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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Nahom Zwede

Heath Care Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
28 August 2019

Being an intern in one of the most famous international hospitals in Shanghai, China has exposed me to various learning opportunities. As a first-year college student who is pursuing medicine as a career, I had a lot to learn about the field and explore a variety of departments within the field. Learning about how medicine is practiced in different cultures other than the United States is something that I truly appreciate because I believe that it gives me an insight on different types of patient care. Working with physicians and other staff members at the hospital has helped me grow as an individual and gave me a clear vision of what practicing medicine is like. It is mainly because of this experience that I am now able to finally say that medicine is definitely the career path I want to take. Connect-123 has helped me throughout the entire internship from finding housing for the summer to making sure that I got involved in the new things that were happening in the beautiful city of Shanghai. I also made so many great connections with incredible people from all over the world. Thank you Connect-123!

Internships in Shanghai

Rachel Zich

Child Life Program | Cape Town
University of Missouri
12 August 2019

My child life practicum was absolutely amazing! It has given me the opportunity to take the next step towards my goal of becoming a Child Life Specialist and it was amazing to have done it in such a unique, diverse country. I learned so much about not only South Africa and the people who live there and their culture, but I also learned a lot about myself on this trip. I stepped out of my comfort zone and did things I never would have imagined myself doing like shark care diving and ATVing. I got to spend my time at two amazing and completely different hospitals while working under inspiring supervisors. The friends I have made on this trip have had a huge impact on me and I know we will continue to be friends even though we are from all over. I would recommend doing this program to anyone wanting to complete a child life practicum. This was one of the best experiences I have ever done in my life!

Internships in Cape Town

Camille Prairie

Medical Intern | Buenos Aires
Drexel University
12 August 2019

My six months as an intern with Connect-123 was an incredible learning experience. I met so many wonderful people at my internship, in Buenos Aires and around Argentina. I have returned to the US with skills I can carry with me for the rest of my life, as well as long-lasting friendships and amazing memories. My time at my internship as well as in Buenos Aires was eye-opening, fun, and challenged me to grow as a person and I think everyone should do something similar at some point. I would absolutely recommend Connect-123 and of course, Buenos Aires. I can’t wait to go back!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Megan Bennett

Communications Intern | Shanghai
Earlham College
8 August 2019

This summer, I and a few other classmates from my college went to Shanghai for various internships. It was a great group, and we became closer to one another as we experienced Shanghai together. For my internship, I worked with a public relations and communications start-up, located at a WeWork facility. Being in a WeWork space was one of my favorite parts of the internship because it’s an environment where so many different start-ups are working on tons of interesting projects all in the same building. I helped write press releases, attend conferences, and edit articles. Shanghai is something special. It’s so busy and beautiful. I met many local and international friends, and I realized how easy it is to do so. Chinese food is my favorite and in Shanghai, I was not disappointed by meals! Consider this program even if you don’t know any Chinese. In Shanghai, I got by from only knowing English because many people were bilingual and some public spaces had English translated signs. But still try to learn some basic Mandarin, as even a little bit can go a long way. Overall, I left knowing a lot more about PR, international start-ups, Chinese culture, and independent travel than I did before. This experience even convinced me to consider earning a Master’s degree abroad. Many thanks to Connect-123 for the support along the way. I especially enjoyed our many group dinners and excursion to explore Nanjing!

Internships in Shanghai

Hannah Marsh

Public Policy Intern | Buenos Aires
Michigan State University
7 August 2019

My time in Buenos Aires was absolutely amazing. I interned for a municipal government, and I had the opportunity to write two draft bills to present to the local council. This internship was a great way for me to refine my Spanish skills while learning more about how local government works. My working hours were very flexible, which allowed me to do a lot of traveling outside Buenos Aires. I was able to build lasting relationships with my co-workers, host family, friends that I met through this program, which is probably the biggest highlight of this journey for me. Being abroad isn't easy, but it's amazing how much you'll grow and learn in a little over two months. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Nothing about this journey is as perfect as it may look in the pictures, so keep an open mind and be ready to learn from your mistakes - as long as you do that you'll have a great time!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Marko Jurkovich

