Barry GoldenbergEducation Intern | Cape Town
Trying to find the right words to accurately describe my experience in Cape Town during my 7 weeks as a Connect-123 participant would, quite frankly, be impossible to do. I’ve grown immensely as a person during those 7 weeks, experiencing things and emotions that will forever leave an imprint on who I am as a person.
Furthermore, my experience in Cape Town was not just another trip but in fact the clichéd “life-changing” experience that we all want to happen! The staff at Connect-123 gave me all the tools to create a wonderful journey—and continued to help me all along the way. Unlike other tours or vacation stays, actually living in Cape Town with Connect-123’s help provides the opportune growing experience; I grew from a guy who just enjoyed the “cool,” tourist aspects of Cape Town to having a very, very deep-rooted passion for South Africa and even more, for the people who live there. Melanie and the entire Connect-123 team are wonderful; they helped me expertly craft my Cape Town experience to one that was uniquely “me.” Even more, Melanie found me the most awesome internship at a school.
My internship allowed me to leave my comfort zone and fairytale life in Los Angeles resulting in the most eye-opening and humanizing experience ever. I worked with impoverished kids from the poorest townships outside Cape Town who also happened to be some of the most lively and warmest children I’ve ever been around. Again, my internship experience made my trip so remarkable and I truly cannot thank Melanie enough for her hard work to make my internship so perfect.
Truthfully, writing my reflection on this trip is almost like running an impossibly long marathon; there is so much to say about my trip to Cape Town as I’m not I’ll ever be able to give justice to what my experience in South Africa has meant so me. In reality, what makes Cape Town so amazing is that it has something for everyone; there are endless array of tourists attractions that are special only to Cape Town (half that I never made it too), crazy amount of extreme activities like shark-cage diving and bungee-jumping, unique African-infused restaurants with engaging entertainment, and the most incredible night life (coming from someone who lives in LA) if you are into that sort of thing. Anyone can come here and really enjoy the city–and that is awesome in itself as I would encourage any prospective Connect-123 participant to do.
The best part about it is Connect-123 gives you all the avenues to do those sort of awesome things. And for the first few weeks I did just that; I went from tourist attraction to attraction, doing all these “fun” things that I genuinely enjoyed. Since I only had 7 weeks to cram everything, Melanie and the staff really helped me find the best activities to do. In result, I’ll always have pictures reminding me of these awesome things–from hikes, to museums, to markets, to safaris, to restaurants, to malls, to rugby games, etc….the list goes on!
But what truly makes Cape Town ever more special is when you go deeper into the making of this curious and oft-misunderstood city. What won’t fade will be the feelings I have felt, the things I’ve learned, the emotions I’ve become entrapped in, and again, mostly, the people I’ve met. While I spent the first few weeks as a tourist, I slowly dug deeper into the fabrics of this country and spent the latter few weeks in a different layer of meaning in terms of what it meant to be in South Africa. I began to find real meaning in why I was here. And after all, that is why I wanted to come to South Africa over other “beautiful” places in the world because the dynamics and history of this country is unmatched to any other. And I did just that.
Connect-123 gave me extra suggestions to volunteer, gave me information on lectures on social change at various universities, and organized a class to help me learn the local language Xhosa that enriched my experience beyond belief. Again, the best part about their organization is that while they won’t hold your hand while you are there, they are the ideal support group, helping each participant mould his or her experience into something unique to them.
Even after my trip, my brain continues to be in a state of insanity, trying to make sense of what just happened the past 7 weeks as my heart is still numb trying to comprehend all that has taken place. My 7 weeks went by so fast, but yet I know now that South Africa will always be a part of me.
I once heard the line from a poem that said, “may great kindness come of it in the end.” After 7 weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, great kindness definitely came of my trip, and for that, I am forever grateful to the places and people—including the staff at Connect-123 that made this all possible—who made this such a truly special, heartfelt and exciting 7 weeks.
More Reviews for Education and Teaching Internships in Cape Town
Abigail DEducation and Teaching Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
16 August 2022
My experience interning in Cape Town, South Africa, is one I will never forget! As a public policy and education student, I knew I wanted my time to be spent working within the realm of South African education. After expressing my interests to Carla, she was able to find the perfect internship for me. During the 10 weeks I was there, I was tasked to do all sorts of things...
Ellie DavidsonEducation and Teaching Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
24 July 2019
Connect-123 has provided me with an amazing experience exploring South Africa this summer. I was able to learn so much about South Africa’s education system through my internship at an education NGO, as well as see parts of Cape Town that I would not have seen without this opportunity. Connect-123 did an amazing job of planning fun and interesting excursions for us; the people at Connect-123 are so friendly and...
Jessica GonzalezEducation Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
28 August 2017
Cape Town is remarkable for its beautiful scenery, its people, culture and history. As a Connect-123 intern, I had the privilege to work with an educational non-profit whose goal is to affect educational change in Philippi ( a predominant black South African township). Before coming to Cape Town, my hope was to learn as much as I could about the South African education system and how it has shaped its...
Anita BarattiEducation Intern | Cape Town
King's College London
7 August 2017
My teaching internship in Cape Town was life-changing. I shared this adventure with an incredible bunch of people from my university in England, who showed my same passion to engage with South African culture and history, making this experience even more amazing. Connect-123 played a huge role: besides being extremely helpful and supportive, they were able to perfectly understand my interests and to find the right internship for me. Tutoring...
