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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Being able to do an internship abroad was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. Connect-123 made everything simple. They found us amazing apartments, a great internship site, and were even able to provide mandarin classes to us. It was also so nice to know that there was a point of contact person living in the city that we could message for advice and meet when we needed help with something. There was so much to do, and it was easy to get by without being fluent in Mandarin. I had a wonderful time and highly recommend finding internships through Connect-123!Internships in Shanghai
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
I spent my internship in Cape Town, South Africa. It was the most amazing three months! I was able to gain experience in my field while experiencing a beautiful new country at the same time. I was able to create many new friendships internationally that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Connect-123 did an amazing job partnering me with a non-profit that fit my career interests perfectly. They not only helped with finding me an internship but also with housing, travel needs, and anything else that I needed while I was abroad. This experience not only taught me a lot about future career goals, but I also learned a lot about a different culture.Internships in Cape Town
I had an incredible experience in South Africa that I will never forget. Connect-123 provided exciting excursions that really allowed my classmates and me to explore all that Cape Town has to offer. My internship at a nonprofit institute dedicated to environmental conservation and education taught me about how sustainable development can aid in economic development. It was inspiring to work with people who care so much about these important issues and I am excited to follow this example in the US. Thank you Connect-123 for this amazing opportunity!Internships in Cape Town
Working, studying, and even living in a foreign country can be very stressful when you don’t know anyone there, but I am glad that I had Connect-123 to help me. From the get-go, they were very helpful and always an email away to help answer any questions or concerns I had and eased my worries such that when I arrived, I knew exactly what to expect. From the housing to the internship placement my Connect-123 team member Carla was always there making sure that I was comfortable and got everything that I wanted out of my experience. She really heard what I wanted in my placement and delivered! Connect-123 gave me the opportunity to do an internship in South Africa at the University of Cape Town! I was right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city where there was much to learn and see and I was not too far from the place I was renting. I had wanted to do an internship that would allow me to experience a new perspective on environmental sustainability and Connect-123 gave me an opportunity to do so right on campus. I had the advantage of surrounding myself with peers with whom I made life-long connections. I had the luxury of working alongside a researcher and directly contributing to his research and because I was on campus, I had the added benefit of meeting and volunteering for field work with different members of the faculty, which included people from all around the world that came to the university to expand on their research. The environmental sustainability aspect of this project was that by studying and learning more about birds and their behaviours we can put forward our research to help urban planners to build sustainably without putting any danger or stress on the local bird populations. This was an incredible opportunity that would have been next to impossible to find back home. I would like to thank Connect-123 for finding me an incredible internship that I will treasure for years to come. I left the program with a great experience, made incredible friends, learned lots of practical research and field skills, and made many new professional connections that will help me in my professional future. So, thank you Connect-123!Internships in Cape Town
I completed my environmental and sustainability internship in Ireland at a Dublin-based creative studio and shop with a focus on the environment and healthcare design. From the day I started my internship, I helped make the products that were sold in the shop, as well as help manage the cash register. There was a big street festival a few weeks after I arrived, so a lot of work needed to be done to prepare. After the festival, I assisted on a project that aims to create a green corridor connecting the Botanical Gardens (located in the Northwest Inner City) to the Liffey (the river running through the center of the city). The nature corridor, it is envisioned, will create a ribbon of biodiversity and fertile ground for social innovation, green enterprise and nature-based solutions in Dublin. The Connect-123 coordinators made sure that everyone was adjusting well to life in Ireland, and set up different events for everyone to get together at! Dublin is one of my favorite cities. It's not as big as NYC, and it also has a much more laid back atmosphere than anywhere I've been. For anyone thinking about doing an internship abroad, I can't recommend this program enough.Internships in Dublin
Connect-123 guided us every step of the way as we applied for Chinese Visas. They helped us get settled into a lovely apartment in Shanghai and organized frequent events for the group of interns in Shanghai. They also assisted us in finding Mandarin classes. Shanghai is a convenient and exciting city - you could get lost in the number of activities there are in the expat community. My internship taught me a lot about NGO work, the environmental movement in China and how to work in a professional environment. Overall, a great experience!Internships in Shanghai
Connect-123 facilitated my sustainable development internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina over the summer. It was hands down one the best things I've ever done! Not only did I learn about working in a foreign country, but I also learned how to adapt to unexpected situations at work and my confidence grew in my ability to voice my concerns and opinions with my supervisor. I met some of the most amazing people, I made lifelong friends and I traveled to fantastic places such as Iguazú and Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. The two most important takeaways for me from this experience abroad were: 1. learning Spanish, and 2. figuring out how to push myself beyond my comfort zone.Internships in Buenos Aires
