How did you find INTERNeX international exchange?
I was looking for an organization that offers a farm stay on the Internet and found Ayusa/ INTERNeX.
Why did you choose INTERNeX international exchange?
INTERNeX to me seemed to be a serious organization and I read a lot of positive field reports.
Why did you choose to go to Canada?
I always knew that I wanted to travel abroad and I wanted it to be an Anglophone country. Canada and the US were my favorites, as I already traveled to the States several times and really enjoyed it. I finally decided to go to Canada in order to get to know a new country and new places and because I really wanted to do the farm stay, which didn’t work out for the States.
How did you find a place to stay?
The program that I chose has different farm types to offer (horse ranches, guest ranches etc). As I already had a lot of experience with horses I definitely wanted to be placed on a horse farm. I just needed to fill in some questionnaires and prove that I had experience in this sector and then INTERNeX “brought me and the “farmers” together.
What kind of program were you doing and did you find it useful?
As I already mentioned, I participated in a program called farm stay. For me, this experience definitely was useful, useful in a way that I learned a lot of things, and not only new things about training, working and living with horses, but also about the Canadian mentality and last but not least about myself. Although I’m not planning to work with horses for a living, I wouldn’t want to miss the experiences I made. Working with animals always tells you a lot about yourself, useful things for a life time.
How did you like your program?
I liked it a lot! It was one of the best times in my life and I’m really happy that I decided to do the farm stay. Although I first made some really negative experiences (I had to change the farm) everything finally turned out to be great. The people I lived with soon became a second family and I met many wonderful persons and really enjoyed my work.
What kind of tasks were you responsible for on a daily basis?
Actually every day looked really different, but what definitely was an essential part of my work was the training of young horses that had little or none experience with a rider on their back. Of course other chores like feeding and brushing horses were a part of my work as well, although not on a 100 percent daily basis.
What do you like best about Canada?
I really like the Canadian mentality, I like that everything is more relaxed than in Germany and that the great majority of people are always welcoming, friendly, helpful and generous. I like the wide spaces, the nature, the wilderness, the contrasts and the diversity that you can find everywhere…!!
Where have you been in Canada?
I lived more than two months in Valemount, a small town about an hour away from Jasper. I also spend a longer time in Vancouver and travelled to several places such as Vancouver Island, Whistler, Jasper, Edmonton, Nelson etc. And hopefully there are many more places to come!
What do you like most about Vancouver?
I really like that Vancouver is as green as it is, that you can find parks and recreations areas almost everywhere. To have the sea and Vancouver’s beaches just minutes away from the mountains is awesome. The city has lots of different faces as well, many different neighborhoods, each of them with its own character. And I really like the sea bus and the aquabuses 😀
Where have you been in and around Vancouver?
I’ve seen most of the downtown areas and hot spots and also lived a short time in Burnaby and North Vancouver.
What was the most memorable thing that you did in Canada (so far)?
I did a lot of memorable things, things that I never would have done in Germany and things that told me a lot about Canada and its people and myself. To see whales diving into sunset on Vancouver Island for example was unforgettable as well as being out in the Canadian wilderness for some days during my farm stay.
Let’s sum it up: What was the best thing about your program in Canada (so far)?
It’s hard to find one best thing, but I guess the thing is not a thing but some of the people who I met and who hopefully will stay friends for a life time. It’s also a great feeling to know that you found a second home at the other end of the world.
And what the worst thing?
The worst thing … Probably my first week where I had to learn that not everybody welcomes you with open arms and that reality most of the times doesn’t meet your expectations.
What is the first thing you will do back home in Germany?
First thing is to embrace my family and friends and then go to my favorite bakery and buy everything they have 😉 and eat it!:D
Would you recommend INTERNeX international exchange?