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.

Kate Nunke

Kate Nunke

University Texas Dallas
Marketing Intern
20 July 2015

I could not have asked for a better experience in Dublin. Liat was more than helpful upon arrival. I was placed in a house with a couple other Connect 123 people along with housemates from all over the world. We all got to learn about each other’s home countries.

My housemates were my best friends throughout my stay! Liat provided opportunities to meet up with other Connect 123 students during the time I was there. We always enjoyed that because we got to share each other’s work, travel, and social experiences in Ireland. My internship was incredible. I really enjoyed my coworkers and my boss. They were willing to help me learn more about PR and Marketing within their industry. I learned more than I could have imagined. It was an amazing experience to see the Irish culture within a business. I loved learning the differences between American and Irish business/marketing.

Liat was always very helpful when we wanted to take a day trip or any sort of trip within Ireland. Traveling all around Ireland was stunning. My housemates and I were very impressed by the sites. Each city we visited was very different, and it was interesting to see that within such a small country. Can’t wait to go back!

Heather Lodahl

Heather Lodahl

The University of Texas Austin
Social Work Intern
01 July 2015

My experience in Cape Town, South Africa was unforgettable! I had no idea what to expect out of the city or my internship, but I was pleasantly surprised with all of it. Connect 123 helped make my dream of an international internship a reality. Claudette was available and helpful with all my questions and concerns as I navigated through visas, housing and the internship process.

I never felt uncertain about being in a new place because the Connect 123 staff are friendly and engaging. Cape Town is a beautiful,vibrant, and culturally diverse place. I enjoyed the beach, hiking, camping, biking, and an amazing road trip on the garden route (and of course feeding elephants!). More importantly, I had a great internship at a NGO dedicated to empowering women who have experienced domestic violence. This internship challenged me and provided me with insight to the social and cultural history of South Africa and its people. I really enjoyed working with my colleagues and contributing to the quality of lives of so many women.

The people, scenery, and delicious food are only a few reasons why Cape Town will always have a place in my heart. Connect 123 is a great organization and I would recommend using their services to make your dreams a reality too! 

Simona Kipfer

Simona Kipfer

Berne Kirchenfeld University
Marketing Intern
16 June 2015

Arriving in Cape Town the Connect-123 Team welcomed me and made sure that I felt comfortable in my new home. They assured me that if I had problems or questions I could always come to them. Staying in an apartment meant meeting not only other program participants but also a bunch of locals, which is a huge privilege. It`s never gets boring, thatís for sure, and you are never on your own.

Two Days after my arrival I started my internship at a marketing & online media company. I don`t how the Connect-123 Team managed it to find the perfect internship for me, but they did. I wasnít so sure about what I wanted to do so I told them that I am quite open and somehow they found something that matches perfectly with my interest. I love working here and I am sure that this internship furthers me in previous jobs. As I did my journey to South Africa straight after High School, I have no working experience and you can`t imagine how much working, but also life experience I gathered by doing this. Besides working you can undertake a thousand things around here because Cape Town offers mountains, beaches, city enjoyments, nature reserves-everything that your heart demands. Everyone but me is really in to hiking, but this beautiful mountain landscape attracts even me.

Another advantage is the nightlife, besides the vibrant clubs and bars there is a lot going on like Jazz Festivals, Art Festivals, carnival and MANY braais. I will never forget this experience because it brought me one step closer to understanding our world.

Nothing is more exciting than foreign cultures and lifestyles and you can only get to know them by travelling. People always say that you are never too old to travel but you are never too young either!

Siena Fabiano

Siena Fabiano

Loyola University New Orleans
Health Care Intern
25 May 2015

"Wow! I have so much to say. I have never had such an amazing experience than living and volunteering in Barcelona, my favorite city in the world. Give yourself about two or three weeks to get settled in and then you can truly recognize what an unbelievable city Barcelona is. From the famous Catalonian tapas to the beautiful beaches, Barcelona is enriched with so much culture, diversity, and just the coolest people. There are so many fun things you can fill your days up with there. I am dreaming of going back now while writing this. It is also the perfect place to be situated for traveling to different parts of Europe. Everything is only a few hours away!

