Reviews

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!

Scroll down to view all – or filter by destination, opportunity or both.

Destination

Opportunity

Sebastian Carta

Engineering Intern | Barcelona
Drexel University
10 April 2019

My Connect-123 experience brought me to two cities: Barcelona, Spain and Dublin, Ireland. My Barcelona experience was one of the most memorable of my life. There is so much beauty and fun hidden in every corner of the city. My internship was in engineering and was very relevant to both my academic and professional goals. I gained countless bits of valuable information with my time there. Lea was always there to help when needed. There are always so many connect events to do that you will never have downtime.
My experience in Dublin was just as wonderful. Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich culture and fascinating people. I was only there for a short time, but in that time I was able to travel all around the island, seeing the various castles and enjoying the countryside. It was a very fitting internship and everybody there was very kind and accommodating.  There are also plenty of Connect-123 events to experience the many different aspects of Dublin, including the nightlife.

Internships in Barcelona

Allysa Miller

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
Salisbury University
9 April 2019

After graduating I wanted to travel and explore the world while gaining experience in my field of psychology. I decided the best way to do so was through an internship. After doing extensive research I found Connect-123 and they helped link me with the perfect internship opportunity working for an NPO in Cape Town. I worked with refugees, asylum seekers, and South African citizens helping them find job opportunities and build professional skills. I loved every minute of my time in Cape Town. I was able to gain so much experience in my field while obtaining life experiences that I only dreamt of having. I don’t believe words can express the love I have gained for South Africa. It is my home away from home and I am determined to return to Cape Town again one day. I believe Connect-123 was the ultimate reason that my experience was so amazing. Because of this program, I have made life-long friends through the interns that were also on the Connect-123 program, as well as members in the Cape Town community. Thank you to Carla, Robyn, Saskia, and Kate for giving me the best experience of my life!

Internships in Cape Town

Mallory Slavin

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
2 April 2019

I spent three months interning in Cape Town, South Africa, and it will forever be some of the best months of my life. I gained valuable experience in my field while working for a human rights organization and in the South African Parliament, all while experiencing the unique culture of South Africa and making lifelong friends! Looking for internships is hard, and I didn’t even know where to start after deciding on Cape Town. Thankfully, Connect-123 was there throughout the entire process! Robyn and the crew at Connect-123 helped me find the perfect internship. They also set up my housing before I arrived and met with me when I got to Cape Town to ensure I was settling in! They were always just a call away if I needed anything, and while I never had a single issue during my three months in Cape Town, knowing that they were there if anything should go wrong was reassuring. Connect-123 also set up different events and excursions for all of the interns which was a great way to experience new and unique things that South Africa had to offer. I wouldn’t trade my months in Cape Town for anything, and I’m glad I now have a home away from home in my favorite city in the world!

Internships in Cape Town

Marissa McNamara

Environmental Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
14 March 2019

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

Melanie Yeisley

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Texas Woman's University
12 March 2019

My Child Life Practicum in Cape Town, South Africa was unmatched to any traditional practicum in the United States. Under the supervision of a CCLS, I was given the autonomy to practice hands-on therapeutic interventions and procedural preparation to meet the diverse psychosocial needs of hospitalized children and their families. I was able to collaborate with other practicum students for ideas, and work together to do activities at bedside and in play areas that incorporated the whole family unit. These unique opportunities allowed me to work with other healthcare professionals and interact with children with a variety of diagnoses. Both professionally and personally, I gained cross-cultural competence that will translate in all areas of my life. Additionally, we were able to see how Child Life is utilized in alternative settings, and we were also given ample time to explore South Africa on our own personal time. I have gained friendships within my practicum group and other students through Connect-123 that I will forever cherish. I couldn't have asked for a better practicum experience and I feel more than prepared for my Child Life internship. My Child Life Practicum in Cape Town, South Africa has been one of my most favorite and best experiences of my life!

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

Madeline Cook

Web Development Intern | Buenos Aires
Drexel University
27 February 2019

My six month internship in Buenos Aires surpassed all my expectations. The friendships I made with my fellow Connect interns, with other students studying abroad, and with my coworkers, I know I will cherish for the rest of my life. My experience as a programmer was 110% hands on. As the only programmer in the company, I was given all the work even remotely related to computers. This alone was much more than I would have managed at a similar internship in the US. Furthermore, because all the websites I created were for clients, I was able to meet with clients and really experience the process of digital marketing. Aside from my job, Buenos Aires as a city is wonderful. There is so much green space and culture. Even better, through Connect-123 I was able to participate in a plethora of free activities as well. I would definitely recommend Buenos Aires and Connect-123 to anyone who asks!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Caroline Florence

Sustainable Development Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
25 February 2019

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

Will Hardage

Economic Development Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
25 February 2019

Connect-123 is so much more than a typical third-party internship provider. Behind the forms, emails, and website, there are extraordinary people, who foster such a respectful, warm, and genuine culture. Having a resilient and qualified support network is essential for a successful abroad experience, and the staff at Connect-123 are willing to go out of their way for you to reach your goals and happiness. While having a great internship was important to me, the support, flexibility, and hospitality offered by Connect-123’s Cape Town team was seemingly priceless.

