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

Winter in the Rockies: Part 2

Sunday was a day full of sightseeing, including many ‘wow’ moments and a hurting hand from taking millions of pictures. How come you might ask? Well, here’s the story:

We left the hotel early in the morning by bus to spent some time on Lake Louise. Yes, you read it right, ON Lake Louise. The lake that is especially famous in Summer for its turquoise coloured water was completely frozen. This made it possible to not only walk over, but also skate on it. All the snow that covered the ice, the mountains and the trees additionally made it look even more like a winter wonderland.

Back on the bus. Next stop: Johnston Canyon. Located in Banff’s National Park, we walked through the canyon along catwalks. Some parts were quite slippery due to the ice, so we had to pick up a few people from the ground. Johnston Canyon has two waterfalls to marvel at, but time allowed us to look at the Lower Falls ‘only’.

The next stop on our sightseeing tour was testing our fear of heights a bit. The Banff Gondola brought us within 11 minutes up to a platform that allowed us to see the surrounding mountains. It was snowing a bit and there were clouds, but we still enjoyed the beauty of it. After lunch, we took the Gondola down again. It was time to soak in the hot springs! The hot water made us feel more than relaxed and we all felt warm and cozy when returning to the bus.

Emerald Lake was the next place we went to. Unfortunately, we could not see the beautiful, emerald water as the name promised (how could we expect this during winter..?), but we had fun anyway. There was a lot of snow on the ice and we all sank in it once or twice. And what else to do when there is a lot of snow? Of course: a snowball fight.

Then, It was finally time to get to our accommodation for the night, wooden cabins in Golden. Shortly after our arrival, we could pretend to be kids again by doing an Easter Egg Hunt. We all gathered around the campfire, warmed ourselves up, shared talks and played the game ‘Werewolf’. When it got dark, our tour guide had the amazing idea of doing a night hike through the forest. Fun, some of us even got lost. The evening ended with a big party in the barn, including limbo and a Lip Sync Battle. The highlight: everyone dancing to Gangnam Style.

Monday, 8am. What, the trip is almost over again? How is this even possible? Well, time flies when you’re having fun, as Angy already mentioned. So, we all packed our stuff, had breakfast and sat in the bus again. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round… We were welcomed with wonderful weather in Kelowna, the perfect place to have lunch. And three hours further with the bus, we were in deep snow again. Time for the brave ones to do the Polar Roll. You put on your swimwear and roll yourself in the snow. Brrrh, far too cold for me, but congratulations to all of you who did it! Only three more hours and we are back in Vancouver. We used the time to play Bus Olympics and the DJ Battle.

I had the most wonderful time in the Rockies and enjoyed it to the fullest – I hope you feel the same way!

– Nadine

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

3, 2, 1… It’s Rocky Mountains time!

I’m sure we’re all counting down the days. Because in only a few days, we are going on one of the best trips of the year: the Rocky Mountains! Four days packed with fun and exciting moments are ahead of us. But what exactly is the plan and what do you all have to bring? I will gladly inform you about this in the following few paragraphs.

We are meeting early in the morning this Friday. At 7am to be exact. The meeting point is at the corner of Seymour and Cordova Street. Be there on time, because the bus won’t be waiting for you! We’ll be having lunch in Kamloops and we will arrive at our hotel around 6pm. This day is used especially for travelling, but you will see lots of beautiful nature anyway.

Saturday starts at 7:45am with the departure from the hotel and the pick-up of our breakfast. We will do lots and lots of sightseeing today. Curious how much sightseeing? Here it goes: First stop: Mount Robson. Second stop: Jasper. Third stop: Athabasca Falls (where we have lunch). Fourth stop: Columbia Icefields Centre. Fifth stop: Peyto Lake. Sixth stop: Bow Lake. Seventh stop: Checking into the hotel and visiting Lake Louise. See? I told you we’ll see a lot.

After a good night’s sleep, it’s Sunday already! We all start the day at 7:30am with breakfast at the hotel. We are leaving the hotel at 8am and are heading to Johnston Canyon. From 11am on, we can enjoy some free time! You have the chance to use the Banff Gondola, soak in hot springs or discover Banff by yourself. Later in the afternoon, we head to Emerald Lake and afterwards, we will check into our accommodation for the night: Mountain cabins. And because being in mountain cabins only isn’t good enough, we’ll have a campfire with s’mores and hot chocolate in the evening. The ultimate Canadian experience.

