Candidate Exposé – Mandy Janssen

My name is Mandy Janssen and I am a 21 year old student from The Netherlands. Currently I’m studying International Event Management at NHTV Breda in The Netherlands.

23897738_1537788619643137_1424592398_nI’ve always wanted to experience a new culture and Canada and the US have always interested me. For my study I got the chance to do a practicum at INTERNeX itself as a PR-Coordinator for 7 months, so I decided to just take the jump and do it. Our school has had a relationship with INTERNeX for a few years now, so I came into contact with INTERNeX via the database of NHTV. My practicum is part of my university program and what I have learned until now is certainly very helpful for my future career.

For this job you need to be very social and a fun and open person. You need to be understanding of people and situations, but you also need to have good communication skills. As part of the PR-Team I join almost every activity and I always like to hang out with the other candidates and to be surrounded by people who are in the same situation as I am. So far I went on the Rocky Mountains trip, went to Victoria, Whistler and soon also Seattle. We did an escape room, went to a game of the BC Lions and many more things. The Rocky Mountains trip is definitely the most memorable thing I did. The nature there is so beautiful and since it was 2 days after I arrived it was a great first impression.

I rent a room in a shared house. I found it with the help of INTERNeX. At the beginning I was a bit overwhelmed by the size and the amount of people in the city but after a while you get used to it and it starts to feel like your second home. The people are really nice here and the food is amazing. I had some personal challenges since it was the first time for me living on my own. So figuring out the financial part was bit of a challenge but it’s getting better.

MandyThe first thing I will do when I come home is hugging my friends and family, eat a lot of Dutch food that I have missed and go out to the club with my friends.

This trip definitely inspired me to travel more. In the beginning I was a bit scared to be by myself for so long but hopefully my next adventure will take me to Scotland or Ireland for my 4th year practicum.

I would recommend the services of INTERNeX to everybody. INTERNeX is not just a company, but it’s a family that looks out for each other and helps each other where necessary. INTERNeX helped me find new friends and feel at home here in Vancouver.


INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

Goodbye for now

All good things must come to an end they say, and that also means my wonderful journey here in Vancouver must come to an end… And that end is here.

My life changing journey started 7 months ago at the airport in Amsterdam. It was going to be the first time for me flying alone and living on my own and boy I was scared. I remember crying and being really sad to leave my friends and family even telling them that I was not sure if I could do this. I’m really happy and proud that I can tell the Mandy of 7 months ago that she had nothing to worry about and that a beautiful journey was waiting for her.

I call it a journey and not a destination or simply a stay since I have been through so much. I have learned a lot about myself and who I am all with the help of INTERNeX and without them I would not be the person I am today. IMG_0328

It all started 2 days after I arrived here in Vancouver with the amazing Rocky Mountains trip. It was so amazing to see the beautiful nature that Canada has to offer and the beautiful blue lakes. Not only the nature was amazing but all the people that I met were wonderful.

But that was not it, as a PR-Coordinator for INTERNeX I had the opportunity to travel to Whistler, Victoria, Salt Spring Island and my biggest dream Seattle. I even had the opportunity to take a trip to Los Angeles, a city I have always dreamed of visiting. We also went to amazing events like Halloween, New Year’s Eve, the Canucks games and of course all the nice and fun PuB NiGHTS. I even celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in my life and went Black Friday Shopping in Seattle.

IMG_1119But for me it does not matter how many places I visited or how many things I did, the most important thing for me is that I was able to do that with all of you! Without any of you, my journey here in Canada would not have been the same and I want to thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.

Now that it is only days away from saying goodbye I am having mixed feelings about leaving. I am really looking forward to seeing my friends and family again and to hug my sweet Labrador dog. I am looking forward to tasting my favorite Dutch dishes again but I know that my life back home will never be the same again since a piece of my heart will always stay here in Vancouver and another piece will stay with the people I have met here.
Again I wanted to thank every single one of you that have been there for me and have made my stay here unforgettable. I would also like to thank Tim and Simon for even giving me this opportunity since without them I would not have been able to experience all of these things.
For anyone reading this who is doubting whether to go away from home for such a long time I can only give you one advice…. Just do it! Trust me it will only make your life much more richer with all the life lessons you take with you when being on your own.

This is not a goodbye but a see you later! I am looking forward to seeing some of you in Sweden later this year and for the rest, we will meet each other again somewhere in the world!

~ Mandy

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

A good bye

That’s it. It started with a simple hello but now it ends with a complicated goodbye. What a great choice I made more than a year ago to come to Vancouver. The journey started in August when I arrived in this beautiful country. It seems like a couple of weeks ago, I can’t believe it is already over. Time flies by when you are having fun. I had definitely the time of my life. That’s why I am not sad because I am leaving, but I smile because it happened. I am very thankful for the great people I could experience this adventure with. Without them it wouldn’t be the same. Now it’s already time to look back at my time in Canada. And I can tell you, it was a good one.


Thanks to INTERNeX I could already spent my first weekend in the Rocky Mountains. I met such wonderful people and many friendships were made. I knew it would be beautiful, but I never expected to see such views. Wauw! The parties, campfires, the BEAUTIFUL sunset and the swims made this trip complete. After the trip I realized Canada was not my destination, but it was just the beginning of my journey.