Connect-123 set me up with the most awesome volunteer opportunity at the children's hospital.The staff and all the patients turned out to be the most kind and patient people. I was immediately welcomed by an array of volunteers that showed me around and explained to me what different things I would be helping out with. The best part of the whole internship was the kids. Even though the language barrier was a tad difficult the kids were just so happy to have someone hanging out with them playing games. I was truly in awe of how high the kids spirits were no matter their circumstance. Their laughter and smiles were totally infectious making me leave the hospital everyday glowing with happiness.

My whole experience here let me step back for a minute and re-evaluate my values and outlooks on life for the better. I am so extremely fortunate and grateful to have this experience, and I thank Connect-123 (and Lea of course!!) for helping me set everything up.

Overall, I loved my time in Barcelona and would go back in a heartbeat!"

Ivy Lee

Ivy Lee

Northeastern University
Photography Intern
19 May 2015

I’m finding it very difficult to describe my time in Dublin. How can you put four months of incredible experiences into words? I have made some very good friends and seen breathtaking places. This internship has truly allowed me to expand my horizons by placing me in all the new experiences.

From traveling to work, everyday was filled with opportunities to learn and grow. It’s a scary thing to travel to a new country, knowing no one, and starting a job, but thankfully I had Liat there to guide me. She eased my nerves about my new internship, and being away in general, by showing me around and giving me advice about Dublin, and my new job. She even put together events with other Connect 1-2-3 interns that allowed me to meet some of my now very good friends. Most importantly she helped place me in an internship with Edmund Ross Photography, where I have spent the last four months working with phenomenal people, and expanding my knowledge on the field of photography.

It’s not often that someone gets this amazing opportunity to go abroad, work, travel, and have as much fun as I have had, so thank you so much to Connect 1-2-3 and Liat for giving me this once in a life time adventure.

Veikko Schepel

Veikko Schepel

Utrecht University
Environment Intern
28 April 2015

After finishing my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences last Summer I decided to take a gap year to explore life outside of university. A few goals I had were to learn Spanish, visit and travel in South America and gain some work experience. By taking an internship via Connect-123 in Argentina I was able to combine all those goals.

During my stay I helped in developing an ecological campus South of Buenos Aires. In my time there I learned a lot about the practice of creating a completely sustainable campus which was a great addition to my theoretical knowledge on sustainability. One of the highlights was building a bicycle driven laundry machine to wash our clothes in, which turned out really well! Connect-123 did a great job in connecting me with an internship and organization that not only suited me, but also challenged me and helped me grow on a personal level.

Over the past months I have not only vastly improved my Spanish, but also been able to experience and participate in the everyday life of locals in rural Argentina. The personal support given by Connect-123 after my arrival in Buenos Aires was helpful in getting to know the city, and finding my place in completely new surroundings. If you want to get to know another country and yourself better, this might be a good place to start!

Shanley Porter

Shanley Porter

Santa Clara University
Marketing Intern
27 April 2015

I loved my experience in Buenos Aires with Connect 123! Connect made me feel welcome right from the start and provided  amazing and authentic cultural experiences the whole way through. While I made many local friends, it was fun to have a local connection right from the start and the support that you need when you're living away from home. 

My internship was very hands-on and taught me a lot about myself and what I want to do for a career. It was challenging, fun and valuable; I'm taking the skills I learned in Buenos Aires with me to look for jobs in San Francisco. 
 
While you're abroad, remember to take time to travel, try new food, and enjoy your time living in a foreign country- it will be the best experience you will ever have!
 
Daniella Emami

Daniella Emami

Northeastern University
Youth Development Intern
27 April 2015

I am forever grateful to Connect-123 for finding me my absolute dream internship here in Cape Town, and for giving me the opportunity to work at such a special, impactful organization. I worked at a local youth development nonprofit, doing monitoring and evaluation as well as research for the organization.

I was given an immense amount of responsibility right from the get-go of my internship, which is something that defined my entire experience. I was constantly affirmed and supported at work, and I know I am leaving Cape Town with a true family and amazing friends. This city and this country will always be in my heart, and this experience will always be in my memory.

I would recommend an internship with Connect 1-2-3 to anyone in a heartbeat!

