Real stories from real participants, parents and university partners who share their experiences as well as their advice. Learn more about the benefits Connect-123 interns and volunteers receive on our programs around the world!

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Carla Simone

Education and Teaching Intern | Buenos Aires
Michigan State University
2 August 2019

My two-month internship in Buenos Aires exceeded all of my expectations. I had the opportunity to help teach English at a school with grades first through seventh. As a Spanish education major and Teaching English as a Second Language minor I am very interested in languages and wanted hands-on experience in a school. From working one on one with students to teaching lessons, my education internship allowed me to gain real-world experience of what everyday life is like in a classroom. Aside from my internship, Buenos Aires is a great place. There is always something to do, from going to museums, shopping at fairs, to hanging out with friends in plazas there is something for everyone. This program is a great way to be immersed in another language and culture and I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Erika Morgan

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Nova Southeastern University
1 August 2019

I am delighted to share my child life practicum abroad experience through the Connect-123 program. I was initially hesitant to complete my practicum abroad, because of the idea of being in an unfamiliar place with people I didn't know. Upon my first day arriving, I didn't feel alone; Connect-123 staff, along with my supervisors, and other program students provided me with a great sense of comfort and safety throughout my Cape Town journey. Along the way, we were all able to learn from one another. I was thrilled to be able to observe and learn from some of the most educated and well known Child Life Specialists from around the world. The knowledge and skills that I have gained are remarkable and I am forever grateful for the opportunities. I must say the variety of hands-on experiences such as the time spent within various clinics, observing an MRI or surgery preparation was my absolute favorite portion of the practicum! Throughout my practicum, I was pushed to step out of my comfort zone and set goals knowing that I would have the support and advice of my supervisors to assist me in accomplishing them. I tried so many new foods and activities that I am proud to say I've done! If you are looking for an outstanding practicum that can help you grow not only professionally but on a personal level as well, THIS IS PERFECT FOR YOU! This practicum has taught me so much about cultural differences and how those differences should bring us together instead of apart because differences don't mean one way is right or wrong. Being able to experience and witness the "Ubuntu" culture that South Africa strongly possess was an incredible experience. I am confident in the skills and information that I was taught has prepared me for the next step within my Child Life career and I can not wait to continue my journey! Cape Town and Connect-123 I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a rewarding and unforgettable experience and I hope to return someday!

Internships in Cape Town

Alex Woodward

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
23 July 2019

My time in Cape Town has been incredible. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the events and excursions put on by Connect-123, as well as the independent exploration I have been able to do. Life has such ease in Cape Town. My internship was incredible and I have come to love all of my co-workers. I highly suggest stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. From foods or activities to your future internship placement, try something outside of your comfort zone. Cape Town is one of the most culturally diverse places on the globe, experience it. When in Cape Town make sure to visit the places recommended by Connect-123 and also discover your own places. My friends and I rarely frequented the same place more than twice. My time was so enriching and I feel like I have gained an irreplaceable experience. My internship helped me to grow my knowledge of the inner workings of small non-profits. I have worked in so many different areas and the organizational focus on women has inspired and assured me that marginalized groups are being seen and assisted. Connect-123 did an amazing job connecting and facilitating my internship. They are so accommodating and professional. I highly suggest Connect-123 to anyone looking for a global experience!

Internships in Cape Town

Grace Judd

Chemical Engineering Intern | Dublin
Ohio University
22 July 2019

Choosing to intern in a foreign country was a great experience for me. I was able to gain professional experience while having the unique opportunity of meeting people from various cultures and backgrounds. I interned in an engineering lab at UCD. My co-workers were all very diverse. We came from all over the world, but worked together to solve a common problem. This was very valuable for me, as it is an accurate representation of how the real world will work. I learned so much from these individuals. Whether that be technical skills or where to get the best ice cream in Dublin, they were always willing to help me out. My work schedule consisted of a 40 hour work week, but my supervisor allowed me to work longer days and take half days if I wanted to travel. I took advantage of this opportunity to visit places in Ireland, including the Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, Glaway, Belfast, and the Giant's Causeway. I was also able to take a few weekend trips to London and Paris. Even with taking the opportunities to travel, I still got to experience Ireland. Connect-123 put on events throughout my internship that allowed us to experience the Irish culture and get to know the other interns. This helped provide a smooth transition into the way of life in Dublin. I would recommend speaking with your supervisor before coming to Dublin to get a feel of what the expectations and projects will be, so the work transition is smooth too. Overall, I am very glad that I chose to intern abroad this summer, and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity.

