a trip back!