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

Treasure Roberts

Journalism Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
13 July 2018

Coming to Cape Town, South Africa for the first time I did not know what to expect, but this journey was everything I could have hoped for. I climbed mountains, I dived with sharks, I went surfing, I went to several braais (barbeques) and really learned so much about the culture. Tourism, however, was not what left a mark on my heart. It was being able to really engage multiple communities of Cape Town. My internship allowed me to see and do things that I never thought I would. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so happy that Connect-123 facilitated it for me.

Internships in Cape Town

Emma Derr

Community Radio Broadcast Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
13 July 2018

Connect-123 planned incredible excursions during my stay in Cape Town. I especially enjoyed the educational outings to Parliament and Robben Island, and one of my favorite weekends was the Community Chef Mandela Day event when we cooked a stew for people in need. Having such great options every weekend at our disposable made the trip stress-free and enjoyable. I really felt like I got to know South Africa during my stay, and it amazes me everything we were able to see in eight weeks thanks to the program co-ordinators at Connect-123.

Internships in Cape Town

Andrew Brennan

Marketing and Communications Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
13 July 2018

My experience in South Africa was incredible. I was able to fully immerse myself in the country by exploring the different landscapes, meeting the people, and learning the culture. From hiking Table Mountain, walking on the beaches of Camps Bay, or going on safari in the Garden Route, South Africa’s natural environments are truly stunning. Additionally, interacting with different people through my internship, service opportunities, and other Connect-123 events gave me diverse perspectives from so many different backgrounds and cultures. Connect-123 provided me an outlet to discover and explore these opportunities and experiences that I know I’ll always cherish.

Internships in Cape Town

Prashant Tiwari

Finance and International Trade intern | Dublin
University of Texas at Dallas
10 July 2018

I really enjoyed my finance internship in Dublin, where I worked as an International Trade Associate. Initially I was very nervous and not quite sure what to expect, but as I progressed in the internship my confidence grew and I was able to perform all my tasks easily. The office environment in which I worked was amazing – my boss and supervisors were really nice and if I ever got stuck on anything they had no problem assisting me with the issue. I think I really grew both personally and professionally and really benefited from the experience. Dublin is a very small city, almost everything is within walking distance of St. Stephen’s Green. That was pretty cool because if I ever missed a bus or if it would take too long to get there, I could just walk instead. We visited a lot of pubs, restaurants and cool historical sites and museums around Dublin. Connect-123 took us on a hike from Bray to Graystone, which was really fun, as some of us decided to hike over the mountain rather than around it. We also had dinner at the Hairy Lemon, and went on a day tour that included an adventure course where we did zip lining, rock climbing, rope courses and a lot of other fun stuff. The Dublin Program Coordinators also kept us updated on all the events happening around Dublin that we might be interested in, which was really handy. Me and my roommates also visited the Cliffs of Moher, which were really cool, and went on a day tour to Cashel, Blarney and Cork. Overall I really enjoyed my experience in Dublin. It is a really interesting city, and Ireland has a lot of sights to see and things to do. I liked experiencing a completely different culture to my own and exploring the city. I’m looking forward to visiting Europe and Dublin again.

Internships in Dublin

Amaruc Gessen

Engineering and Industrial Design intern | Buenos Aires
Drexel University
17 May 2018

Interning in Buenos Aires was an amazing experience. It exceeded all my expectations. The city is amazing, my housing was pretty good, the food is incredible and there is always something going on in the city that you can go and do. My engineering and industrial design internship was incredible, even though at first I was a bit intimidated because I did not know anything about 3D printing, but after the first few weeks of doing research, I was actively participating in the design and development projects. This really helped me develop my skills as an engineer and learn how to design and manufacture working prototypes to be implemented in the final product. Connect-123 was always there to help when needed, organizing cool events every week and helping me meet a group full of fantastic people. All in all the experience was a solid 11/10!

