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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Meredith Kahan

Education Intern | Dublin
Sherwood High School
4 October 2017

Going to Ireland was such an amazing experience for me and doing it through Connect-123 made it even better. Connect-123 made it possible for me to make friends and travel while I visited Ireland. Our program coordinator met me on my second day of being in Ireland and explained to me how to get around Dublin, using the public transportation system, how to get to my internship, and the plans for the group's next few months in Dublin. She planned amazing trips for us including a weekend in Galway, a visit to the Cliffs of Moher, and a tour through Giants Causeway. Having Connect-123's help during my time abroad gave me a base to pose questions to and a person I knew I could lean on for anything while I was away from home. My internship was through an afterschool center for kids to play and get their energy out before the end of the day. While I was working there I learned to become more patient and understanding. I also strengthened my communication and problem-solving skills because I had to help kids understand why they could not do something like throw a ball at another child. I will always remember my time in Ireland and I can truly say that my internship made it so much better.

Internships in Dublin

Maggie Schmitt

Play Therapy Intern | Dublin
Mount Holyoke College
3 October 2017

I recently spent six weeks in Dublin, Ireland working in an amazing internship that Connect-123 set up for me. Not only did they help me get the internship and all travel/living arrangements in order, but they have an AWESOME coordinator in Dublin who is there to help. Through Connect-123 I was able to have cool new experiences and meet people from all over the world. I can't think of a better way that I could have gotten internship experience in the beautiful country of Ireland. I had an incredible trip and I learned a lot! I would 100% tell you to use this program!

Internships in Dublin

Jincheng (George) Zhang

Finance Intern | Shanghai
Georgetown University
30 September 2017

I had an incredible internship experience with Connect-123 in Shanghai. As a finance major student, I was able to leverage the platform Connect-123 provided to work in an elite boutique investment bank. I enjoyed this investment banking internship experience, as the assignments and projects I worked on were both challenging and exciting. I was given a lot of responsibilities in assisting my supervisor in analyzing various industries and I had opportunities to attend meetings with top executives from some of the largest companies. I am grateful for this meaningful experience. It provided me such an important foundation for my future career endeavor. Besides work, Connect-123’s program coordinators are super friendly and helpful. They provided us guidance on everything we needed and arranged us for lots of fun activities over the course of the internships. I strongly recommend students to leverage this unique internship platform to advance their careers and studies.

Internships in Shanghai

Abdallah Haq

Supply Chain Management Intern | Dublin
University of Texas at Dallas
29 September 2017

The summer I spent in Ireland was easily the best time of my life, thanks to the Connect-123 team. I was simply expecting them to match me up with an internship and then take a backseat, but the they remained involved in the program throughout the summer. Thanks to my program coordinators, I saw parts of Ireland and experienced the culture in ways that would not have been possible otherwise. From stunning coastal hikes to the mesmerizing Irish countryside, they knew exactly the right spots to show us the spirit of Ireland. Their knowledge of Dublin was truly indispensable in things like finding the best places to eat and mapping the fastest route to work. Regarding the internship, I gained considerable experience in my field that has been beneficial in helping me focus on a specific career path in my industry. Thanks to working in a very nurturing environment, I was never hesitant to suggest innovative ideas and try things my way, which enabled me to grow both professionally and personally.

Internships in Dublin

Joshua Dowds

Healthcare Intern | Cape Town
Lees-McRae College
27 September 2017

My internship and overall experience working at a leading hospital in Cape Town has left me with memories and friends that I will have for a lifetime. I came into the internship on the fence of what I wanted to pursue career-wise and with little medical experience. After working with the doctors at the hospital I can honestly say I left knowing what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. I was given the opportunity to have many one-on-one conversations with both the patients and doctors during clinical and ward rounds. I was responsible for many tasks, such as running blood work, booking x-rays, completing admittance and discharge sheets, and updating the patients' results. The doctors were all very hands-on throughout my time there, getting us engaged and answering all of our questions. Outside of the hospital, my experience was equally as great. Having weekends off gave us plenty of time to really explore Cape Town and our program coordinators always had an activity for us to do. Whether we were shark cage diving, paragliding, enjoying the local restaurants and wine, or sandboarding, our tight-knit group of friends really took advantage of our time in the country. I hope to one day have the opportunity to go back and see the beautiful city of Cape Town again. Thank you Connect-123 for this unforgettable experience.

