So no one told you life was gonna be this way

Like all good things, my time at INTERNeX has come to an end. What an amazing six months this has been! Although it is time for me to say goodbye now, I would like to tell you about my time here in this beautiful country before I do so.

I arrived in Vancouver on the 28th of February. A little bit overwhelmed by all these new impressions, I walked into the office the next day to have a look at the place I was going to be working at the next couple of months. The main topic at the office that day: the trip to Salt Spring Island that was taking place on the weekend. Yes, that’s right. Two days after my arrival, I dove straight into the world of INTERNeX by going on a trip! Staying in a big house in the middle of nowhere, hiking, cider tasting… yeah, not a bad start. Since I only just arrived, I still had to get used to the different time zone, the new surroundings and of course, being in a new country with new people. But you guys made me feel right at home. Because of you, I knew right away that my time in Canada would be an adventure I would never forget.

portland2.jpgOver the past six months, I have seen many beautiful places, done lots of fun activities and I have met amazing people from all over the world. One trip I really loved was the one to Portland, Oregon. Going to the US has been a dream of mine for years and being able to explore Portland, a city I really wanted to go to, for an entire weekend was definitely a highlight. I also loved our day trip to Seattle, it might have been short, but I enjoyed seeing the first Starbucks, the famous Gum Wall and watching the skyline from the Columbia Center observation deck.

rockies1.jpgObviously, when talking about my favorite trips, I have to include our trips to the Rockies. How many people, well, non-Canadians, can say they have seen the Rockies during the winter as well as the summer?! From walking on Emerald Lake whilst wearing 10 layers of clothes and slowly sinking into the snow, to canoeing on the lake and being able to see its beautiful, clear blue water. From not seeing any wildlife due to the time of year, to spotting a deer, two elk and a beautiful black bear. Crazy! Seeing a bear was high on my bucket list, so I am glad I could tick it off.

28708528597_2ef377d88c_zBesides our monthly trips, I truly enjoyed getting to know all of you a little better at our weekly PuB NiGHTs. (Music) Bingo, beer pong, karaoke, ‘who am I?’, we did it all. I will definitely miss all of your stories about life in your country, your work, family and your thoughts about Vancouver. Not only did I have lots of fun with you at PuB NiGHTs, I loved experiencing the weekly events we organised for you as well. Hiking in the Lynn Canyon Park, playing laser tag, watching movies at the outdoor cinema, being a Dutchie for a day (even though I am one every day)… I could go on and on. Not to forget, kayaking on Bowen Island with some of you on my birthday and spending Friday nights at the country bar The Yale Saloon to go line-dancing are definitely some of my favorite memories!

Not only did I have an amazing time outside of the INTERNeX office, I had a great time at the office itself as well. I was at the office all day five days a week, planning and organising amazing events and trips for you all, and I feel very lucky to have spent these days with such kind-hearted and supportive people. I have learned a lot from my time as a Public Relations coordinator and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Before I say my final goodbye, I would like to thank everyone I have met during my stay in Vancouver. It was an adventure of a lifetime! I am grateful for all the friends I’ve made along the way and I cannot wait to reunite with you somewhere else in the world!

That was easy!

– Angy

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

215 days of action

215 days. That sounds like a long time. But I can tell you – my past 215 days passed by incredibly fast! Now, it is time to say goodbye to INTERNeX, Vancouver and of course, to you!

“Welcome to INTERNeX Canada!” How often did I hear this voice of our lovely orientation video? Many, many times! When I got to see the video for the first time in January, I did not know what kind of adventure was awaiting me. Every time I have seen the video from then on, I have met new people from all over the world. Some, I only saw once, but with others, I have spent so much time together. I am happy that I can call a whole bunch of them my friends now.

215 days – and I spent not one of them entirely at home. There was always something received_1908032345904902going on. At least one INTERNeX event per weekend and a long bucket list kept me busy. Skiing in winter was an absolute highlight for me. It’s awesome to leave the house in the morning in skiing clothes and just take a bus to the local mountains! Kelowna, Mount Seymour, Cypress Mountain, Whistler – all beautiful destinations to hit the slope. I am glad that I always had a cool crew with me who made these days even more fun.

IMG-20180526-WA0023.jpgBut also when the snow had already melted, I spent much time outside. Hiking, biking, kayaking, ziplining, surfing… BC offers many great opportunities to do so and I enjoyed exploring pretty parks, beaches and lakes. I also loved to spend time in the city and to scratch the typical tourist attractions from my bucket list. The weekly INTERNeX events were always a fun way to spend the weekend and discover Vancouver together.

However, Wednesday became my favourite day of the week. Chats, drinks, bingo and karaoke – I loved meeting the gang with old and new members every Wednesday night. Not only during the week, but also in the weekends there has always been a reason to go for ‘a pint’ and discover Vancouver by night.

