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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Casey McShea

Media Intern | Dublin
SUNY Oneonta
10 March 2020

Traveling alone to live in a foreign country for three months is one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Connect-123’s international internship program has given me an experience like no other, pushing me out of my comfort zone in ways I didn’t even know were possible and learning so much in only a matter of weeks. My digital marketing and events planning internship taught me so much both about the field and myself. When I decided I wanted to participate in an international internship, there were so many uncertainties and questions I had, but Connect-123 was so helpful and patient in putting my unease at rest. The entire team is so supportive and welcoming and really makes your transition so much easier. Whenever I had an issue or worry, they were there to help. Not only that, but the events they organize for you to meet fellow interns are so fun and give you more opportunities to experience your host country and make new friends! Participating in Connect-123’s program not only gives you hands-on experience and is a great resumé booster but also allows you to have the experience of a lifetime.

Internships in Dublin

Hailee Morisseau

Kinesiology Intern | Cape Town
Lakehead University
2 March 2020

My time in Cape Town was truly memorable. I had the opportunity to complete an observership/internship at the hospital where I was able to learn from the Department of Neurosurgery. My healthcare experience was a well-rounded one as I also had the opportunity to observe other scopes of practice, such as anesthesia, child life, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy. Not only was I able to observe surgeries, clinics, and ward rounds, but I was also given the opportunity to assist with data entry to help transfer the department over to an electronic note system. This experience was incredibly helpful for me to gain more exposure to healthcare and to become more confident in the career path that I want to follow. Cape Town itself is a beautiful city to be in and I met a lot of great people from all over the world. The coordinators were always happy to help with anything and they played a key role in making my experience as memorable as it was!

Internships in Cape Town

Logan Kaifes

Child Life Practicum | Cape Town
Kansas State University
18 February 2020

Completing the Child Life practicum abroad helped me grow as an individual and in my future career. I was able to experience Child Life in a different culture, working with various patients and their families in a healthcare setting different than I was used to. It helped me to step out of my comfort zone and realized how important the power of play is for all kids! I made so many memories and lifelong friends while studying in Cape Town that I’ll cherish forever! It was truly the best experience I have ever been given and thank you Connect-123 for being there every step of the way!

Internships in Cape Town

Lisa Clark

Parent of Business Intern | Cape Town
New Orleans, LA
28 January 2020

Connect-123 did an amazing job finding the perfect internship for our son.  As parents of a recent high school graduate who was taking a GAP semester in the fall 2019, we were unsure of what to expect.  He was doing this on his own, not through a college program.  Working with the staff at Connect-123 was delightful.  Kate was always available to answer questions before and during the internship, and considering our late application, she put great consideration and effort into finding the right placement.  She set up a Skype interview with the business owner for the internship and I was able to say hello and ask questions after the interview with my son.  Our son was happy with his apartment and everything worked out well with roommates.  I was also impressed with my communication with Steven Levy during the planning stages, very hands-on with the program, reaching out to me with more detailed information about the apartment arrangements.  We were able to visit our son in Cape Town and stopped by the office to say hello to the staff.  We met Kate for coffee and found she truly cares about each intern and is fully invested in making this an amazing experience.  She visited our son at his internship to check in with him and she and the staff organized and accompanied the interns on fun outings on several evenings and weekends!  With our son 8,000 miles away, it was so nice to know he had the support of the staff if needed, but it was nice to see that he was able to figure out how to live on his own, with meals, laundry, transportation, and so on.  I would highly recommend this program for anyone who is comfortable living abroad, independently.  This was an incredibly valuable experience for our son!

Internships in Cape Town

Paige Rideout

Marketing Intern | Cape Town
Ball State University
18 January 2018

My experience with Connect-123 was nothing short of amazing. My initial expectation was to gain an internship, but I left with so much more. Connect-123 not only guided me to the internship of my dreams, but they also connected me to a new-found family in Cape Town. I built lasting relationships with employers, made life-long friendships and found my home away from home. Working as an intern in marketing not only confirmed my classroom knowledge, but also gave me a platform to develop new skills related to my field. Connect-123 is an experience that will challenge you, connect you and propel your professional career forward. They give you the tools necessary to succeed, so get ready!