Internships in Dublin

Taylor Paglino

Marketing Intern | Barcelona
SUNY at Oneonta
17 July 2019

The opportunity to intern abroad in Barcelona was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. During my time here, I was able to grow tremendously both personally and professionally. Connect 123 helped facilitate my internship at a digital health company as a marketing intern. Zuzana took into great consideration my interest in healthcare and introduced me to a company where I learned an incredible amount and saw in real-time how a successful company is executed internally. My internship allowed me to think outside of the box. I was given several creative projects to work on and introduced to tools and programs a college course does not necessarily provide. I loved going into work every day and feeling a part of something great. Aside from my internship, these three months were the perfect way to travel. I explored the incredible city of Barcelona inside and out as well as other countries such as Croatia, Italy, Morocco, and Prague. I'd say that the two biggest takeaways from my time in Barcelona are the independence and confidence I gained from living and working in a foreign city and the skills I took away from my internship. Being abroad brings such value by showing how the "other world" works. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have had to appreciate other cultures, languages, gain an entirely new perspective and overcome challenges different than ever before. This would not have been possible without the support and guidance from the Connect-123 team. Truly an experience of a lifetime!

Internships in Barcelona

Alexis Zvanut

Child Life Program | Cape Town
University of Missouri
16 July 2019

During the month of June, Connect-123 gave me the incredible opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to complete a child life practicum. My time in Cape Town was filled with joy and a lot of laughter. I prepared children for what to expect while in the hospital, learned the benefits of therapeutic and medical play, built relationships with children and their families, and learned the true value of play and how it is a universal language. The children and medical staff that I met in Cape Town completely changed my life and I will never forget the impact that they had on me. The staff were so welcoming and the children had the biggest hearts and the biggest smiles. Throughout my time in Cape Town, I grew as a child life student and experienced the impact that a child life specialist can have on a child and their family during a very scary and stressful time. During my free time, I went sightseeing, hiking, paragliding, shark cage diving, and went on a safari. I am so glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and traveled to Cape Town. I will never forget this eye-opening experience.

Internships in Cape Town

Karina Taveras

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Nova Southeastern University
15 July 2019

My child life practicum in Cape Town, South Africa was truly a life-changing experience. As an aspiring culturally competent professional, when I was provided the opportunity to complete my practicum abroad, I didn’t think twice! Throughout the month, I observed our preceptors provide procedural support and developmentally appropriate medical and therapeutic play in the hospital setting. Then, I was able to use the tools I learned through observation to implement those practices on my own. I was able to fine-tune my clinical skills as a child life student and expand my knowledge working with a culturally diverse population. Upon returning back home, I feel that much more confident in myself as a future child life specialist due to the unique experiences that Cape Town offered me. We also had plenty of free time to explore the beautiful city that is Cape Town! There is so much to do and see that will make you fall in love with South Africa. Thank you Connect-123 for this incredible opportunity! I HIGHLY recommend this program to child life students! It will be one of the best decisions of your life!

Internships in Cape Town

Rebecca Willis

Law Intern | Barcelona
University of Glasgow
12 July 2019

As a philosophy student planning to convert to law, I was keen to gain some professional experience in the field. I had struggled to find similar opportunities at home in the UK and was stuck in a sort of ‘Catch-22’ situation - to gain experience, experience was necessary. Connect-123 offered exactly what I was looking for! With their connections in Barcelona, they were able to offer me a two month internship at an immigration law firm. I have learnt so much in my time here and have been given a lot of responsibility, despite speaking hardly any Spanish. Additionally, Connect-123 has made the transition to living in a new country much easier. They have organized many social events and it has been easy to make friends with other interns in the city. I am grateful for the experience that Connect-123 enabled me to have, and the valuable first step it has given me in setting up my future career.

Internships in Barcelona

Upinder Bahra

Architecture Intern | Barcelona
Coventry University
11 July 2019

First of all, thank you Connect-123 for allowing me to excel in a subject that I am very passionate about, in the most perfect city. Connect-123 gave me an incredible opportunity to complete an architecture internship abroad in Barcelona, Spain. This experience has not only aided me in my journey as a university student but has also molded me into a wiser, independent and engaged individual, allowing my personal and professional growth to blossom. This adventure has been an eye-opening and a memorable one. The frequent excursions held by Connect-123 were really successful in bringing the intern group closer, enabling us to learn more about each other. Being very fortunate to have met so many amazing individuals in Barcelona, I have had an incredible insight into many cultures, social habits and ways of living, not only from Spain but from all over the world. For example, spending much of my time with the interns from the US, I was continuously learning more about their background and history, even had the joy of celebrating the 4th of July with them at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona. Being involved in such a challenging and demanding industry in this vibrant city put me at a great advantage. On my first day, I was already working to produce architectural plans for a client. As I progressed, I soon had to prepare architectural drawings which I discussed with the team in our project meetings. An incredible hands-on experience, I was able to be part of the design process, working on the initial drawings, to seeing the actual construction of the projects during our site visits. I am grateful to have contributed to the works of a range of buildings across Northern Spain, making this internship a truly invaluable experience.