Finance Intern | Buenos Aires
Carleton University
4 August 2019

My eight weeks in Buenos Aires were more rewarding than I could have hoped for, in no small part due to Connect-123. I interned at a small women's microfinance organization, to which I was matched through Connect-123. I came in with much uncertainty, lacking technical skills and high-level Spanish, so I was concerned about my role in my internship site. However, a great work environment and amazing coworkers made coming to work every day a privilege. I learned so much during my work experience while also making tangible contributions to my organization. Connect-123-led cultural events also helped fellow interns and I get a feel for the city, especially during the first few weeks. Through my time in Buenos Aires, I was able to make connections, improve my Spanish, better clarify career goals, and experience life in a vibrant, unique city. Additionally, it was a singular opportunity to improve interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, while growing personally. To those considering interning via Connect-123 or in Buenos Aires, I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Carla Simone

Education and Teaching Intern | Buenos Aires
Michigan State University
2 August 2019

My two-month internship in Buenos Aires exceeded all of my expectations. I had the opportunity to help teach English at a school with grades first through seventh. As a Spanish education major and Teaching English as a Second Language minor I am very interested in languages and wanted hands-on experience in a school. From working one on one with students to teaching lessons, my education internship allowed me to gain real-world experience of what everyday life is like in a classroom. Aside from my internship, Buenos Aires is a great place. There is always something to do, from going to museums, shopping at fairs, to hanging out with friends in plazas there is something for everyone. This program is a great way to be immersed in another language and culture and I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Internships in Buenos Aires

Erika Morgan

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Nova Southeastern University
1 August 2019

I am delighted to share my child life practicum abroad experience through the Connect-123 program. I was initially hesitant to complete my practicum abroad, because of the idea of being in an unfamiliar place with people I didn't know. Upon my first day arriving, I didn't feel alone; Connect-123 staff, along with my supervisors, and other program students provided me with a great sense of comfort and safety throughout my Cape Town journey. Along the way, we were all able to learn from one another. I was thrilled to be able to observe and learn from some of the most educated and well known Child Life Specialists from around the world. The knowledge and skills that I have gained are remarkable and I am forever grateful for the opportunities. I must say the variety of hands-on experiences such as the time spent within various clinics, observing an MRI or surgery preparation was my absolute favorite portion of the practicum! Throughout my practicum, I was pushed to step out of my comfort zone and set goals knowing that I would have the support and advice of my supervisors to assist me in accomplishing them. I tried so many new foods and activities that I am proud to say I've done! If you are looking for an outstanding practicum that can help you grow not only professionally but on a personal level as well, THIS IS PERFECT FOR YOU! This practicum has taught me so much about cultural differences and how those differences should bring us together instead of apart because differences don't mean one way is right or wrong. Being able to experience and witness the "Ubuntu" culture that South Africa strongly possess was an incredible experience. I am confident in the skills and information that I was taught has prepared me for the next step within my Child Life career and I can not wait to continue my journey! Cape Town and Connect-123 I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a rewarding and unforgettable experience and I hope to return someday!

Internships in Cape Town

Kelsey Browne

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Texas Christian University
30 July 2019

My child life experience in Cape Town, South Africa was nothing short of incredible. When I found out I was accepted into the program I was beyond excited to grow within the field of child life and gain a more global perspective of the profession. During my practicum, I had the opportunity to work in several children’s hospitals around the Cape Town area. Each hospital was unique within itself which further helped me practice my various child life skills. Under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist, I was given autonomy to build upon my strengths and weaknesses. There are plenty of opportunities for observation of the CCLS’s and other child life students. Collaboration was highly encouraged in order to create hands-on therapeutic interventions that were developmentally appropriate for the child and their family. Every day was filled with unique opportunities for me to gain competence both personally and professionally. I was further able to see play used as a universal language in order to communicate with children. A nontraditional practicum experience outside of the United States opened my eyes more to the benefits of child life. In addition to the work, we still had a great amount of time to explore the area we were living in for the month. There are many amazing experiences that Cape Town has to offer. If you are doing this practicum or are interested, I suggest taking advantage of any and every opportunity you get whether that be in the hospital setting or outside in the local community. It is important to immerse yourself in the culture you are living and working in. I have gained friendships with my practicum group as well as the CCLS who supervised us. I was able to overcome obstacles and step out of my comfort zone. I feel more confident in my abilities as an aspiring child life specialist. I cannot wait to see where this road will take me and I know I will forever reflect on my time in Cape Town throughout my career. If you have the opportunity to do this practicum, I am confident you will have no regrets.