Internships in Cape Town

Krisi Cobani

Fashion & Business Intern | Barcelona
SUNY at Oneonta
27 September 2017

My adventure of living in Barcelona this past summer is something that will stick with me forever. I’ve never grown so much in so little time both professionally and personally. I am extremely grateful to Connect- 123 for being so easy to work with and making my growth possible. For my internship, I was a trade marketing intern for an amazing nontraditional bridal firm where I got to explore if a career in the business side of fashion was what I wanted to do after graduation. Connect-123 did an awesome job of pairing me with them because it was everything I wanted! I was tasked with exploring the US market for them to expand into. I researched the current bridal market, got to see who the top competitors would be, and figure out the best way to introduce them to the target customers in the States. My favorite part of my internship was setting up photoshoots with influencers in the fashion industry like bloggers. My amazing boss gave me creative control when organizing the shoot and I was able to be as creative as I wanted and put my own twist on the shoots. This internship exposed me to so much! I learned so much about all the work that went into making sustainably responsible apparel brand successful. Getting to live in a new culture and exploring a foreign land was truly the best part of my experience abroad. I was able to get lost down whimsical streets of the Gothic Quarter, find new mountains to hike up (where I got the chance to meet a boar), and constantly have my breath taken away by all the beauty and history that wrapped the city. I met so many amazing people from all over and everyone had something new to teach you; it was truly a growing experience. Connect- 123 was amazing through every step of the processes, from finding a place to stay last minute and organizing fun excursions to checking up on me making sure everything was going well. Going to Barcelona has definitely been one of the best experiences I’ve had thus far, and I’m grateful to Connect-123 and their amazing staff for providing me with the opportunity. If you are on the fence about going abroad, just do it. I promise it’ll be an experience you’ll treasure!

Internships in Barcelona

Mahanna Elsheik

Public Health Intern | Dublin
University of Debrecen, Hungary
25 September 2017

I interned for 7 weeks working in the research department of an organization that focuses on suicide and self0harm prevention. Seven weeks felt like 7 days. I had a wonderful time and it was an extremely fruitful experience; I learned so much! Everyone working there was so kind, friendly, and funny and made me feel very welcomed. My last day was a lot more emotional than I ever thought it would be, it was hard saying my goodbyes- a sign of a great experience and even greater people. Dublin is a beautiful city with so much to do and see. Exploring the city and towns nearby was so much fun and I definitely plan on coming back and exploring Ireland even more. Huge thanks to the Connect-123 team's time and efforts spent answering all my questions and for their patience during the application process. Fun events, hangouts, and tours were organized for the C-123 members and our program coordinator gave us suggestions on what to do/where to go during the bank holidays and weekends. She was extremely helpful and checked up on us frequently and was always there to answer any questions we had no matter how silly they were. It’s truly been a wonderful summer. I met awesome people and made great friendships. I'm very thankful for the experience and the memories that came with it! Thank you Connect-123 !

Internships in Dublin

Emily Seibel

Child Life Intern | Cape Town
East Carolina University
22 September 2017

Spending a month in Cape Town has changed my life and reassured me that my career choice in Child Life is the right one for me. Connect-123 provided us with opportunities and information to build relationships in the community, in professional settings, and with the other Connect-123 interns. Cape Town is a beautiful city, from the spectacularly rigid surface of Table Mountain to the perfectly sweet children I worked with. Working at the children’s hospital taught me more than I ever thought possible about myself and intercultural communication. Many of the children I interacted with did not know a word of English but we were still able to interact and have fun, reinforcing a staple concept of Child Life: play is universal. I was provided with a number of opportunities to challenge myself as well as practice my strengths while working in the hospital. From coloring with the younger kids, to reading young adult novels to the middle schoolers, I was able to implement Child Life concepts into my work. It truly is remarkable what my internship director, my fellow program members, and Connect-123 packed into just 30 days. Strangers quickly turned into friends and adventure buddies, and staff became role models. This experience is one that will forever be written on my heart and I will forever be thankful for my jam-packed, yet short, month in Cape Town!