Internships in Barcelona

Erika Medina

Interior Design Intern | Barcelona
Western Carolina University
9 July 2019

Ever since I was a little girl I was curious about everything and everyone around me. My curiosity continued to expand the older I got and my mom is the type of mom to always push me out of my comfort zone and experience new things in life. Those new things consisted of many things, from moving 10 hours away from home to attend university in a location I’ve never been to, to traveling overseas to Europe for the first time with my class in 2016. Ever since 2016 I haven't been able to get enough of Europe. My mom, yet again, pushed me back out of my comfort zone in 2017 and got me interested in doing my mandatory internship abroad! I didn’t know what to expect! I was so nervous but very excited because I thought, “do I want to stay in America and play it safe, or do I want to take a chance and it could be amazing”? So I went to Spain for the summer and met so many new life-long friends and a lovely homestay mother. My internship was an eye-opening experience to my future and who I wanted to become in life. Being overseas, away from home is an opportunity I wish everyone could experience. Being away from home in another country, in a different time zone made me realize; life flies by and you waste so much time living your life the way you think it should be lived, instead of living your life the way you want to live it. After my first internship I realized I needed more. I wanted to learn more in my industry and really get to the core of finding what I really want to do in life. Instead of just working back in Chicago for the summer of 2017 I decided to do another internship abroad. My mom then found Connect-123 and told me all about the program and I knew this was my second chance, another step closer to finding out what I wanted to do in life. Since the beginning Connect-123 has been nothing but friendly, helpful and understanding; it is the type of program that wants you to achieve, be successful and find exactly what you’re wanting. Because of Connect-123, I’ve gotten closer to reaching my goal. Through Connect-123 I’ve gained a new amount of confidence, memories, amazing new life-long friends and connections. Choosing Barcelona for an internship and joining the Connect-123 family is something I highly encourage and recommend to all my young curious friends out there. Do an internship overseas, do something that takes you out of your comfort zone, do something that simultaneously scares you a little bit but excites you at the same time. It’s so worth it and it does wonders for your growing soul and curious mind. The impact this one decision can have can be life-changing! Traveling, working and learning overseas is an opportunity so few get, so if you have that chance, take it!

Internships in Barcelona

Jeyzon Fernandez

Journalism Intern | Barcelona
University of Barcelona
8 July 2019

Looking back when I lived in San Diego, California, I still remember walking to my bedroom on a daily basis, sitting at my computer desk, sighing and staring at the enormous poster I had on the wall – it was a colorful world map. It was there to remind, motivate and inspire me to go for the things that I truly wanted – to return to Spain, travel, continue learning with a keen curiosity, self-educating/evolving, connecting and seeking understanding of other cultures and traditions. It was a difficult choice and challenge to go back to Spain, especially, this time, as an older guy. But I've learned that in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. That simple paper on the wall, that world map, kept me on track; it help me stay focus on my goals and to visualize the possibilities – that it was doable, reachable. Fast-forward to now, I have reached that goal. And I couldn’t have done it without the help and continuous support of the superb, professional and friendly duo from Connect-123, Zuzana Jurasikova and Mireia Vila. I’m grateful for Connect-123, the journalism/translator/editor internship opportunity with Barcelona, and for the new friendships I’ve made with other student “Connectors.” I’m aiming to keep growing personally and professionally in the beautiful city of Barcelona. I’ve no regrets in the choice that I made in joining the Connect-123 family and picking Barcelona as the place to pursue my career objectives. For any young soul out there who is contemplating on doing an internship in a foreign country that calls your attention, just do it. It's well worth it! I strongly recommend and believe in investing in your own experience and education because the impact can be of a positive life change, an unforgettable adventure, a transformative and eye-opening journey. In other words: priceless.