Internships in Cape Town

Taylor Thiessen

Youth Development Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
25 July 2019

Connect-123 is a phenomenal way to experience another country.  It is an immersive opportunity where you not only learn about the place you are in by hearing about it, but also by seeing it and experiencing it while working in an internship.  My internship showed me so much about the South African political landscape and connected me with people who understand the issues, experience and work against these problems daily, and have mature and thought-out ideas to answer any questions I had.  Connect-123's support and structure allowed me to focus on what I was doing rather than worrying about the changes from being in a completely new place.  Thanks C123!

Internships in Cape Town

Ellie Davidson

Education and Teaching Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
24 July 2019

Connect-123 has provided me with an amazing experience exploring South Africa this summer. I was able to learn so much about South Africa’s education system through my internship at an education NGO, as well as see parts of Cape Town that I would not have seen without this opportunity. Connect-123 did an amazing job of planning fun and interesting excursions for us; the people at Connect-123 are so friendly and made me feel more at ease and supported during my time in South Africa. Thank you for an incredible 2 months in Cape Town!

Internships in Cape Town

Alex Woodward

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
Washington and Lee University
23 July 2019

My time in Cape Town has been incredible. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the events and excursions put on by Connect-123, as well as the independent exploration I have been able to do. Life has such ease in Cape Town. My internship was incredible and I have come to love all of my co-workers. I highly suggest stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. From foods or activities to your future internship placement, try something outside of your comfort zone. Cape Town is one of the most culturally diverse places on the globe, experience it. When in Cape Town make sure to visit the places recommended by Connect-123 and also discover your own places. My friends and I rarely frequented the same place more than twice. My time was so enriching and I feel like I have gained an irreplaceable experience. My internship helped me to grow my knowledge of the inner workings of small non-profits. I have worked in so many different areas and the organizational focus on women has inspired and assured me that marginalized groups are being seen and assisted. Connect-123 did an amazing job connecting and facilitating my internship. They are so accommodating and professional. I highly suggest Connect-123 to anyone looking for a global experience!

Internships in Cape Town

Yadeth Estrada

Public Relations Intern | Barcelona
University of Colorado at Boulder
23 July 2019

I was always really hesitant about studying abroad because I knew I would miss home, but I also didn’t want to let that stop me from getting the experience. I did some research on the different programs the University of Colorado Boulder had to offer and I came across the 8-week internship in Barcelona. I had heard many great things about Barcelona so I decided to apply. Once I got accepted, CU paired me up with Connect-123, and I met Zuzana. Zuzana was very helpful from the start. She made sure I felt comfortable and that I was getting what I wanted out of the experience every step of the way. She managed to get me an internship at a PR firm where I was able to further develop my skills, and also learn new ones along the way. I was able to learn a lot in the short time that I was there. When I wasn’t at work, I was out exploring and roaming the different neighborhoods of Barcelona. There was always so much to do and so much to see! My stay in Barcelona was an experience that I will remember forever. I was able to work on my career, meet new people and make new friends, try new foods, travel, and just learn how life works in different cultures. Even though I did get homesick from time-to-time, I’m sad that it’s over but I hope to come back soon!

