“I will never be completely home again” – Tess

I left the Netherlands the 11th of Januari 2017. A date I was freaking out, and a date that was going to change my life forever. I didn’t realize this really around that time, but I do now, and I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to come to Vancouver to flip my life around.

A few days before that exact date I threw a party, to say goodbye to everybody. My friends gave me a book then, full of stories about our friendships and me. A book I was going to take a look at a lot during my time in Vancouver. A book that gave me two guidelines for my time here, and maybe for the rest of my life:

“ Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

“ Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”

And although my suitcases are packed full of new clothes since shopping is just cheaper for me here, I do really think life is all about adventures and taking risks. Doubting? Just do it! This international experience has only done me good and it would not have been the same without Internex and what Internex brought me.

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I learned so much in the office and it is all because the people there are always very supportive and gave me the opportunity to reach goals I didn’t even dream of yet. Together with the team I organised many PuB NiGHTS, weekly events and monthly trips for you! Some of them were really good, and some of them were just great! The success of our events is all because of you, our candidates, who always make it even more eventful for us. I really want to thank all of you for always being there, showing up and even do stuff together aside of Internex events. In the end that is all we want, for you to make friendships and to have an awesome time here together.

20170430_170549Me myself made friends for life here as well, friends who made my time a blast here! I can’t believe what activities and weird stuff I all did with you. Like the time Nicola and me thought it was a great idea to go snowboarding while being hungover. I laughed so much that day and in the end I was going down the hill circling around, which was pretty cool since I’ve never done that before. I also think we went on like 3 goodbye dinners, since we were not that good in leaving each other! I’m sure I will see this girl very soon again.

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One of my other best memories is a surfing trip I made with Iris and Merle to Tofino.Catching those waves all together on a lovely Sunday morning was one of the best feelings I ever experienced, and I am happy they were part of that. Or just always having lovely Miriam and Sebastian around, who were here almost my entire stay. I adored the time I spend with you! And our lovely Mexican girl Blanca, who made everybody tostada’s on Danielles birthday party. It is really those little things I appreciate the most and you all contributed making my adventure so remarkable.

“Havo stories to tell, not stuff to show”

20479642_10203416092358766_5913697107759519650_nI had the honour to catch al our candidates stories and experiences through my project: the Candidate Exposé, which you might already have seen popping up on this blog. I am thankful that I was able to build this project and to execute it, and to always read your kind words about the work Internex is doing. Our stories together are captured in a few yearbooks, which you can find on the tables at Internex. I hope the book and the blogs make people decide to come to Canada for an experience similar like ours, since I am convinced it will be really good for everybody to have an international experience.
Vancouver and mostly you stole a piece of my heart. It’ s so hard for me to put my experiences on paper since it is just beyond words. I have a hard time saying goodbye to all of you, and unfortunately I already had to say goodbye a lot of times over the past months, which is also a part of this adventure. I do know though it is not going to be a goodbye for a long time. I will see some of you soon, and some later, but I am convinced our journeys will cross again some time. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it, so always go for it and get the best out of everything! I am curious what life is going to bring you, and me, because what the hell are we going to do when we are back home?

I am sure everything will fall into place very soon and I can look forward to my next adventure, meet even more people and create new experiences, but I always have a big one to look back to.

I will never be completely home again, because part of my heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price I paid for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. Thank you lovely candidates, Internex, Vancouver and Canada for stealing a piece of my heart.

– Tess

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

See ya, bye!

It’s time to say goodbye. This makes me always sad therefore I prefer to say “See ya again” one day.
I’ve had an amazing time here in Vancouver and all of you’ve had a hand in it.
Thanks to all of you for making my time in Canada just incredible.
The time went by way too fast and I’m so sad that I have to leave already. On my first weekend(three months ago) I went to the Rockies and was impressed by the stunning nature of Canada. Since that moment I’ve started to love this country.
During my stay in Vancouver I’ve seen so many beautiful places like Vancouver Island, the Rockies, Whistler, Portland and Seattle.
One of my favourite trips was the hike to the Garibaldi Lake and the Panorama Ridge (33 km) in the Garibaldi Provincial Park. I was nearly dead after this hike but I’ve never seen something which is so breathtaking and gorgeous like this!!
I’ve never enjoyed my life as much as I did here.
You can’t beat this city – it’s possible to experience the big city life and the stunning beauty of nature at the same place.
A BIG THANK YOU to Mina and Tim for offering me the opportunity to do my practicum at INTERNeX. I’ve learned so much for my studies in Germany and especially for my life.
Another thank you goes to Henrik for introducing me in my new tasks at the PR-Department and supporting me all the time.
Last but not least – thank you to Lisa and Simon for the great and fun time in this office.

