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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Ben Rodger

Economic Policy Intern | Cape Town
Trinity College Dublin
11 September 2009

The possibilities presented by Connect-123 to come to work in Cape Town were too good to turn down. They were able to provide a number of various interning opportunities which appealed to my interests, but the one that attracted me the most was that an economic policy institute. Prior to my arrival in South Africa, Connect made everything as easy as possible, from arranging accommodation to answering endless questions concerning visas, security and a whole lot more. From then on, my internship took a number of extremely interesting twists and turns which gave me huge levels of responsibility and meant that no two days were ever the same. My first day, for example, led to the highly unexpected pleasure of being flown to Johannesburg a mere 2 hours after first arriving in the office to act as translator for a delegation of Congolese politicians – you would be surprised how well GCSE French can serve you! In addition, I was given the chance to travel all over South Africa interacting with all sorts of people, from politicians to some of the poorest residents of the townships. I was able to contribute to a variety of reports that were submitted to government of South Africa, as well as coming into contact with politicians from Iraq and Namibia. My internship ended as dramatically as it began when I was flown to Uganda to work as a consultant to the Department of Social Affairs for a week. My only disappointment was the last-minute cancellation of a trip to the province of Limpopo as we had not been able to get permission from the local chiefs to enter their land – don’t ask!! Overall, my internship offered me opportunities to make an impact in all kinds of areas that I would never have been able to find anywhere else. Needless to say, my 4 month experience has boosted my CV a great deal by getting real, hands-on work experience with a high degree of responsibility, and the fact that it was all done overseas in an completely different environment only made it all more fulfilling. Added to this, the support facilities on offer from Connect meant that settling in was very easy, and there was always a huge group of interns on hand for long weekends or late nights, so there was never a dull moment. Testament to the success of the programme has been the fact that some interns have even been able to turn temporary positions into full-time jobs – I couldn’t recommend Connect-123 more highly.

Internships in Cape Town

Bart Robertson

Business Consulting | Cape Town
Indiana State University
15 August 2009

I decided to make things exciting for my last semester of college by interning abroad. Being from rural Indiana, I wanted to go somewhere completely foreign to me that I knew little if anything about, while at the same time devoting myself to a worthwhile cause. Interning in South Africa was the perfect location, and Connect-123 was the perfect company to help me with the process before, during, and even after my internship. Before I even left the States, Connect-123 had already helped me with all the necessary paper work, taken care of my living arrangements (which are pretty high end by the way), and set me up with an incredible internship. During my stay in South Africa, my internship experience gave me the right balance between work and play. My internship as a business consultant was nothing short of amazing, where I worked with local entrepreneurs to start and grow small business in the townships to stimulate economic development. The work was exciting, the people were friendly, and I was able to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Of course interning abroad isn’t all about the work. At the Connect-123 apartments in a great building in the center of town, I met and lived with like minded world travelers who loved to explore and have a good time. How many people can brag about going on safari, swimming with penguins, or diving off the worlds highest bungee jump…probably not many. In South Africa we did all the above and so much more. Everyone in the Connect-123 office was helpful in getting us adjusted to life in Cape Town, and always gave us the best discounts and insider information for all of our trips. Every other week, they even set up group events, which were always fun. They’re a great way to meet new interns and explore the areas around Cape Town.

Internships in Cape Town

Chris Troeger

Public Health Internship | Cape Town
University of Colorado
21 May 2009

A few weeks after I returned from Cape Town, where I was an intern at an HIV/AIDS prevention organization where I taught high school students about HIV, one of my friends, who was radiant with jealousy, asked me if I had any advice for someone who wanted to go to Cape Town. Without hesitation, my advice, in a single word, was, “Go!” Cape Town is a unique city, alive with culture, night clubs, music (listen to Goldfish, they are going to be huge), beaches, mountains, wine country, and countless things to see and do. Connect-123 does a fantastic job of matching interns with relevant and exciting internships and also organizes events and trips to meet other interns and explore Cape Town and South Africa. I highly recommend Connect-123 for their level of commitment to make each participant’s experience as complete and near to perfect as possible, especially on the individual level. The Connect-123 staff is great; friendly and energetic, which is a theme for my experience in Cape Town. Even more than my life changing experiences, I think I will vividly remember the people that I encountered. The Connect-123 staff, my friends and fellow interns in Connect, my coworker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, my high school aged students, even that guy with the thick Afrikaans accent who challenged me to jump off the world’s highest bungee bridge; it is the people that made my trip what it was, and I have no doubt that the people that you meet will make your time in Cape Town life-changing. So if you are like my friend, looking for advice, my answer to you is the same, “Go!”