Living abroad is a liberating experience. Once I stepped off the plane and onto Irish soil, the world grew a little bit smaller. I had never traveled alone before, and the idea of living without any of the comforts of my familiar life was daunting. That is where Connect-123 made life easy. Nikki, my program coordinator, helped me establish the essentials (housing, phone, connections, etc…). I quickly grew comfortable and started to travel throughout Ireland and Europe, experiencing some of the world’s greatest sights, sounds, and tastes. Dublin truly is an international city, and I met people from around the world looking to travel, learn English, study, and work. At my internship, I contributed to a project that reduces agricultural wastes. I was even able to tour a site that converts wastes to energy. This experience helped me to grow into a more confident and independent person and exposed me to new people, ideas, and ways of life.Internships in Dublin
This was the best decision I ever made! My internship through Connect-123 in Dublin was fantastic. I came in spring, and the weather was lovely. There were flowers, singing birds, and greenery everywhere! I worked next to the Grand Canal, and it was a luxury to have lunch sitting casually next to the canal and enjoying nature. My work environment was lovely, everyone was so nice. Generally, Irish people are friendly, which I think is important when you are far away from home. Dublin is an international city, a multicultural hub, and you hear lots of different languages in the city center. I think Dublin, or Ireland in general, is a place for nature lovers. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy and it is easy to travel around the country. It's easy to visit places such as Cork and Galway in a couple of hours using public trains and buses. The only thing I wish I'd realized before, is that instead of bringing lots of thick warm clothes, I should've brought mostly waterproof thin clothes, for this time of year.Internships in Dublin
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do an internship in Cape Town. Initially, I was a bit nervous about going somewhere completely new but the Connect-123 staff are very supportive and accommodating and have made sure everything went smoothly. An internship here allowed me to try something I never thought I would be able to do and explore the energy sector a little more. Learning more about energy in the unique context of South African history and culture gave me a new perspective on energy issues. Also, Cape Town is the place with a bit of everything. One of the best things about Cape Town is the close proximity to breathtaking views. Whether it’s up on the mountain or right by the ocean, there is always something to do. Thank you Connect-123 for finding me a great internship and making sure my stay in Cape Town was wonderful.Internships in Cape Town
I found my experience with Connect-123 to be really impressive. Not only was I placed with a meaningful organization that provided me with a genuine learning experience, I felt that my program coordinator really cared that I got the most out of that experience. By going through Connect-123, I was in good hands; the organization had a genuine concern for my safety and well being and I trusted them to have my best interests in mind. In addition to connecting me with my internship opportunity, C-123 also provided me with advice where to take language courses, interesting points in the city, and cultural experiences that were really fun. I would recommend to anyone looking to pursue an overseas internship opportunity to go through Connect-123.Internships in Buenos Aires
Three months in Buenos Aires was definitely not how I was expecting to end my gap year, however I can without a doubt say it was worth it. Looking for an internship through Connect-123 made the process a great deal easier and helped me find a place with much more ease than if I was on my own. The help with finding not only the internship but a place to stay made the process much more smooth. Through Connect-123 I was given an extremely convenient package of information on the sights to see, rules for safety and much more this saved me a ton unnecessary trouble on more than one occasion. Being new to a Spanish-speaking country and really the language this really was a completely new experience for me. Thanks to C-123 I was able to meet new people interning with the group and many more from their social circles and create a wide net of new friends. Not only this but the events held by Connect-123 let me experience Buenos Aires completely differently than a tourist would. This allowed me to gain a much greater insight to the culture within Argentina, especially through social events like having a Parrilla (grilling) every other day with my dorm mates. Those looking to learn a language, gain experience, and enjoy themselves while doing so, you’re in the right place.Internships in Buenos Aires
This opportunity gave me the drive I had been searching for to reach for my dreams. This was my first time being in a different country, but it was as if I was meant to be there. The moment you drive to the city center from the airport you see the diversity Cape Town has to offer. This city has its challenges with poverty, but the people are what made me look beyond what can be seen. I had to step out of my comfort zone because there were cultural differences, but I had a life changing experience and became more independent. I discovered where my passion lies. I figured out who I am as a person. I spent three months working for an NGO against illegal wildlife trade based in Cape Town. My boss was passionate about what he worked for and that enthusiasm was contagious. He made sure that I got the most out of my internship and the most out of my time in Cape Town. My own research had been used in scientific working group meetings and I later coauthored a published document with my boss. This was my first experience in a work setting where I felt I belonged. My experiences on a safari, viewing the city from the top of Table Mountain, and kayaking in the ocean cannot be described with words. I would not have had the same experience without Connect-123. My internship coordinator made sure that I had everything I needed and continues to be a great friend even after I left Cape Town. I can say the same about everyone I met through Connect-123. Interning through Connect-123 prepared me for my dreams of living abroad. In fact, I will soon be independently returning to Cape Town to continue my internship, but for an extended period of 5 to 6 months. I could not be more thankful for this opportunity and I highly recommend that you try it too.Internships in Cape Town
