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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Addison C

Film and Photography Intern | Cape Town
Clemson University
8 February 2022

Entering the workforce during the midst of COVID-19 was an unpredictable obstacle, but Connect-123 did an excellent job of getting me plugged into an internship abroad that prepared me with the experience and confidence I needed. I worked with a young and vibrant media production company, only a few minutes from my apartment. The internship gave me the flexibility and creative freedom to take on a variety of projects over the span of three months. I left with an expansive portfolio, new friends, and a big dose of Cape Town culture. Not to mention, I had an absolute blast working alongside my co-workers! Even though I'm back in the US, I still have my job connections back in South Africa and will be continuing my collaboration with them. None of this would have happened without all the amazing support and guidance from Carla. She was there to answer every phone call, late-night text and helped me adjust to my new life abroad. She even went out of her way to meet up for dinners and adventures across town. We made so many wonderful memories and it wouldn’t be the same without her or my new Cape Town family!

Internships in Cape Town

Joseph Smithey

Film Intern | Cape Town
University of Pennsylvania
5 March 2019

My time with Connect-123 in Cape Town, South Africa was amazing. The organization set me up with a great internship in filmmaking where I was able to learn a lot and gain valuable experience with a company that has been successful in the industry for years. The two months I spent in Cape Town were two of the best months of my life and I cannot wait to go back. From the connections I made to everything that I saw and did both at work and outside of it, I was able to accomplish all that I went there for and more. Thank you to the folks at Connect-123 for this opportunity! I will never forget it.

Internships in Cape Town

Sharan Chawla

Film Intern | Cape Town
Stanford University
25 February 2019

Connect-123 not only ‘connected’ me to an incredible professional opportunity, but also to amazing people in Cape Town. I can’t emphasize how important this was during my time in Cape Town. I spoke with Robyn on the phone early on, and she was spot on in finding the right opportunity at a media-based NGO that uses documentary-style filmmaking to catalyze change on a global level. Robyn set up an interview with the host organization, and the rest is history! I was able to learn film editing, work on digital marketing projects, build a proposal to incubate small businesses in townships around Cape Town, and form strong relationships with everyone at my workplace. Through Connect-123, it was also a blast having a really fun group of people to explore Cape Town with. Having fellow Connectors to go on hikes, go ziplining, or grab a bite out late at night made a world of a difference to my experience in Cape Town. Saskia and Robyn made me feel at home, put me in touch with the right people, set up local events for us to get to know Cape Town (definitely recommend all the amazing hikes), and I’m happy to now, a year later, call them my friends, and call Cape Town my home away from home!

Internships in Cape Town

Emme Sudock

Film and Photography Intern | Dublin
Bennington College
22 May 2018

When I decided to do a film internship in Dublin, I felt I was ready to live abroad and independently. But I knew I still needed support and guidance since it would be my first time. Nervous and excited, Connect-123 surpassed my expectations and helped to make my experience in Dublin amazingly unforgettable. My coordinator was so helpful, friendly and supportive throughout my time there. Through the program, I made many close friends and got to experience so much of Ireland. Connect-123 helped me really find my footing in a new place, and in a new internship, with a sense of confidence.

Internships in Dublin

Isabella Olgers

Film and Photography Intern | Dublin
The University of Sydney
22 May 2018

In between my second and third year of university, I wanted to get some real-life practical experience in my field. As I am studying filmmaking I wanted to learn more about the film industry from the film production perspective. I also knew I wanted to travel, and experience living in another city. When I came across the Connect-123 film and photography internship program, it was exactly what I was looking for. Connect-123 gave me a chance to fully immerse myself in another culture. At the same time, I was doing something practical towards my future career. I'd never been to Dublin before, but I fell in love with it straight away. I made so many friends, many of them through Connect meet-ups. And I had some of the best months of my life which I still reminisce about. I was very impressed with the Connect-123 support network. They helped me find housing and there were regular meetings with our coordinator Nikki, who was there for us for whatever we needed. It was an absolute pleasure to have such a unique experience working in a foreign country. Getting to a new city, sharing a house with other foreigners, and exploring Ireland on the weekends, it all feels like a dream. I will never ever forget my wonderful days in Dublin.

