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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Jeyzon Fernandez

Journalism Intern | Barcelona
University of Barcelona
8 July 2019

Looking back when I lived in San Diego, California, I still remember walking to my bedroom on a daily basis, sitting at my computer desk, sighing and staring at the enormous poster I had on the wall – it was a colorful world map. It was there to remind, motivate and inspire me to go for the things that I truly wanted – to return to Spain, travel, continue learning with a keen curiosity, self-educating/evolving, connecting and seeking understanding of other cultures and traditions. It was a difficult choice and challenge to go back to Spain, especially, this time, as an older guy. But I've learned that in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. That simple paper on the wall, that world map, kept me on track; it help me stay focus on my goals and to visualize the possibilities – that it was doable, reachable. Fast-forward to now, I have reached that goal. And I couldn’t have done it without the help and continuous support of the superb, professional and friendly duo from Connect-123, Zuzana Jurasikova and Mireia Vila. I’m grateful for Connect-123, the journalism/translator/editor internship opportunity with Barcelona, and for the new friendships I’ve made with other student “Connectors.” I’m aiming to keep growing personally and professionally in the beautiful city of Barcelona. I’ve no regrets in the choice that I made in joining the Connect-123 family and picking Barcelona as the place to pursue my career objectives. For any young soul out there who is contemplating on doing an internship in a foreign country that calls your attention, just do it. It's well worth it! I strongly recommend and believe in investing in your own experience and education because the impact can be of a positive life change, an unforgettable adventure, a transformative and eye-opening journey. In other words: priceless.

Internships in Barcelona

Sarah Tatchi

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Eastern Tennessee State University
1 July 2019

My child life experience in Cape Town, South Africa was amazing! When I was given the opportunity to do my practicum aboard I didn't think twice, I took the opportunity right away. Connect-123 assisted in helping me gain knowledge on my career choice as a future child life specialist. I visited several children's hospitals and had the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced child life specialist. Through observations, I learned how play is a universal language as well as the importance of therapeutic/medical play and procedure preparations. The knowledge I had gained from observations gave me the opportunity to put what I had learned into practice when working with children at hospitals. Being able to solve those situations helped me step out of my comfort zone; it made me grow as an individual during my stay in Cape Town. It made me realize I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Connect-123 gave me the chance to go aboard and expand on something I am passionate about. I feel if I hadn't taken that opportunity, I won't be where I am today. When an opportunity is presented to you, take it because you don't know how it is going to change you as an individual. Thank you Connect-123 for letting me grow.  

Internships in Cape Town

Mustafa Mobarez

Business Intern | Barcelona
University of Colorado at Boulder
1 July 2019

Barcelona was one of the most eye-opening and greatest experiences that I have ever had. This is all due to Connect-123 and their amazing team. Through this program, I grew both personally and professionally. Sure, it is very hard to be in a different country that you don’t speak the language, not knowing the cultural practices and being away for two months. Connect-123 makes this process so easy that you don’t feel like you are away from home. Your home away from home, the (accommodations) has students from all over the world. It is the best way to learn and experience different cultures. For example, my roommate was from Russia and I have learned so much about their language, culture, and delicious foods. Overall, these experiences by far were the best part of college experiences for me. My internship allowed me to think outside of the box. I learned so much about international business by using software and tools that not necessarily being used in school. Overall, this program allowed to be built a strong network both personally and professionally with people from all around the world. Also, I was able to travel to other countries on holidays or weekends which helped me to understand and live with different people/culture. Looking back, this was the best decision that I have ever made and it was the best part of my life.

Internships in Barcelona

Madeline Frank

Environmental Intern | Dublin
Drexel University
29 June 2019

Connect-123 gave me the opportunity to gain valuable career-building experience, travel to a new country, and meet wonderful people throughout the journey! I could not be more thankful for the months I spent in Dublin, Ireland as a research assistant in the botany department at UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. First, my work experience allowed me to gain confidence in a field that compliments my major. I was able to add a list of new skills to my resume and develop connections with professors and students who supported me along the way. I volunteered Monday through Friday, but even so, my hours allowed me time to enjoy the city afterwards. Connect-123 hosted many events to attend, such as a tour of Jameson Distillery and a dinner at the Hairy Lemon (all of which began after working hours). Additionally, every weekend, I was able to branch out and explore other areas in Ireland. I absolutely loved visiting Galway and the Cliffs of Moher! Events and trips, such as these, allowed me to spend time with the other connectors. It was so nice to have these people to make the experience feel comfortable and easy. It can be difficult adjusting to a new location, especially outside of your own country, but this program makes the transition welcoming, with endless support. Thank you Connect-123 for the experience of a lifetime and thank you to everyone I have met! I could not have done this without you! :)