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

Ali Burns

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Birmingham-Southern College
20 February 2019

August 2018 will forever be one of my favorite months! Not only because I got to spend it in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa; but also, because I was able to spend it doing what I love most - working with children. During my Child Life Practicum, I observed an experienced Certified Child Life Specialist within a prominent Children’s Hospital. I was able to grow as a Child Life student, learn from her knowledge, and invaluable advice; while independently performing procedural preparation, and implementing developmentally appropriate activities for children of all ages. I also experienced the power of play as a universal language and gained a better overall understanding of the purpose behind Child Life in an international setting. Not only was I able to provide Child Life services for hospitalized children, but I also made life long friends and we were able to experience the beauty of Cape Town. During our free time, we hiked mountains, went sightseeing, went SKYDIVING, and thanks to Connect-123, we were able to go on a once in a lifetime safari right in the heart of Africa! If you are ever presented with an opportunity to intern or study abroad, my advice to you is to GO FOR IT! Before I left on this journey, I was expecting to make an impact and possibly change lives in Cape Town, but it turns out, the people of South Africa changed mine.

Internships in Cape Town

Nicholas Prince Asaga

Public Policy Intern | Cape Town
University of Fort Hare
19 February 2019

Just like jobs, looking for an internship or volunteering project is increasingly becoming very difficult. Sometimes people have their applications rejected, not because they are not competent enough, but because their application documents lack vital make or break elements with regards to format and approach. That is where Connect-123 comes to the rescue! Connect-123, believing everyone deserves an opportunity, helped me get the perfect internship I was looking for. The whole process from application to acceptance was meticulously handled and tailor-made. Although I arrived slightly late in Cape Town for the internship, I was still given an exclusive orientation about the programme and my new city. The Connect-123 accommodation facilities provided me with a very safe and comfortable abode during my time in Cape Town. But its get even better. Connect-123 frequently organized fun activities such as dinners, movies, picnics, snorkelling, city and township tours, safari, hiking, and more. And when you get to do all these in a city like Cape Town, the experience is unique. I can tell you for sure that what you experience in Cape Town, makes Monaco and Ibiza look basic! In addition, working close to Parliament in the city centre helped immersed me fully into the typical Capetonian lifestyle. I also got to learn from fellow Connect-123 interns from various countries and backgrounds. As a final year student at the time, and looking forward to a masters in International Relations, I needed an internship that would give me a formal introduction into international law and international relations. I gained so much exposure and knowledge from my placement which came in handy during my Master's applications. Today I have been accepted to a masters programme at the Geneva School of Diplomacy largely thanks to the opportunity Connect-123 gave me. It built my confidence and knowledge at work, and helped me excel in my application essay and interview. Whether you're looking to explore a different country, build your resume, gain career advice or direction or establish strong professional, academic and social networks, Connect-123 is here to help you. Ps: Thanks to an amazing Programme Supervisor, Saskia Schiel, I would rate my experience 15 out of ten. It means even if you don't meet Saskia or any of her other equally amazing colleagues, you are still guaranteed of a 10 out of 10 experience, so you still win either way. Their wonderful demeanor and round the clock involvement and concern about our well being made me feel at home away from home.