Internships in Dublin

Liz Srulevich

Film & Photography Internship | Dublin
Middlebury College
28 February 2018

After graduating from high school last June, I decided to take a semester off - which, thanks to Connect-123, ended up being one of the best decisions I've ever made. In Dublin, I was placed into a small television production company, where I pitched ideas, wrote proposals, and worked closely with industry veterans.I lived close to the city centre, which made exploring Dublin really convenient. And, most of all, I never felt completely on my own - the incredible Dublin program coordinator always made sure everything was going by smoothly. Without Connect-123’s help, none of this would’ve been possible. So, if you’re reading this testimonial and are wondering if this program is really worth it, let me leave you with the following: Intern abroad if you’re interested in honing in on what you’re passionate about, becoming more mature and independent, and/or opening yourself up to new experiences. Connect-123 really does deliver.

Internships in Dublin

Joseph Ross

Film and Media Production Intern | Barcelona
Anglia Ruskin University, UK
10 July 2017

I really loved the three months I spent working as an intern at a film and media production studio in Barcelona. It was great getting to know everyone in the office and it provided me with the knowledge I’ll need to further pursue a place in the industry. Barcelona is also really a great city with excellent weather, remarkable culture, beautiful sights, and fun and exciting people! There are definitely worse places to spend the summer gaining valuable work experience. As for the guys at Connect-123, I couldn’t have asked for better service from them. They provided me with all the support I could have needed. I didn’t feel alone and it was great to join them on the weekends for some interesting events in and around the city. You really are in safe hands with them as you’re their priority and I hope I’ll get to see them again in the future. It’s such a shame my flight home had been booked the same day they were planning a surfing lesson!

Internships in Barcelona

Juan Dengel

Visual Effects & 3D Animation Intern | Barcelona
Full Sail University
22 December 2016

I began my internship in August of 2016 in Barcelona at a local production studio. Before participating, I was concerned about finding an internship that would directly match my career, but I trusted Connect-123 would find the right opportunity. Since the very first day, I was introduced to the post-production team of a very ambitious Indie film, and I found myself having to prove myself to the team that I am good enough to stick around, I was right where I needed and wanted to be. Throughout the course of the experience, I made lifelong friends, deeply experienced the Barcelona culture, and got my name on the credits of a movie! The success of this project led to great networking opportunities and portfolio content that has helped jump-start my freelance career. The internships that Connect-123 organize, are an experience crafted specifically for you. It is a great tool to take advantage of if you are passionate about moving forward in your career, I cannot thank the Connect-123 team enough.

Internships in Barcelona

Isabel Symancyk

Arts Intern | Buenos Aires
Warren Wilson College
10 November 2016

Planning my time in Buenos Aires months beforehand up until I arrived at the airport felt like a dream. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, what challenges I would face, what emotions I would experience. My goal in travelling to a country abroad was to learn about the culture, learn the language, and learn more about myself. Although I knew it would be challenging, living on my own in a new country provided many new learning experiences. I had to buy groceries, cook, navigate a large city, as well as speak a language that is fairly new to me, while also staying on top of my work as an intern, and budgeting my expenses. Although it is easy to understand that there are other cultures in this world besides your own, living and experiencing another culture is completely different. As soon as I arrived, there was something about the unpredictability, the architectural beauty, the prevalence of art and activism that I found solace in. At first, the differences between Buenos Aires and my home town were overwhelming, but since my arrival it has become more routine given the housing and work Connect-123 found for me. I feel very at home here even though this city is so large that it is hard to know all of it. Between the museums, ferias, parques, two months in Buenos Aires is definitely not enough, and I hope to return as soon as I am able to continue admiring this beautiful country.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Maris Quagliata