Internships in Dublin

Madeline Brent

Medical Research Intern | Dublin
Drexel University
27 June 2019

My internship in Dublin was wonderful. I worked at Trinity University in a biobank archiving and processing samples. The work environment was a very easy transition. Everyone was welcoming and genuinely wanted to get to know me. I learned so many skills from my job that I am able to take back with me and apply to new jobs in the future. Something amazing about interning abroad is also meeting people from many different places. I interned with people from India, Luxembourg, Germany, and so many others. It was fun to learn side by side with other students and see how different places around the world learn techniques differently. Having an internship abroad was an incredible opportunity. Living in a foreign country and having to experience normal life in a culture other than your own is an experience unlike any other. Vacationing is not the same thing as living. Living in Dublin caused me to go to the grocery store, take public transportation, and experience the locals in a way I wouldn’t have been able to on a short trip. Connect-123 helped ease this transition. I was given an orientation with everything I needed including a list of all grocery stores, transportation information, and local attractions. During my stay in Dublin we had many events that brought participants together and gave us a community. Overall I not only learned about a new location, but I made Dublin a home.

Internships in Dublin

Ivanna Olvera

Human Rights Intern | Dublin
Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla
13 June 2019

As an International Relations student, I was looking for the best option for an internship abroad. I’m interested in global issues such as international law, nationality, migration and human rights. Thanks to Connect-123, I secured a placement in a non-profit organization that assists immigrants and refugees with naturalization in Dublin, Ireland. This experience is by far one of the best I’ve had as it helped me grow professionally and personally. First of all, I was able to work in a multicultural environment. Each of my colleagues had a different nationality and it helped me discover new ways of working. Apart from that, I put into practice and strengthened the knowledge I acquired during my studies, as I had to learn about Ireland’s immigration law and international treaties regarding asylum seekers and refugees. On a personal level, working with refugees and immigrants who are experiencing really difficult situations, made me realize that we need to raise consciousness when treating them in our countries. Every day they taught me things about life and to stay positive no matter what. Connect-123 was there before, during and after my internship. They picked me up at the airport and got me to my place; they were in contact with me to find out how my internship was going and put together social events for interns. I invite all young people to live this experience and to travel internationally to do an internship.

Internships in Dublin

Emily Heiser

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
St Joseph's College
10 May 2019

I will always look back on my time in Cape Town as a very special time in my life, and I owe it all to Connect-123! I had just graduated and wanted to travel abroad somewhere for a while but also build up my experience in my studied field. I heard good things about Connect-123 from my friend and decided to apply. The people at Connect-123 were very responsive during the whole process of applying and finding me an internship. They couldn’t have picked a better placement for me! My internship gave me real-life experience that will help me in future jobs and just in life in general. Connect-123 also held very fun and exciting events for the other interns which gave us all a chance to get to know each other and explore other things in South Africa. The people in this program have become some of my very best friends. I treasure the people I have met through Connect-123 and my internship.

There is no place else like Cape Town, it is an incredible place to live; from its natural beauty to the welcoming people, you will never get tired of it. Our weekends were packed with us trying to do everything in Cape Town but it was impossible because the list is endless. I cannot wait to go back there and reconnect with my coworkers, the people at Connect-123, and all of the other friends I made during my three months there!

