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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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

Ellie Broscious

Education Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
5 August 2018

After staying home all of 2017, I knew that I wanted to do something different during 2018 - something fun, related to my interests, and not in my hometown. Connect-123 helped me find a fantastic internship teaching English at a summer camp in Shanghai. Not only was my internship incredibly fun, but it also helped me learn more about what I do and don’t want to do in the future. Living in Shanghai for two months was fun and helped me improve my Chinese. My time in Shanghai was terrific and helped me grow as a person.

Internships in Shanghai

Yi Liang Jiang

Pharmacology Intern | Dublin
Bristol University
4 August 2018

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

Internships in Dublin

Kolleen Jabbour

Law Intern | Barcelona
Concordia College
4 August 2018

My experience with Connect-123 was one of the best things that ever happened to me! At first, I was super stressed and hesitant to go to another continent and to work in a city that I’ve only seen in pictures and movies. I was nervous to be in a place where I know absolutely no one. However, Connect-123 facilitated things for me and guided me through every step of my journey. Indeed, Connect-123 found me the job that I was looking for and always comforted me when I was feeling anxious. It was so easy to socialize with the coordinators of the program, they went above and beyond to make people feel welcomed and to assure that they have a great time in the city they would organize all sorts of activities and inform us on the events happening in the city! I spent two months working in an immigration law firm. I became comfortable with everyone I was working with and they were all there if I needed help or if I had any questions about work, the city or anything! Indeed, I feel like I found a new family, I built great relationships with my coworkers and found a place that I could call my second home. It was an experience of a lifetime. I loved my stay in Barcelona to the point where I was considering living there. Barcelona will always hold a special place in my heart. I am forever grateful and thankful for this experience!

Internships in Barcelona

Cole Brightbill

Music Production Intern | Dublin
Drexel University
4 August 2018

I study recording arts and music production at Drexel University. Via the Connect-123 program, I got an internship in Dublin at one of the premier recording studios in Ireland. Right off the bat, I was impressed with my placement. My internship in Dublin was one of the most valuable times in my life. Once I arrived in Dublin, Nikki and Rosie were there to help me adjust to living abroad, and made sure I was comfortable in my internship by giving me guidance and encouraging me to proceed independently. During the course of the summer, I was able to learn and excel in my internship, as well as travel all over Europe and see places I never would have otherwise. Connect-123 hosted awesome events and trips around Dublin, which really helped us interns explore Ireland to the fullest. I can't recommend Connect-123 enough!

Internships in Dublin

Jace Grissom

Human Rights Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
4 August 2018

Shanghai is a vibrant, fast-paced, and progressive city. My summer internship in Shanghai provided me with an endless stream of opportunity and experiences that allowed me to grow in my professional and personal goals. Working at a startup, I was given a lot of responsibility as an intern that challenged me to learn new skills and problem solve independently of reporting to a supervisor. Through my internship experience, I gained in my professional and social immersion experience by being exposed to a new LGBTQIA+ community in Shanghai in my work and my free time. Most of my days were spent in the office, but I also had the opportunity to attend social events hosted by my company at night and on the weekends.

Internships in Shanghai

Catherine Kozuch

Sustainable Development Intern | Buenos Aires
Case Western Reserve University
4 August 2018

My time in Buenos Aires was an experience I'll never forget! I didn't know what to expect, as I had never been to South America, but the city is amazing. You'll never be bored with the city, you could do something new every day for two months and you wouldn't run out of things to do. Whether that be strolling el Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, checking out the art at The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, finding out where to get the best empanadas, or heading down to play foosball at Jobs Bar with your friends, there's something for everyone!
The Connect-123 team was incredibly helpful and supportive the entire way, they went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly and to make sure I was comfortable. Aside from that, they organize events so that you can meet everyone else who's in Buenos Aires through Connect-123. I ended up meeting some amazing people, some of whom became some of my closest friends and doing most of everything with them.
As for my environmental sustainability internship, it was amazing to work with an environmental NGO. All of the employees were Argentinean, so it was a great way to meet people who weren't American and talk to them about Argentina and how things are in Buenos Aires. The NGO that I worked with worked alongside with the Ministry of Sustainable Development, so we could go around to offices, evaluate how they're running, and then create a report for them on how to get certified either bronze, silver, gold, or diamond in sustainability. From that report, they could either choose to do follow the recommendations on their own, or hire us to put those recommendations in action ourselves.
My favorite part, personally, was working with the schools! We would go to schools throughout Buenos Aires, from elementary to high schools, and from public to private schools, in order to give environmental workshops. We would come in and, especially with the little kids, have them do interactive activities in which they learned how to recycle properly, or how to save water in their own home. With the older kids, we would introduce more complex topics such as climate change and water/air pollution. It was great to help throughout the city both in getting buildings to utilize more sustainable practices, and spreading environmental education awareness! All in all, I would definitely recommend coming here!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Meaghan Kincaid

Marketing & PR Intern | Barcelona
SUNY at Oneonta
4 August 2018

I chose to do a marketing internship in Barcelona, Spain this past summer. I was in contact with Lea Levy, who facilitated my internship. I could not have been happier with the placement she found me, at a coworking space on the port near Barceloneta. I wouldn’t have traded my internship experience for anything. Running the company’s social media platforms and blog section has shown me how marketing and public relations is executed internally. I met some of the most amazing individuals at my internship who have become some of my closest friends. Realizing there are people all over the world who you have more in common with than people from your hometown is an incredible feeling. I shared an apartment with a girl from Colorado, Brynna. We ended up traveling all over Europe together. We visited Prague, Portugal, France, and Italy. When we were in Barcelona one of my favorite experiences was the paella cooking class that Connect-123 held for us. We had sangria and some delicious paella. Overall, this experience was something I am so grateful I was able to do. Being a part of Connect-123 was comforting, especially in the beginning when you are on your own in another country. They held dinners and snacks on the beach where we were able to meet others in the program. If I could go back and relive this again, I would in a heartbeat!

Internships in Barcelona
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