As part of the PR-gang, I was also responsible for organizing a couple of weekend trips for you. “Back to nature” was the motto of both of my trips. The first one brought us to Salt Spring Island in March, where we spent the weekend in a huge house in the middle of nowhere. I will not forget all the laughs we had in the cozy outdoor hot tub where we squeezed in 14 people and our cider tasting in a beautiful scenery.

The other island trip just happened in July – our adventure on Vargas Island. What a IMG_20180719_105346_752journey! Struggling with lighting up the campfire, looking up into the beautiful sky full of stars, eating loads of schnäcks, cheering for everyone who was able to stand on the surfboard for a second – these are memories I will take home with me. I hope you guys are going to wear your Schnäckqueen/king shirts with pride. And don’t forget: no matter what, we will always have Vargas!

During the past 215 days, I have learned a lot: about the polite Canadians and how they say ‘thank you’ when leaving the bus; the rules of hockey and of many international card games; the three different words you can use to order a beer in Swedish; how to dance to country songs and so much more. And of course, I have learned the most important rule as a future leisure manager: Expect the unexpected!

In- and outside the office, I enjoyed the past months to the fullest. I am very glad that I had the chance to experience my Canadian adventure with the people I met here. It would not have been the same without YOU! A huge thanks also to the INTERNeX team who made me feel welcome from day one. That was easy!

The first reunions are already planned and I am excited to meet you again somewhere in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Brazil or maybe even back in Vancouver. Until then, make the most out of your time in this beautiful country.

See you soon!

– Kerstin

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

 

Candidate Exposé – Anna Hood

My name is Anna, I am 21 years old and I am from the UK. I am studying Geography in England and am about to enter my fourth and final year.

Anna HoodI decided to come to Canada, because Vancouver sounded right up my street and very similar to Scotland (where my parents live), but on a larger scale. I found INTERNeX via an Australian travel agency. They put me in contact with INTERNeX, who then put me in contact with the tour company I ended up doing my placement at.

I absolved my placement at the tour company. I loved it! I met amazing people, friends for life from all over the world and learnt a lot about sales in general and British Columbia. This practicum was a part of my university program. Even though it was not that useful for my career goals, I still thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

When I first arrived in Canada, it looked very dull and grey since it was raining, typical Raincouver. So, it looked like it lacked character. However, I knew of the beauty surrounding Vancouver, so I didn’t let this cloud my judgment. At the start of my placement, I felt very lonely, especially in my work place, but this improved quickly. I lived in a shared house in Vancouver. It was a good base to commute and participate in my daily activities in downtown. I didn’t want to leave Vancouver anymore, when I had to leave.

Anna Hood (words)I attended some of the events that INTERNeX organized. They were good! I went to a handful of the pub nights, for example. Other than that, I did a lot of activities in Canada – hiking, skiing, cycling and surfing. I mainly went with my placement company. I also traveled to Whistler and the Rockies. It was nice to do something every weekend. Work hard and play harder! It is very hard to pick a most memorable thing I did in Canada, but I will definitely remember cycling round Stanley Park and the Rockies.

I like the cultural diversity in Canada. I found it very hard to meet any Canadians, which I thought was nice and made me feel less like a foreigner. Plus it made me more culturally aware and I learnt more about places like Korea, that I didn’t know much about before. This trip to Vancouver inspired me to live abroad as I have traveled a fair bit, but Vancouver was the first place I had lived in for longer than a month, besides my home. I would love to travel to Australia, since I met a lot of Australians in Whistler.

The first thing I will do when I come home, is eating a big plate of the classic English dish: beans on toast.

– Anna

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Rockies Review – Part 2

Wakey wakey. After our night out, it was visible on some of your faces that the departure at 7.45am from the hotel in Banff was not the easiest. But just like the two days before, we had a couple of hours on the coach to sleep. Even though this was pretty hard for you guys, ’cause the scenery was just too stunning.
We had breakfast at Lake Minnewanka and stopped shortly afterwards at the Two Jack Lake. Impressive views all over again! After another ride on the bus we came to our first active stop of the day: Lake Louise. Half of the group happily accepted the option of hiking up the trail to the Fairview Lookout. After 45 minutes of hiking uphill we ended up at a platform with an amazing view over Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau.

43238145634_172125e426_nLunch was then scheduled at the Lake Louise Gondola, where we enjoyed a delicious buffet. I really recommend it – so whenever you’re considering riding the Gondola, book it as a ride and dine. 😉 Riding the Gondola was just breathtaking. It was stunning to look around and see all the amazing scenery around you. Snowcapped mountains and Lake Louise just at the foot of the big chain of mountains behind us. Sadly, we did not see any wildlife on our ride in the Gondola – but oh well, you can’t have everything, can you?

