How does Connect-123 compare to other placement organizations?
We love what we do and are passionate about providing life-changing experiences for program participants and about creating value for local businesses, nonprofit organizations and communities. How we compare to others is ultimately for you to decide, but in our opinion, here are the questions we think you should be asking:
1) Do you require reference letters? Reference letters are the key to impressing local organizations and getting offered “real” positions. If you were a supervisor at a local organization, wouldn’t you want to read references before making a decision about an international applicant? If you’re not being asked for reference letters, you might question the extent to which the local organization values the work that they are asking you to do. As part of our application process, we require two reference letters.
2) Can we have a conversation before I apply? If the organization wants to speak with you prior to applying, it’s a good sign that they care about your motivations and goals related to the experience. If they instead require an application form and deposit prior to speaking with you, they might be more interested in “making a sale” than in ensuring that their program is the best fit for you. As a first step, we always recommend speaking with one of our Program Coordinators in the country where you want to go, learning more about what we can offer, and then deciding if we’re a good fit for each other. To schedule a call with a local Connect-123 Program Coordinator, please Contact Us.
3) Is the deposit refundable? Most organizations require a non-refundable deposit, which they justify by pointing to the amount of work required to put together an internship or volunteer work placement. Connect-123’s policy is different: provided that you have not approved a placement, your deposit is fully refundable up until two weeks after we send the first placement offer to you, no questions asked. We invest time and effort in understanding your requirements and are confident that the results will be to your satisfaction.
4) Do you have academic partnerships? Understandably, when selecting partners, universities put placement organizations through a detailed (sometimes grueling!) due diligence process. Make sure that any placement organization you contact has passed the test and has direct university ties. Connect-123 has worked with students from over 300 unversities and has a number of formal university partnerships. We also have direct relationships with scores of career center advisors, study abroad directors and professors.
What benefits do you offer to Connect-123 alumni?
We stay connected with our alumni through our members-only group on Linkedin, where our alumni can keep track of each other, find jobs, get connected with others who are likely to share common interests or career-paths, and in general network with an impressive group of movers and shakers worldwide!
How can I find Connect-123 participants and alumni?
Check out reviews from our alumni testimonials on our website.
Can I earn academic credit?
Many students on our programs earn academic credit through their universities. Check with your university to find out if they grant credit for independent study, experiential learning, community service or internships and we’ll then liaise with your university to ensure that your project meets their requirements.
What is the average age of program participants?
Our average age is 23, however we work with undergraduates, graduates and professionals of all ages. In the past, our range has been 18 to 72!
How can I confirm Connect-123’s reputation?
For personal accounts from our alumni, or reviews from our university partners, read our see our reviews.
To date, we have worked with students from over 300 universities and have partnerships with a number of US-based universities, including Michigan State University, the University of Southern California, Ohio University and Bentley University. In addition, we are one of the University of Cape Town’s select local partners.
Are start dates and durations flexible?
What is the difference between an internship program and a volunteer program?
Internships tend to be more career-related, whereas volunteer projects are more community-service related. Typically, an internship position would have more requirements in terms of experience, education and skills than a volunteer position.