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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My summer in Barcelona was truly incredible thanks to Connect-123. I had an amazing experience living and working in such a vibrant and lively city. As a Biochemical Engineering/Physiology major, I have had the unique opportunity to apply my technical knowledge to real-world scenarios. I worked alongside a diverse and interdisciplinary team to dive into the problems associated with liver injuries and transplants. I participated in countless hands-on experiments and designed multiple setups. I was able to practice literature searching and presentation/project formulation and sit in on multiple business meetings. Additionally, I had the incredible opportunity to practice and develop my Spanish language skills in an entirely Spanish-speaking research project. My experience has shaped my future outlook and career plans and I left my internship with an invitation to return in the future. Barcelona is an incredible city filled with robust culture, incredible food, and amazing people. Being able to complete this program in Barcelona opened my eyes to the world and has provided me with incredible memories, friends, and experiences; all of this was thanks to Connect-123. Thank you for an incredible experience! ¡Hasta luego Barcelona!Internships in Barcelona
I am so grateful for Connect-123 and the opportunity it gave me to complete my practicum abroad. The program was well organized and supportive all throughout the 4 weeks I was in Cape Town, South Africa. Having the opportunity to complete my practicum abroad gave me a unique perspective on Child Life. My family and I felt at peace knowing we had someone like Carla to support me and help me navigate being in a new country! Connect-123 provided us with a safe and reliable driver to get us to the hospital and back home. Our assigned preceptor was amazing! We learned so much about Child Life through her and we all got to connect on a personal level when we were off work. Connect-123's program allowed us to complete our practicum and explore a beautiful country by organizing excursions on the weekends. It was all around an incredible learning experience!Internships in Cape Town
I am very fortunate to have had such a cool and amazing internship experience in Barcelona this summer thanks to Connect -123. I was placed into a company in which I learned and grew professionally. My boss has become such a huge role model and influence to me. There were times when I really struggled and felt alone with what I was dealing with but that's all a part of living abroad - there will be amazing and unforgettable moments but there will also be times that you might struggle. You just have to make sure you take as much time for yourself as you need and do the things that make you happy. I also want to thank Adi at Connect-123 for always checking in on me and making sure I was okay during my time in Barcelona, she was always so helpful and super fun to hang out with. I am sad that this summer abroad has to come to an end but so grateful for the memories and friends I made.Internships in Barcelona
For those who don't know, child life bridges the communication gap between patients, their families, and medical professionals by using language that is developmentally appropriate. We can minimize medical trauma through play by offering support prior to, during, and following procedures. To emphasize family-centered treatment, we also offer support for siblings and parents. During my international practicum, I worked in a variety of settings including inpatient oncology, inpatient orthopedics, a general inpatient ward, an HIV clinic, and a behavioral/developmental health clinic in three different pediatric hospitals. These environments gave me the chance to develop better rapport-building skills, support developmentally appropriate medical play, prioritize care, promote child-directed play, offer normalization and peer-oriented activities, and collaborate with a team on care. The practicum provided me with the skills I needed to be successful in my future work as a child life specialist, and I had the chance to interact with a diverse range of patients on several wards. During my time in Cape Town, I was undoubtedly pushed but also developed a ton of confidence. I built ties with patients and their families and saw the challenges they face every day. While in Cape Town, I gained a lot of knowledge about the child life field and myself, as well as made incredible friends that I will always treasure. Thank you!!Internships in Cape Town
This summer, thanks to Connect-123, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern as a translator at a communications firm in Barcelona. As a linguistics major, this was a great chance to not only explore possible career options but also explore a city that has so much to offer in terms of food, beaches, sightseeing, and culture. I was able to meet lots of cool people also interning over the summer through Connect-123’s living arrangements, so there was never a time when I felt alone or had nothing to do. The company that Connect-123 set me up with also welcomed me with open arms and was a great place to become closer friends with locals. Although my job as a translator required Spanish, the city is very international and it is very easy to get around just with English. Overall, I had a great time in Barcelona and made many memories that I will cherish forever!Internships in Barcelona
As a first-year medical student, I was searching for a summer experience that would both enhance my education and challenge me to step outside my comfort zone. Because of Cape Town’s unique socioeconomic, cultural, and medical landscape, it was the perfect setting for these two things to be accomplished. My group and I spent nearly a month shadowing healthcare workers both in a public hospital setting and at a home for chronically ill children. There, we gained insight into how the challenges caused by minimal resources can be overcome and how one’s personal health and social circumstances are deeply intertwined, something that is often veiled in the United States. We learned many other lessons while in Cape Town, and I am confident that this experience will allow us to develop into more understanding, humble, and caring physicians in the future.