But, all good things come to an end. It’s Monday already. Our last day is spent with travelling again. We depart from the hotel at 8am and we’ll have lunch in beautiful Kelowna this time. The estimated arrival back in Vancouver is at 6.30pm. Time to say goodbye to everyone and wipe away the tears.

Very important! Do not forget to bring:

  • Enough warm clothes
  • A pair of gloves
  • A warm hat
  • Good shoes
  • Your bikini/ swim shorts
  • A towel
  • Sunglasses (in case the sun says hello)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste etc.)
  • 2 pieces of ID!
  • Your camera!

I am really looking forward to Friday, not only because of the trip, but because many of you will join me and we will have an amazing time.

– Nadine

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

How was your weekend?

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018! I wish you all the best luck and more beautiful moments during all your adventures. May it be in Canada, may it be somewhere else in the world. Before we can start talking about 2018, I first want to tell you how I experienced the last days of 2017.

The Christmas party on Thursday in the office was a good start to begin the holidays. We drank some eggnog with rum, beers and a lot of food, we were ready to continue our night in the Blarney Stone and later on karaoke in the Bourbon.

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On Saturday we met up early in the morning to take the bus to the Rocky Mountains. It was a really cold trip, but what an amazing views! The first day of our trip, we drove to the cabins in Golden. We made S’mores above the campfire and we did a nightly glow-snow-shoe hike in the woods.

The next day we drove early in the morning towards Banff. We saw a lot of beautiful views along the way. The first activity we did today was snow tubing. After that, we stopped at Lake Louis to go Ice-skating. Later we also did a hike through Johnston Canyon to see the frozen waterfalls. We went back to the bus to make our last stop for today, we were in Banff! We dressed up nicely and went to a sushi place where we got served by a train. After the stomachs were filled, it was time to party. We began at a cheap pub before heading to nightclub Hoodoo.

IMG-20171230-WA0005Merry Christmas! It was the time of the year again. We started the day with viewing the sunrise at Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake. Both were frozen and very beautiful. Because the temperature was minus 30 degrees, we decided to warm up in the hot springs in Banff. It was really strange sitting outside in your swimming pants with temperatures colder than your freezer. After we warmed up, we went up to Sulphur Mountain with the Gondola. Here we had a 360 degrees view over the landscape. It was definitely worth the cold. When we were down again, we drove back to Golden to have our Christmas diner. Even Santa Claus came to give us our Christmas presents. I went with our new friends to the hot tub and did a polar beer roll (rolling in the snow in our swimming pants) before going to the sauna. We ended this Christmas day around the campfire. Then the day arrived we had to go back to Vancouver. We stopped at some nice places to take photos and we did some fun games in the bus (which our side of the bus won of course).

You would think that we were exhausted after our trip, but because we are diehards we keep going. We had to say goodbye to two of our friends, Dawid and Maxine, who were about to leave Canada after several months. We met up at Malones for some drinks and went to the Met afterwards for some karaoke.

20171228_183415The next day was the perfect day for Ice Skating. So we went to the Ice rank on Robson to try out the ice. For some it was very easy, for others this was one of the first times ever they stand on skates. Later on we did some games and we ended up in the pub for a beer.

Friday was the last day of Julia with her host family. Because of that reason, her host family decided to throw a party for her. We had a really delicious diner, a cake and champagne. After a lot of laughs it was time to leave Surrey and go back to Vancouver.

On Saturday we decided to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The Capilano Light festival is still going on, so we enjoyed some nice views in the lighten-up park. When we were back in Vancouver, we met again with the rest of the group to play some games. After the games were finished, we went to the Roxy to close our night with some Jägerbombs and dances.

New years day! When the afternoon arrived, we did some games (surprise!) and popped a bottle of champagne. When the evening started, we headed to Canada place to see the firework show. When the show was over, it was time to go somewhere warmer, so the club it was. Once inside we counted down to the New Year with a balloon drop and some more champagne.

And now it is time to say hello to 2018! Let’s be real, no one is keeping their resolutions, so we might as well break them all in one night. So set aside that new gym membership, grab a beer and kick off the New Year with us during the first PuB NiGHT of the year tomorrow!

– Bart

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

The Rockies Summer Trip by Iris

On Monday we came back from our amazing Rockies trip. Once again, it became one of my highlights of my stay. Thanks to everyone who joined on our Rockies trip, Westtrek, our great busdriver Darren and our amazing tour guide Janel.