Internships in Cape Town

Alyssa Thompson-Tucker

Refugee Rights Internship | Cape Town
Bates College
3 March 2009

Finding an internship through Connect-123 made the previously stressful task of finding one myself, instantaneously simple. Directly after inquiring about Connect-123 I was contacted by Steven and shortly thereafter they had found me an internship with a non-profit organization, which fit both my interests and qualifications. Not only was everyone at Connect wonderfully friendly and helpful, but they were also always available if you needed anything. I personally think the best part about Connect is the freedom you are given. Unlike other internship programs where everyone lives, eats and commutes everywhere together, you can do as much with the Connect program or as little as you want. I was already planning to live with friends in Cape Town, so this made Connect the perfect fit.

Internships in Cape Town

Julie Ellsworth

Medical Internship | Cape Town
University of New Brunswick
9 February 2009

Connect-123 is an amazing organization that made my time in Cape Town unforgettable. Steven and Lea were so prompt with my initial application and answering any questions I had, no matter how minor. They helped me find the perfect placement at a local hospital volunteering with children as well as participating in various research projects. Not only was the volunteering aspect of the program well organized and worthwhile, Connect-123 also plans exciting outings that allow you to travel around the breathtaking country. From trips to Cape Point to braais on the rooftop of their apartment building (which has an amazing view of Table Mountain, I might add), Connect gives you the opportunity to make many new friendships that will last a lifetime. It was such an eye-opening experience to see the extreme of poverty in the hospitals one day and then the next, drive the coast and take in the beautiful scenery. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town and it would not have been the same without the extraordinary staff at Connect.

Internships in Cape Town

Crystal Fisher

Human Rights Volunteer | Cape Town
University of South Florida
30 December 2008

Connect-123 works hard to find a great internship that meets all your needs. This was no exception for me. I had the opportunity to work with one of the leading human rights NGOs in the country that gave me hands on experience with the social problems of South Africa. I could see immediate results from the volunteer projects I was asked to lead and the field work I participated in showed me the impact my work had on the communities. If it were not for Connect-123 I’m not sure I could have found a more fitting place to call my home for three months. Cape Town is certainly a city that grows on you with never-ending excitement and entertainment to keep you busy once the work day ends. My stay definitely wasn’t long enough and I look forward to returning there one day as it is a place that I’ve made some of my most treasured memories and friends!

Internships in Cape Town

Matt DiNauta

Advertising Internship | Cape Town
Providence College
16 October 2008

My experience in Cape Town with Connect-123 was phenomenal. If you are ready for a unique experience that will stay with you forever, look no further than Connect. Lea at Connect worked with me to find the ideal internship to match my interests. I interned at a small advertising agency where I was in direct contact with clients and my work for them was often used. When I found that I had some free time to fill, Lea worked with me to get a second position as a tutor in a boys home in Cape Town. I worked side-by-side with people my age from Cape Town’s townships. Working there was the most rewarding and inspiring experience of my life. South Africa is a breathtakingly beautiful place, and I was never bored for a minute with hiking, surfing, and awesome restaurants and bars all around Cape Town. The nightlife in Cape Town is fantastic, and Lea and Steven know what’s happening around the city every night of the week. Connect is your family away from home and everyone there is great when it comes to helping you with any problems that arise. The addition of an internship in South Africa to my resume has been wonderful and stands out like nothing else could. I am never short of a great work experience to bring up when talking to employers. Best of all are great friends I made through the program from all over the States and the world.