Internships in Buenos Aires

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

Anne Willems of Brilman

Human Rights intern | Dublin
University College Roosevelt
24 June 2018

After I got my legal bachelor’s degree I decided I wanted to take some time off to get some practical experience in the field before continuing to get my master’s degree. I chose Connect-123 because of its connections abroad, specifically in the field of human rights. Thanks to Lea Levy and Nikki Madden (Dublin Programme Coordinator) I spent six months working for a human rights organization in Dublin. Coming to Dublin, and working for a small NGO, has truly been a phenomenal experience and one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. Dublin is a city filled with culture, history, multiculturalism, and of course pubs. It is a city where the craic never ends! My time here has been marked by one amazing event after another, both organized by my workplace and Nikki. When I started, all I knew was that I would be working as a policy intern for a migrant women’s rights organization. During my time there, the scope of my work evolved far beyond policy. During my time, I have been able to attend UN meetings, organize a national conference, facilitate training for migrant women, conduct several types of research and much more. I have met and worked with national politicians and policymakers such as Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach) and David Stanton TD (Minister of Justice and Equality). I was part of a small team of strong, multicultural women all dedicated to the advancement of migrant women’s rights in Ireland. Due to the differences in cultural upbringing, all of us brought a unique perspective to the table which enabled us to tackle issues from various perspectives. Next to these experiences, Nikki turned an amazing experience into a truly phenomenal and memorable one. Her guidance, care, and support proved instrumental in my being able to settle into work and the city. Furthermore, the events she organized allowed me to not only enjoy the work but also explore the city, the country and the culture together with the other Connectors. Indeed, her care, commitment, and dedication lifted this experience to a whole new level. I recommend Connect-123 and Dublin to everyone who wants an unforgettable internship experience abroad.

Internships in Dublin

Donald LeCompte

Communications intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
18 July 2018

Connect-123 was great! They took the time to connect with us before we arrived to ensure that our internship placements were ones that matched our skills and passions. They were also a great go-to resource if we had any issues or if we had questions about things to do and the best way to go about doing them. Many of the events we attended and excursions we went on were organized by Connect-123, and they did a great job of working with us to ensure that it would be a great experience. I’m glad our University partners with Connect-123, as they made our time in South Africa memorable!

Internships in Cape Town

Alex Schramkowski

Public Policy intern | Cape Town
Rhodes College
11 July 2018

When I journeyed to Cape Town, the questions I had about the culture, my internship, the city, and the country as a whole were constantly on my mind. Would I enjoy myself? Would my internship cater to my professional and personal aspirations? Would I make important connections for my future? Would I learn about South African history and culture through incredible trips and site visits? All of those questions, retrospectively, can all be answered with a resounding yes! My experience working, traveling, and living in South Africa turned out to be wildly beyond what I originally imagined. Without Connect-123’s vigilant and constant support, advice, and help, none of it would be remotely possible. I’m eternally thankful for the staff I worked with and the assistance I received from Connect-123 before the flight, on the ground, and even when I returned to the States. Thank you!

Internships in Cape Town

Faizan Rai

Public Policy intern | Cape Town
King's College London
18 July 2018

Culture, politics, and nature. It is fair to say that my time in Cape Town can be characterized by these three defining features, along with much more. Having the opportunity to live, work and holiday in Cape Town exposed me to a whole new way of life, which is something I looked forward to before coming here. The city and indeed the whole country is abundant in culture, with various beautiful languages being spoken all the time and music being played from all walks of life. The accepting nature of South Africans compels me to return, as I have made lasting friendships during my experience here. Another aspect of Cape Town I have loved is how history and politics has echoed all around me, always. As a student of International Relations, I was eager to learn how South Africa functions. Through visiting historically significant sites such as Robben Island and various museums commemorating South Africa’s history, I have developed a passion for South African affairs and I wish to play a part in the progressive ambitions it has for its future. What has struck me most is how, despite the turbulent past, the people of South Africa remain ambitious, forgiving and hopeful to create a free and just society. Finally, it is fair to say that Cape Town is the most beautiful city I have lived in. The stunning landscape of three beautiful mountains on one side and the jaw-dropping blue sea on the other, with a city of narrow streets and skyscrapers sandwiched in between made waking up at 7am every morning more than enjoyable, as every day provided me with a new experience. I can count myself extremely lucky with the opportunities I was provided during my internship. Working in government was the ideal internship for me and Connect-123 ensured I gained an internship I would be happy with. The highlight of my work experience was being able to travel around the country for work. During my travels to Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, I have gained vital professional skills as well as vast exposure to South Africa as a nation. In summary, I must thank connect-123 for making Cape Town such a memorable experience and exposing me to South Africa, a country that I will surely return to.