I’m going to miss Vancouver, Canada and ALL OF YOU way too much. For sure I’m going to come back some day.

Take care,

Sophie

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

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: Casual Friday – It’s Christmas in 1 month!

Back home I know when Christmas is approaching as soon as you can get all these super sweet and everything but low-calorie treats anywhere. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realized that they sell originally German Stollen at Nesters Market!! Oh I should probably first explain what it is. Back home in Germany, Stollen is a loaf of sweet fruit bread covered with a thick layer of icing sugar. I used to hate it as a kid as I contains weird stuff like dried raisins and candied orange and lemon peel but a couple of years ago, I actually started to appreciate the distinct taste you only get in the advent season. The best Stollen in the world  is the one my grandma makes from scratch of course! She would add tons of butter and make it extra juicy and yummy…this is probably one of the things I miss most over here; real and honest and non-processed food with healthy and home-grown ingredients. Might be a reason why Monday night was so special for me. My roomie and I had four girlfriends over at our apartment and we cooked traditionally Dutch food with mashed potatoes, veggies and sausages. It was not only delicious but our whole apartment smelled just like home (German and Dutch food are very similar, so it really did!! 🙂 ) And then one of the girls made cake that tasted exactly like my nana’s Zimtschnecken (cinnamon buns)! I was in heaven and this certainly made up for many pasta-with-tomato-sauce-dinners in Canada!

So here’s the plan: I’ll go get some yummy Stollen after work today, make myself a nice cup of tea, curl up on the couch, indulge in a book and pretend I was sitting next to the Kachelofen (tiled stove) at home, listening to the crackling fire. If I can’t be there for Christmas this year, I’ll have to somehow transfer all the food, smells, warmth and love to wherever I am. Only writing about it makes me happy right now… 🙂

When you give it a thought, what do you miss most about home besides family and friends? Is it the food, sleeping in your own bed, speaking your mother tongue or something completely different? Share with us!!

Cheers

Marianne

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: About INTERNeX – 3 Top Reasons to Love Vancouver

I arrived five weeks ago and right now, I can say that this place is my new home. The home I picked myself from tons of places in the world. But what is so special, what distinguishes it from other cities, what are the arguments to choose Vancouver over any other great destination for an experience abroad? Here are my 3 top answers. They are different for everyone as people are different but these are mine.

1. I love Vancouver because it is so different and yet so familiar.

When I decided to leave home again, I was sure it was going to be a place on another continent and 6 hours on the plane from Germany at the absolute minimum – just to get the real feeling of leaving everything far behind and going on a true adventure, you know. 😉 After I had eventually made it all the way across the Atlantic Ocean then, I soon realized that the lifestyle in Vancouver didn’t come as a total culture shock for me. For sure, it’s more easy-going and apparently more “North American” than the European cities I know but Vancouver didn’t give me a very hard time to adapt. So home is where the heart is? Yes, I agree.

 2. I love Vancouver because it has taken all sorts of boredom from my life.

As a kid from the countryside who studied in the ‘megacity’ Salzburg and did some internships in Munich, I’m not exactly used to big city life and also not too keen on full time entertainment. So what do actually I want then? And that’s exactly the thing about Vancouver: You can pick your own pace. There is every opportunity to go wild each night or hike every day or kayak or shop or chill on the beaches. Right now, I love my status of a busy person at work whose free time is packed with tons of dinner or movie dates, party invitations and awesome stuff in the outoors on the weekends. INTERNeX plays a major role in that, so thanks! 🙂 Nevertheless, I know if I decide to rest and take it easy for a while – Vancouver is such a chill place, it’s not going to be all that hard to find a quiet spot somewhere.