Internships in Barcelona

Grace Judd

Chemical Engineering Intern | Dublin
Ohio University
22 July 2019

Choosing to intern in a foreign country was a great experience for me. I was able to gain professional experience while having the unique opportunity of meeting people from various cultures and backgrounds. I interned in an engineering lab at UCD. My co-workers were all very diverse. We came from all over the world, but worked together to solve a common problem. This was very valuable for me, as it is an accurate representation of how the real world will work. I learned so much from these individuals. Whether that be technical skills or where to get the best ice cream in Dublin, they were always willing to help me out. My work schedule consisted of a 40 hour work week, but my supervisor allowed me to work longer days and take half days if I wanted to travel. I took advantage of this opportunity to visit places in Ireland, including the Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, Glaway, Belfast, and the Giant's Causeway. I was also able to take a few weekend trips to London and Paris. Even with taking the opportunities to travel, I still got to experience Ireland. Connect-123 put on events throughout my internship that allowed us to experience the Irish culture and get to know the other interns. This helped provide a smooth transition into the way of life in Dublin. I would recommend speaking with your supervisor before coming to Dublin to get a feel of what the expectations and projects will be, so the work transition is smooth too. Overall, I am very glad that I chose to intern abroad this summer, and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity.

Internships in Dublin

Taylor Paglino

Marketing Intern | Barcelona
SUNY at Oneonta
17 July 2019

The opportunity to intern abroad in Barcelona was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. During my time here, I was able to grow tremendously both personally and professionally. Connect 123 helped facilitate my internship at a digital health company as a marketing intern. Zuzana took into great consideration my interest in healthcare and introduced me to a company where I learned an incredible amount and saw in real-time how a successful company is executed internally. My internship allowed me to think outside of the box. I was given several creative projects to work on and introduced to tools and programs a college course does not necessarily provide. I loved going into work every day and feeling a part of something great. Aside from my internship, these three months were the perfect way to travel. I explored the incredible city of Barcelona inside and out as well as other countries such as Croatia, Italy, Morocco, and Prague. I'd say that the two biggest takeaways from my time in Barcelona are the independence and confidence I gained from living and working in a foreign city and the skills I took away from my internship. Being abroad brings such value by showing how the "other world" works. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have had to appreciate other cultures, languages, gain an entirely new perspective and overcome challenges different than ever before. This would not have been possible without the support and guidance from the Connect-123 team. Truly an experience of a lifetime!

Internships in Barcelona

Alexis Zvanut

Child Life Program | Cape Town
University of Missouri
16 July 2019

During the month of June, Connect-123 gave me the incredible opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to complete a child life practicum. My time in Cape Town was filled with joy and a lot of laughter. I prepared children for what to expect while in the hospital, learned the benefits of therapeutic and medical play, built relationships with children and their families, and learned the true value of play and how it is a universal language. The children and medical staff that I met in Cape Town completely changed my life and I will never forget the impact that they had on me. The staff were so welcoming and the children had the biggest hearts and the biggest smiles. Throughout my time in Cape Town, I grew as a child life student and experienced the impact that a child life specialist can have on a child and their family during a very scary and stressful time. During my free time, I went sightseeing, hiking, paragliding, shark cage diving, and went on a safari. I am so glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and traveled to Cape Town. I will never forget this eye-opening experience.

Internships in Cape Town

Karina Taveras

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Nova Southeastern University
15 July 2019

My child life practicum in Cape Town, South Africa was truly a life-changing experience. As an aspiring culturally competent professional, when I was provided the opportunity to complete my practicum abroad, I didn’t think twice! Throughout the month, I observed our preceptors provide procedural support and developmentally appropriate medical and therapeutic play in the hospital setting. Then, I was able to use the tools I learned through observation to implement those practices on my own. I was able to fine-tune my clinical skills as a child life student and expand my knowledge working with a culturally diverse population. Upon returning back home, I feel that much more confident in myself as a future child life specialist due to the unique experiences that Cape Town offered me. We also had plenty of free time to explore the beautiful city that is Cape Town! There is so much to do and see that will make you fall in love with South Africa. Thank you Connect-123 for this incredible opportunity! I HIGHLY recommend this program to child life students! It will be one of the best decisions of your life!