Internships in Cape Town

Treasure Inyang

Medical Intern | Cape Town
King's College London
11 September 2017

For 2 months, I had the wonderful experience of working in a day hospital in Cape Town. The staff at the hospital were very welcoming and accommodating to any of our needs. They really included us in the day to day running of the hospital and I’m happy that I was able to contribute in the little way I could. It was a very hands on internship and I was able to gain clinical experience which would have been a lot harder to get in the UK. I’m very grateful to all the clinical staff at the hospital and also the Connect organisers for being so warm and checking in with us regularly. Cape Town is such a beautiful city and I hope to visit again very soon! Thank you so much for all your help and making this experience so memorable!

Internships in Cape Town

Ioana Moldovan

Healthcare Intern | Buenos Aires
Boston University
7 September 2017

Having had the experience of studying abroad for four months in Spain, my unease for an adventure in Buenos Aires did not come from lacking language skills. Instead, I feared feeling lonely and out of place, both in the city and in the public hospital where I completed my internship. Truth be told, I did struggle at the beginning because the weather conditions were not short of depressing, which made it difficult to start exploring the city. Shortly after I started my internship, however, I met other program participants at social events and the hospital where I interned. During my time in this hospital, which focuses on care for mothers and children, I rotated among specialties such as obstetrics, pediatrics, and neonatology. The residents became my friends and the doctors took me under their wing, making sure that I understood the medical terminology and the procedures involved in patient treatment. My time in Buenos Aires was filled with close friendships, adventures in the city, and it concluded with a confirmation of my desire to pursue a career in medicine.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Jack Herstam

Marketing Intern | Cape Town
Santa Clara University
4 September 2017

My internship has been a bit different than what I expected. There has not been much direction in terms of how I am supposed to organize the event, which is not a bad thing. My supervisor simply instructed me to “go crazy” with sponsors, advertisement, and endorsements. It was difficult making connections and networking in a city that is completely unknown to me, but the challenge has been rewarding. I have found many individuals who are willing to support the company's work in reducing homelessness, gangsterism, and incarceration by making contributions to my efforts. I have also learned to communicate a non-profit business model, something I had no prior experience with. My program coordination in Cape Town has been nothing short of fantastic. I have two coordinators who work with me. Both are natives of South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg). They have been wonderful, providing enough guidance to see me through my first days while giving me the space to grow and discover on my own. They have planned social events with other students in this summer’s group on a weekly basis, from cooking events to countryside expeditions. I have been so fortunate to find friends here, both in my program and outside of it, who I believe will be comrades long after our time here is complete

Internships in Cape Town

Kiara McAllister

Education Volunteer | Barcelona
Nassau Community College
30 August 2017

There are not enough words to describe my experience in Barcelona with Connect-123. They were so helpful through my whole life changing journey. They first helped me find the volunteer program I was going to choose and from then on they were so quick to respond to any questions I had. All my emails were answered and they also provided transportation from the airport to my apartment which was so helpful. They found me different locations to stay in Barcelona and had many different options. Everything they arranged was so easy. Without Connect-123, I wouldn't have been able to have the amazing time I had in Spain. I entered my volunteer placement nervous and ended it being happier than ever to share my life with them! Thank you to everyone at Connect-123 for helping me achieve my future goals!

Volunteer in Barcelona

Brielle Johnson

Nursing Intern | Cape Town
Northeastern University
29 August 2017

Interning at an orthopedic hospital in Cape Town was one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my life so far. As a nursing student, it provided me with a deeper understanding of the culture and healthcare system in South Africa, and at the same time I could explore my passion for pediatric nursing. The nurses and doctors alike were all extremely kind and helpful, and allowed you to get up close to any surgeries and procedures that were happening; they would let you help out with essentially anything you were comfortable with. Connect-123 was incredibly helpful with organizing housing, as well as planning events to help you get familiar with the city. There are endless adventures to be had in Cape Town, and my weekends were packed full thanks to the information provided by Connect-123. Being able to live and volunteer in a city as beautiful and diverse as Cape Town will be an experience that I will carry with me for a lifetime.