Internships in Barcelona

Sarah Tatchi

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Eastern Tennessee State University
1 July 2019

My child life experience in Cape Town, South Africa was amazing! When I was given the opportunity to do my practicum aboard I didn't think twice, I took the opportunity right away. Connect-123 assisted in helping me gain knowledge on my career choice as a future child life specialist. I visited several children's hospitals and had the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced child life specialist. Through observations, I learned how play is a universal language as well as the importance of therapeutic/medical play and procedure preparations. The knowledge I had gained from observations gave me the opportunity to put what I had learned into practice when working with children at hospitals. Being able to solve those situations helped me step out of my comfort zone; it made me grow as an individual during my stay in Cape Town. It made me realize I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Connect-123 gave me the chance to go aboard and expand on something I am passionate about. I feel if I hadn't taken that opportunity, I won't be where I am today. When an opportunity is presented to you, take it because you don't know how it is going to change you as an individual. Thank you Connect-123 for letting me grow.  

Internships in Cape Town

Mustafa Mobarez

Business Intern | Barcelona
University of Colorado at Boulder
1 July 2019

Barcelona was one of the most eye-opening and greatest experiences that I have ever had. This is all due to Connect-123 and their amazing team. Through this program, I grew both personally and professionally. Sure, it is very hard to be in a different country that you don’t speak the language, not knowing the cultural practices and being away for two months. Connect-123 makes this process so easy that you don’t feel like you are away from home. Your home away from home, the (accommodations) has students from all over the world. It is the best way to learn and experience different cultures. For example, my roommate was from Russia and I have learned so much about their language, culture, and delicious foods. Overall, these experiences by far were the best part of college experiences for me. My internship allowed me to think outside of the box. I learned so much about international business by using software and tools that not necessarily being used in school. Overall, this program allowed to be built a strong network both personally and professionally with people from all around the world. Also, I was able to travel to other countries on holidays or weekends which helped me to understand and live with different people/culture. Looking back, this was the best decision that I have ever made and it was the best part of my life.

Internships in Barcelona

Madeline Frank

Environmental Intern | Dublin
Drexel University
29 June 2019

Connect-123 gave me the opportunity to gain valuable career-building experience, travel to a new country, and meet wonderful people throughout the journey! I could not be more thankful for the months I spent in Dublin, Ireland as a research assistant in the botany department at UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. First, my work experience allowed me to gain confidence in a field that compliments my major. I was able to add a list of new skills to my resume and develop connections with professors and students who supported me along the way. I volunteered Monday through Friday, but even so, my hours allowed me time to enjoy the city afterwards. Connect-123 hosted many events to attend, such as a tour of Jameson Distillery and a dinner at the Hairy Lemon (all of which began after working hours). Additionally, every weekend, I was able to branch out and explore other areas in Ireland. I absolutely loved visiting Galway and the Cliffs of Moher! Events and trips, such as these, allowed me to spend time with the other connectors. It was so nice to have these people to make the experience feel comfortable and easy. It can be difficult adjusting to a new location, especially outside of your own country, but this program makes the transition welcoming, with endless support. Thank you Connect-123 for the experience of a lifetime and thank you to everyone I have met! I could not have done this without you! :)

Internships in Dublin

Madeline Brent

Medical Research Intern | Dublin
Drexel University
27 June 2019

My internship in Dublin was wonderful. I worked at Trinity University in a biobank archiving and processing samples. The work environment was a very easy transition. Everyone was welcoming and genuinely wanted to get to know me. I learned so many skills from my job that I am able to take back with me and apply to new jobs in the future. Something amazing about interning abroad is also meeting people from many different places. I interned with people from India, Luxembourg, Germany, and so many others. It was fun to learn side by side with other students and see how different places around the world learn techniques differently. Having an internship abroad was an incredible opportunity. Living in a foreign country and having to experience normal life in a culture other than your own is an experience unlike any other. Vacationing is not the same thing as living. Living in Dublin caused me to go to the grocery store, take public transportation, and experience the locals in a way I wouldn’t have been able to on a short trip. Connect-123 helped ease this transition. I was given an orientation with everything I needed including a list of all grocery stores, transportation information, and local attractions. During my stay in Dublin we had many events that brought participants together and gave us a community. Overall I not only learned about a new location, but I made Dublin a home.

Internships in Dublin

Ivanna Olvera

Human Rights Intern | Dublin
Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla
13 June 2019

As an International Relations student, I was looking for the best option for an internship abroad. I’m interested in global issues such as international law, nationality, migration and human rights. Thanks to Connect-123, I secured a placement in a non-profit organization that assists immigrants and refugees with naturalization in Dublin, Ireland. This experience is by far one of the best I’ve had as it helped me grow professionally and personally. First of all, I was able to work in a multicultural environment. Each of my colleagues had a different nationality and it helped me discover new ways of working. Apart from that, I put into practice and strengthened the knowledge I acquired during my studies, as I had to learn about Ireland’s immigration law and international treaties regarding asylum seekers and refugees. On a personal level, working with refugees and immigrants who are experiencing really difficult situations, made me realize that we need to raise consciousness when treating them in our countries. Every day they taught me things about life and to stay positive no matter what. Connect-123 was there before, during and after my internship. They picked me up at the airport and got me to my place; they were in contact with me to find out how my internship was going and put together social events for interns. I invite all young people to live this experience and to travel internationally to do an internship.