Rebecca Sims

Rebecca Sims

Lewis-Clark State College
Media Intern
24 April 2015

My time in Dublin was unforgettable. I was unsure of moving to a brand new place where I didn’t know anyone, but I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out. From the moment I stepped off the plane I felt comfortable and happy. Connect-123 set me up with a fantastic homestay where I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

My first day in Dublin, Liat showed me around the city and helped me find a bus route to my internship. She was also great about taking all of the inters to fun places and giving advice on things to see and do. Connect-123 set me up with the best internship I could have asked for. I had been wanting to gain more experience in the film world, specifically as a production assistant. That is exactly what I did among other things. I worked on several short films and added projects to my resume that I’m truly proud of. I had the opportunity to see things and meet people that I never could have otherwise.

Connect-123 did an incredible job at setting me up with exactly what I was looking for and helping me make memories I will hold on to forever! 

 Laurence Clarysse

Laurence Clarysse

University of Antwerp
Business Intern
07 April 2015

I have been in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 5 months and as my supervisor would say: ‘It was a one in a lifetime experience!’

I studied Industrial Engineering and am interested in the 3D printing technology. When I applied with Connect-123, I expressed my interest in the technology but also told them that an internship in a design company would be okay. I never taught the team would be able to find me a company who was involved in 3D printing seen the business is still new and growing, especially in Argentina. After a few weeks, Paula sent me the confirmation that she found a company. They did exclusively 3D printing! I couldn’t believe it! For 4 months, I had an internship in the perfect company for me. It was a small team with all young and ambitious people who did everything to make my stay go perfectly and pleasant! I was able to gain so much work experience.

Buenos Aires is the most enjoyable and ideal city! I lived in the Palermo neighborhood in ‘la casa naranja’ where I had the best roommates. The nightlife is crazy! I can honestly say that during the night, it is more crowded than during the day! The locals are so friendly, helpful and always happy. My Argentine- friends were the best! During my stay, I backpacked during a month in Peru and Bolivia. I met up some friends from home in Bolivia to visit La Paz and climb the Huayna Potosi Mountain. After that I joined my roommates from Buenos Aires to visit Lake Titicaca, Cusco and of course Machu Picchu. Beside my month of traveling, I visited Mendoza, Bariloche, Iguazu, Mar del Plata and Uruguay. Also, I recommend everyone to go to San Antonio de Areco to have an asado with the gaucho’s, visit an estancia and do some horseback riding. It has been an insane and unforgettable 5 months!

Thank you Paula and Katie to help making this such a nice experience!

Britney Lardner

Britney Lardner

Oklahoma State Univeristy
Education Intern
27 March 2015

If you're looking for adventure, work experience, and building lasting connections with people literally around the world, then Connect123 can make your international goals a reality. My volunteer-based internship consisted of other people like myself from other countries looking to gain experience working with youth programs. I have had the honor and priviledge of working with some amazing people, residing from the following countries: Caymon Islands, Wales, Germany, France, Nigeria, other states within the US, and of course, Ireland.

Reflecting on personal experiences, I have truly been able to maximize my awareness and understanding for cultural diveristy, inner-city youth programming, and I was also able to expeience living with a host family (which I highly recommend because living outside of the city and having breakfast and dinners taken care of is a plus, and the company is un-matchable!). I got the opportunity to work with an afterschool programme that engaged me in working with the young people of Dublin, help continue the efforts on their food security initiatives, and learn what true Irish hospitality looks like. With the land of Ireland being the size that it is, traveling to other cities throughout my stay was incredibly easy, and it's a great way to experience the Irish countryside, and meet new people.

Galina Mizyuk

Galina Mizyuk

Moscow State University
Business Intern
27 March 2015

I had a fantastic opportunity to intern with a Sustainability firm in Shanghai for three months. It was a great experience for me in terms of the knowledge and professional skills I obtained, people I met and new environment I discovered. I am sure this internship has opened new horizons in my professional future. I am glad that my host organization treated me as if I was a real employee and not just a an intern.

Connect-123 helped me a lot! A personal thank you to Lea who helped me understand what kind of intern experience I need and to Jimmy who is based in Shanghai who organized lots of events for all the interns.