Internships in Cape Town

Mackenzie Glava

Marketing Intern | Dublin
University of Texas at Dallas
23 August 2017

Spending my summer with Connect-123 abroad in Ireland was incredibly rewarding. Not only was I able to make lifelong friends that I know I will keep in contact for years to come, but I also was able to learn and thrive in a different work environment, country, and culture where I grew truly independent and wish I never had to leave from. I miss working for the marketing company and I miss living in Dublin. This is definitely something someone should try who wants to study abroad but can’t afford to miss a semester a school. Along with real work experience, I was able to travel all over Ireland and get to know the country and its people like the back of my hand. I was also able to affordably travel outside of Ireland, and see more of Europe and what this part of the world has to offer. Connect-123 has some amazing coordinators too. My program coordinator was also always the biggest help and a friend whenever we needed it most. I can’t wait to plan my trip back to Ireland and revisit the country that gave me not only a once in a lifetime opportunity, but a love for a place other than my own home.

Internships in Dublin

Kourtney Walter

Environment and Sustainability Volunteer | Buenos Aires
Drexel University
22 August 2017

My experience in Argentina was definitely a worthwhile experience. I was able to learn, practice, and enhance my Spanish speaking skills by just everyday life and by attending classes the organization suggested. I learned so much about a culture that was different from mine; I ate styles of food I have never eaten and of course, the culture of mate was a big learning experience. I loved that the country has a huge sharing culture, which explains the large prevalence of mate sharing. I am taking a few mate cups home to share with my family and friends, so they can learn too. Argentina is an incredibly beautiful country with many places to visit to keep your weekend or days off busy. Just walking around Buenos Aires there is so much to see and do, like going to Recoleta Cemetery, Puerto Madero, San Telmo market, Casa Rosada, and so many more. I was fortunate enough to also take 2-weekend trips; one to Iguazu falls, which was incredible and an other to Puerto Madryn to whale watch and swim with sea lions :) My experience exploring Argentina was amazing. I've made so many unforgettable friends that I hope to keep in contact with and plan to visit eventually.

Volunteer in Buenos Aires

Madeline Egan

Healthcare Intern | Buenos Aires
Carleton College
22 August 2017

Conncect-123 made my dream internship of observing doctors at both general and pediatric hospitals abroad possible. At first I was a bit nervous to be jumping between the two hospitals because I was not confident in my Spanish speaking abilities and was worried I wouldn’t be able to establish connections. However, this fear quickly faded as I was warmly welcomed into both hospitals. I was pleasantly surprised by how flexible and self-directed the internship was. Within my second week at the general hospital, I observed several surgeries and quickly fell in love with the OR. My adviser at the general hospital encouraged me to spend time in the specialties that I was passionate about and to continue learning from the doctors I connected with. I was fortunate enough to also rotate through a pediatric and maternal hospital where I choose to spend most of my time observing pediatric surgeries as well as natural and C-section births. The surgery teams I met worked efficiently as a team but also kept the mood light with laughter and music and they allowed me to be a part of it. Most of the time my engagement came from me asking the doctors or nurses questions, but because I communicated with them, they asked about my life and some asked me to do small tasks like adjust the surgery light, hold the patient in place, or take photos during the surgery. There were several occasions where I had the opportunity to interact with doctors off the clock. My favorite memory was when an ER doctor & plastic surgeon invited me and a fellow colleague to have dinner at his house. We ate authentic Argentinian food and ended the night singing along while he played guitar. Buenos Aires was a wonderful place to live and I would not have felt as welcomed and as confident in the city if it weren’t for Connect-123.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Rachel Meade

Medical Research Intern | Dublin
University of Texas at Dallas
20 August 2017

Connect-123 was an incredible summer program. Not only did they arrange a research internship with a top university in Dublin, but they also provided fun opportunities to experience Ireland while socializing with other members of the program! My favorite excursion was definitely the visit to the Hills of Tara! The legends surrounding the place were amazing, the views were unparalleled, and I got to offer a marshmallow to a fairy tree in exchange for a wish. Altogether, it was a fantastic experience. I would highly recommend this program for any student wanting to spend time in Ireland!