Internships in Dublin

Emily Heiser

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
St Joseph's College
10 May 2019

I will always look back on my time in Cape Town as a very special time in my life, and I owe it all to Connect-123! I had just graduated and wanted to travel abroad somewhere for a while but also build up my experience in my studied field. I heard good things about Connect-123 from my friend and decided to apply. The people at Connect-123 were very responsive during the whole process of applying and finding me an internship. They couldn’t have picked a better placement for me! My internship gave me real-life experience that will help me in future jobs and just in life in general. Connect-123 also held very fun and exciting events for the other interns which gave us all a chance to get to know each other and explore other things in South Africa. The people in this program have become some of my very best friends. I treasure the people I have met through Connect-123 and my internship.

There is no place else like Cape Town, it is an incredible place to live; from its natural beauty to the welcoming people, you will never get tired of it. Our weekends were packed with us trying to do everything in Cape Town but it was impossible because the list is endless. I cannot wait to go back there and reconnect with my coworkers, the people at Connect-123, and all of the other friends I made during my three months there!

Internships in Cape Town

Rikke Bangsborg

Healthcare Intern | Buenos Aires
Københavns Professionshøjskole
23 April 2019

During my internship in Buenos Aires, I learned a lot about myself and my professional interests. I met great friends from all over the world and was able to travel further to Uruguay and Brazil. However, the most important aspect I take away from this internship is valuable knowledge for my potential future career interest. I have been exposed to an environment and culture far from what I know, and it has allowed me to build confidence and become comfortable within my field. I have developed various crucial skills, such as intercultural sensitivity and health-oriented communication, as well as improved my ability to apply these skills in an appropriate setting. Altogether, during my time abroad in Buenos Aires, I have been able to strengthen my education and gain real-life experience, which will be essential assets in my future profession.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Julian White-Davis

Journalism Intern | Buenos Aires
Carleton College
16 April 2019

I’ve spent the last six months living in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Connect-123 and can honestly say that I have zero regrets about choosing them as a program to guide me through my journey here. I’m 19 years old and was fresh out of high school when I arrived in the “Paris of South America” to begin my gap year practicing journalism before attending Carleton College next year. From the business that they found for me to intern at, to the events that they organized throughout my stay, Connect-123 crafted an experience that I will never forget. The newspaper that I interned at provided me with the skills and knowledge to move forward in my career with confidence. They gave me the opportunity to write over 50 articles about news, politics, and lifestyle going on in Argentina. Through my coworkers, I got connected with writers at Vice and was able to publish numerous photographs online! To say the least, it has been a life-changing experience. In addition to the professional training that I received, Connect-123 also provided support on a personal and social front. As someone who had never lived alone before, the prospect of living alone for the first time in a city of almost three million people was daunting. However, the events put on by Connect-123 with fellow interns at other businesses made me feel more at home and provided me with a group of close friends from around the world that I am still in contact with today. From street art tours, to music concerts, to nights of pool at old neighborhood bars, the events also gave me a chance to get to the know the city from the perspective of both a tourist and a local. Thanks to Connect-123 and their services, I have learned more about myself and the world in six months than I have in years and years of my life back home. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my time here in Buenos Aires and now feel more prepared than ever to take on the challenges of the next chapter of my life.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Jordan Trico

Education Intern | Barcelona
12 April 2019

My experience with Connect-123 in Barcelona was absolutely wonderful. I had the resources and contacts available to ease my transition into living and working in a big, vibrant city like Barcelona. For my internship, I worked at a local NGO five days a week, teaching English to young students as well as working as a teacher’s assistant. The organization could not have been more warm and welcoming; in my three months there, I became very close to all my co-workers and students, and leaving was very hard. One of my primary goals was to improve my Spanish, and thankfully Connect-123 was able to provide me with an environment where that was possible. Being a gap year student, this was my first experience living on my own and providing for myself. However, during my time here in Barcelona, I never felt completely lost - I knew that I had a web of resources to fall back on if needed. My three months in Spain will surely be some of the best memories I’ll take with me going forward, from the weekend trips to the early morning Metros. I am extremely thankful for the people at Connect-123 and to all the friends I’ve met here! I know one day I’ll be coming back.

Internships in Barcelona
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