Saachi Sadchatheeswarm

Marine Biology Intern | Cape Town
University of Toronto, Graduate
21 June 2012

After four years in undergrad I realised that not only was I not ready for graduate school, but that I also had very little experience for a career in science, despite a double major in Zoology/Human Biology. Luckily I happened upon an internship at home in Canada which gave me training in scientific publishing and literature research, but I still needed experience working with animals in some form.  After some searching I found Connect-123’s website, and I decided to take the chance at an internship in Cape Town.

From the very start the agency went above and beyond my expectations. They answered my tentative inquiry email promptly, and from there everything went very fast. They not only found me an internship outside of their usual placements, but helped me find a place to stay at Stellenbosch University for two months, and even placated my mother when she became nervous about me going to and staying in South Africa all by myself.

During this internship, I not only gained a wide set of skills needed to become a real researcher of marine biology (a childhood dream), but also got to experience campus living for the first time, I learned how to cook rice properly from a mycology professor and quiche from my ecology supervisor, and indulged in the best pasteries ever whenever I wanted. The end result of my internship, which I worked hard and happy at, was a successful chance at  continuing it as a Masters of Science project at the University of Cape Town come this September (2012). In addition, I received the references necessary for a summer post as Assistant to the Curator of Amphibians & Reptiles and Curator of Mammals at the Toronto Zoo in Canada.

Connect-123 provided me with a very rare chance to intern with lovely people within my chosen profession, and realise that it would actually be possible to be a Marine Biologist. Although the people at Connect-123 had to make special arrangements for me for nearly all aspects of my 2 months in Cape Town, they did so without fuss and made me feel incredibly welcome and safe. They were with me every step of the way, checked on my progress often, and took a real vested interest in how and what I was doing.

I highly recommend this program to all hard-working (yes, I even worked on weekends and loved it) young folk that want to realise the possibilities offered in other countries. Stellenbosch was a jewel of a place to study and research and I felt properly apart of an academic community. The surroundings were beautiful and the people were always cheerful and polite. I really can’t wait to be back in South Africa, this time for 2 or more years.

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More Reviews for Animal Science and Wildlife Internships in Cape Town

Thao Nguyen

Animal Science Intern | Cape Town
University of Florida
20 September 2010

What can I say about my three months in Cape Town? It was absolutely one of the greatest experiences of my life! The people, culture, history, and atmosphere are just amazing! My internship allowed me to work closely with a local veterinarian and do research at a nature reserve situated about 20 minutes from the city center. Although I was having some issues with my internship in the beginning, Mary...

Sydney Lidstone

University of South Florida | Cape Town
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15 October 2009

I became an official Connect123 intern in September 2008. Little did I know, I was about to embark on one of the biggest adventures I have ever experienced! I heard about Connect-123 through my friend, Crystal Fisher, who had applied to the internship program. We both constantly have the itch to travel, so when she told me about the journey she was about to take, I was all ears. After...

Nyasha Mvenge

Biology Internship | Cape Town
University of Manchester
1 August 2007

I asked for a placement that involved research and lab work which was exactly what I got when I arrived. However, I’ve since also received training at a hospital which was my number one goal. So all in all I have gotten back far more than I had originally expected. I am super thrilled that not only am I achieving what I set out to do but I will leave...

Alyson Venti

Marine Sciences Internship | Cape Town
Amherst College
5 April 2007

Connect-123 provides an incredible opportunity to gain a unique experience in a remarkable culture. Traveling as a tourist is limited by achieving only a surface knowledge of a country, whereby living and working there offers an insight into a country’s distinctive features. Through Connect-123, I was able to spend six weeks working in marine conservation. My office was square miles of protected beach fronts and hiking trails, my desk a...

Jenna Stenger

Animal Science Volunteer | Cape Town
University of Minnesota
7 July 2006

Working through Connect-123 made everything easy. The internship I did was perfect for me, and the individual attention that I got really made me feel comfortable about traveling to Cape Town. The Connect-123 group get-togethers were a great way to really experience what the Western Cape has to offer and I can’t wait to come back.
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