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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Hailee Morisseau

Kinesiology Intern | Cape Town
Lakehead University
2 March 2020

My time in Cape Town was truly memorable. I had the opportunity to complete an observership/internship at the hospital where I was able to learn from the Department of Neurosurgery. My healthcare experience was a well-rounded one as I also had the opportunity to observe other scopes of practice, such as anesthesia, child life, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy. Not only was I able to observe surgeries, clinics, and ward rounds, but I was also given the opportunity to assist with data entry to help transfer the department over to an electronic note system. This experience was incredibly helpful for me to gain more exposure to healthcare and to become more confident in the career path that I want to follow. Cape Town itself is a beautiful city to be in and I met a lot of great people from all over the world. The coordinators were always happy to help with anything and they played a key role in making my experience as memorable as it was!

Internships in Cape Town

Joshua Maclin

Neuroscience Medical Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
12 January 2020

As part of the 2018 class from Earlham College, I interned in the Geriatric Ward of a Mental Health Center. I wrote a systematic review of four types of dementia: Frontotemporal lobe dementia, Vascular Dementia, Alzheimer's, and dementia with Lewy Bodies. In conjunction with research, I had observed how my supervisors and other doctors operated in the geriatric ward and edited some of my coworkers' work and presentations. In addition to my internship, living in Shanghai was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I lived in an amazing apartment that was in the heart of Shanghai and had access to so much within very little walking distance. I was also able to experience Chinese culture firsthand, which was something I've wanted to do for years! I was able to travel a fair bit with my schedule. I visited Nanjing and a few other notable places in China. I had an incredible time and would highly recommend this program!

Internships in Shanghai

Alex Abelkis

Health Care Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
2 October 2019

During my internship in Shanghai, I learned so much about who I am and what I value. I am currently a senior at Earlham College and hope to go into nursing after I graduate. I was welcomed by the hospital community with open arms and was lucky to learn about many facets of the Chinese medical system. Through my time in Shanghai, I remembered what it was like to feel like an outsider. While I have been to China in the past, I do not know the language well so it was difficult to fully integrate. However, I deeply enjoyed meeting new people, traveling to nearby locations on weekends, and trying new foods! Thank you Connect-123 for this opportunity!

Internships in Shanghai

Carleton College Student

Health Care Intern | Shanghai
Carleton College
26 September 2019

Interning abroad with Connect-123 was an incredible experience. During my 8 weeks in China, I was able to grow both personally and professionally. I made great connections with my co-workers at the hospital and other students on the Connect-123 program. Living and working abroad in a country so different from my own was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and explore a new city. The Connect-123 staff was very supportive and responsive to my needs. My internship was a combination of shadowing doctors and nurses as well as seeing surgeries. My experience with Mandarin really helped me engage with staff at the hospital and allowed me to help out with patient care, editing medical reports, and proof-reading hospital documents. My supervisor was flexible with my schedule and hours, which gave me the opportunity to explore not only Shanghai, but also other parts of China. I am so grateful that I got to live and work in such an interesting city!

Internships in Shanghai

Nahom Zwede

Heath Care Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
28 August 2019

Being an intern in one of the most famous international hospitals in Shanghai, China has exposed me to various learning opportunities. As a first-year college student who is pursuing medicine as a career, I had a lot to learn about the field and explore a variety of departments within the field. Learning about how medicine is practiced in different cultures other than the United States is something that I truly appreciate because I believe that it gives me an insight on different types of patient care. Working with physicians and other staff members at the hospital has helped me grow as an individual and gave me a clear vision of what practicing medicine is like. It is mainly because of this experience that I am now able to finally say that medicine is definitely the career path I want to take. Connect-123 has helped me throughout the entire internship from finding housing for the summer to making sure that I got involved in the new things that were happening in the beautiful city of Shanghai. I also made so many great connections with incredible people from all over the world. Thank you Connect-123!

Internships in Shanghai

Camille Prairie

Medical Intern | Buenos Aires
Drexel University
12 August 2019

My six months as an intern with Connect-123 was an incredible learning experience. I met so many wonderful people at my internship, in Buenos Aires and around Argentina. I have returned to the US with skills I can carry with me for the rest of my life, as well as long-lasting friendships and amazing memories. My time at my internship as well as in Buenos Aires was eye-opening, fun, and challenged me to grow as a person and I think everyone should do something similar at some point. I would absolutely recommend Connect-123 and of course, Buenos Aires. I can’t wait to go back!

Internships in Buenos Aires

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

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

Yi Liang Jiang

Pharmacology Intern | Dublin
Bristol University
4 August 2018

I completed my pharmacology internship at a hospital in Dublin. I worked in an immunology lab, where I learned how to operate centrifuge, Phadia 250 and QuantaLyser. The colleagues and chief scientist were welcoming and patient. Thanks to my summer internship, I gained knowledge of many crucial laboratory skills such as preparing coverslips and writing audits. Connect-123 not only made sure that we worked in a safe and professional environment but also filled our free time with exciting adventures and good food!