In addition to the professional and personal growth, we were able to travel around and enjoy some of what South Africa has to offer, including a multi-day safari, shark cage diving near Shark Alley, and wine tastings at some of the best vineyards in the world. Traversing a country for the first time can be a daunting task, but Carla at Connect-123 helped to make our time there stress-free and enjoyable. She was extremely helpful with scheduling excursions and always available to answer any questions we had. The invaluable education, the gorgeous sunrises, but most especially, the amazing individuals I met along the way, made this opportunity truly unforgettableInternships in Cape Town
I am a second-year medical student who is not sure what specialty I will end up practicing in, but I know that I want to serve every patient with the best medical care fitted for their personal needs. Going on this trip to Cape Town, South Africa, with Connect-123 allowed me to gain so much experience not only in the medical sense but also when it comes to socioeconomic factors in healthcare. As someone that had never been out of North America, I think that doing a program abroad greatly improved my individuality and confidence, while also working on my professional development by working with staff and patients from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds. We got to work with nurses, therapists, social workers, and a doctor at a Children’s Hospital to learn the individual needs of children with a variety of illnesses and had the opportunity to shadow surgeons in the ICU and operating rooms at a bigger Hospital. Not only did I learn a lot in the hospitals, but our group also got to do many fun excursions, such as a weekend safari, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, and shark cage diving. This was truly a life-changing experience and I would suggest it to anyone looking for an incredible opportunity to become more well-rounded in their field. Thank you so much to Connect-123, and especially Carla who made us all feel so safe and welcome in Cape Town!Internships in Cape Town
Finding experiences that relate to my interests and career goals is a difficult task on its own, made much more difficult during a global pandemic. Connect-123 went above and beyond in finding me the perfect internship. While I did have some hesitations and a couple of hiccups along the way, Carla and Lea were there for me every step of the way and always had my best interests at heart. Thanks to them, I was able to gain experience in the archaeological field - even while remote! I was able to help develop workshops to help inspire the next generation of archaeologists while learning about the archaeological practices utilized in Ireland. I will always be grateful for the experiences and connections I made through Connect-123.
My experience interning in Cape Town, South Africa, is one I will never forget! As a public policy and education student, I knew I wanted my time to be spent working within the realm of South African education. After expressing my interests to Carla, she was able to find the perfect internship for me. During the 10 weeks I was there, I was tasked to do all sorts of things including substituting, job-seeking, and more! I loved having the opportunity to meet youth and educators passionate about creating better conditions through education. My students and their experiences have left a significant impact on me that will fuel my outlook on educational equity. Outside of my internship, I was able to explore much of what Cape Town has to offer! From beaches, to hikes, to farmer's market,s and more, there really is something for everyone in Cape Town during any season. A huge thank you to Connect-123 and Carla for facilitating such a personally impactful experience! I can't wait to visit again!Internships in Cape Town
I am a senior at Bucknell University majoring in Global Management with a concentration in Europe. Through Bucknell and Connect-123, I had the opportunity to intern in Dublin, at an organization that helps SMEs who are looking for export opportunities. From the very first day, my supervisor and the staff made me feel like I was at home. They understood I was coming from a different continent and needed to adapt to the work environment and the city. They clearly explained my role in the company and were very enthusiastic to see me learn and develop. I learned about International Trade and the mechanics and structure of a membership organization. In addition to this, I was able to improve my professional communication skills by interacting with SME owners (at times) and with my coworkers. Bucknell and Connect-123 did a tremendous job connecting us with our internships and coordinating cultural events to enrich our knowledge of Irish culture. I was grateful to be part of this journey, making long-lasting relationships and growing personally and professionally.Internships in Dublin
I could not be more thankful to Connect-123 for their help in connecting me with an internship in Ireland. Not only did they help me secure my internship, but they also helped me every step of the way to make sure that I was prepared before, during, and after my internship was complete. I worked as a Community Intern at a game design studio, where I was tasked with improving community engagement across their social media platforms. Even though I did this internship virtually, I was still able to connect with my supervisors on a professional level, and I will be staying in contact with them throughout my professional life. This helped me learn a lot about my chosen field and how it functions on a day-to-day level before I even graduate college! I never thought that I would be able to work with a game design studio but Connect-123 made that possible. Thank you to Carla and the rest of the wonderful team at Connect-123 for helping me get this experience!