42148186840_b7a5986bcb_nThe views were great, but we were still ready to see some more, so we took off to Moraine Lake. WOW! Turquoise-blue water surrounded by picturesque mountains and some chiselled rocks. Perfect to just reminisce, look at the beautiful nature or – for the active among us – to climb. I somehow managed to injure my hand, but don’t even ask how it happened – you’ll just get a story about a bear-fight you won’t believe anyways. 😀
Many of you asked me if we just couldn’t stay at this beautiful lake forever – just put up a tent and spend the rest of our lives at this beautiful place. Sorry, to those who wanted to and I didn’t let. But how could I let you miss out on the next stop? No chance…

So, next stop was the most peaceful part of our entire trip: Emerald Lake. Renting a canoe just paddling across the emerald-green lake. I cannot describe it with words. You must do it, to understand what I mean! After an hour of paddling around and enjoying 29019095217_b58081e1e2_nthe quiet surroundings, we headed back to the bus and already drove to our accommodation for the last night: The Mountain View Cabins.
They are literally in the middle of nowhere and offer the full nature experience. We had dinner and discovered the environment of our last night’s stay. Hammocks to look at the stars, trails that led “into nowhere”, a grill to roast s’mores and perfect views of the mountains around us. Who would want more? We chatted with each other, enjoyed the location and started playing games. With the hours passing by and the sun setting, we quickly figured what the most charming of the mountain view cabins actually was: the night sky. Just standing on a clearing between the trees – we all got stiff necks – but no regrets. Watching shooting star after shooting star, exploring the star formations and just watching satellites passing by, the milky way in the background – breathtaking!

On Tuesday we already had to say goodbye to the Rockies. We enjoyed breakfast at the Cabins and talked about last night’s fun. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the coach, so we waited about an hour for Lucien to pick us up. Even though we had a delayed departure, we caught up on the schedule quite well. We made a quick break at “The Last Spike”, where the famous Canadian Pacific Railway was finalized, had lunch in Kamloops and made it back to Vancity by 6.15pm. It was sad to say goodbye to Hayley and the rest of the Wolfpack, but I believe we will all keep the memories of this amazing trip in our minds.

I am so thankful for each and every one of you who joined this trip. I hope you enjoyed it, as much as I did. I hope to see you guys on Saturday in CRAB park, or next Wednesday for another PuB NiGHT.

– Elisabeth

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Rockies Review – Part 1

Starting the week on a Wednesday sounds pretty cool, right? Well, wait till I tell you about my weekend, because that was even cooler than just having a three working-day week.

On Saturday morning, I met 27 of you guys for our four-day trip to the Rocky Mountains. 6.45am seems pretty early, but the time that was lying ahead of us was worth the hustle of getting up so early. The bus took off at 7.30am and our adventure started. We got to know our West Trek tour-guide Hayley and bus-driver Lucien, who made this entire trip so much fun! Thank you to the two of you.

Our first stop was Hope, where we had some fun times at the playground and could 30066245188_6ae9f9a804_njust walk around the picturesque village. Aboard the coach again, we played some games, listened to music and started to get to know each other better. We had lunch in Kamloops and made a short stop at the Spahats Falls. And so, after a 9-hour drive in the bus, we finally arrived at our first night’s stay in Valemount. The evening activity there: Hockey in the Rockies. Teamed up and ready to win, both the “Pride Dragons” and “Tigers” chased the ball to score some goals.

While some of you were still playing, I settled down at the bonfire and enjoyed the last hours of our first day. We had some easy conversations, listened to Hayley playing the Ukulele, sang along to ‘Riptide’ and ‘Country Roads’ and just enjoyed the view of the mountains. At around 1am I decided to get some sleep, because I knew that we had a tight and busy schedule the upcoming days.

On Sunday morning at 7.45am, it was time for us to depart from Valemount. It was a stressful morning and I was quite relieved that I did not have to sing when I boarded the coach (the West Trek rule is that the person coming late has to sing a song for the entire bus). We had our first scenic Rocky Mountains stop at Mt. Robson. It is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies and it gave us the opportunity to have a breakfast with a view. 43887208892_9da7cf5a2b_nAfterwards, we all had the chance to take beautiful pictures with this giant mountain in the background. We boarded the bus again and drove to our next stop: The Athabasca Falls. Even though we had to leave quite soon after we arrived, everyone had the chance to take a stunning picture of and/or with the falls.