Internships in Cape Town

Rebecca Willis

Law Intern | Barcelona
University of Glasgow
12 July 2019

As a philosophy student planning to convert to law, I was keen to gain some professional experience in the field. I had struggled to find similar opportunities at home in the UK and was stuck in a sort of ‘Catch-22’ situation - to gain experience, experience was necessary. Connect-123 offered exactly what I was looking for! With their connections in Barcelona, they were able to offer me a two month internship at an immigration law firm. I have learnt so much in my time here and have been given a lot of responsibility, despite speaking hardly any Spanish. Additionally, Connect-123 has made the transition to living in a new country much easier. They have organized many social events and it has been easy to make friends with other interns in the city. I am grateful for the experience that Connect-123 enabled me to have, and the valuable first step it has given me in setting up my future career.

Internships in Barcelona

Upinder Bahra

Architecture Intern | Barcelona
Coventry University
11 July 2019

First of all, thank you Connect-123 for allowing me to excel in a subject that I am very passionate about, in the most perfect city. Connect-123 gave me an incredible opportunity to complete an architecture internship abroad in Barcelona, Spain. This experience has not only aided me in my journey as a university student but has also molded me into a wiser, independent and engaged individual, allowing my personal and professional growth to blossom. This adventure has been an eye-opening and a memorable one. The frequent excursions held by Connect-123 were really successful in bringing the intern group closer, enabling us to learn more about each other. Being very fortunate to have met so many amazing individuals in Barcelona, I have had an incredible insight into many cultures, social habits and ways of living, not only from Spain but from all over the world. For example, spending much of my time with the interns from the US, I was continuously learning more about their background and history, even had the joy of celebrating the 4th of July with them at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona. Being involved in such a challenging and demanding industry in this vibrant city put me at a great advantage. On my first day, I was already working to produce architectural plans for a client. As I progressed, I soon had to prepare architectural drawings which I discussed with the team in our project meetings. An incredible hands-on experience, I was able to be part of the design process, working on the initial drawings, to seeing the actual construction of the projects during our site visits. I am grateful to have contributed to the works of a range of buildings across Northern Spain, making this internship a truly invaluable experience.

Internships in Barcelona

Erika Medina

Interior Design Intern | Barcelona
Western Carolina University
9 July 2019

Ever since I was a little girl I was curious about everything and everyone around me. My curiosity continued to expand the older I got and my mom is the type of mom to always push me out of my comfort zone and experience new things in life. Those new things consisted of many things, from moving 10 hours away from home to attend university in a location I’ve never been to, to traveling overseas to Europe for the first time with my class in 2016. Ever since 2016 I haven't been able to get enough of Europe. My mom, yet again, pushed me back out of my comfort zone in 2017 and got me interested in doing my mandatory internship abroad! I didn’t know what to expect! I was so nervous but very excited because I thought, “do I want to stay in America and play it safe, or do I want to take a chance and it could be amazing”? So I went to Spain for the summer and met so many new life-long friends and a lovely homestay mother. My internship was an eye-opening experience to my future and who I wanted to become in life. Being overseas, away from home is an opportunity I wish everyone could experience. Being away from home in another country, in a different time zone made me realize; life flies by and you waste so much time living your life the way you think it should be lived, instead of living your life the way you want to live it. After my first internship I realized I needed more. I wanted to learn more in my industry and really get to the core of finding what I really want to do in life. Instead of just working back in Chicago for the summer of 2017 I decided to do another internship abroad. My mom then found Connect-123 and told me all about the program and I knew this was my second chance, another step closer to finding out what I wanted to do in life. Since the beginning Connect-123 has been nothing but friendly, helpful and understanding; it is the type of program that wants you to achieve, be successful and find exactly what you’re wanting. Because of Connect-123, I’ve gotten closer to reaching my goal. Through Connect-123 I’ve gained a new amount of confidence, memories, amazing new life-long friends and connections. Choosing Barcelona for an internship and joining the Connect-123 family is something I highly encourage and recommend to all my young curious friends out there. Do an internship overseas, do something that takes you out of your comfort zone, do something that simultaneously scares you a little bit but excites you at the same time. It’s so worth it and it does wonders for your growing soul and curious mind. The impact this one decision can have can be life-changing! Traveling, working and learning overseas is an opportunity so few get, so if you have that chance, take it!

Internships in Barcelona
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