Internships in Cape Town

Joshua Maclin

Neuroscience Medical Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
12 January 2020

As part of the 2018 class from Earlham College, I interned in the Geriatric Ward of a Mental Health Center. I wrote a systematic review of four types of dementia: Frontotemporal lobe dementia, Vascular Dementia, Alzheimer's, and dementia with Lewy Bodies. In conjunction with research, I had observed how my supervisors and other doctors operated in the geriatric ward and edited some of my coworkers' work and presentations. In addition to my internship, living in Shanghai was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I lived in an amazing apartment that was in the heart of Shanghai and had access to so much within very little walking distance. I was also able to experience Chinese culture firsthand, which was something I've wanted to do for years! I was able to travel a fair bit with my schedule. I visited Nanjing and a few other notable places in China. I had an incredible time and would highly recommend this program!

Internships in Shanghai

Domenico Dimatteo

Mechanical Engineering Intern | Barcelona
Temple University
9 January 2020

Throughout the duration of my time abroad I met a lot of different people and made friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work for a startup in Barcelona, Spain. As a research assistant, I was assigned the task of studying a nano-coating product with hopes of optimizing it for commercial use, specifically within the automotive industry. Having had work experience in the United States, cultural differences were evident and uncomfortable at times. A major takeaway I had from the experience is that we all are capable of transforming ourselves to fit into unique environments. Often times, the fear of change holds us back from fully believing in our own capabilities. Finding a way to become comfortable with being uncomfortable is a useful skill that transcends the workplace. Overall, I am extremely grateful to have had an internship abroad for it has expanded my perspective on the world. My time in Barcelona is something that I will cherish forever and would recommend it to anyone contemplating it.

Internships in Barcelona

Sijibomi Akinkugbe

AI / Engineering Intern | Dublin
Drexel University
4 December 2019

I was born in Dublin many years ago but I was too young to remember. Revisiting Ireland was always a high priority for me because I wanted to connect with that part of my identity. When Drexel University and Connect-123 provided an opportunity to partake in an internship in Dublin, I was quick to take it. During my three months in Dublin, I interned at a small AI/engineering company, whose main aim was to create smart security cameras. It was an amazing opportunity to work with experienced engineers and mature students in such complex and interesting fields, learning invaluable skills for my education as well as my potential career. The relationships forged during this time have been wonderful, my helpful coworkers made my time memorable, both professionally and socially. Office flexibility gave me the opportunity to indulge in some of the many urban activities on offer. I took advantage of my time off to visit some the main tourist attractions, including the Cliffs of Moher, the Guinness Storehouse, Galway and the National Museum of Ireland. Connect-123 played a huge role in providing a smooth transition into Irish culture and history. They put on multiple events each month, giving me the opportunity to bond with the other interns. One memorable event was Experience Gaelic, where I was thrown into a wondrous variety of Gaelic games and culture. These events brought a variety of people from different places around the world together, allowing me to connect with other cultures. The opportunity to intern in Dublin has been a wonderful and enthralling experience. If you are looking towards interning abroad, I strongly recommend Dublin.

Internships in Dublin

Tyler Yang

Biomedical Engineering Intern | Barcelona
Drexel University
14 November 2019

I've wanted to work abroad since I started studying at university, but had always lacked the foresight and planning to be comfortable with spending an extended period overseas. Connect-123 provided me with help in all of these areas; quickly providing job offers, housing availability and all sorts of resources for living in comfort. My job is in nanotechnology fabrications, and I was surrounded by intelligent and welcoming friends who are invaluable in learning more about science and engineering as well as local culture. Barcelona has quickly become one of my favorite cities, with newfound lifelong friends, university and job connections and most importantly, incredible food. It's a bittersweet feeling to know that my time in Barcelona is limited; but I'm already looking forward to visiting again, as well as the following internship through Connect-123 in Dublin!

Internships in Barcelona

Brooke Hauser

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Nova Southeastern University
12 November 2019

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to complete my Child Life Practicum with Connect-123 in Cape Town, South Africa. I was able to not only expand my knowledge in the field of child life but I was able to expand my experience. The opportunities I was given to support not only children through their unique healthcare journeys, but their family members as well, gave myself the confidence and skills I needed to continue to pursue the wonderful child life field. The most memorable day I had included, preparing and supporting a 6-year-old girl for day surgery. With the guidance of my amazing preceptors, I witnessed the little girl's fear, stress, and anxiety slowly start to decrease. On top of all of the incredible experiences I had within the hospitals, I managed to meet the most supportive and wonderful group of girls that I still talk to every single day. We had the best times together, taking advantage of all the trips Connect-123 offered to us, like the beautiful Safari weekend. Cape Town, South Africa will always have such a special place in my heart, and of course all the incredible people I shared this life-changing experience with. I know I will be back in beautiful Cape Town one day!