Internships in Cape Town

Ashley Tucker

Marketing Internship | Cape Town
Florida University
30 September 2008

From my first chat with Steven on the phone I knew that Connect 123 and South Africa was exactly what I was looking for – a serious internship experience in which I could not only learn a lot and gain professional experience but also in a place full of culture, history and adventure that I could explore. Professionally, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the my internship placement – as it was spot-on my interests and how professional yet easy-going the placement process was. Steven and Lea and the gang are so helpful and always around to make your life more easy no matter what your question is – they’ve turned into quite the travel guides and have a wealth of knowledge of the area. I learned more than I could hope for and made a wonderful work-family over in Cape Town that has left the door open for future employment. If you are looking to gain great experience in your field and to explore a wonderful place then this is it. Hands down. Get on the phone, book your tickets and pack your bags.

Internships in Cape Town

Rob Everett

Marketing Internship | Cape Town
Loughborough University
9 September 2008

Organising my internship through Connect-123 was the best thing I could have possibly done. At first I thought they only organised events and an internship, but they have provided so much more. Going through Connect made this summer the time of my life! All Connect-123 students live in the same building so it couldn’t be any more social. Also the Connect office is in the same building, so the staff is very accessible and they were always more than happy to advise me. I absolutely loved my internship in Cape Town (I worked with an email marketing company) since the attitude is very laid back and the people at work were so friendly. The Connect-123 social events were always a blast. Lea, Mel, Steven and Gabby always pick a new place to visit and this is a chance for the Connect staff to find out how you’re finding your internship if you haven’t already let them know what you think of it. It is also a great way to meet everybody during your first week in Cape Town, and this is where you make your friends for the trip — in my case and everybody else’s case, friends for life! This summer has been fantastic, and I would say to anybody who wants an internship to go through Connect because you will have such a better experience. For me, this has been the best two months of my life.

Internships in Cape Town

Lindsey Shaughnessy

Gender Rights Internship | Cape Town
Carleton College
28 August 2008

Connect-123 provides an excellent service. Lea and Steven were able to quickly find an internship for me in the field of gender rights and I worked in offices located right across the street from my apartment! Though my stay was short, I found my internship meaningful, my coworkers pleasant, my friendships long-lasting, my jaunts around the Western Cape extraordinary and my expectations fulfilled. I would recommend — and have recommended — Connect-123 to anyone looking for an internship in one of the world’s most vibrant and genuinely remarkable cities. I know I will value my women and governance internship in South Africa as one of the most vital experiences of my life and of my career.

Internships in Cape Town

Laura Egdorf

| Cape Town
Education Volunteer
26 August 2008

My experience in Cape Town was literally everything I would ever want out of an international volunteer experience. I worked as a volunteer at a non-profit organization based out of Khayelitsha, the second largest township is South Africa, and it was a perfect match, thanks to Connect-123. I fell in love with the people I worked with, and I am grateful to have been able to experience the extremes of Cape Town on a daily basis  it really is like being in two different worlds, just 14 years after Apartheid. One thing I encourage future participants to do is to take time to learn about the history of South Africa and get to know the people. I am grateful to have worked in an environment where I was able to develop friendships with those I worked and to hear their inspirational stories. I am forever a changed person, with the issues in my life seeming ever so trivial. My only regret is leaving South Africa!

Internships in Cape Town

Dora de Kenessey

Chapman Medical Internship | Cape Town
Yale University
16 August 2008

Connect-123 was the absolutely ideal organization to go through for the summer! They set me up with a fantastic internship at a hospital, which was exactly what I was looking for, and provided a beautiful apartment as well. From there, we were all given complete independence, though you always knew that Steven, Lea and Melanie were right there in case you ever needed anything. They also organized great expeditions and were always extremely helpful and accommodating. I just had the time of my life this summer, and couldn’t have had the same experience without Connect!

