INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

I arrived here (almost) two months ago, and I still confused about tipping. We’ve talked about this “culture shock” in the past, but more about how shocking is for us. So this post is for all that people who still feel fear when the person behind the counter is smiling while you take your wallet. 

– As you know, tips (or gratuity) are not included in the bill.

– You have to tip between the 10% and 20% of the bill (without taxes). Normally is 15%.

– If you still have problems to calculate the exactly amount, remember: (the bill x 15/100). I know that a lot of people are going to say, “Oh, come on, everybody knows that”. But,  not. Believe me.

– If you pay with credit card, you have to put how much do you want to tip, or the employee will do it by himself.

– In restaurants and bars, if you are a big group (usually 8 people or more) the tip is included in the bill.

– In a pub or restaurant, there used to be a waiter or waitress (most of the times) in charge of your table. You always have to order to the same waitress.

– Sometimes, the waitress can give you the bill each time that you order. This is maybe because she’s afraid that you leave without pay (specially in a big group). And yes, you have to tip every time.

Why do you have to tip? The salary of waiters is a little lower than the rest, so they always apply for the job with the tips in mind.

Where we have to tip? Restaurants and pubs, taxis,hairdressers, beauticians.

Where we don’t have to tip? Restaurants like McDonalds or Tim Hortons.

What happens if I decide to don’t tip? Watch your food and better don’t come back.

Cheers,

Clara.

INTERNeX International Exchange

Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Coping with Culture Shock!

This post is going to be a little different -we’re going to discuss about some of the ways that can help you cope with culture shock! Many of you already know what culture shock means. Basically, it means when people move to a new country or experience a new culture, a way of life, they feel very disoriented and uneasy. Many of you might feel this during the first few days of your visit here! So here are some tips:

  1. Stay active -go work out at your local gym or just go jogging around a park! Different country or not, every one exercises!
  2. Take a hobby outside of working -whether it be playing an instrument or knitting, keep yourself busy with the things you love doing!
  3. Come out to our pub nights, weekly activities and events – this is a great way to meet people who are in the same situation as you! Get some practical advice from them!
  4. Make a list of things you want to accomplish during your stay here -keeping small goals helps you stay motivated!
  5. Stay in touch with your family and friends -it’s important to know that your family or friends back home are just one phone call away, so you are not alone!
  6. Stay connected with INTERNeX -we are here to help you in any way possible, just come talk to us!
  7. Decorate your room with the things that remind you of home -on the days you are homesick, your room can give you comfort and ease since it’s familiar to you.
  8. Don’t be too hard on yourself -take things one day at a time and don’t feel the pressure to know everything. Things will slowly adjust and you’ll most definitely enjoy your time here!

Happy Sunday! 🙂

Cheers,

Flora

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

 

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock!

When I asked around our INTERNeX candidates what they thought to be a culture shock to them, I found out that it was tipping. So you can imagine me, having lived in Canada for almost all my life, finding this hard to believe. For North Americans, it is so natural to tip whenever they get some kind of service, even if it’s optional. Should we really feel bad for tipping though? If you were in the server’s shoes, wouldn’t you want to get tips? It is common courtesy and tips are very appreciated in the service industry, especially in Canada.

However, at the same time, tipping is a choice. You won’t go to jail for not giving a tip to a waitress. And of course, why should you if the service was terrible? But personally, I think it’s courtesy!

When I went on a trip to Europe three summers ago, it was very different not having to tip the servers when I was at a restaurant. Even if I don’t think the server deserve any tips, I still want to give something…because I feel a little ‘bad’ if I don’t. Perhaps this is different in other places.

What do you think? Is tipping the right thing to do?

Happy Sunday!

Cheers,

Flora

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

We have spoken a lot about culture shock during our time here in Canada, but how has everyone felt once they are back in their home country’s? Have you had culture shock back at home after spending a long time in beautiful Canada? Today will be my first day back in Europe (Belgium first, then The Netherlands), and I’m pretty sure I will feel quite shocked after being away from home for so long. Even though the culture between Europeans and Canadians isn’t that different, there will be a lot of little things that I will miss hearing, seeing and eating.