Photography Intern | Dublin
Muhlenberg College
8 April 2016

Connect-123 has really done something out of the ordinary. Not only was I able to get a well rounded internship and was helped with finding housing and the best route to work, I was also able to make some amazing memories. This group set me up with an internship at a professional photography studio, which I learned helpful skills in running a business as well as how to take pictures and how to have pictures taken of you. Outside of the internship, Connect does a wonderful job of bringing together the other interns. We all go out on tours, trips, or even just to grab a pint. We always have fun, I've made some wonderful friends here. Dublin is a beautiful city and I'm very lucky to have had the experiences I have here because of Connect-123.

Internships in Dublin

Alicia Harris

Photography Intern | Buenos Aires
University of Alabama
2 November 2015

It felt like it was just yesterday I was getting off of the plane, going through immigrations/customs and feasting my eyes on the beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina for the first time, but it was not just yesterday. Two months ago I took a chance in a city I knew nothing about and a language I could barely understand, but none of that bothered me at all. When I got here I had a fear of getting lost, not knowing where things would be or even getting robbed, but thanks to my Connect-123 coordinator, my host mother, my fellow Connect-123 housemates and my internship supervisors, I felt at ease and welcomed. It really did get easier once I learned the standard greetings and the names of streets. I became a pro at navigating my way through the city on the local buses and the subway. 

Aside from my fears, I wrote goals down with my Connect-123 coordinator before I actually started my internship. I wanted to set the standard and be the best intern my host organization would ever work with, make long lasting relationships with my internship supervisors, network, and have a long lasting relationship with my fellow Connect-123 colleagues. To be honest I can actually say I have demolished all of the goals I set. I learned a great deal working at this filming and photography location, where big and small companies come to do photoshoots, film or shoot commercials for upcoming projects. I witnessed world-famous brands shoot commercials here. I even networked within the city and got a chance to take pictures for a famous clothing line at the Malba Museum for Micaela Tinelli, daughter of Marcelo Tinelli. It was really cool being able to shadow my supervisors because they are two hardworking women in a male dominant industry. From watching them I learned how to talk to potential clients, prepare contracts, keep up with the books for the company accountant, cater to clients when productions were happening & I even learned how to stand firm and be bold with people. In the production or entertainment industry you have to be bold, if not people will walk all over you.

I can´t begin to explain everything I did otherwise I could write like 22 pages, but truth is I will never forget the memories, the people, the places & things I have experienced here. Buenos Aires is forever embedded into my heart and in my mind. I will take these moments with me wherever I go.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Caitlin Argue

Film Intern | Dublin
Missouri State University
21 September 2015

I didn’t think it possible, but my experience in Dublin far surpassed my expectations. I had never been so far from home before, and going to a foreign country where I knew absolutely no one, I was definitely nervous. However, I ended up having an unsurpassable summer from beginning to end. Had I done this through any program other than Connect-123, I don’t think I would have had such a wonderful experience. I worked as an intern in a script and research department with a film company.

While I had initially been looking for something in the publishing industry, I am incredibly grateful for the experience my internship has given me. Before getting in touch with my host organization, I had never had any inclination in finding a career in the film industry; now, since returning home, I am actively attempting to pursue one. I learned an incredible amount from my internship, which delved further than basic research and script review into the inner workings of a successful film company. My experience also would not have been so amazing had I not been able to find such a great group of friends on day one. Staying on UCD’s campus had a long list of benefits, but being able to meet and live with other Connect-123 participants was at the top.

I was able to form strong friendships straight away, which definitely made the summer. Having never left the states before, being able to travel to three different countries, and across all of Ireland, in just three months has definitely opened my eyes, and allowed me to learn more about the world, especially Irish culture, than I could have hoped. I am so beyond grateful to Connect-123 for setting me up in an amazing city and with a fascinating internship position.