Besides the Rockies I did many other trips and discovered a lot of new places I never heard of before. Whistler, where I did my first bungee jump ever. Victoria, where we drove on scooters to the top of the island. Seattle, where I saw its underground world and tasted the gum wall. Christmas in the Rocky Mountains. Kelowna, where we could snowboard in the sun with blue skies. And Salt Spring Island, where we partied the weekend away in our own villa. On all these trips I made so many good memories I will never forget.

The question for the upcoming Wednesdays will be: What should I do? I will definitely miss the great evenings we had every week at PuB NiGHTs. Of course the fun stories and the laughs, but what I will miss the most is the karaoke bar. I don’t know when it started, but ‘Bart’s surprise act’ was becoming a thing. You didn’t think I choose to sing Scatman, the guacamole song and Celine Dion myself, did you?

I am very happy I could work for a company like INTERNeX. Besides all the fun we had in the office, they always supported and helped me. I’ve learned a lot and my network is way bigger than 7 months ago. The best part of the job was not the part where you organize these activities, but the faces and grateful responses you get back. These activities were not so great because of the things we did, but because of the people you did those things with.derde

And now the time has come to say goodbye and go back to the Netherlands. I am looking forward to see my family and friends again after such a long time. But that would also mean I have to say bye to the friends (that also became family) I met here. Luckily, I don’t have to say goodbye to everyone, a simple ‘see you later’ is enough for now. Thanks to everybody who made this adventure as good as it was, Tim, Simon, the PR-guys, candidates and friends. I am very lucky I got to know people to who saying goodbye to now is so hard. I will miss all of you and I promise I will remember all the fun things we did here together. See you somewhere else in the world!

– Bart

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

INTERNeX Through the Looking Glass -Practicum Program

Amiel here again!
Missed my first post about INTERNeX? Check it out: INTERNeX Through the Looking Glass – Intro

The other day I found this quote by David Mitchell who wrote Cloud Atlas (some of you might have seen the movie) “travel far enough, you meet yourself”. I think this statement holds a lot of truth. When you travel you leave behind your old environment to step into a new one to broaden your horizons. You accumulate experiences you never could have if you had stayed at home.What’s on the menu today? Earlier this week I gave you an introduction of INTERNeX and what they’re all about. This time we’ll be checking out one of the INTERNeX programs you can sign up for: the Practicum Program.

What is it and how does it work?

First of all, most placements INTERNeX facilitates in and outside of Canada are unpaid. Does that seem shocking to you? Well, there is a deeper meaning to it. If you want to know what it is check out the Blog next week, when I’ll have a post about the differences between paid and unpaid internships.

INTERNeX is able to facilitate placements in almost any industry. So, it pretty much comes down to what you want to do and learn, be it for your post-secondary education or voluntary/personal reasons. That’s because a practicum is supposed to help you gain practical experience in the industry of your placement and ideally assist you in finding an environment you could see yourself working in in the future.
Before you can begin your journey though, there are several steps you’ll have to take first. The early stages are for discussing what your goals are and what you want to achieve. After which, you will be introduced to potential organizations that also demonstrate interest in you. Next, is the completion of the visa process and only once INTERNeX is sure you’re all set will you take off on your adventure.

The difference in how INTERNeX works compared to other international exchange agencies is the close contact they have with their candidates by accompanying and supporting them every step of the way. By doing it like this they help taking away a lot of that anxiousness you feel when you take your first jump into a different world.

With this we’ve reached the end for today but the next blog post is not so far off explaining the advantages of an unpaid internship over a paid one.


INTERNeX International Exchange – PR Coordinator

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INTERNeX Canada: What to do on the weekend!

Middle of August and we have to make the most of the summer and Vancouver !

If you don’t know what to do during the weekend here I give you some ideas.

Big Bus Route Map

On Saturday, we  go to the Big Bus Tour around Vancouver (Remember that the 3 winners of the “Best Rockies Trip picture” win a 2 day pass for free).

This hop-on, hop-off bus offers you the opportunity to go all over the wonderful and most important places in Vancouver and the best part of it is that you can hop on, hop off as often as you want to take pictures, to enjoy the views or just simply to drink a coffee.

Meeting point:  Gastown Big Bus Welcome. Stop #1  (On Water Street just 20 steps from the Steam Clock )

When:  Saturday 17th August, at 1.30 p.m.

Price: Student pass for 1 day: $37. Student pass for 2 days: $42

For those who prefer a frenetic journey, I have another idea, but this one crazier. The annual Zombie Walk is here. This walk has going for years, and each one is getting bigger and bigger.

Please, do not vandalize anything and obey the police. That’s very important !

If you want to survive to the Zombie Walk, check it out this map, which will tell you where to go to get the supplies necessary to battle the brain eating zombies.

Survival Map Downtown

Date: August 17, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (assemble around 3 p.m.)

Where: Starts at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the walking dead then proceed to roam the streets of downtown. The zombie infestation travels up Robson towards Denman Street. It continues to English Bay and ends at the laughing men statues.



INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 9N9-