Internships in Dublin

Sarah Rost

Medical and Public Health Intern | Cape Town
Carleton College
1 August 2018

My medical and public health internship in Cape Town and my work in palliative care at a public hospital taught me to live life to fullest and take advantage of every opportunity available to me. Through this experience, I discovered both my love of traveling and healthcare. Working in palliative care taught me the importance of human interaction in medicine, and for that, I will always be grateful to my host organization. This was by far one of my favorite summers ever, and I hope I can return to this beautiful city someday! I want to thank Connect-123 for the experience of a lifetime in South Africa. I absolutely loved living and working in Cape Town, and will really miss this home away from home.

Internships in Cape Town

Austin Neal

Physical Rehabilitation Intern | Cape Town
Ball State University
31 July 2022

My medical internship in Cape Town in physical rehabilitation helped open my eyes to different cultures, ways of living, the struggles that people go through, and how resilient people are. The best way to learn is via experience, and that is exactly what I got. At the hospital, I was able to learn the sorts of things you aren’t taught in books. I observed therapy sessions and I got to work with a group of colleagues who, over the course of my internship, became friends. I observed and shadowed occupational therapists and physiotherapists as they treated stroke victims, people with disabilities and those with broken bones. Cape Town was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I met great people here and I feel like it has helped me grow in ways that I can’t put into words. Cape Town will forever have a piece of my heart.

Internships in Cape Town

Nina Samarelli

Healthcare intern | Dublin
James Madison University
17 July 2018

Connect-123 found the perfect medical internship for me in Dublin! In the hopes of becoming a Physician Assistant, shadowing various doctors and nurses around two children’s hospitals has been an incredible experience, one that is difficult to find in the US. I have had the opportunity to observe what it is really like in a children’s hospital and how things operate. Each healthcare professional I have met has been more than willing to answer my questions and explain any type of medication, diagnosis or procedure. Not only were the people in the hospitals kind, but everyone in Dublin was! I felt so comfortable living in this city and it quickly became my favorite place in the world. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to advance in my healthcare career, meet some of the most amazing people, and grow into a more independent and confident person.

Internships in Dublin

Joy Onyeanu

Medical and Public Health Intern | Shanghai
Carleton College
13 July 2018

During the eight weeks I spent in China doing my medical internship in Shanghai, I formed amazing relationships with the doctors, staff, and other hospital interns, as well as with my fellow Connect-123 peers. Every day was like waking up to a new adventure! I’ve learned so much about myself while living and working abroad. I am grateful for the amazing opportunity I received to explore such a beautiful city and create lifelong memories. My internship experience in Shanghai is one I will never forget!

Internships in Shanghai

Haven Wang

Medical Research Intern | Dublin
University of Massachusetts Amherst
11 July 2018

My medical internship in Dublin was absolutely amazing! I got the opportunity to work at a Dublin-based medical research center, where I helped develop a topical treatment for RDEB, a rare skin disease. RDEB is a genetic skin blistering condition caused by a lack of collagen protein in the skin. Since I'd just finished my freshman year of college, I came into my medical research internship with very little lab experience. I didn't need to worry though, because everyone in the lab was so incredibly patient and willing to help me with whatever I didn’t understand or needed help with. I found myself shadowing certain Ph.D. students, trying to understand their role in the lab and what projects they were working on. Throughout my internship in Dublin, I enjoyed many incredible experiences, and some challenging ones too! I knew I had help and support if I ever needed it - Connect-123's group of advisors were so helpful. They planned adventures for us on the weekends, big thanks to them. I will never forget the people I met along the way!

Internships in Dublin

Hana Petker

Medical and Public Health Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
14 June 2018

Connect-123 facilitated the most memorable internship experience in Cape Town, South Africa for me. I got to experience aspects of traditional culture and food through various activities organized by Connect-123. I ate local cuisine at authentic African restaurants, I visited local craft markets and enjoyed a wonderful wine tour of the renowned Cape Winelands. I fell in love with Cape Town's breathtaking scenery and got to appreciate its beautiful landscape while hiking up mountains and surfing the clear blue seas. Thanks to my internship facilitated by Connect-123, I acquired exceptional communication skills and developed a deep understanding of different cultures while working in an ethnically diverse environment. I gained new technical skills and underwent immense personal and professional growth. Most importantly, I met people within the medical field who will help with my career networking in the future. Thank you Connect-123 for the providing me with such a wonderful experience!

Internships in Cape Town

Nikki Jamieson

Medical and Healthcare intern | Cape Town
University of Texas at Austin
8 June 2018

My experience in Cape Town completely surpassed my expectations. I was excited to experience a summer immersed in a culture so different from my own, but I was not exactly sure what life in my internship and outside of it would entail. Other Connectors and I spent time hiking the famous trails of the city, exploring the different areas and beach towns, and immersing ourselves in South African culture. My time spent in Cape Town opened my eyes in ways I never knew possible and I truly fell in love with the city that is so vibrant and unique. My medical internship gave me exposure unlike ever before. It gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of different health care systems and medical practices used around the world. The doctors, nurses, and fellow interns I worked alongside were inspiring and made me look forward to going to the clinic each day. I can not imagine a better way to have spent my summer growing in knowledge, experience, and making connections with other students from all around the globe. I know this opportunity will shape the way I move forward in my education and career and for that, I am so thankful!