Lory WongEducation Intern | Cape Town
King's College London
2 August 2017
Through my university’s partnership with Connect-123 I was able to intern in Cape Town for two months. I interned at an afterschool care organisation based in schools in underprivileged areas. As some days were spent in the office and others, at the school, I was able to understand the processes and policies involved within the NGO, as well as gain first-hand experience teaching the charity’s learners and organising holiday programmes...
Ezra Sergent-LeventhalEducation Intern | Cape Town
24 July 2017
I am a history major with a minor in educational studies at university, and I was hoping to explore the realm of education policy through my internship provided by Connect-123. After deciding on Cape Town as a destination, I was quickly offered a three month internship in education as a general intern and program facilitator. The organization fit my needs as an intern perfectly, as they are a non-profit that...
Elizabeth MarchandEducation Intern | Cape Town
Middlesex Community College
9 January 2013
I heard about Connect-123 while looking for an internship abroad in the field of education. The two months I spent doing an internship at a school in Cape Town were without a doubt two of the best months I’ve ever spent. While in Cape Town I worked at a school for children with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities, both in the classroom as well as through sports....
Avishka JutaLiteracy Intern | Cape Town
McMaster University Graduate, Canada
19 September 2011
I can say without a doubt that my six week social work and education internship in Cape Town, South Africa was the most incredible six weeks of my life. Having travelled to South Africa before, this was my second time in Cape Town and it definitely provided me with a different perspective on all things South African and allowed me to really immerse myself in issues I have a passion...
Sharon RileyEducation Volunteer | Cape Town
University of Denver, College of Law Graduate
11 May 2011
My experience in Cape Town was amazing and life changing. I always had a passion for helping others but after working in the corporate world for the past 7 years I lost sight of my purpose and meaning in my life. After returning back to the United States after my 30 day volunteer experience at a creche, I have a new outlook on life and have learned to appreciate even...
Elysia WongEducation Volunteer | Cape Town
Deakin University, Graduate
23 November 2010
My experience in Cape Town was nothing short of amazing. Connect-123 made both me and my sister feel warmly welcomed and well taken care of. They found us quality volunteer placements, a great place to live, ensured we knew how to get around with ease, recommended places to go and organized social activities. They placed me in two non profit organizations, where I volunteered working with kids and these fantastic...
Brandon PiersonEducation Volunteer | Cape Town
Keuka College, Graduate
11 November 2010
Knowing that post graduation I would be in somewhat of a position of limbo before my career as an educator began, I decided to follow my dream of visiting the African continent. After a year of research, I finally found a program that seemed to fit my personality and needs in volunteering abroad; Connect-123. I was impressed with the communication throughout the process and the eagerness in having me become...
Grace SharpMusic Education Intern | Cape Town
James Madison University
18 August 2010
I had a great experience in Cape Town. Connect-123 helped me find housing, food and a car to transport me to my volunteer program. They were my go-to for anything I needed and they planned fun outings that allowed us to explore the area and meet other people in the program. One of my favorite events was taking a bus to Franschhoek to celebrate the Bastille day festival and attending...
Desiree TuckerEducation Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
19 March 2010
My life is forever changed from 12 weeks spent in Cape Town South, Africa. I walked into my first day of work, and quickly found out that I was overdressed and underprepared for working in the developing township of Khayelitsha. As I drove through the townships, passing children in the street, shacks sprawling through the township, I realized that this experience would be a great challenge. It was my task...
Khant Khant KyawEducation Intern | Cape Town
19 March 2010
I was in Cape Town, South Africa to teach Sex Education to teenagers with a non-profit NGO in July and August 2010. After these two months, I left Cape Town with fun memories, valuable knowledge on development and NGO work, and friendships I know would last for years; more than what I expected or asked for. I am thankful to all of Connect-123 ‘s staff that carefully ensure the intern’s...
Amy Holter| Cape Town
3 March 2010
I know that when I go back to the States I will be asked, “So how was South Africa?” I’ve been wondering what I could possibly say to that, and I think I’ve found an answer that is unfortunately as broad as the question itself. “It was everything.” Think of an adjective and it was Cape Town – stunning, exhilarating, challenging, painful, hilarious, breathtaking, terrifying, comforting, emotional, etc, etc, etc....
Angie FraserEducation Intern | Cape Town
University of Edinburgh
30 November 2009
Connect-123 organized two internships for me, working in both primary and secondary schools in Cape Town. I taught sex education and AIDS awareness in the high schools and held one-on-one English literacy sessions in the primary schools. It was undoubtedly the most challenging and satisfying work I’ve done in my life. The things the kids came out with were hilarious, or shocking, or sometimes very touching. On the whole it...
Sarah LevyEducation Intern | Cape Town
27 November 2009
I arrived in Cape Town in the middle of May, after many interns had already settled in for a few weeks, but was immediately welcomed by interns and staff alike. The people I met in the beginning set the tone for my fabulous few months in Cape Town. Connect-123 brings together an incredible group of open-minded individuals looking to experience working abroad, while also looking to soak up the culture...
Laura Egdorf| Cape Town
26 August 2008
My experience in Cape Town was literally everything I would ever want out of an international volunteer experience. I worked as a volunteer at a non-profit organization based out of Khayelitsha, the second largest township is South Africa, and it was a perfect match, thanks to Connect-123. I fell in love with the people I worked with, and I am grateful to have been able to experience the extremes of...
Charleigh ElebashEducation Volunteer | Cape Town
University of South Carolina
7 August 2008
Connect-123 is such an amazing program. There are always so many things to do, great people to meet and beautiful scenery all around you. Steven, Lea and Melanie are so great and they do everything they can to make you feel at home and make sure that you really see and experience all that Cape Town has to offer! This has been one of the best experiences of my life...