Connect-123

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7.1 / 10 after 5 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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Beware before signing up with this program!

In my experience, the program is unorganized and promised me things that they could not deliver. I was looking for an internship in graphic design which they assured me they could find a placement for me that I would be happy with.

I started out with one point-of-contact person, and midway through my application process, I was reassigned a different point-of-contact person with no explanation given. I was given my first "offer" which included incorrect information on the official offer. However, the agency they pitched me only had four employees and was a 40-minute bus drive every day from where I would be staying.

I told my point-of-contact person that I was not happy with the offer, and to please show me something else. Weeks went by and there was no other official offer given to me. Every time I inquired about it, I was told "Oh, we have many great opportunities to show you!" but I never was. This started to make me feel uneasy, so I asked my contact person about the refund policy. After flat-out ignoring my question several times and telling me that I "didn't need to worry about that because they had opportunities coming" for me, I began to worry.

After expressing my concerns and recapping my experience with a program director, I was told they were going to "get direct with me" and told me that I shouldn't be working with them if I didn't trust them. Given the fact that I had paid them, I would have expected them to take the opportunity to reassure me or make me feel better in some way. They did not, but instead took no responsibility for not doing what they promised.

All in all, I had to back out of the program due to their false promises. I had planned my entire summer around being gone with the program, and missed out on many opportunities as home that I didn't think I would be around for. HORRIBLE customer service.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 16, 2017
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: djh0618
Age:

My experience with connect-123 was one of the most enriching experiences of my college career. Cape Town is a beautiful city and fun to explore and Connect always had great social programs going on that we as interns could be involved in.

On the academic side, UCT was a great school and I enjoyed the classes I was enrolled in. The lecturers were good, and the content was especially good. Every class asked us to engage in many 'real-world' situations in the coursework such as finding a local business to analyze throughout the semester, and interviewing small scale entrepreneurs for reports in class.

Connect 123 also arranged for me to intern for SASDI ( a local NGO involved in development work). The internship was extremely demanding with very real stakes for the people who we worked with and were helping. Being in such a scenario pushed me to excel at the work I was given. It was a fun and exciting internship and our work resulted in a childcare center being built in one of the township areas, which was important to me that the work we did really did matter.

Connect 123 was extremely helpful from day one. They were always there to answer questions and check in with me when I needed it. They facilitated a great overall experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The time I spent in South Africa through connect-123 is the reason I have the job I have today, so it truly was life changing!

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 4, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
23

The experience I had with Connect-123 and the human rights organisation where I worked will be something that I will remember for as long as I live!! Despite working five days a week and volunteering to teach in Gugulethu on Saturdays I still managed to surf, bungee jump, hike Table Mountain, swim, learn Xhosa, go to the World Cup matches, facilitate human rights workshops and tour the city. I learnt that there are those who have very little but appreciate and live everyday to the fullest! I will be forever grateful.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 4, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Shamsa
Age:
24

I came to Cape Town after having spent two months in Honduras, Central America during an internship as part of my Master degree that had left quite the impression on me. Having witnessed things nobody should ever see in the Jungles of Honduras, I finally found an internet connection, got online and did the necessary research in order to find another internship so I could pass my semester...I stumble across Connect123 and contacted them and the next morning, Melanie (now Manager of the Dublin department) had emailed me back....

10 Days later I got out the plane in Cape Town's international airport...

I fell in love with South Africa and especially Cape Town...I loved the apartment I lived in, in Perspectives and despite the fact that it was a relatively high rent from what I was used to, you get your every dimes worth. Consider yourself lucky, if you get one of the apartments on the higher floors....the view from there is breathtaking no matter how many times you see it...

I interned with a local NGO along with another intern, who is a good friend of mine today. Although I quickly realized that the internship and my boss wasn't necessarily what I expected, I can honestly say that I have never learned more on such a short amount of time. One the conferences my boss had us attending as part of the work, did in fact inspire the topic for the thesis I'm currently writing....which my supervisor wants to publish afterwards....yay! :D

Whether you're an introvert or extrovert, there's something for everyone. Connect123 are very good at trying to get the interns to socialize, but if thats really what you want, you can easily go exploring the wonderful city and meet the locals by yourself....

I met some wonderful local people with whom Im still in contact with today and I can look back on my memories and say that Im not done with South Africa... not by a long shot...some day, I'll be back. :)

Connect123 is a great way to get you started on your internship/volunteer experience and help you if you get into trouble....

Melanie was very helpful and had no problem with me knocking on the office door and demanding help whenever I lost my way ...(which happened often as Im born without any sense of direction)---and an even greater help when I had to cut my internship short due to an family emergency.

I strongly encourage you to explore South Africa, especially the wonderful Cape Town...and remember....there's so much more to Cape Town than Long Street and the Dubliners! ;)

You will meet people from all over the world and if you're lucky like me, they will be friendships that will last a long time....:)

Now what are you waiting for....order that plane ticket and get going! :)

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 28, 2012
Overall:
5
Support:
4
Value:
4
Age:
25

Comments

I'm curious from your ratings, which I deem as being quite average, what specific program-related matters with Connect123 would not have you rating them higher? You seem to have favorable comments re: Connect123, but don;t seem to have them rated very high. Appreciate any further insights...Thanks.

Knowing that post graduation I would be in somewhat of a position of limbo before my career as an educator began, I decided to follow my dream of visiting the African continent. After a year of research, I finally found a program that seemed to fit my personality and needs in volunteering abroad; Connect-123. I was impressed with the communication throughout the process and the eagerness in having me become a part of their program. Melanie did a fantastic job placing me at ‘The Shine Centre’, a literacy based organization, teaching English to disadvantaged youth. Once I arrived, I realized I had extra time in my day and I wanted to do more – Melanie then put me in contact with ‘Home From Home’ which allowed me to spend time with six of the most remarkable children in the world!

One cannot plan or anticipate everything that could happen in life – let alone some 7,000 miles away from home; however, the staff at Connect-123 in South Africa; Melanie, Kelly, Eimear, Mary, and Gabby all assisted in making Cape Town, South Africa a home away from home. Through various networking events and additional volunteering experiences, I became lifelong friends with individuals from around the globe – including some of the most inspirational and amazing people in South Africa!

I quickly learned that a child’s smile speaks volumes to the perseverance, hope, love, and beauty of South Africa!

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 25, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
23