Internships in Cape Town

Rikke Bangsborg

Healthcare Intern | Buenos Aires
Københavns Professionshøjskole
23 April 2019

During my internship in Buenos Aires, I learned a lot about myself and my professional interests. I met great friends from all over the world and was able to travel further to Uruguay and Brazil. However, the most important aspect I take away from this internship is valuable knowledge for my potential future career interest. I have been exposed to an environment and culture far from what I know, and it has allowed me to build confidence and become comfortable within my field. I have developed various crucial skills, such as intercultural sensitivity and health-oriented communication, as well as improved my ability to apply these skills in an appropriate setting. Altogether, during my time abroad in Buenos Aires, I have been able to strengthen my education and gain real-life experience, which will be essential assets in my future profession.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Julian White-Davis

Journalism Intern | Buenos Aires
Carleton College
16 April 2019

I’ve spent the last six months living in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Connect-123 and can honestly say that I have zero regrets about choosing them as a program to guide me through my journey here. I’m 19 years old and was fresh out of high school when I arrived in the “Paris of South America” to begin my gap year practicing journalism before attending Carleton College next year. From the business that they found for me to intern at, to the events that they organized throughout my stay, Connect-123 crafted an experience that I will never forget. The newspaper that I interned at provided me with the skills and knowledge to move forward in my career with confidence. They gave me the opportunity to write over 50 articles about news, politics, and lifestyle going on in Argentina. Through my coworkers, I got connected with writers at Vice and was able to publish numerous photographs online! To say the least, it has been a life-changing experience. In addition to the professional training that I received, Connect-123 also provided support on a personal and social front. As someone who had never lived alone before, the prospect of living alone for the first time in a city of almost three million people was daunting. However, the events put on by Connect-123 with fellow interns at other businesses made me feel more at home and provided me with a group of close friends from around the world that I am still in contact with today. From street art tours, to music concerts, to nights of pool at old neighborhood bars, the events also gave me a chance to get to the know the city from the perspective of both a tourist and a local. Thanks to Connect-123 and their services, I have learned more about myself and the world in six months than I have in years and years of my life back home. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my time here in Buenos Aires and now feel more prepared than ever to take on the challenges of the next chapter of my life.

Internships in Buenos Aires

Jordan Trico

Education Intern | Barcelona
12 April 2019

My experience with Connect-123 in Barcelona was absolutely wonderful. I had the resources and contacts available to ease my transition into living and working in a big, vibrant city like Barcelona. For my internship, I worked at a local NGO five days a week, teaching English to young students as well as working as a teacher’s assistant. The organization could not have been more warm and welcoming; in my three months there, I became very close to all my co-workers and students, and leaving was very hard. One of my primary goals was to improve my Spanish, and thankfully Connect-123 was able to provide me with an environment where that was possible. Being a gap year student, this was my first experience living on my own and providing for myself. However, during my time here in Barcelona, I never felt completely lost - I knew that I had a web of resources to fall back on if needed. My three months in Spain will surely be some of the best memories I’ll take with me going forward, from the weekend trips to the early morning Metros. I am extremely thankful for the people at Connect-123 and to all the friends I’ve met here! I know one day I’ll be coming back.

Internships in Barcelona

Sebastian Carta

Engineering Intern | Barcelona
Drexel University
10 April 2019

My Connect-123 experience brought me to two cities: Barcelona, Spain and Dublin, Ireland. My Barcelona experience was one of the most memorable of my life. There is so much beauty and fun hidden in every corner of the city. My internship was in engineering and was very relevant to both my academic and professional goals. I gained countless bits of valuable information with my time there. Lea was always there to help when needed. There are always so many connect events to do that you will never have downtime.
My experience in Dublin was just as wonderful. Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich culture and fascinating people. I was only there for a short time, but in that time I was able to travel all around the island, seeing the various castles and enjoying the countryside. It was a very fitting internship and everybody there was very kind and accommodating.  There are also plenty of Connect-123 events to experience the many different aspects of Dublin, including the nightlife.

Internships in Barcelona

Allysa Miller

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
Salisbury University
9 April 2019

After graduating I wanted to travel and explore the world while gaining experience in my field of psychology. I decided the best way to do so was through an internship. After doing extensive research I found Connect-123 and they helped link me with the perfect internship opportunity working for an NPO in Cape Town. I worked with refugees, asylum seekers, and South African citizens helping them find job opportunities and build professional skills. I loved every minute of my time in Cape Town. I was able to gain so much experience in my field while obtaining life experiences that I only dreamt of having. I don’t believe words can express the love I have gained for South Africa. It is my home away from home and I am determined to return to Cape Town again one day. I believe Connect-123 was the ultimate reason that my experience was so amazing. Because of this program, I have made life-long friends through the interns that were also on the Connect-123 program, as well as members in the Cape Town community. Thank you to Carla, Robyn, Saskia, and Kate for giving me the best experience of my life!

