Taylor Nelson - 2014 Program Participant

Amnesty International Annual Get on the Bus Event in New York City

 Mat Amnesty International's annual Get on the Bus event. Over a thousand activists come together from all over to take peaceful action on the streets of New York City in front of embassies, consulates and corporate headquarters all in the support of human rights.

What inspired you to apply for an international program?

My dream job is to work for an international advocacy organization so I need experience abroad.

Why did you choose Connect-123’s program?

I have wanted to study abroad but all the programs I looked into were too expensive and they didn't have classes I needed. This program was cheaper and had an internship in human rights which was perfect for me.

What was your favorite part about interning in Cape Town?

The easy access to Ocean, beautiful mountain hikes, and nightlife.

How do you think Connect-123 set itself apart from other program providers in South Africa?

There were many other kids I met interning, volunteering or studying in Cape Town and they all lived together in house with strict rules. With Connect it feels like you are a young adult living in your own apartment and working in the city. You are far more independent than other more expensive programs allow you to be. Connect trusts that you can manage on your own but they are always there in case you need help or advice.

In what ways did the local staff support you throughout your internship?

They checked on me when I was ill, they allowed me to vent about the struggles of my job, and I felt like I could go to them If I needed anything.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently while interning abroad?

I wish I stayed longer and took off time from work to travel to some of the surrounding countries.

Describe a day in the life of an intern in South Africa.

I would wake up, walk to the train, go to my internship, take the train home, go do something with the other interns most evenings.

What did you enjoy doing in your free time in Cape Town?

Hiking any of the beautiful hikes that are all five minute taxi rides from the apartment!

What was your accommodation like?

The apartment is nice well furnished and my view was beautiful. I lived on the 16th floor and had a wonderful view on the city and ocean. Not all connect interns living in perspectives have a great view though.

How have your experiences abroad changed your life at home?

I have learned so much through my internship, the people I met and the experience of living abroad. I have also met lifelong friends that live around the world. Now I am more comfortable with the idea of traveling because I know I can become comfortable in a new country and make friends there.