I would recommend it to anyone to do an internship abroad Ė you are pushed away from your comfort zone which is hard, but once you get used to the situation you realize that it is one of the best experiences of your life.

Emily Kim

Emily Kim

Northeastern University
Health Care Intern
24 March 2015

My time in Buenos Aires was nothing but amazing. I always knew that I wanted to go to medical school, but was never sure which field of medicine I wanted to pursue. Connect 123 catered to my need by finding me an internship that allowed me to shadow doctors from all departments of the hospital. All of the doctors encouraged me to ask questions, pushed me to practice more Spanish, and explained the diagnosis and treatments. I learned a lot about patient care and also formed relationships with the patients. Furthermore, I found a passion for orthopedic surgery during my internship and part of my gratitude goes towards Connect 123.

Not only do they provide support in regards to the internship, but they also tended to my overall well-being. Any questions I had about traveling, cultural events/outings, nightlife, etc, could be asked. My smooth transition to becoming a temporary resident of Buenos Aires was made possible by the Connect 123 representative here. I strongly believe that every person needs to visit Buenos Aires at least once in his/her lifetime!

I definitely will miss this beautiful city and all of the friends I made here.

Jenifer Obrigewitch

Jenifer Obrigewitch

Northeastern University
Health Care Intern
23 March 2015

I chose to intern in Buenos Aires knowing not much more than that I wanted to improve my Spanish skills while gaining medical experience. I didn’t realize until I got to Argentina that I was in for so much more than that! The city is full of beautiful parks, art, architecture, and food. The friendly porteños are always excited to share their culture and tell you about the most up-and-coming places to visit.

At the hospital, the entire staff has been incredible and I have learned a lot. Listening to and speaking with both doctors and patients has improved my Spanish, or Castellano as it is referred to locally, an incredible amount. Rotating amongst the different departments has developed my medical knowledge in a large amount of areas.

Working in a public hospital, I have been exposed to people that come from many different backgrounds and it has really opened my eyes to the wide variety of living conditions throughout not only one country but the world. On the other hand, in my time abroad I have also experienced the similarities between people, regardless of culture. 

Kamille Johnson

Kamille Johnson

Brown University
Marketing Intern
10 March 2015

When I began my time in Buenos Aires, Connect was extremely helpful. I knew a bit of Spanish but not enough to feel comfortable wandering about the city alone but Connect held my hand the whole way. I had an internship at a small company, working directly under 2 people, and I cannot overstate how incredible the experience was. I was immediately welcomed into this company, one that can only be described as a big happy family.

I worked on social media campaigns, small design projects, and webinars. They patiently and enthusiastically helped me with my Spanish as they introduced me to the start-up world in Buenos Aires.

Connect was instrumental in making my time in Buenos Aires unforgettable.

Kelly Howatt

Kelly Howatt

University of Illinois
Healthcare Intern
05 March 2015

My internship was one of the greatest experiences I have had in my life thus far. Not only was I able to observe so much at the hospital, I learned a lot about professionalism, being independent, and taking initiative. Coming to Ireland without knowing anyone was a challenge, but with Connect-123 I was able to meet several people that I could share the experience with. The internship itself was such a positive experience, and the staff was so incredibly inviting and nice.

One of the best parts about Connect-123 is that they tailored the internship to what I wanted. It was so flexible that I was able to be in several different departments of the hospital instead of being assigned to just the one I applied for. This was made possible by my intern advisor at Connect 123. The internship was so flexible that I was able to visit a lot of Ireland and other countries as well!

Overall the experience was very successful and I implore anyone who has the opportunity to have an internship abroad to take it!

Claire Flood

Claire Flood

University of South Australia
Architecture Intern
27 February 2015

My experience I had in Buenos Aires was truly amazing! Argentina and the internship program both exceeded my expectations. With an architectural background I was wanting to move into the project management area. Connect-123 were able to find a great sustainable firm that met all of my internship requirements. My arrival into Buenos Aires was well organised, meeting with my Connect-123 representative and having all the information and reassurances there made for a smooth transition.

