My name is Andreas. I’m 21 years old and I’m from Denmark. I came to Canada in May 2016 and I am going home now one year later. At the moment I’m not studying anything but I plan to do so after the summer. Which education, I’m not sure about yet. The reason I came to Canada is that I went to Toronto to visit some family in 2009. Back then I fell in love with the country and decided then I would return one day.
Before I knew about INTERNeX I was in contact with a Danish travel agency, Travel Alott, who helped people like me – people who want to explore the world – to reach our dreams. They directed me to INTERNeX, who I was told operated in Canada and therefore would be able to help me out with my dream, which was to go abroad and work for a year in Canada.
I participated in the Work and Travel program, because I wanted to earn some money as well during my stay so I was able to go on small trips around Canada and the US without being worried about money. I liked it, even though I worked a lot I got to see everything I wanted to see when I came. Even a bit extra that I didn’t expect to do before I came. It was indeed a good mix of “Work” and “Travel” during my stay in Canada.
I was placed at a coffeeshop in North Vancouver. I was a barista and made delicious drinks for the customers. I liked the work a lot. Even though I had to spend an hour and a half in the bus to get there, it was worth it. The beautiful location was just amazing. From the counter we had a great view over the ocean and the mountains in the horizon. It was, more or less, always busy and the customers were so nice and polite and were always interested in knowing where you were from. I had the best colleagues and a good relationship with my boss. If I wanted some days off for a trip to wherever, my boss always did everything he could to make it possible. So to sum up, I couldn’t’ t have imagined a better place to have worked at.
To work at a coffeeshop you need to be good with people, have some good communication skills and be able to work under stress. Sometimes there were cues to the door and you might had 5 drinks lined up, so you should be able to keep yourself calm and still be able to work fast. Cooperation is an important skill as well, because you might work with two or three persons and you needed to be sure who did what and when, so you still would be able to make drinks for the customers but also do the different chores that need to be done, such as cleaning.
If you wanted to, you could also try out latte-art, which is a creative way to make the drinks better. You taste with your eyes as well and therefore a heart or nice flower in your latte will make the drink better for most people. It took a bit more effort than making a regular drink, but people always were so happy when they got it, which made it worth it.
During my stay I lived with a host family arranged by INTERNeX in East Vancouver and I absolutely loved it. I felt welcome from the first day till the last. My first impression of Vancouver was, how friendly and open its people were. I had chats with people everywhere I went, in the bus, on the streets etc. It was really cool, made me feel welcome to their city.
I still have the impression now that Vancouver has a really open-minded population. Its big diversity of people makes everybody feel like home, no matter where you are from. Besides that I just fell in love with the city after a while. If not for the people, then just for the beautiful location Vancouver has. Close to the ocean and the mountains and only one hour away from the US. It couldn’t’ t be any better.
I tried to participate in as many INTERNeX events as possible. Pub nights, trips, everything. I enjoyed them a lot. I thought it was a great place to meet people. And putting the pub nights on a Wednesday was the best idea ever, since putting pineapple on pizza. The PR-team was always good to help out new people and make them feel part of the group.
I went to the Rockies, Portland and Kelowna with INTERNeX. Besides that we went hiking a couple of times, had a Halloween party, saw the Chinese New Year Parade, celebrated Canada day and much more. Besides that I visited Whistler, Bowen Island, Sunshine Coast, Toronto and Victoria.
What I like most about Vancouver is the diversity of people and the beautiful surroundings. Canada in general I would say the people. No matter where I’ve been to in the country, I always met friendly and helpful people.
The only challenge I really had to face here was when it was winter and there was a lot of snow around, it was I’d say challenging to find a bus that drove so I could get to work.
It is really hard to find one really memorable thing so I will just mention a few.
- When I went to the Rockies with INTERNeX. We had such a fun time. I saw a lot of beautiful nature and partied with the best folks at night.
- When I hiked Black Tusk. We were with five people and it took us 10 hours from where we left the car till we got back. The view from he top of the mountain was gorgeous and incomparable to everything I’ve seen before.
- All the times I went to Whistler. When I went there with my parents during the summer and hiked on top of the mountains. Also the times I rented a car with friends and made a short road trip out of it.
- And of course all the times I’ve been skiing. I finally learned it, and now I miss it. Cypress Mountain and The Big White it was an awesome time.
INTERNeX really helped me to get started. They advised me about a mobile plan, bank and tax return. And if you ever had questions at all, about anything, they were always happy to help you out. So I would recommend the service of INTERNeX to others.
The first thing I will do when I get back home is just having a descent Danish meal with my parents and brothers. The trip definitely inspired me to travel more. This summer I’m going to travel a bit around Europe to visit people I’ve met in Vancouver.