- What about safety?
In any major city, it’s necessary to take sensible safety precautions and this is true for each of our five international locations. Traveling in groups, using common sense, and making sure that you know where to go (and where not to go) are the best ways to reduce risk. On all programs, we provide a detailed orientation upon arrival, where we point out the safest areas and routes, link you with other program participants and make sure that you have our emergency information card, with our local emergency contact details and other useful numbers.
- What is the weather like?
Barcelona Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers. Since it sits right on the water, it does not experience severe winters nor are the summers unbearable. Snow is pretty rare, but can happen in January, Barcelona’s coldest month. Conversely, in August you’ll be especially grateful for the city’s beaches! Click here for Barcelona monthly averages.
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires is mild all year round. With an average temperature of 14°C (57°F), July is the coldest month and although frosts are rare, we recommend jackets and scarves at night. Snowfall is infrequent, but in 2007 a storm left the city covered in white – something that hasn’t happen since 1918! Most buildings in Buenos Aires are centrally heated. In summer (December to February), the weather can be hot and humid, averaging 27°C (81°F). Click herefor Buenos Aires monthly averages.
Cape Town Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and wet winters. Winters are characterized by heavy rain, particularly on the mountain slopes and strong north-westerly winds. In summer the weather in Cape Town is warm and dry, but the sunny weather is often interspersed with strong south easterly winds. Average maximum temperatures range from 27°C (81°F) in summer to 17°C (63°F) in winter. While the winter is quite mild, it gets cold at night and since buildings are typically not centrally heated, it will be necessary to bring a few extra layers. Be sure to pack a wool coat, jacket or overcoat as well as a scarf and gloves. Cape Town has four distinct seasons with June, July and August being the rainy winter months and December, January and February the hot, dry, summer months. Click here for Cape Town monthly averages.
Dublin Dublin has a Maritime climate, similar to much of Northwest Europe, with mild winters and cool summers. Most of the year is rather wet, although there are a few sunny months in the summer. Though rain is the most common form of winter precipitation, snow showers and hail can occur as well. Click here for Dublin monthly averages.
Shanghai Shanghai is known for its hot and humid, subtropical summer. In July and August, temperatures are regularly above 30ºC (86ºF). Temperatures drop slightly in September and by the time October arrives, Shanghai’s climate feels decidedly autumnal. Temperatures fall more sharply in November and December, averaging 10ºC (50ºF) by day and just 4°C (39°F) by night. January and February are the coldest months in Shanghai and many nights bring sharp frosty weather, but snowfall is rare. Click here for Shanghai monthly averages.
- What is there to do?
Barcelona Barcelona offers visitors tons to do and see, by day and by night. The city is full of awe-inspiring architecture, from the magical Parc Guell to the towering Sagrada Familia church. Outdoor activities include hiking around Montjuic, spending time on the famous Rambla, heading to Barcelona’s excellent beaches, or sipping Sangría at an outdoor café in one of Barcelona’s many plazas. Art museums that pay homage to Spanish greats Miró and Picasso are great for rainy days. The lively beach town of Sitges and Montserrat mountain, are perfect for a day trip! For more information about Barcelona, see our Barcelona Destination page.
Buenos Aires In Buenos Aires, program participants are overwhelmed with a choice of museums, street theater, tango, live jazz and cafe orchestras. Further afield there are opportunities for whale watching, learning to play polo, tours of the wine region, hiking in the Andes, and skiing in Bariloche. For more information about Buenos Aires, see our Buenos Aires Destination page.
Cape Town An easier question to answer is “what cannot be done in Cape Town?” (such as downhill skiing). Beaches, mountain hikes, ocean views, nightlife, hip music, great food, vineyards and many more – Cape Town is truly one of the world’s great cities. For more information about Cape Town, see our Cape Town Destination page.
Dublin From the Guinness Storehouse to the many cultural festivals throughout the year to the Temple Bar, it won’t take visitors long to realize that Dubliners like to have a good time! Dublin is also one of the oldest cities in Europe – and you can visit the Trinity College or visit St. Patrick’s cathedral – founded in 1191. Along with Dublin’s beautiful parks, you can find ample museums, including the national leprechaun museum where you can learn all about Irish folklore. Further out from the city, Ireland offers beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, high cliffs, castles and rolling green Irish countryside.For more information about Dublin, see our Dublin Destination page.
Shanghai Shanghai which means “above the sea”, is the cool confident face of modern China made up of surging skyscrapers, bustling pedestrian streets, parks, French colonial architecture and a constellation of local dining and trendy dancing spots. Step back into ancient China when visiting Venice-like water towns less than an hour away. For more information about Shanghai, see our Shanghai Destination page .
In all destinations, we offer a weekly social program, where you can meet other program particpants and discover local favorite spots selected by our in-the-know Connect-123 staff!
- Where will I stay?
Buenos Aires and Barcelona Program participants can choose to improve their Spanish and live with a home-stay family or young local professionals. Alternatively, depending on your timing, we can help you find short-term apartment rentals where you can choose to share with other program participants.
Shanghai and Dublin Quality accommodation where program participants feel comfortable and secure when away from home is an integral part of the Connect-123 experience. Choose to live with locals, with other foreigners around your age, or depending on your timing, with other Connect-123 program participants. We will help you find great, centrally-located private or shared accommodation with easy access to public transportation, restaurants, supermarkets and shops.
Cape Town In Cape Town, program participants typically stay in apartments in a large, centrally-located residential building with 24-hour security, roof-top gym, pool, wireless internet access and twice-per-month cleaning service. For a video of the building and apartments, click here.
- Will you help me to arrange my flights and visa?
- Will you meet me at the airport and provide an orientation?
Yes, we’ll meet you upon arrival and make sure that you settle into your accommodation. We’ll also give you a detailed orientation, which includes practical information on local transportation, safety tips and advice about your first day with your host organization. We’ll also point out places of interest, great restaurants and where to get groceries!