Internships in Cape Town

Mallory Slavin

Human Rights Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
2 April 2019

I spent three months interning in Cape Town, South Africa, and it will forever be some of the best months of my life. I gained valuable experience in my field while working for a human rights organization and in the South African Parliament, all while experiencing the unique culture of South Africa and making lifelong friends! Looking for internships is hard, and I didn’t even know where to start after deciding on Cape Town. Thankfully, Connect-123 was there throughout the entire process! Robyn and the crew at Connect-123 helped me find the perfect internship. They also set up my housing before I arrived and met with me when I got to Cape Town to ensure I was settling in! They were always just a call away if I needed anything, and while I never had a single issue during my three months in Cape Town, knowing that they were there if anything should go wrong was reassuring. Connect-123 also set up different events and excursions for all of the interns which was a great way to experience new and unique things that South Africa had to offer. I wouldn’t trade my months in Cape Town for anything, and I’m glad I now have a home away from home in my favorite city in the world!

Internships in Cape Town

Marissa McNamara

Environmental Intern | Cape Town
Michigan State University
14 March 2019

I spent my internship in Cape Town, South Africa. It was the most amazing three months! I was able to gain experience in my field while experiencing a beautiful new country at the same time. I was able to create many new friendships internationally that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Connect-123 did an amazing job partnering me with a non-profit that fit my career interests perfectly. They not only helped with finding me an internship but also with housing, travel needs, and anything else that I needed while I was abroad. This experience not only taught me a lot about future career goals, but I also learned a lot about a different culture.

Internships in Cape Town

Melanie Yeisley

Child Life Program | Cape Town
Texas Woman's University
12 March 2019

My Child Life Practicum in Cape Town, South Africa was unmatched to any traditional practicum in the United States. Under the supervision of a CCLS, I was given the autonomy to practice hands-on therapeutic interventions and procedural preparation to meet the diverse psychosocial needs of hospitalized children and their families. I was able to collaborate with other practicum students for ideas, and work together to do activities at bedside and in play areas that incorporated the whole family unit. These unique opportunities allowed me to work with other healthcare professionals and interact with children with a variety of diagnoses. Both professionally and personally, I gained cross-cultural competence that will translate in all areas of my life. Additionally, we were able to see how Child Life is utilized in alternative settings, and we were also given ample time to explore South Africa on our own personal time. I have gained friendships within my practicum group and other students through Connect-123 that I will forever cherish. I couldn't have asked for a better practicum experience and I feel more than prepared for my Child Life internship. My Child Life Practicum in Cape Town, South Africa has been one of my most favorite and best experiences of my life!

Internships in Cape Town

Joseph Smithey

Film Intern | Cape Town
University of Pennsylvania
5 March 2019

My time with Connect-123 in Cape Town, South Africa was amazing. The organization set me up with a great internship in filmmaking where I was able to learn a lot and gain valuable experience with a company that has been successful in the industry for years. The two months I spent in Cape Town were two of the best months of my life and I cannot wait to go back. From the connections I made to everything that I saw and did both at work and outside of it, I was able to accomplish all that I went there for and more. Thank you to the folks at Connect-123 for this opportunity! I will never forget it.

Internships in Cape Town

Madeline Cook

Web Development Intern | Buenos Aires
Drexel University
27 February 2019

My six month internship in Buenos Aires surpassed all my expectations. The friendships I made with my fellow Connect interns, with other students studying abroad, and with my coworkers, I know I will cherish for the rest of my life. My experience as a programmer was 110% hands on. As the only programmer in the company, I was given all the work even remotely related to computers. This alone was much more than I would have managed at a similar internship in the US. Furthermore, because all the websites I created were for clients, I was able to meet with clients and really experience the process of digital marketing. Aside from my job, Buenos Aires as a city is wonderful. There is so much green space and culture. Even better, through Connect-123 I was able to participate in a plethora of free activities as well. I would definitely recommend Buenos Aires and Connect-123 to anyone who asks!

Internships in Buenos Aires

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
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