Internships in Cape Town

Rae Filley

Medical and Healthcare intern | Dublin
Northeastern University
1 June 2018

Connect 123 gave me the opportunity to try something that I didn’t think I would be able to do while still in college. As a nursing major, I only see the clinical side of healthcare, where Connect gave me the opportunity I had wanted to try research. I learned so much and met some amazing people at the research lab where I worked, and have been able to apply the new skills and knowledge that I have gained into my studies. They made it so easy right from the beginning, from finding housing and figuring out what documents I needed to travel, to getting a phone and making sure I was comfortable traveling to work. I felt fully supported and prepared for everything that came my way. I met such an amazing group of people, who made exploring Dublin, and the rest of Ireland, much more fun. Whether it was hiking the trails in the coastal towns, grabbing a bite to eat, checking out a local festival or event, or exploring Galway or Belfast, there was always someone who was excited to go with you. The Connect community, especially the program coordinator Nikki, couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming. She knew exactly how overwhelming a new and foreign city can be, but she helped make Dublin feel like home right away. She always made sure we were getting the most out of our internship experiences all while planning fun events and showing us the less touristy side of Dublin. I can’t recommend Connect 123 more and I already cant wait to visit this wonderful city again

Internships in Dublin

Alison Wall

Healthcare intern | Dublin
University of Minesota
21 May 2018

I cannot recommend Connect-123 enough! I was excited to learn more about my family history in Ireland, as well as gain new professional skills through this internship. I was nervous to spend three months in a foreign country, but Nikki - the Connect-123 program coordinator in Dublin - made me feel so welcome and was a wealth of information on fun things to do both in and out of the city. She also made sure that all the interns in Dublin felt connected and set up activities for us every week! I had an amazing experience, learned new things, and made friends from all over the world. I'm so happy I chose Connect-123 to help me through my internship abroad.

Internships in Dublin

Nicole Johnson

Healthcare intern | Barcelona
University of Illinois at Chicago
18 May 2018

My time in Barcelona was an unforgettable experience and an amazing adventure. I’ve dreamt of going to Spain since I was in high school. For me it wasn’t if I’d travel to Barcelona, it was when. It was my first time ever leaving the United States, so to say I was petrified would be an understatement. I’ll never forget boarding the plane, hugging my family goodbye and heading off into the unknown. A million questions flooded me with anxiety, from “Will anyone speak English?”, “Who am I going to hang out with?”, or “How am I supposed to get to work every day?”. When I got to my apartment, I met with the Connect-123 program coordinator in Barcelona and a few other interns at a nearby coffee shop. I was welcomed with a warm smile and every single anxiety-filled question was answered for me. I met some of the most wonderful, caring, fun, passion-filled people I know. We experienced hiking up to Tibidabo Amusement Park, seeing a Flamenco show, running through Parque Ciutadella, reading at Parque Guell, tanning at Barceloneta, shopping on las ramblas, and eating every tapa imaginable. We traveled to other parts of Europe like Italy and Greece, which was crazy to me how easy and affordable it was to travel to from country to country. I truly could not have asked for a better group of people to experience a new place with. I am beyond blessed that I stumbled upon Connect-123. Connect-123 set me up with an awesome healthcare internship at a leading pediatric hospital in Barcelona. I was pushed here to really dive back into all the years I studied Spanish. In school, I was taught how to read and write Spanish very well, but the conversations in class were minimal and usually with another person whose preferred language was English. But I’ll never forget one day at the hospital it all just clicked for me. I was holding real conversations confidently in Spanish with native speakers, which was something I never believed I would be able to do. Besides getting to live in one of the most renowned cities in the world, one of the biggest things I will take away from this whole experience, was being put into situations where my only choice was to try to speak, understand, and learn Spanish. I feel the only way you can truly learn is when you indulge yourself in the culture. I am beyond grateful to Connect-123 and their staff for being inviting and making my transition easy for me. A quote that stuck with me through this experience is, “One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” So my best advice to anyone beginning this journey is to live in the moment, go eat as much as you can, and go experience as much as you can, because the two to three months you have in Barcelona are going to fly by!

Internships in Barcelona

Spencer Goodman

Health Care internship | Buenos Aires
Ball State University
26 April 2018

If I think back over the course of my short life, I can think of a few moments in which I was heavily challenged, grew, and came out of the situation a more mature individual. My time in Buenos Aires was certainly one of those: I experienced what it’s like to live in a big city, how to work around gaps in my knowledge of Spanish, and overall how to become more autonomous from living on my own so far away. The relationships, both with people from Connect-123 and my work placement, have been so uplifting and I miss them. In short, I would do it over again: Connect-123 gave me the chance to discover more of the world, as well as myself in my time in Buenos Aires.

Internships in Buenos Aires
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