Internships in Cape Town

Adam Dwyer

Architecture Intern | Dublin
Harvard University
9 January 2019

My experience with Connect-123 and the internship I had in Dublin was nothing but phenomenal. The relationships I made with fellow interns and my coordinator Rosie were spectacular, and the memories I have will remain with me for the rest of my life. From the moment I met Rosie at the Spire on O'Connell Street to when I departed Ireland, I felt welcome and supported by the Connect-123 team. Between weekly sponsored events to bring us all together and a sense of inclusivity provided by Rosie with all of us interns, there was never a moment where I felt alone in Ireland. This feeling allowed me to fully appreciate living abroad and experience everything Ireland and Europe had to offer. Therefore, I am eternally grateful to the Connect-123 team for making Ireland a second home for me for the two months I was there.
As for my architecture internship, my experience far exceeded anything I could have hoped for. When I pictured an internship at an architecture firm as a high school graduate without a professional degree or education, I figured I would be folding plans and cataloging projects -- office work rather than project work. However, the experience I had couldn't have been farther from this notion. I was treated as a General Architect, which meant I worked on current projects for real clients and had the creative freedom to add to the designs based on my own experiences and knowledge of architecture. My boss and my coworker were extremely supportive of me, teaching me how to use ArchiCad and the logistics of working in an architecture firm in Ireland. It was an amazing opportunity to be given the tools to expand my knowledge of architecture, and my future architectural education will be greatly benefited by the diverse and immersive experiences I had. As such, I could not have hoped for a better internship experience while in Ireland, which I am immensely thankful to Connect-123 for giving me such an opportunity.
Coming into my gap year before heading off to Harvard University in the fall of 2019, I had no idea of what to do during my year off from school. Working with Connect-123 gave me focus and the ability to achieve the goals I had for my gap year. Without working with Connect-123 I am sure I would not have had the ability to travel across Ireland, learning more about my Irish heritage, nor the ability to travel in my time off from work to various European countries such as Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Such experiences and memories will live with me forever. Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about Connect-123 and how they work with their interns, and the experiences I had while in Ireland. Thank you for allowing me to have such an amazing experience!

Internships in Dublin

Crystal Collazo-DeLeon

Youth Development Intern | Barcelona
Drexel University
9 January 2019

The three months I spent in Barcelona were some of the best and most rewarding months of my life! Initially, the thought of living in a foreign place for such a long period of time was unsettling. The unknown scared me, but Connect-123 made me feel like I wasn’t alone and so it became easier to dive into this journey. I’m so happy I did, too, because since day one it was an unforgettable experience. Through the help Connect-123 provided with finding housing, I was able to meet incredible and diverse individuals who later became some of the best friends I’ve ever made; we shared many amazing memories together that I will treasure forever. The opportunity that Connect-123 assisted me in finding was more rewarding than I could have imagined it would be. My work allowed me the freedom to learn a lot about myself and my skills, meanwhile providing me with sufficient guidance to gain the most out of my time there. I ran skills courses for adults and worked with a team who ran the youth programs. Through my work, I became sure of the fact that I want to work with kids in the future, which is crucial to how I'm going to plan my future studies. I faced my fears and realized what I'm capable of: overall, I came back home with an overwhelming sensation of gratitude and with great new memories.

Internships in Barcelona

Danielle Anderson

Human Rights Intern | Buenos Aires
Vancouver Island University
22 November 2018

I got the amazing opportunity to work within the local government of San Isidro in Buenos Aires. As a student majoring in Political Science and International Development I have always been interested in learning about the inner workings of government institutions. I have gained invaluable and inspiring insight by watching the democratic process unfold first hand, seeing how laws and policies are drafted, debated, voted and implemented. I leave this experience knowing that we all have an important role to play in society when it comes to influencing the laws and policies that shape our communities. I cannot wait to take what I have learned back home to Canada with me and continue this amazing work!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Catherine Radford

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Texas Woman's University
22 November 2018

My Child Life Practicum experience in Cape Town, South Africa was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I started my adventure to Cape Town by myself, did not know a single person in the Child Life program, and said yes to living in a country I had never been to before. It sounded crazy, but if you ever get this type of opportunity for yourself, DO IT! My overall experience was incredible, challenging, humbling, joyful, pushed me out of comfort zones, and continued to deepen my passion and love to become a Child Life Specialist. My time here allowed me to support, educate, and advocate for children and families as they coped with their hospital experience in ways I would have never dreamed of being able to! The skill sets provided by the program were beneficial to both my professional and educational career. My experience allowed me to gain a cultural understanding of play as a universal language, learn to break down barriers, adapt to another cultures healthcare system, and witness coursework come to life during daily engagements. Cape Town gave me the opportunity to love and be loved by each and every child, family, staff member, and new friend I met, while also getting to do what I love. I am forever thankful for the ways I was able to learn and grow in South Africa, but most of all I am thankful for all the people who shared their heart and home with me.

Internships in Cape Town

Preena Mand

Environmental Intern | Cape Town
Simon Fraser University
21 November 2018

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

Danielle Hamersley

Finance Intern | Shanghai
The University of Nottingham
3 October 2018

I honestly cannot fault Connect-123 at all. When I initially looked at the fee it seemed a lot and I thought how am I going to raise this money; I can honestly from my heart say it has been worth every penny and the many, many long shifts I worked at my part-time job! Lea was assigned to help me plan my internship and I could not have asked for anybody better. No-one could have done a better job... it isn’t possible! Everything I ever asked for was always catered for and I never had any worries. When planning my internship I was studying in my third year at university but I knew Lea had everything under control I could trust her 100% to solve any problems or answer any questions I had. She was so efficient and my emails were often answered within minutes. Even when I was abroad she often messaged to ask how I was doing. Nothing was ever too much bother and the experience turned out to be so much more than what I ever imagined. I was also lucky enough to be housed with very fun housemates and we are even now still in contact. I would highly recommend for anybody who is considering joining Connect-123 to do it - it is an experience you will not forget!