Internships in Dublin

Rachel Aboukhair

Media Intern | Barcelona
Texas Christian University
7 August 2015

My internship through Connect-123 was definitely my best summer so far. I interned at a television production company in Barcelona. Not only was I able to gain experience in television production, but I was also able to do it in the amazing city of Barcelona. My first day, I was out on the streets filming something for an upcoming broadcast. I worked on a television episode, a broadcast of the Copa del Rey, and a taping of Cirque de Soleil in Madrid.

My placement was amazing, and my experience was above and beyond what I expected, and my program coordinator provided so much support throughout my stay. She is very helpful in communicating with you about your goals for an internship and finding the placement that suits your needs. She also provided housing option and socialization opportunities for the whole program. Meeting the other interns made the stay in a foreign city a lot of fun. Connect-123 staff organizes meet ups and activities to get to know each other as well as the city of Barcelona. I chose this program because it was by far the most flexible and affordable that I came across. Also, by housing interns in Barcelona with other students, rather than living in a dormitory, you get the full experience of living within a city and meeting people from all over Europe who come for the summer. A+


Internships in Barcelona

Ivy Lee

Photography Intern | Dublin
Northeastern University
19 May 2015

I’m finding it very difficult to describe my time in Dublin. How can you put four months of incredible experiences into words? I have made some very good friends and seen breathtaking places. This internship has truly allowed me to expand my horizons by placing me in all the new experiences.

From traveling to work, everyday was filled with opportunities to learn and grow. It’s a scary thing to travel to a new country, knowing no one, and starting a job, but thankfully I had Connect-123 there to guide me. My program coordinator eased my nerves about my new internship, and being away in general, by showing me around and giving me advice about Dublin and my new job. She even put together events with other Connect-123 interns that allowed me to meet some of my now very good friends. Most importantly she helped place me in an internship with a great photography company, where I have spent the last four months working with phenomenal people, and expanding my knowledge on the field of photography.

It’s not often that someone gets this amazing opportunity to go abroad, work, travel, and have as much fun as I have had, so thank you so much to Connect-123 for giving me this once in a life time adventure.

Internships in Dublin

Rebecca Sims

Media Intern | Dublin
Lewis-Clark State College
24 April 2015

My time in Dublin was unforgettable. I was unsure of moving to a brand new place where I didn’t know anyone, but I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out. From the moment I stepped off the plane I felt comfortable and happy. Connect-123 set me up with a fantastic homestay where I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

My first day in Dublin, my program coordinator showed me around the city and helped me find a bus route to my internship. She was also great about taking all of the interns to fun places and giving advice on things to see and do. Connect-123 set me up with the best internship I could have asked for. I had been wanting to gain more experience in the film world, specifically as a production assistant. That is exactly what I did among other things. I worked on several short films and added projects to my resume that I’m truly proud of. I had the opportunity to see things and meet people that I never could have otherwise.

Connect-123 did an incredible job at setting me up with exactly what I was looking for and helping me make memories I will hold on to forever! 