Internships in Cape Town

Sabrina Sangha

Intern | Shanghai
King's College London
14 June 2018

My time in Shanghai has been life-changing. I could see myself pursuing a career in China and traveling a lot more. Connect-123 gets the right balance between helping and supporting you through your experience but also giving you the independence to explore at your own pace.
Before you travel, Connect-123 talk through everything you need to do and organize. If you have any queries they respond very quickly and are extremely helpful. When you arrive you're picked up at the airport and taken to your flat. I traveled to Shanghai independently so I was sharing a nice flat with one other Connect-123 intern and four other flatmates. That day I was taken around the local area.
I thoroughly enjoyed my work, learning a lot about other disciplines and inspiring me to think more about my long-term goals. Especially exploring Shanghai I could see myself living here long term. The Connect-123 trips are very worth going on! We did two trips outside of Shanghai whilst I was there and you got to see more historical parts of China.  We also did a "Today's China" dinner, where we discussed societal issues in China. That was a great evening of good food, discussion and learning.

Internships in Shanghai

Austen Zoutewelle

Human Rights intern | Cape Town
University of Texas at Austin
30 March 2018

Three themes emerged in my life while in South Africa: embracing adventure, exploring culture, and absorbing information. First and foremost, living in such a naturally beautiful place provided a playground in my backyard. Each day I could find a novel, fun experience, like hiking Lion's Head to see the sunrise, choosing whether to run along the Indian or Atlantic Ocean or taking a drive out to Chapman's Peak. Intentionally capitalizing on the opportunities to fall further in love with our extraordinary world was a high priority for me. Second, my focus while living in a new place is to immerse myself in the local culture. In Cape Town, incredible opportunities abound to engage with many diverse cultures. People prioritize relationships in South Africa and my favorite moments were spent talking with others about their beliefs and backgrounds over coffee or delicious Cape Malay meals. People's most valuable gift is a narration of their stories and the people in South Africa that I encountered were gracious in taking time to talk with me and share their experiences. Finally, as a graduate student in Texas completing my final internship abroad, my time in South Africa focused on cross-cultural learning. I wanted to better understand how another culture approaches similar, global issues. One of the projects I completed for my degree was researching disaster preparedness in South Africa and the United States, specifically focusing on the drought in sub-Saharan Africa and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Similarly, my internship was spent working at an organization that addresses violence against people with sexual and gender minority status in the Western Cape. I was working on compiling research that informed the organization's positions on relevant policy issues in Parliament, which was extremely similar to my work in Texas. In both contexts, I was able to see how different countries respond to and prevent problems that arise across the world. Cape Town, for me, is a 'thin place,' meaning the line between heaven and earth is extremely thin. People make the place what it is and I am grateful to the people of South Africa who let me walk alongside them experiencing the adventure, appreciating the diversity, and learning how to create universal opportunities for growth.

Internships in Cape Town

Isaiah Sauvageau

Environmental research intern | Dublin
Drexel University
15 June 2018

Living abroad is a liberating experience. Once I stepped off the plane and onto Irish soil, the world grew a little bit smaller. I had never traveled alone before, and the idea of living without any of the comforts of my familiar life was daunting. That is where Connect-123 made life easy. Nikki, my program coordinator, helped me establish the essentials (housing, phone, connections, etc…). I quickly grew comfortable and started to travel throughout Ireland and Europe, experiencing some of the world’s greatest sights, sounds, and tastes. Dublin truly is an international city, and I met people from around the world looking to travel, learn English, study, and work. At my internship, I contributed to a project that reduces agricultural wastes. I was even able to tour a site that converts wastes to energy. This experience helped me to grow into a more confident and independent person and exposed me to new people, ideas, and ways of life.