3. I love Vancouver because it attracts young people from all over the world who are just like me.

“…who are just like me” sounds kind of cheesy, I know. But it’s true! I have always been an outgoing person who wasn’t afraid of meeting new people but the problem before I came to Canada was, that I simply didn’t meet that many people to begin with. Over here, however – oh my God. I had never before talked to a stranger on the Skytrain and decided to meet up for a drink the next time we accidentally bumped into each other on Robson Street, for example. What a random friendship but it’s great and we still hang out!  People are just more open-minded and willing to make new friends. At work, on the street, at the bar – I constantly find myself talking to strangers. And some of these strangers become friends if you put some effort in it. What a wonderful life it can be if you have the chance to actually look for the people you spend your time with and it’s even better when you reach the point where you realize they like you in return.

Why do YOU love Vancouver? Please add your reasons to the list!! Or what do you expect Vancouver to be like in case you’ve never been here?

I’ll see you around 🙂

Marianne

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: Goodbye Vancouver

The fun is over. Unfortunately, I have to say goodbye to Vancouver and to you this week. After a year in Canada it’s time for me to return home and get back to university. I had a great time here at INTERNeX, in Vancouver and Canada, it was the time of my life!

In the last months I worked for the INTERNeX PR-Team and had so much fun welcoming new candidates from so many different countries and organizing events for them. We did so many amazing trips and activities that I can’t decide which one was best! The Rocky Mountains were great great great! Our Whistler trip was really exciting as I dared to bungee jump! Big Thanks to my PR-team colleagues and INTERNeX staff for making work fun, always helping out and giving me new professional experiences.

The summer in Vancouver went by so fast; there were so many things to do in this awesome city although my favorite was definitely relaxing on the beach! It felt like I’m on a summer vocation and I will miss having a beach around the corner. In my year in Canada I saw so many wonderful places on both the West and the East Coast and met so many great people.

It was a pleasure to enjoy this country! Thank you INTERNeX family for making my time here the best I ever had, thank you Canadians, thank you other travelers. Thanks to Vancouver and Toronto for being my homes during the last year. I am excited to be back in Berlin, see family and friends, and definitely meet up with former European INTERNeX folks who I got to know and to love here in Van City!

Hope to see you all very soon somewhere in the world!

Cheers,

Xenia

 

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

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

Do you know how you get Dutch people to be mad at you? I succeeded.

I made this terrible mistake this week and got punished for it :-), not only with this extra blog post from my boss, but also with disapproving looks and comments from the (quite big!) Dutch INTERNeX community. I openly declared someone being from Holland. That is wrong. The Dutch are from The Netherlands! I now remember that every time Germany and The Netherlands/Holland engaged in their usual soccer rivalries I was wondering why this country seems to have two names. I learned now that Holland is just a region in The Netherlands. So it’s The Netherlands. Never will make this mistake again.

Thinking about this faux pas of mine, similar issues from my own and other countries came to my mind. The world likes to think of Germans as leather pants-wearing and beer-drinking Bavarians. Just to make it clear: Germany is not Bavaria and people usually don’t dress like that (the beer thing might be true, though).

Another thing I learned recently: you better don’t assume that somebody is from Australia just because they speak Aussie English. Apparently, New Zealanders in hostels all over Canada constantly have to listen to people who label them Australians. By the time they cross Canada, they might get slightly mad at anybody who calls them that!

And of course, Canadians are not American! I lived with this very committed and proud Quebecois-Canadian lady once. The first thing she told me was that Canadians are different from their southern neighbors. Even more important, people from the French-speaking province of Quebec are not like the rest of Canada. So, should you ever encounter a person from this eastern province, remember: Quebecers are kind of ok with being Canadian, they are not in the least American, and they are certainly not French, they just speak it! 

Cultural lessons like this are exactly the reason why I love being abroad and meeting so many different people. Staying in my familiar comforts at home I probably wouldn’t have learned that Holland is not the same as The Netherlands or that you never never ever should refer to Quebecers as French.

Have you ever experienced something similar? Do you have more examples? Please let me 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