Internships in Dublin

Olena Rubanik

Journalism Intern | Shanghai
City University London, Graduate
3 October 2012

A trip to Shanghai was unforgettable. I did not expect much from the internship. In fact, I did not expect anything as it was my first work experience. It was sort of an adventure: whatever they give me, I will try to cope thus checking my own abilities. The first day at work my boss exclaimed “This is the most exciting work ever!” Frankly speaking, I thought she was being a little theatrical but she actually meant it. It appeared to be so much fun! I was warned that work might continue beyond scheduled hours, but actually it appeared to be very exciting time rather than a routine. I managed to meet so many extraordinary people from all over the world. Let’s be honest, what kind of ordinary person with no knowledge of Chinese would go to China for a long period of time. Yes, Chinese people are extremely friendly. No, they do not speak English (although they try really hard). Shanghai itself is a gorgeous city. As cliché as it might sound, Shanghai is a city of contrast. You see people selling traditional stuff in front of huge skyscrapers; you see ancient bicycles and motorcycles next to posh cars. Think of anything and you will most likely see it in Shanghai. It’s a perfect spot for someone interested in photography, i.e. a perfect spot for me, a photojournalism intern. The Connect-123 team couldn’t be more helpful. They were more like friends. For instance, I could call Jimmy late at night saying that I missed the last train and now I’m in the middle of nowhere trying to get home and he’d definitely help me out, even if I woke him up! Or I could get an email from Lea asking whether everything was fine, which it always was, and she’d write that she’s happy for me. Luckily, no troubles ever happened, but if they accidently were to happen, I’d always have someone to talk to. When I came back to Kiev after the internship, I felt like Connect-123 was just the right program because they find internships that seem to be specifically designed to get you the perfect life experience in general and work experience in particular. The experience they gave me was lifechanging, I will never forget the time spent in Shanghai. Thank you so much Connect-123!

Internships in Shanghai

Isaiah Leiva

Film Intern | Buenos Aires
Northwest Film Center
22 August 2011

My experience in Buenos Aires was one that I will never forget. The people of the Connect-123 program: Daniela, Vanesa, Katie and Lea were all extremely helpful and polite when it came to getting around the city and learning about cool and fun new things to do in Argentina and they were fun to hang out with. I would say what I loved most about my entire experience down there was meeting new people. I met amazing people that I will remember for the rest of my life and I can now officially say I have friends from different countries, yes! The Connect-123 events were great as they really helped me loosen up and relax when it came to being introduced to a big city, in which I knew absolutely no one. One piece of advice I would give to the Connect-123 traveller would be to go to these events if you are feeling a bit homesick. All in all, the Connect-123 experience in Buenos Aires was an amazing one I will never forget.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Brian Miller

University of Arizona | Cape Town
Film Internship
31 December 2007

Connect-123 is a great company. The service that Steven and Lea provide is fantastic! I worked in the film business in L.A. but I visited Cape Town and absolutely fell in love with the outdoor lifestyle, the beautiful city and warm, friendly people. My wife and decided to move here but I realized I didn’t know anyone in the film business in Cape Town – and in the film business who you know is everything. So I turned to the experts at Connect-123. After submitting my CV I had a phone interview with Steven to determine what my goals were and what I wanted to gain from the experience. Within a week, Lea had found the perfect internship for me at a well-known feature film production company here in Cape Town. She managed to find a company that needed my very specific skills in feature film production. I’ve been at the company for about three months now and I’ve absolutely loved the experience. I’ve been talking to the producer and it may even turn into a full time paid position soon! I’ve made several great contacts in the film industry and I couldn’t have done it without Connect-123. I would recommend their service to anyone in any industry. They really work hard to ensure that you receive the best experience. Connect-123 is your first step towards a great career!

Internships in Cape Town

Ben Ogden

Film Internship | Cape Town
Rutgers University
17 August 2007

Connect-123 is a truly extraordinary organization. In the service they provide, they somehow manage to strike the perfect balance between hands-on assistance in practically every aspect of your experience in Cape Town (from finding you the perfect work experience to planning weekend trips to pristine wineries) and giving you the freedom to travel and explore the most gorgeous country on the planetl. Steven and Lea are both wonderful resources for anything you might want to do during your stay, and their warmth and friendliness really make for a sense of community among all the students and young professionals working through Connect. My own internship experience was remarkable. As an aspiring writer, I wanted to come to South Africa to engage in the more creative and artistic communities in Cape Town. They managed to find me a position working for a respected film production company, and within six weeks I had already been asked to begin my own project adapting a novel into a feature film. Now I am going to continue working on this project even after I leave Cape Town. Their persistence in finding me the perfect internship has lead directly to the best creative opportunity I’ve ever had! Connect-123 is far and away the best study abroad organization out there. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Internships in Cape Town
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