Internships in Dublin

Sebastian Tovar Montanez

Business Development Intern | Shanghai
Carleton College
17 August 2017

My experience in Shanghai was absolutely amazing and life changing and I could not have done it without the great service provided by Connect-123. From the time that I applied to the time that I returned home, I always felt that I had the support of the supportive and helpful staff of Connect-123. My internship site was a great match because I was able to help the company grow and improve by utilizing the skills I already had, while at the same, I was able to explore several areas that I never knew I would have liked. The environment at my company was supportive, fun, and flexible. This allowed me to have a better experience because I was given some guidance, while still having the independence to express and engage with my own ideas. I was also very happy with my accommodation because the location was great and the people living with me were friendly and welcoming. Finally, in terms of Shanghai, I believe I could not have made a better choice for my destination because Shanghai is a very dynamic, modern, accessible, and vibrant city. I learned so much during my time there and I look forward to visiting again someday.

Internships in Shanghai

Haley Fricke

Child Life Intern | Cape Town
University of California at Santa Cruz
17 August 2017

Connect-123 gave me the amazing opportunity to complete my child life practicum in South Africa for the month of July. South Africa is a gorgeous country. The natural beauty seems to be everywhere you look. I interned with an amazing group at a children's hospital in Cape Town. Working at the children's hospital was a moving experience. I loved meeting new families and children every day, but also forming relationships with patients. These are some of my favorite memories from the hospital. I like using art activities in my child life practice. I was drawing with a patient that did not speak english, but understood english. He was the only child not sleeping and was full of smiles. He drew me an intricate picture with different boxes to explain to me how he got his injuries. His determination was apparent because it took us quite a long time to sort out the drawing. He was so creative in communicating with me the story of how he came to be in the trauma ward at the hospital. I was glad he was able to express himself and share with me. I asked him how he is now and he gave me a thumbs up and smiled. We talked about how although he was in that accident he now feels he is good. I was glad I was able to be there for him as he coped and shared his experience. There are so many memories I could share, but the last will be of a girl I worked with in the burn unit. I was able to work with her multiple times and form a relationship with her, her mom, and younger sister. Although she does not have fingers because of her previous burns she does not let this limit her while she was playing. We did many activities, but she really wanted to draw. She used her wrists to hold the markers, and could draw, but was becoming frustrated and sad it was not coming out how she wanted. We kept practicing and OT came in to give her a wrist cuff they designed for her. The cuff allows her to hold objects such as eating utensils and a toothbrush. Since we were drawing she asked if she could use it for the markers too. They said she could and she was able to draw a picture on her own. She was so excited. Being a part of her processes towards recovery was beautiful. I will never forget the children I worked with and am grateful to have had this experience.

Internships in Cape Town

Carlee Stanton

Community Service Volunteer | Cape Town
Michigan State University
17 August 2017

My three-month stay in Cape Town was nothing short of life-changing — and it would not have been possible without Connect-123’s organization, support and accommodation. I had an incredible experience as a Connect-123 intern at a local NGO. My internship challenged me as a public policy student, in my awareness of local community and organizational issues, and my understanding of South Africa’s complex politics and culture. My internship allowed me to link much of my academic theory to practice, identify my professional direction, develop strong networking and mentoring relationships, and acquire new learning through challenging and meaningful assignments, such as designing and implementing new community development initiatives to address issues of unemployment, HIV/AIDS, and rural flight amongst South African youth. I feel like my professional goals have been re-energized and re-shaped, and I will return for my last semester of university with renewed passion. Outside of work, I loved exploring Cape Town - hikes in the mountains, zip lining, safaris, visits to the wine country, exploring local eats and shops - there is so much to see and do! Thank you, Connect-123, for making my experience one to remember. I am grateful for the professional and personal experiences that have shaped me into the person that I am. I encourage anyone who is considering this program, to seize the opportunity.

Volunteer in Cape Town