What to Do in Vancouver – hockey edition

Learn more about ice hockey – a summary of the basic rules – Go Canucks, go!!!
What’s Canada without hockey? There’s definitely something missing.
As indicated in the last blogpost; today’s posting is all about understanding (ice-) hockey 🙂
Taught by an expert like me 😀 just kidding but I’ll try my best

Let’s start with the basics 🙂 What is ice hockey (known as hockey in Canada) anyway?
First a historical fact but no worries I’ll keep it short. This sport was originally developed from field hockey in the second half of the 19th century. Hockey is a game played on ice between two teams of 6 players each, one of which is the goalkeeper. Of course, the teams consist of more players, substituted during the game. This normally happens every few minutes. Which means that hockey is definitely a really fast and intensive sport. The players use long curved sticks to hit the puck, a small rubber disk (weighing exactly 166 grams), to score goals.
As many of you may know the puck is really small. One surely wonders if it’s possible to follow the puck as a spectator in a big stadium at all? I think it’s kind of easy. Where there is the crowd of players there must be the puck 🙂 Also how do you know a goal has been scored? As in many professional sports you will see a light flashing behind the goal. So, everyone can see that a goal has just been scored. The game is played in three thirds of 20 minutes with breaks between every third. The time will be stopped in every interruption during the game. Additionally, there is a change of sides after every third. That’s why a game usually lasts much longer than 60 minutes (normally about 2-2.5 hours). Which also means you can enjoy watching longer than expected 😉 and don’t forget to join singing the national anthem at the beginning of every match.

The Rink: Have you ever taken a closer look at the hockey rink? It’s full of coloured lines with different meanings. The two lines on each end where the goal is located are called the goal lines. Unlike in soccer the players are also allowed to play behind these goal lines. The blue lines divide the surface into equal thirds, called zones. The zone right in front of the teams own goal is the defensive zone.
The opposite one is called attacking zone or offensive zone. Between the two blue lines is the neutral zone. The dots with circles around them form the face-off circles, which can be used as a start point after an interruption.

Penalty: In hockey, penalties or even brawls are certainly not uncommon. However, the use of the body is an important part of the game. Thus, it is allowed to “check” a player of the opposing team.
But of course, there are rules 🙂

A really common penalty is caused by using the stick inappropriately. This must never be held above shoulder height, especially to hit someone in the face. Also not allowed are fouls such as elbowing, fighting (when players drop their gloves and throw punches at each other), kneeing (fouling an opponent with the knee), slashing or tripping which can cause an opposite player to fall by using a part of the body or the stick or charging which is taking a long run at someone or specifically targeting the head with a hit. Penalties can be 2 minutes for a minor or 5 minutes for a major (or 10 minutes for fighting… or a game misconduct for something very serious); 5 minutes major penalties do not end when the fouled team scores as it does with a minor penalty… it keeps going for the full duration. Sometimes you will receive a double minor with is 2+2 minutes… this is often the case when someone gets a “high stick” to the face which is 2 minutes and another 2 if they drew blood during the hit. Crazy.

Powerplay and Man-Down: Of course, such a penalty situation is only bad for one team. The resulting overpowering situation for the other team is called powerplay. A good chance to score a goal. The penalized team is considered a “man-down” or “two-men down” if the play results in a 5 vs 3 scenario when they are double penalized

Offside & Icing: If a player enters the offensive zone before the puck that is considered offside. And I think that’s way easier than in soccer 😀 BUT if you shoot the puck the full length of the ice it is called icing and the play is called back to the defensive zone of the team that “iced” the puck. However if a team is a man down due to having received a penalty they are allowed to ice the puck so you will often see them shoot the puck the full distance to get it out of their defensive zone during the penalty.

So that’s it for now I hope I could give you a good first insight into the Canadian national sport.

Have a look at the upcoming season schedule. There are only 4 days left till the first game of the year.
Find further information on https://www.nhl.com/canucks

Cheers,

– Tatjana

INTERNeX International Exchange
2005-689 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 0J2
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

What to Do in Vancouver on a rainy day

Why is our beautiful Vancouver also called Raincouver?
Of course it is because there are many rainy days during the rainy season (most rainy between October to March). However, that doesn’t mean there’s not much to do on these days. I’ve compiled some inspirations of fun things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day.

First start with a trip to Gastown on a rainy day. Isn’t it cosy choosing one of the cute little cafes to have a great chat with friends while drinking hot chocolate and watching the rain running down the windows. As I mentioned in one of the previous blogposts; I can highly recommend trying the nutella latte 😉 In the evening it’s also a nice place to drink and eat your way through the many restaurants and bars. Maybe it would be cool to go bowling, play pool, or sing your favourite songs at a karaoke bar afterwards?
Yaletown about 20 minutes walk south of Gastown also has a lot of nice cafes and restaurants and even a billiards room.