Internships in Cape Town

Sarah Eiland

Social Work Intern | Cape Town
Rhodes College
17 October 2019

This summer I had the unique opportunity to work for an NGO that aims to uplift the homeless population of Cape Town by providing meaningful job opportunities, a monthly income, and social work services. The NGO currently operates three urban gardens, a street sweeping operation in the tourist-heavy area of town, and recently opened a safe house and rehab facility outside of the city. During my internship, I had the chance to fill a variety of roles. Some days I swept with the homeless men and talked to them about their life stories. Other days I filled the role of a garden supervisor or completed reports for stakeholders. My project in the latter half of my time in Cape Town consisted of me collecting a visual story to share with donors and for the archival integrity of the organization. It culminated in an event where our pictures were hung, beneficiaries spoke, and all 45 of us in attendance ate from a giant pot of soup I made in my small apartment. My most memorable day was my first day when I visited the home of a notorious South African prison gang leader. Working with the NGO exposed me to troubles and people I would never have encountered otherwise. I learned about homelessness, apartheid, current South African political affairs, drug addiction, South African gangs, Cape Town crime, and so much more just through my daily interactions with people who are affected by these issues. My internship turned out to be much more field experience than I anticipated, but I would never have gained the knowledge and personal growth that I acquired through any other type of internship. I am forever grateful for this life-changing opportunity. It has already changed how I look at my future. I will surely think of my time in Cape Town and the lessons I’ve learned for years to come.

Internships in Cape Town

Abbey Vacca

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Edgewood College
16 October 2019

This experience in Cape Town, South Africa was a practicum of a lifetime. Truly would recommend to anyone interested in pursuing the field of child life.
Not only do you get to observe medical preparation with children in another country and build upon your cultural diversity knowledge, but you build a group of professional teammates that I believe you can turn to for anything in your future career.
Not only do you get daily, real-life experiences to broaden your knowledge and experience of child life, but you have tons of time to explore this beautiful city and all it has to offer.
I will forever be thankful for the experiences I had, the knowledge I gained, and the friendships I built.

Internships in Cape Town

Morgan Braun

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Central Washington University
15 October 2019

Reflecting upon my time in Cape Town, South Africa has been bittersweet! Following this amazing opportunity, I can say whole-heartedly that I do not have any regrets about committing to a month abroad for a child life practicum. Through this practicum, I felt that I received an extremely well-rounded and layered learning experience. As a student, I was quickly immersed in a variety of pediatric health centers that allowed for a great opportunity to observe preceptors engaging in therapeutic play and procedure prep while quickly turning around to providing me with the personal opportunity to practice these skills under supervision. This truly was a practicum that provides students with great exposure and space for doing much more than simply observing and taking notes; you are truly supported and encouraged to be hands-on and try new and existing skills in a safe and supportive environment. The children and families you meet while in these health care settings help you learn, and also show you why so many of us are aspiring to be child life specialist. Even with plenty of time spent in healthcare settings it does not mean there is any lost time exploring the motherland. Connect-123 hosted many AMAZING events while allowing a very gracious amount of time to explore the culture for what it truly is. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and fly across the world to visit one of the most amazing places in the world while learning and growing in the child life profession; you will NOT regret it. My life is forever changed through the many amazing women I grew close to and the culture that helped me become enlightened in both my personal and professional life.

Internships in Cape Town

Danielle Zacharias

Social Work Intern | Cape Town
Florida Atlantic University
12 October 2019

My time in Cape Town was nothing short of amazing. I made friends from all over the United States, along with those from South Africa who I am still in touch with today. I was able to explore an absolutely beautiful country while getting work experience at an internship of my choice. The staff of Connect-123 are there every step of the way, making the process of traveling to a new country much easier than expected. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and everything I learned on my trip.

Internships in Cape Town

Lindsay Hohlbaugh

Child Life Program | Cape Town
University of Pittsburgh
11 October 2019

Cape Town was nothing I could ever imagine. It taught me not only about myself but the capability I have with my future careers and goals in life. Being a part of Connect-123 made it much easier to adjust to the culture change and experiences I was about to endure. The people were extremely helpful and welcoming to all questions and new ideas. Being a part of the Child Life Practicum allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and be open to new opportunities. The child life specialists recruited for the practicum sessions were nothing short of amazing with the knowledge and background experience they have had within the child life profession. Not a day goes by that I am not thinking about Cape Town and the incredible people I met during this journey. Connect-123 is a fantastic organization that is determined to provide the best education and resources for their students and professionals. I'll be back soon, Cape Town! Cheers!