20170811_091446Friday was finally the time to go to the Rockies and I was so excited that I barely slept the day beforehand. I could see that more people lacked some sleep, as a lot of people were getting coffees in Tim Hortons or tried to catch some sleep in the bus. The drive to Valemount was pretty long, so luckily we had enough stops along the way. Our first stop was at Hope, where everybody had time to get a coffee, breakfast and explore the town. We went to see the river and made a few pictures of it. After that we continued our journey to Kamloops, where we could get lunch in the mall. When all our stomachs were filled, we started driving to Spahat Falls. This is a cute little waterfall near Clearwater. As it was so small, you could take pictures with it with the water coming from your nose or mouth. Then we continued our journey to Valemount. On the way to Valemount, we were a bit unlucky, as there was a forest fire. The police blocked the road and we weren’t able to get to our hotel. According to the news, it would take about 2 hours for the road to open again, so we went back to Blue River to wait for new updates. After an hour we heard that the road would not open till the morning, so Janel tried to arrange an hotel in Kamloops. We tried to make the best out of the situation, so some of our group even started dancing on the music. When Janel could not arrange a hotel in Kamloops, he called the police for us. Apparently the road was open again, so the decision was made to get back to the hotel again. We were really happy 20170811_145832that we still could get to the hotel, because if we would have gone back to Kamloops, we would have needed to wake up 3 hours earlier. This made the bus drive even longer, but not less fun. During our long bus drive we played games with the whole bus. One of the games was called “Speeddating”. Basically, one side was just switching seats and you had a short time to get to know them. It was really nice to get to know people besides our INTERNeX gang. We also played another game during our long bus ride. While playing the game, Janel would mention a certain item. This item had to be brought to the back of the bus and then back to Janel. The row that managed to do it first won. Besides that we also sang a lot together and turned the bus a bit in a party bus. When we finally got to the hotel, we still went to the Cowboy ranch where we ate dinner, did line dancing and tried to catch a bull with a lasso.

On Saturday our adventure in the Rockies really started. We drove a short way to Mt. Robson where we had breakfast. Then we drove further to Jasper. On the way to Jasper something special happened, we drove into another time zone. The clock had to be forwarded 1 hour. This was sometimes confusing, because one of my phones didn’t change automatically while the other one did. In Jasper we could get lunch for at the Columbia icefields, as it can be really expensive there. I chose to do the Snocoach on this day, which was one of the optional activities. During the Snocoach we drove in a big tank up to the glacier. It was really nice to see all the snow in Canada again, because in a way I missed it a bit. Here we could try out the fresh water from the glacier. Besides that we also made a few great pictures in front of the mountain. After the Snocoach we drove up to Peyto lake, which was the first really blue lake that we saw on our journey. 20915875_1862323020449807_1096242011_nI was amazed by the amazing blue water and made some great pictures in front of the lake. Then it was time for the second lake of our big trip: Bow Lake. At Bow Lake we could do the Polar Wolf Swim. Basically, we ran with the whole group into the water, because that seemed easier. However, in my opinion the water did not get warmer while I was swimming in it, so I got out of it really soon. We all quickly changed back into our normal clothes and drove to our second hotel. We did not stay really long at that hotel, as we had to get dinner and then had to meet at the pub for pre-drinks. The drinks in the pub were really cheap, so a great place for pre-drinks for our big party in Banff. After getting some drinks we went to the club to dance the night away.