Internships in Shanghai

Polly Ratcliff

Social Work Intern | Dublin
The University of York
31 August 2018

I decided to spend my summer volunteering, with a specific goal to spend this time in Dublin in an effort to live amongst the Irish culture and explore my own Irish roots further. I initially wasn’t sure how to go about it. I spent time researching online and found many volunteering programmes specifically geared toward one sector of work. Connect-123 works on a slightly different method, in that you can choose from a wide variety of career areas, and the team will work to place you in the best possible one for you. I am currently a Psychology student, with the goal of working in the mental health and social sectors. I had a Skype interview with the Connect-123 Dublin Program Co-ordinator, in which she took the time to learn exactly what I wanted to get out of my placement, and the areas I was specifically interested in. The effort and genuine care the team at Connect-123 put into ensuring that I was happy, comfortable and interested in my placement was brilliant, and they were extremely supportive during my enrolment in my chosen scheme. I chose to work at a drug rehabilitation center for women in Dublin city center. I can honestly say that I had the best summer of my life, sounds a bit OTT, but it's true. The center is a fantastic, inclusive and supportive environment, and the staff were second to none, helping me to understand addiction recovery programmes, social issues faced by many of those struggling with addiction, and a personal approach to recovery. The women I worked with were a vibrant, wonderful, funny and courageous group, and my time with them and everything I learned from them was invaluable. I entered the programme thinking I would gain experience in the workplace in terms of mental health and social care, but I left my placement with a learning experience about life, people and supporting each other that I never expected. I would highly recommend this programme, it is truly inspiring and a fantastic way to further understand issues that you may not have personally faced. It was truly an amazing place, and I will never forget my time there, nor any of the wonderful people I met along the way. The Connect-123 team was really helpful in organizing accommodation to make sure that my move to Dublin ran as smoothly as possible. I spent half my time in halls on UCD campus, and the other half in Dublin city center. In both, I met great people from across the Globe, some of which are now friends for life. The Connect-123 team made every effort to ensure that everyone on the programme was happy and settling in well, with regular check-ins and introductions to others on the scheme. They also organized social events catering to all and were really helpful in recommending other things to do such as sightseeing in Dublin city centre and trips to explore other beautiful parts of Ireland. I cannot recommend Connect-123 and the lovely team highly enough. From start to finish, my time there was made as comfortable and fun, and the team genuinely care for the welfare of those they are looking after. If you are wondering whether or not to go for it, my advice would be ABSOLUTELY DO. You won’t regret it. I am now applying for my Masters degree in Dublin, possibly to do Addiction Studies, none of which I would be doing if it weren’t for Connect-123.

Volunteer in Dublin

Emily Frascati

Animal Science intern | Dublin
College of San Mateo
9 August 2018

I completed my summer internship in Dublin at an animal shelter.  I chose to do this internship through Connect-123 because I wanted to have a relaxing summer before I started medical school. This particular internship placement had loads of options ranging from cuddling cats to sitting in on surgeries and observing. I chose to help with the weekly kids' camps because it gave me the opportunity to do a little bit of everything each week, including going to the zoo every Wednesday (for free). No matter what internship you are doing, the first few days can be daunting but everyone I met was extremely helpful and exceedingly kind. This internship was wonderful partly because they were incredibly flexible. I ended up injuring my hand over the summer and they were more than happy to give me some time off to figure it out. Ireland is a great place to spend the summer because there are so many different places to explore that are nearby. The whole of Ireland is the same size as the state of Indiana, meaning you can traverse the whole country in a weekend if you really wanted to. Flights to Europe are ridiculously cheap so it’s a wonderful excuse to go pamper yourself in Paris (the gluten-free offerings are incredible) or go exploring in Lisbon. Nikki and Rosie were my main points of contact for the summer, both of them are amazing and are there for literally anything you need. They organized loads of events in Dublin and around the country, which gave me an opportunity to meet the other Connectors and get to know everyone a little bit better. I adored my internship this summer, thank goodness I got to stay for my school semester, otherwise I'm not sure I would have been able to leave.

Internships in Dublin
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