But the next stop promised some more breathtaking views: Athabasca Glacier. Already on our way to the icy phenomenon, Hayley taught us about the formation of glaciers and the relation to icefields. From the distance, we could see the Columbia Icefield, which is one of the biggest accumulations of ice south of the arctic. Some of us went up the glacier in a special bus called snowcoach. Personally, I did not join. Some of you just spent the time at the foot of the Glacier with me, having lunch and hiking through the moraine.

After the “Snowcoach-Group” returned, we boarded the bus again and continued the trip to Peyto Lake. Wow, what a beautiful place! The water was turquoise blue and the view was just breathtaking. Another perfect location to take stunning pictures your friends will envy you for. 😉 After this stop, we just had one more task to fulfil: The Polar Bear Swim in Bow Lake!43887208762_52b91d2c09_n The bravest among us got ready to be cooler than they’ve ever been before. Of course, you’ve always been cool, guys – but I think you know what I mean. So, to visualize it: 20 crazy INTERNeX-people running into ice-cold water, screaming at the top of their lungs and cheering with the kicking-in of adrenalin. FUN! Great job to those who did it! I really enjoyed it and can only recommend doing it.

Back in the bus, we were all looking forward to making it to our accommodation for the night in Banff: a cute, beautiful little village. We spent the evening having dinner, shopping souvenirs and getting ready for our night out. And besides celebrating the great group and the new friendships we made, we also had a special anniversary that night: Henrike turned 19! Happy birthday, again. I hope you had an unforgettable night. I walked back to the hotel at around 1am, I did not want to be too tired the next day.

To not overwhelm you with everything, I will tell you about the last two days tomorrow. Make sure you don’t miss out on the blog post!

I hope to see you tonight for PuB NiGHT at the Beaver Bar.

– Elisabeth

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Candidate Exposé – Anni Volder

My name is Anni Volder, I’m 27 years old, from Denmark and study to be a kindergarden teacher.

DSC_0556 - Anni VolderI decided to go to Canada, because I like nature and have family there. My first impression was the people, who were very kind, helpful and polite. The things I liked about Vancouver were the opportunities to get around, I felt safe in the city and around people. I am very satisfied with my stay, thank you.

I was volunteering at a preschool for my studies in Denmark. It was very useful and instructive as I am doing a Bachelor project. I worked at a Developmental Disabilities Association. I had many options for how I wanted and needed to work related to my project. For this job it is important to be responsibly, patient and open minded. As volunteer in practicum it was very useful for my subject. The staff and children were very kind to me when I arrived. When I was asking questions they responded to their knowledge and helped if I needed it.

The trips that were organized were very good and I enjoyed them. For longer trips, I suggest better communication between those who arrange the trips. I went to Whistler and one or two pub nights. The trip to Seattle, I think could have been arranged cheaper.

AnniI will remember the experience how to live there and to go to work. The nature and kind people. When I come home I will try to get over my jetlag and get my arms down from the experience. In the future I want to travel more, don’t know where yet, other than to come back.

I felt safe knowing I could contact INTERNeX anytime if I needed it. We met up with people all the time and had the opportunities to meet other people doing the same as you; being a stranger in another country.

– Anni Volder

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Candidate Exposé – Ann Aulbach

My name is Ann-Katrin Aulbach, I’m 25 years old and from Germany, Bavaria. I’m working as a bank Clerk in Germany.

22195299_127767424637167_60382774307750730_n - Ann-Katrin Aulbach

I decided to come to Canada, because I wanted a time-out from my day-life and my job. I booked the practicum program, because I wanted to do something what’s good for my resume. It wasn’t the right choice. But that’s not the fault of INTERNeX. At the end I think it would had be better if I had choose the work-and-travel program. I was working at a manufacturing and export company.  I didn’t like it there. It wasn’t the right place for me. It was a practicum for event management.

In Vancouver I was at a homestay. INTERNeX found it for me. My first impression about Vancouver was: Wow, it was so big and full of people. I really love Vancouver/Canada. It was like in my dreams. I will definitely come back. As soon as possible 🙂

I joined every event. It was so much fun. I really enjoyed it. It was good organized and the people are now friends. I made a road trip with a RV from Calgary to Jasper, Banff, Hinton, Okanagan Valley, Vancouver Island and at the end Vancouver. There I stayed for 2 months with INTERNeX. I did a bungee jump when I was in Whistler. I was at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I was at Fly over Canada. In the Look-out tower. So much else, I cannot list all of my adventures.

AnnI liked the friendly people the most about Canada. The wide, the nature, the wild. All of it. But definitely not the rubbish. The most memorable thing I did was whale watching. The first thing I did when I came home was eating some real bread, no toast 🙂

I got inspired to travel some more. First I want to go back to Vancouver 🙂 Then Australia and New Zealand. I love the connection with other people, the activities and of course I will recommend the service of INTERNeX.

– Ann Aulbach

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com