Internships in Dublin

Zoë Sernyak

Social work intern | Dublin
3 April 2018

When I decided that I wanted to do a gap year, I knew that I wanted to spend some time abroad. What I did not know was where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, or how to make my aspirations of international living actually happen. When I was introduced to Connect-123, all of my questions were answered. I chose Ireland from many options, and after a discussion with very helpful people from Connect-123, I was able to find an internship. After finding a host family and making the necessary arrangements, I finally arrived in Ireland. My coordinator helped me every step of the way, by assisting me in finding my way to work on the first day to organizing fun events throughout my stay. My social work internship ending up being an extremely fulfilling yet challenging position that allowed me to attain real world experience while still being consistent with my overall career goals. By the end of my two and a half months, Dublin felt like a second home, and I never wanted to leave!

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

Bryce Berry

Finance intern | Cape Town
Rhodes College
11 July 2018

My experience in Cape Town will never be forgotten. As this was my first time out of the country, I was pretty anxious about traveling. However, the amazing Connect-123 family made my transition smooth. I was able to relax and focus on experiencing Cape Town for its greatness. This city had so much to offer because of the endless things to see and do. Every day as I looked up Table Mountain I was reminded that I am in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Every site and every adventure were breathtaking. My internship here was everything I asked for and more. I met tons of nice people with big hearts and bigger laughs. The experience at my internship was than just work. It was an office filled with different cultural perspectives and personalities that enabled me to form a bond I will never forget.

Internships in Cape Town

Jaehun Jeong

Marketing Intern | Barcelona
Myongji University
14 June 2018

Thanks to Connect-123, I was able to spend the best three months in Barcelona. Connect-123 helped facilitate a marketing internship that I’ve always been interested in, and also helped me secure a decent apartment in Barcelona. I was given several creative projects to work on as a marketing intern, and I was able to enhance my working ability through this experience. Apart from internships, these three months were the perfect opportunity to experience Europe. I was able to travel to Spain and other countries in Europe for a relatively low price, which allowed me to experience as much of the Spanish and European culture as possible in a short time. Without Connect-123's help, it would not have been possible to work and travel in Europe. Thank you Connect-123 for giving me this great opportunity and an unforgettable experience!

Internships in Barcelona

Chris Vandemark

Entrepreneurship intern | Cape Town
Hartwick College
13 July 2018

It’s challenging to put into words the experience I had while in Cape Town, South Africa. From the amazing team at Connect-123 to the endless list of activities around the city, down to the entrepreneurship internship itself, I had the experience of a lifetime! I gained professional skills that I can apply going forward, along with cultural perspectives that I will not soon forget. Cape Town was the perfect environment for myself to mature as a young man, and I will forever be grateful to have the opportunity to travel there.

Internships in Cape Town

Marcella Cross

Nanotechnology intern | Barcelona
14 June 2018

I am so glad that I chose Connect-123. My nanotechnology internship in Barcelona was incredible. Connect-123 was extremely helpful and assisted me in finding housing, coordinating with other students, getting a phone plan, and learning my way around the city. I felt like I could reach out at any time if I needed help or felt unsafe, and someone would help me to feel more at home. My internship experience was fantastic and I learned a lot about physics and chemistry. Connect-123 also helped me to find two additional part-time volunteer programs, where I was able to work with young children. I can only give positive reviews of the program and hope that many other students will get to have the same opportunities as I have. My time in Barcelona was one of the most fun experiences that I have ever had and I cannot wait to go back!

Internships in Barcelona

Lindsay Morrissey

Public Policy intern | Dublin
Drexel University
9 July 2018

My internship abroad in Dublin was better than I could have imagined! I visited Dublin briefly during my sophomore year abroad and fell in love with the city and people. So I was happy to return in my junior year. I found the program through my university and applied to Connect-123. Connect-123 matched me with an internship that suited my interests and skill sets. I worked at a nonprofit organization in Dublin that specializes in supporting agriculture and enterprise development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Everyone in the office was incredibly warm and helpful. I certainly made professional connections that will help me in my career. This internship was the fourth one I have had since being in college and I can honestly say this was the best one! I decided to choose a homestay option for my living accommodation and I was not disappointed. I was placed with a wonderful family in a home not too far from my office and the city center. As a city, Dublin is great because it is easy to navigate. It offers everything that you could need, with lots to do on the weekend. I am extremely grateful to the Connect-123 coordinator, Nikki, who did an amazing job of helping me get adjusted to the city. She not only planned fun trips and events, she was incredibly warm and helpful.

Internships in Dublin
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