During the internship its self I was so well supported by Connect-123. The option of some fun social events was available also. The great experiences of being able to see the national Argentinean football team play and seeing the local side River Plate win the championship. These tickets in a football crazed nation would not have happened without the help from the Connect-123 team. The friendships I have made and still hold on to have extended past my time in Argentina. I have continued to travel and meet up with friends I made there all over the world. Had the opportunity to meet some amazing people.

Further since Buenos Aires I have gained a fantastic job with a multinational company in Project Management. A true dream job with endless oppurtunities. I do genuinely owe a lot of this new position to the great experience I had in Buenos Aires. I know that the diverse experience and skill development I had was a contributing factor to attaining this position. I would highly recommend the experience of an international internship for both the personal and career development.

Charlotte Harris

Charlotte Harris

Weston High School, Massachusetts
Education Volunteer
19 February 2015

I was fortunate enough to have the time to volunteer in, as well as explore, one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. Barcelona's culture is a beautiful experience, my volunteer work at two non profit youth centers was definitely a new adventure each day and I am grateful to have had the chance to meet and explore Barcelona with other Connect-123 volunteers. I had a chance to work within the realm of what I am passionate about and in turn the experience has made me even more eager about my future and what I will choose to pursue.The fact that I do not speak Spanish worried me but nevertheless I had the chance to relate and converse with fellow staff members, the children of my volunteer establishment and the people I met during my time in Spain. In return, their own curiosity and kindness towards me broadened my sense of connection with the world and myself.

The opportunity to come to Barcelona not only created beautiful memories but offered some clarity regarding my future. I arrived in Spain with no expectations other than the ones I had set for myself, now looking back this trip would have exceeded every single expectation if I originally had any. The time flew by much to quickly and I am returning home with more energy, confidence in myself and future, experience, extraordinary memories, and of course the artwork and gifts from all the incredible children I worked with. During my stay I traveled to Betanzos as well as Caruña and Santiago with a friend I made while staying in Barcelona. It is a completely different experience to explore a new place with someone who lives there. Her family was so generous and hospitable to me during my short stay with them and I hope to visit them again. My time in Barcelona wasn't just enriching for me, it was also gratifying. Lea from Connect-123 and the staff at the youth organization granted me a terrific opportunity, truly the best I have ever received. The response and overall feeling gained from my work here has made me so appreciative for Connect-123's organization. Hasta Pronto!

Katie Boehm

Katie Boehm

Health Care Intern
California Polytechnic State University
05 February 2015

The experience I had in Cape Town was an amazing one, both from an internship point of view as well as living in this exciting city. I did the 4 week Clinical Internship at Victoria Hospital. The hospital patient base tends to be people from people on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale so you get to see a wide variety of cases that you would not necessarily be exposed to back in your home country. I got to shadow ward rounds in internal medicine, paediatrics, tuberculosis wards, view procedures and surgeries as well as outpatient clinics. In addition to these experiences, you are able to give back to the hospital through projects and in my case I worked on an electronic medical record system as well as clinical trial screenings. The experience definitely cemented my desire to go into medicine.

Other than the internship, Cape Town is a great city to be in. There is beautiful scenery and activities all around. I hiked to my heart's content, went cage diving with great white sharks, went on safari, ate my way through the amazing food options, and did a Garden Route road trip with friends I made through Connect. If you have any problems deciding what to do, the staff plan great socials and love to have you visit, answering any questions you may have. Overall you won't regret the time you spend here in Cape Town.

Aileen Stoddard

Aileen Stoddard

Education Intern
Sonoma State University Graduate
03 February 2015

My time in Dublin was unforgettable. Connect-123 placed me in a classroom where I gained valuable knowledge about teaching. The lead teacher at the school was so welcoming and allowed me to take on a full time teaching schedule with her help. It was amazing to be able to try out the career I want to one day have and I owe it all to Connect-123.

During my time in Dublin, I was also able to enjoy the social scene. Connect-123 organized many after work mixers where I was able to immerse myself in the nightlife of Ireland. At these mixers I was able to meet with other interns from around the world and gained some great friends.

Connect-123 did a great job of making sure I was happy with my internship and kept me involved in the culture of Ireland. I’m already planning my next trip back to Dublin!