1. I will miss hearing people say thank you when they get off the bus.

2. I will miss seeing the mountains and ocean on my way to work.

3. I will miss eating $1.25/slice of pizza every Tuesday.

4. I will miss being able to buy cheap fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s markets.

5. I will miss running into colorful personalities all around town.

6. I will miss making friends on the bus.

It’s the little things that count. Can you come up with some more things that are different in your home country compared to Vancouver? Leave a comment below.

Cheers,

Lies

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

Canada Day is a pretty big event in this country, so a lot of us got a Canadian culture overload these days. I want to share with you what interesting things I learned during Canada Day and from the pictures I took.

History
First of all, why Canada Day? On July 1, 1867 the Constitution Act officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation with initially four provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. British Columbia and Vancouver Island joined the Confederation in 1871. Now the country celebrates its birthday on every July 1st!

National Anthem
“O Canada” became national anthem in 1980 and it exists officially in English and French. You will need this one for a hockey game as well!
O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Cultural Diversity
In case you didn’t notice, Canada is pretty international. The Canada Day parade basically consisted of dances and costumes from all over the world. Canada has one of the highest immigration rates and the immigrants are from over 200 countries of origin. Multiculturalism in Canada is even in the law. The “Canadian Multiculturalism Act” was passed in 1988 and aims to preserve and enhance multiculturalism in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The “Mounties” are Canada’s national and federal police force, and the local police force in some of the less populous provinces. It is unique in the world because it is the national, federal, provincial and municipal police. I’m sure you have seen the famous images of those red uniforms with the black jodhpurs and the distinctive hat as Canadian stereotypes! However, whenever they do not participate in parades, those guys are usually dressed in standard police uniforms.

Canada is a little bit into sports
Wearing a hockey jersey on July 1st is as good as having the Canadian flag. Any kind of team works, whether it’s the national hockey shirt, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens. Good thing that Canadians can use those expensive shirts all year round. Btw, the next NHL ice hockey season starts on October 11th. Meanwhile, during the summer Canadians are busy watching the Olympics that start on July 27th. There is an official national jersey for that as well! Also, don’t forget the White Caps in Vancouver.

Lumberjacks
If you attended the festivities on Canada Place you might have seen the lumberjack show. A lumberjack is the original Canadian! They are those guys dressed in a long-sleeved plaid flannel shirt – that’s how the world sees the Canadian men. When Europeans discovered the continent and its resources, lumberjacks worked in the logging industry harvesting and transporting trees. A whole tradition was built around this job and lifestyle, lumberjacking even became a competitive sport in the late 1800s. Missed the show? You can see one on top of Grouse Mountain.

Any other Canadian facts that caught you attention on Canada Day? Let us know!

Xenia

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

You think you prepared for your stay abroad by arranging accommodation and job, by googling street maps and city sights. It works fine at first, all the big stuff seems to be taken care of. But then you want to check the weather for tomorrow, get curtains for your new room or buy cheese at the market. And that’s where it gets difficult. It is said to be 68°F tomorrow, the curtains are 70 inches long, and the cheese is $5 a pound. Eeeeh, what?!?! Where are the degrees Celsius, the centimeters, the grams? So googling and memorizing starts again. Especially someone without a smartphone (yes, it happens) has to plan all the activities in advance and google all the measures that might be needed.

We went bungee jumping recently, so I memorized my weight and height in pounds and feet, just in case… Did you have a chance to go shopping for clothes and shoes in Canada? There are all kinds of different sizes, too! It works out in the end but it took me a couple of try-ons to find out that I need my boots in 37 ½. Ever noticed that Canadian use of dots and commas in numbers is different? Here you have $1,000.00 on your account and a coffee is $1.99, while Europeans have $1.000,00 and spend $1,99. Watch out for that when you handle your CAD$! Thanks God miles per hour are not used in Canadian cars to indicate speed! I was surprised to see the road signs in kilometers, too. Before my first drive I was prepared to be a little disoriented on the road not knowing how fast I am driving.

How fast did you adjust to these little differences? Did any funny incidents happen to you because you had no idea about the figures you were dealing with?

Xenia

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com