Completing my Child Life Practicum in Cape Town, South Africa was a pivotal experience both professionally and personally. Initially, I was hesitant about completing an international practicum, but in retrospect, it was one of the best decisions of my life. Completing my practicum abroad allowed me to learn and grow in ways that would have never been possible in the United States. Through this opportunity with Connect-123, I was able to broaden my clinical knowledge and skills and build friendships that will last forever. I spent time at three hospitals which each provided very different experiences of the healthcare setting and the field of child life. This practicum showed me the true meaning of play as a universal language, and I am confident to use the knowledge I obtained in my future as a child life specialist. In addition to clinical experience, learning sessions and planned activities were also provided. Altogether, this was truly a well-rounded opportunity. Outside the hospital, I spent time immersed in the culture and building relationships within the community. It is so easy to fall in love with Cape Town. The opportunity was incredible and undeniably worth it. I am forever grateful for Connect-123, the countless children and families, my preceptor and peers, and Cape Town as a whole.Internships in Cape Town
My university gave me the opportunity to start an internship through Connect-123 and it is an opportunity I will always be grateful for. Connect-123 was incredible throughout the entire process of pairing me with an internship. I was asked several questions about my interests, career goals, and strengths which made my internship all the more beneficial and insightful, given that it catered to my professional and personal goals. My internship was remote but with the help of Connect-123, I was able to establish a great professional relationship with the organization I was paired with and never felt disconnected. During my time as an intern for a foundation that contributes to democratic consolidation and strengthening by promoting research and public awareness on security, intelligence, and defense reform I gained a lot of insight into a country and culture I was not familiar with. It was an opportunity that reinforced my aspiration to pursue a career in public interest and human rights law.
Connect-123 gave me the experience of a lifetime! Due to COVID-19, I couldn't participate in a study abroad program at my university, so I looked into interning abroad after I graduated. From the moment I set up my first meeting with Carla, she was there to answer every question I had and ensured that my internship placement would be with an organization that aligned with my passions and goals. During my internship, my coworkers were incredibly welcoming and put me to work on a wide variety of projects that played to my strengths and interests. Outside of the internship, Carla put together fantastic events to ensure we were able to experience everything Cape Town has to offer. In my free time, I was able to do everything from surfing and hiking to shark cage diving and paragliding with all the incredible friends I met along the way. This experience was life-changing due to everything I learned and accomplished, all the bucket-list items I checked off, and all the extraordinary people I met along the way. Thank you to everyone at Connect-123 for making this experience truly unforgettable in the best way possible!Internships in Cape Town
My internship was with an NGO in Cape Town, South Africa, their work was targeted toward helping empower asylum seekers and refugees. From the beginning, Carla was always available to answer my questions and provide support in achieving my goals for this internship. All her preparations made for a smooth transition to my destination and into my internship. At my internship, I had an incredible time with the staff and clients. The moment I walked through the door the staff was so kind and welcoming. I grew in many ways and developed new skills as an emerging mental health professional during my 3 months there. I was able to be a part of many programs that included counseling, psychosocial assessments, support groups, and community outreach. Carla and Connect-123 went above and beyond, not only helping us get connected with internships but also connecting us to the rich culture of South Africa. From amazing excursions to enjoying local food, I got a unique experience of what Cape Town has to offer. They made the experience all-around a life-changing one! I am so grateful to have met some amazing friends along the way and made lasting memories! My experiences with Connect-123 and my internship are ones I will not soon forget!Internships in Cape Town
I am a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee double majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. Last summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern abroad in Dublin, Ireland through Connect-123. I spent the summer as a Research and Sustainable Development Goals Facilitation Intern at an environmental NGO in Dublin. My work included policy analysis, fieldwork, and organizing and mapping data using programs such as Excel and GIS. Connect- 123 planned exciting weekend excursions, ranging from the cliff walks in Bray and Greystones to traveling to Northern Ireland to see Giant’s Causeway and Belfast. I am so grateful for my internship in Dublin and all of the skills I honed during my time abroad!Internships in Dublin
Connect-123 gave me the most life-changing experience. Thanks to Carla and the Connect-123 team all of my questions were answered prior to the experience so I felt confident going into it. The Child Life Practicum gave me child life skills I’m confident I wouldn’t have been able to learn through just a typical Child Life Practicum. I gained life-long friendships, lessons and had a great time experiencing the South African culture. We were able to volunteer at multiple locations, with several different types of situations and it was so eye-opening and will certainly benefit me going forward in this field. This program gave me a new perspective and so many new skills. I’m forever grateful. After completing this program I feel much more confident in my skills in this field and am so excited to continue my career in this field. Thank you Connect-123 and everyone a part of the team. I am forever grateful.Internships in Cape Town
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