Shopping. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of a great indoor activity? For me it’s definitely shopping 😉 Besides the many stores on Robson street the malls such as Pacific centre or Hudson Mall are also worth a visit. If you want to head to Vancouver’s shopping HQ you may want to think about taking a Skytrain to Metropolis at Metrotown (it’s in Burnaby about 20 mins from downtown). Maybe you can spot a great offer and brighten your rainy day 😉

A rainy day is definitely a day for all our museum and culture lovers. Learn about human ancestors at the Museum of Anthropology or have a look at interesting work from famous painters at Vancouver Art Gallery. Of course there are many more places to explore like the Vancouver Maritime Museum or the Police Museum.
Also our sports enthusiasts will find their proper place with a visit at BC Sports Hall of Fame.
I’m curious about your experiences after you’ve visited one of these places.

Skiing. In the first moment this might sound a bit weird because nobody wants to be on a ski slope in the rain, i guess. But maybe it’s a good way to escape the rain. While going on top of the mountain you will also go above the clouds which means no rain anymore; there’s still the possibility having a snowy day but I think that’s ideal for skiing.


Watch hockey. Since the hockey season as well as the rainy season starts in October this is definitely a good coincidence to go watch a hockey match on a rainy day. For more tips about how hockey works and further information for the upcoming season you have to be patient.
As a hint i can say; have a look at the blogposts next week.


If you still want to stay outdoors you can just buy a cute umbrella and rubber boots and go for a walk. It certainly won’t be as crowded as usual.

Have great Weekend 🙂

– Tatjana

INTERNeX International Exchange
2005-689 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 0J2
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

What to Do in Vancouver – sports edition

There is definitely more than hiking and ice-hockey in Vancouver 🙂

Let’s have a look at a variety of different kind of sports you can try when you’re in Vancouver. But where is the best place to do your favourite sport or try something new? Of course you can easily grab your running shoes and go for a run through the city or Stanley Park. This is also an amazing place for inline skating (rollerblading) or riding a bike. But for now back to the best place to start… A good possibility are the community centers which are located all over the city – also a great way to connect with other people while getting fit and active. Additionally you can use local fitness centres.

Outdoor (water) sports: I can highly recommend trying to stand up paddle at Sunset Beach. It looks harder than it actually is. However, it is definitely advantageous if you have a good sense of balance. In Addition, Vancouver offers many opportunities for water sports such as canoeing, kayaking or sailing. It’s so much fun trying water sports with amazing views of the skyline and the mountains.

Ball sports: There are also many opportunities to play or just watch soccer in Vancouver.
Since this sport has one of the longest playing season it’s a great way for people looking for an “all year sport”.
For those interested in tennis there is also the possibility to try racquetball and squash.
Raquetball is a raquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball. You can play on an indoor or outdoor court.
Side fact: It burns a lot of calories 😉

Hockey: Yes, Canada definitely has a thing for ice hockey; but have you ever tried ball-, broom- floor- or field hockey? Join a hockey club and find out how much fun playing in a team can be. Of course there are possibilities where you can ice skate as well. Some indoor ice rinks are even available all year.

Ultimate frisbee: Have you ever played frisbee in a professional team? Give it a try and join the Vancouver Ultimate frisbee team for playing something that might not be that well known and common in Europe. There are plenty of options finding a team suitable for all ages and levels and to play in every season.
Also another popular activity is disk golf; just like golf except with specially weighted frisbees; amazing fun!

Of course there are many other sport activities waiting for you to try them out…have fun 😉

Cheers,

– Tatjana

INTERNeX International Exchange
2005-689 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 0J2
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Canada facts: Packing list

Who doesn’t know this situation? Packing your bag and what happens: 10% useful stuff and 90% “you never know”
So, let me try to help fix this problem 😉
Let’s start with the basics

  • your favourite clothes; of course for the girls including your favourite dress. Also keep in mind if your host organization requires any formal or business clothes.
  • sweater, for cosy summer nights at the bonfire, or for those chilly fall nights.
    …and do not forget to bring rain clothes. They might not be fancy but as I can assure, very helpful at nearly any time of the year.
    Since I think the basic items are known to everyone, I would like to give you a few more tips for a successful trip without missing something important.

1. Take care while using or buying a sim card. Sometimes it can be really expensive to buy one in Canada (especially data). Inform yourself about the conditions of your phone provider in your hometown. It depends but maybe it’s easier and cheaper to buy one before starting your trip.
Map.me: In order to save mobile data or to avoid costs, it is useful to use offline maps such as maps.me. Simply download in advance. Maybe you don’t need mobile data at all; Vancouver offers a lot of free wifi networks.