My dream of living and working abroad came true when I stayed in Dublin for three months. Connect-123 was a huge help during the whole time. The application process was very easy and fast and everyone involved was really friendly. They helped finding a great internship for me – I worked in an aquarium in a customer-facing role. This really helped improving my English and was a very interesting way of gaining new skills in the field of education. I was involved in the work with children and special-needs groups and learned a lot about marine life and conservation. Apart from this I loved discovering Dublin and the rest of Ireland. Connect-123 also organized social events which took place almost every week (like hiking, going on daytrips or just meeting in a restaurant or for a few pints!) and helped with housing, transportation and any question about the city itself. All in all, I can say that Connect did an amazing job and helped me make the most out of my time in Ireland. I will never forget my time on this beautiful island and the friends I met here.Internships in Dublin
The internship with Connect-123 was a wonderful and life rewarding program. I emailed them with an initial inquiry and within a week I had all of my paperwork filled out. I am so glad I decided to participate in this program for Spring 2016 in Dublin. I was looking for an internship that dealt with agriculture which is pretty had to find when you do not have a lot of experience besides school work. But Connect-123 found me an internship with a major university in Dublin in which I was able to intern as a research assistant in the Food and Agriculture department. It was difficult at first trying to find housing and figuring out how to get around in Dublin. But with the help of Connect-123 I was able to figure out where I needed to go. The internship allowed me to gain more experience outside of work, such as participating in an otter survey in which I was interviewed for a radio program, bird ringing, and other events such as seminars and school field trips. I am so glad I took this opportunity to learn and see the world!Internships in Dublin
Choosing to go abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made, and Dublin was the perfect place to do it. I was very nervous about being so far from home, but adjusting to life in Dublin wasn’t difficult at all! Everyday I would discover new things about the city and about Irish culture that made me realize how special of a place Dublin is, and how lucky I was to be there. The internship I had was a great fit, and provided me with so many opportunities – I now have more environmental fieldwork experience, and I am able to say that I have worked with an international organization and with people of other cultures. I even gained skills I didn’t expect to, such as public speaking and administration. Connect-123 was very responsive to everything I asked for, and they made sure that I was comfortable in my internship and housing location. Although I was only in Dublin for 10 weeks, I can’t imagine not having this experience. I have made friends and memories that will last a lifetime!Internships in Dublin
What to say about my experience in Dublin? Honestly, I was scared to write this testimonial because it isn't possible to convey in words how magical my summer was. Upon my arrival in Dublin, I was nervous: what would my roommates be like? Would my job be hard? Too easy? How is the food? Would I get homesick? -- All of the questions you'd imagine having in a new country, I had. My worries quickly vanished. The people I met while living in the Connect-123 accommodation are now some of my dearest friends. We explored together, ate together, drank together, and laughed together every single day.
Being in a foreign city can be intimidating, but when you're surrounded by people going through the same experience, strong bonds form and nothing is scary anymore. My internship connected me with people from around the world, and everyone was very welcoming! I walked through one of the world's most beautiful universities every day, and I worked on science that I was truly interested in. It gave me valuable work experience that now feeds my success back at school. The community I joined when I embarked on my Connect-123 journey is a community of adventure. When adventurous people come together, lasting friendships are sure to be made. That is exactly what happened for me. Dublin will always hold a special, golden place in my heart.”Internships in Dublin
My time in Dublin was simply unforgettable. Connect-123 staff provided opportunities to meet up with other Connect-123 interns, but it was also fun to get to know my housemates from all around the world and conquer Dublin’s exciting nightlife together. I formed friendships that I hope will last a lifetime! There was always something fun going on in the city, and spending time in the seemingly endless parks when the weather cooperated was always an option. My internship placement was also incredible.
My supervisor was very knowledgeable and always took the time to teach me anything I was curious about. It was interesting to see how another country’s environmental NGOs were handled and seen in the public eye, plus it was fun to interact with locals who were passionate about the same things I am! I learned so much in the two months I spent working, not only about my prospective career but also about another country’s culture. I’m more excited than ever to finally enter the workforce!
The country of Ireland itself is absolutely gorgeous and the people are helpful and friendly. I was never bored because of the endless trips to take, sights to see, and activities to do for any budget. I felt right at home and never felt like an outsider in a country in which I don’t belong. I’m already planning my return trip!Internships in Dublin