Internships in Cape Town

Ashley Camden

Child Life Program | Cape Town
University of California Santa Barbara
9 October 2019

During September, Connect-123 provided me with an unforgettable experience to complete a child life practicum abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. This opportunity was completely out of my comfort zone, but I was so excited to take a leap of faith. I was able to work in multiple children’s hospitals that are very different from the United States to gain valuable healthcare experience and truly see cultural diversity between people, hospitals and language barriers. I had the privilege to see play as a universal language that helped breakdown those barriers and any stress. I saw medical play being used to let the patients explore and ease the fears a hospital can bring. The practicum gave me the tools I needed to succeed in my career as a future child life specialist and I was given the opportunity to see a wide variety of patients on different wards. I was definitely challenged but gained so much confidence throughout my time in Cape Town. I formed relationships with patients and their families and saw what struggles they go through each day. We also had ample time to explore the city and really experience South African culture. I learned a great deal about myself and the child life profession while in Cape Town and found amazing friends that I will cherish forever.

Internships in Cape Town

Brooke Frix

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Eastern Washington University
9 October 2019

My time in Cape Town, South Africa for my Child Life Practicum was like no other. I am not even sure where to even begin about my journey in Africa. From applying to this practicum, to getting accepted, I was over the moon excited. It was definitely a big step out of my comfort zone to get on a plane and go all the way to Africa by myself without knowing anyone. I was definitely stretched in so many ways there! I was able to rotate between three different hospitals, learn about the culture and work with children of all ages. During that time, I was able to experience hands-on and sharpen my skills in Child Life. I confirmed on this trip, that Child Life is definitely what I am called to do! Outside of the hospital, I was able to go and explore the beautiful city of Cape Town and do things I would not have been able to do in the United States! So... If this opportunity opens up for you, I say go for it! Your life will forever be changed!

Internships in Cape Town

Alex Abelkis

Health Care Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
2 October 2019

During my internship in Shanghai, I learned so much about who I am and what I value. I am currently a senior at Earlham College and hope to go into nursing after I graduate. I was welcomed by the hospital community with open arms and was lucky to learn about many facets of the Chinese medical system. Through my time in Shanghai, I remembered what it was like to feel like an outsider. While I have been to China in the past, I do not know the language well so it was difficult to fully integrate. However, I deeply enjoyed meeting new people, traveling to nearby locations on weekends, and trying new foods! Thank you Connect-123 for this opportunity!

Internships in Shanghai

Carleton College Student

Health Care Intern | Shanghai
Carleton College
26 September 2019

Interning abroad with Connect-123 was an incredible experience. During my 8 weeks in China, I was able to grow both personally and professionally. I made great connections with my co-workers at the hospital and other students on the Connect-123 program. Living and working abroad in a country so different from my own was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and explore a new city. The Connect-123 staff was very supportive and responsive to my needs. My internship was a combination of shadowing doctors and nurses as well as seeing surgeries. My experience with Mandarin really helped me engage with staff at the hospital and allowed me to help out with patient care, editing medical reports, and proof-reading hospital documents. My supervisor was flexible with my schedule and hours, which gave me the opportunity to explore not only Shanghai, but also other parts of China. I am so grateful that I got to live and work in such an interesting city!

Internships in Shanghai

Jacqueline Howard

Animation Intern | Shanghai
University of Southern California
22 September 2019

My internship was a wealth of knowledge. I was excited to go to work every day and learn something new. I ended up working at two companies within the same office, where both internships gave me the opportunity to better hone my digital skills as well as go on live action sets for clients such as the NBA and Self Media Fashion Company. They required that I have both a positive and driven outlook as well as communication and problem-solving skills. I was often asked to work on several projects at once and prioritize accordingly. My experience at these companies wasn’t purely professional. They treated me like family and often asked as many questions about me and my culture as I did them. One of the things I noticed right away was their willingness to speak with me. We went to lunch together almost every day and they answered any and all questions I had about work, Shanghai, or life in general. I also became infinitely better at my Mandarin in terms of listening comprehension and gained more confidence in verbal communication. Through the program I gained a lot of valuable experience that I could put towards my classes and my career. Using programs such as Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop consistently, allowed me to find better ways to utilize these platforms. In addition to that, I made many incredible contacts that are open to me working with them in the future. I can in turn share those contacts with other creators and build a better network for myself and for others. Through Connect-123, there was also the great benefit of experiencing Chinese culture first hand. It's imperative that the knowledge we gained about the work and social life be shared in order to encourage more collaboration across borders. This program not only allows students the internship experience they need on their resume, but also a better understanding of global business and culture. It was the best experience I've ever had at an internship and abroad.

Internships in Shanghai
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