2. Don’t forget your laptop/computer. Check with your host organization whether they provide you with a laptop. Maybe you’d rather work with your own laptop? Sometime a tablet is not quite enough….

3. The most important thing to charge all your electronic devices? The adapter. Pay attention that you need different adapters in different countries; Canada and the US use the same adapter and have the same voltage. In addition, it may be useful to have a multiple usb charger if only one plug is available (like in some Homestays or older hostels).

4. From my own experience I can recommend buying body care products like shampoo or shower gel in your hometown. It might be twice as expensive in Canada.

5. Your medication. It may be difficult to get your needed medication in another country without a local prescription.

6. Perfume or cologne: this may sound a bit weird at first, but in Canada some companies do not allow strong smelling perfumes or colognes. So better use a neutral one.

7. Everyone likes to get a souvenir. And so does your future hostfamily. Think about something that is typically for your home country. I’m sure they will like it.

8. Needle and thread: Maybe a button will come off of your favourite dress or shirt. It may be helpful to have needle and thread at hand.

9. Necessary documents: Make sure you have ALL your necessary documentation including immigration documents, letters of offer, homestay info and all health documents such as vaccine certificates and PCR test results either digitally or in paper form or both. Also download any required apps (such as ArriveCAN)

10. And last but not least another reminder to not forget to take enough face masks with you especially on your flight. There are multiple places to buy one in Vancouver but it can be helpful taking a additional one with you. Also don’t forget checking the current pandemic restrictions including all the necessary documents.

Do not pack:
There are also a few things you should avoid packing:

  • do not take too much alcohol with you; it might be cheaper in your home country but paying all the extra fees is not worth it
  • this is also the case with tobacco: only 10 packs are allowed
  • some things you cannot bring at all such as some meat or vegetable products.
    For further information have a look at the Canadian government website:
    https://travel.gc.ca/returning/customs/what-you-can-bring-home-to-canada#alcohol


Have a great weekend 🙂

– Tatjana

INTERNeX International Exchange
2005-689 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 0J2
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Where to get delicious food in Vancouver?

Food, food, food – today it’s all about food.
Believe it or not, there’s more than A&W and Tim Hortons in Vancouver 😉

This blogpost is especially for the ones who love good food and maybe even in a place that is not completely crowded with tourists…and of course for everyone else.
Maybe these places do not offer the best food in the city but the mix of price, quantity and quality makes them a great place to visit if you are on a budget.
Have a look at the variety of interesting food spots i’ve prepared for you guys, and at some point, the time will come where we’re able again to try them out.

Let’s start with a Greek speciality. Stepho’s Greek Taverna is located right in the middle of downtown with locations on Davie and on Robson St. It’s amazing barely being able to see the dish for the food; this describes the restaurant pretty well. You get good food at a great price and huge portions – definitely the perfect match.

Anton’s Pasta Bar:
Who loves good pasta as much as i do?
If you do, Anton’s Pasta Bar is definitely the place to be. Since it is located in Burnaby on Hastings it is a bit more difficult to reach but absolutely worth it. They offer legendary portions of freshly made pasta where you can get a real Italian feeling. Check it out 🙂
Tip: If you prefer staying Downtown try the Old Spaghetti Factory for amazing pasta variations as well; not as good but still good.

Let’s continue with another noodle house.
Hon’s Noodle House: It’s one of the many Chinese restaurants in Vancouver that is seen by most Vancouverites as their “go to” over the last 40 years. Even if the original in Chinatown closed down the one on Robson St is going strong; here is their ridiculously large (and very affordable) menu: http://hons.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Hons-Robson-menu.pdf

Floata Dim Sum: Have you ever heard of Dim Sum? Not me. But maybe you’ve heard of dumplings which i think is probably more familiar to some of us and similar to Dim Sum.
Dim Sum is a kind of Chinese food that many people may not have tried; it is a breakfast or lunch food with small portions for sharing with your family or friends. Mostly there are steamed dumplings, buns and a hefty dose of seafood.
No worries for those not enjoying seafood that much there are still a lot of non-seafood options.
Floata Dim Sum is located at the start of Chinatown on Keefer St.

Rio Brazilian Steakhouse: Last but not least; what would this list be without an all you can eat steak place? This Steakhouse offers a huge variety of meats including pork, chicken, beef, ribs and many more. Therefore, I am sure there is something for everyone.
Additionally, next to the amazing salad bar they have a happy hour every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3-6pm with delicious food and drinks. You can visit Rio’s just off Davie on Denman st at the downtown west end.

What else to say than Enjoy your meal 😉

– Tatjana

INTERNeX International Exchange
2005-689 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 0J2
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com