Internships in Cape Town

Charleigh Elebash

Education Volunteer | Cape Town
University of South Carolina
7 August 2008

Connect-123 is such an amazing program. There are always so many things to do, great people to meet and beautiful scenery all around you. Steven, Lea and Melanie are so great and they do everything they can to make you feel at home and make sure that you really see and experience all that Cape Town has to offer! This has been one of the best experiences of my life and my only regret is that I didn’t stay longer!

Internships in Cape Town

Aimee Rose Unteutsch

Design Internship | Cape Town
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
30 July 2008

I had the most amazing time in South Africa and the internship that Connect-123 found for me was outstanding! I learned a great deal from the animation company I worked with. My accommodation was also great and the location was within walking distance to restaurants and the Waterfront. Steven and Lea were always there for me and when I first arrived, it was nice to step off the plane and know that I would be taken care of. The events that Connect-123 set up were enjoyable, there was always something going on almost every week. South Africa is a place that you will never forget because there is so much to do and the scenery is gorgeous!

Internships in Cape Town

Michael Dearfield

Business Consulting Internship | Cape Town
University of Cincinnati
1 June 2008

My experience in Cape Town, South Africa was the greatest time of my life! I had a very exciting and rewarding internship, where I worked with a business college for students from the local townships. There, I was a business development intern for their Entrepreneurship Centre where I helped write business plans, create marketing strategies, and find investors for various entrepreneurs from the townships. I was also privileged to teach two college-level courses in the fields of economics, and entrepreneurship. In my free time, I did everything from climbing mountains, to tasting wine in the nearby vineyards, to going shark-cage diving in the Indian Ocean! Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s a place where cities, mountains, and oceans meet, and I will never forget the times that I had there. Thank you again Steven and Lea and the rest of the Connect-123 gang, for providing me with such a fun and rewarding experience. I will be back for the World Cup South Africa in 2010!

Internships in Cape Town

Jonny Darling

Business Development Internship | Cape Town
University College Dublin, Ireland
2 January 2008

These guys could just as well do online dating, such is their matchmaking prowess. Connect-123 are the peoples’ people. They put us first. Their innate sense of character and ability to read between the lines is spooky and they put it to good use with placements that fit like a glove. For me, these few months in South Africa have been the launch pad to many new beginnings…

Internships in Cape Town

Amanda Bruni

Engineering Internship
Royal Military College, Ontario
2 January 2008

I feel so fortunate to have been involved with such a great organization. Steven and Lea are truly passionate about creating opportunities for young individuals. Making the transition into the working world after years of being a ‘student’ is not always an easy thing to do. With Connect-123 I was able to find an internship that helped me to make this transition giving me the confidence I needed to go into the real world. Plus I was able to do this while experiencing beautiful Cape Town and South African culture. There was never a dull moment! Connect-123 ensures that you get the most out of your opportunity from finding you an internship specific to your needs while making sure you know where the party is Friday night!

Brian Miller

University of Arizona | Cape Town
Film Internship
31 December 2007

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

Internships in Cape Town

Elyse Dornhecker

Business Consulting Internship | Cape Town
University of Minnesota
3 September 2007

My time in Cape Town was priceless. My internship experience was challenging, engaging, exciting, and so much more. I was able to interact with a unique culture and obtain valuable skills relevant to my area of study while feeling as though I was giving something back to those around me. The people at Connect made every effort to personally ensure our comfort, safety, and enjoyment during the time we were with them. They were not only mentors to us in our new South African lives, but also friends. The memories gained, people encountered, and opportunities experienced while in Cape Town are something I will value the rest of my life.

Internships in Cape Town

Kelly O’Donovan

Journalism Internship | internships in cape town
University of Leeds
2 September 2007

It sounds like a cliché, but I have had such an amazing time here in Cape Town, I can’t recommend it enough! The set-up here is perfect for whatever you are looking for. Steven and Lea are very good at judging what a person would want out of an internship and their experience as a whole. They have brilliant connections to make that perfect match. Without the support of Connect I would have been daunted by such a city and would never have found this internship on my own. With their help, however, I have gained the most out of my experience, both at work and when it came to discovering Cape Town and South Africa. I don’t think it will be too long before I am back again and I would recommend Connect-123 to anyone!
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