20170813_080315The next day a lot of people were still recovering from the day before. We already had to leave really early in order to see all the lakes that day. Our first stop was at Lake Minnewanka where we had breakfast again. After I finished my food, I decided to explore the lake for a bit and make pictures together with Lea. On the way back to the bus we also saw big horn sheep walking away and luckily I got the chance to make a picture of them as well. Then we drove further to one of the more famous lakes of the Rockies, Lake Louise. We first did a hike to a hidden spot. From this hidden spot, you could make a beautiful picture of the lake without all the tourists on it. After I got pictures from the lake, I decided to go back to the lake and enjoy the view from the bottom. However, I could not spend a lot of time there, as I already did a long hike before that. After time at the lake itself, we could either choose to go to Lake Louise village or do the Lake Louise gondola. I decided to do the Lake Louise gondola, which meant that I could also enjoy the 20170813_122705all you can eat buffet beforehand. The food was really good and after I ate I was ready to go up to the top of the gondola. Franz, Alex and I took the open gondola, as we wanted to make sure that we could make nice pictures if we would spot a bear on the way to the top. Unfortunately we didn’t see any bears. Once on the top, we did a hike which took us to a really nice viewing point. From there you could see the mountains on the back and the clouds also added something mystical. As I was a bit late, I had to sing a song in front of the bus. I decided to sing “Het is een nacht”, which is a famous Dutch song. It was fun to see Danielle and Bart singing along, which made it less awkward for me. After enjoying the amazing view at the top of the gondola, it was finally time to go to the best lake in the Rockies, which I think is Moraine Lake. Moraine Lake is the most blue lake in the Rockies and great for pictures. We hiked a short time to get a better view of the lake and made a picture there. I was so amazed by the blue color of the lake. I also tried to make one on the rocks, which was really scary for me. After Moraine Lake we 20170813_160458continued our way to another amazing lake, namely Emerald Lake. A lot of people decided to do canoeing. I went together with Lea and Merle. We all got a paddle and I think we were doing a pretty good job with directing the boat. On the lake we were enjoying the views of the mountains and the beautiful lake. After that we drove up to the Mountain View Cabins. There were only a few cabins, which basically meant that we were the only one at the cabins. We had a great BBQ and then I explored the area a bit. After that I played a game with Dawid, Marko, Mandy, Tess and Nathalie. I ended that night early, while others decided to party.

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After getting breakfast we already had to drive back to Vancouver. It was a long way back to Vancouver, so we played some games again, watched a movie and also had a few great stops. We had one stop at Kelowna to get lunch. We got pizza and ate this next to the lake. We also had one more stop next to a beautiful mountain. On our way we got a bit unlucky again, as there was an accident on the highway near Chilliwack. At the end of our trip it was an emotional goodbye, as Danielle, Tess and Merle are almost leaving.

I hope you had a great time in the Rockies, because I certainly did! See you soon at PuB NiGHT!

– Iris

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 – Nicholas Kesteloot

My name is Nicholas and I am from Brussels, Belgium. I am 21 years old and I am finishing my third year of my marketing bachelor. I decided to come to Canada mostly to experience a different working environment and mentality, but also because I like traveling in general. Besides that Vancouver specifically was a city I wanted to visit.

Nicholas Kesteloot

I found INTERNeX through a man named Jacques Allemeersch. He came to my school in Belgium talking about the possibility to do an internship in Canada or New Zeeland. So through him I came in contact with INTERNeX. I was placed for a practicum at a tour company located in downtown Vancouver. They do trips to the Rockies, Seattle, Tofino and more, and also organises parties and events. I really like it there! You need to be initiative and responsible here, and being charismatic and creative also comes in quite handy. The practicum is part of my university program and will very likely be a useful asset on my resume.

During my stay in Vancouver I lived in a homestay, which INTERNeX found. My first impression of Vancouver was not that great because I really did not like my first homestay and also because there was an unusual snowstorm when I arrived. However, I really like the city now and wish I could have stayed longer.

I have attended most of the pub nights the INTERNeX PR-team organises, and I think they are great (and necessary) as they allow you to meet other people in similar situations from all around the world. If I could give one recommendation, it would be to make some kind of introductory game at pub nights for new students so they get fully integrated. I didn’t participate in any trips however, mostly because I could do trips for free through my internship.

Activities I did and places I visit are; hikes on the Grouse Grind, Lynn Canyon, Deep Cove Nicholas Kesteloot (words)and Lighthouse Park, I have been on tours to the Rockies, Seattle and Whistler. What I like most about Vancouver and Canada are the great outdoors, and the possibility to hike in the summer and ski/snowboard in the winter. The most memorable thing I’ve done here is probably playing ice hockey on Lake Louise. There were also some challenges during my stay in Canada, like understanding the prices and especially finding good food for a good price.

I have already liked travelling prior to my stay in Vancouver, so it didn’t really inspire me to travel more, but I am definitely interested in coming back to Vancouver. INTERNeX was helpful for me because they helped me find an internship and a homestay, and it allowed me to meet more people from all around the world who are also doing internships or working, so I might recommend it to others.

When I get back home I will first get back in touch with my friends and family, but I also have some administration to do to get ready for next year.

– Nicholas

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 Tour Guide: Optional activities

As you may have already noticed that we have a busy schedule when we are at the Rockies, but there is still time left to do optional activities. We wanted to update you on which optional activities you can choose to do!

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Snowcoach
All the optional activities are taking place on the second or third day. On the second day we will go to the Columbia Icefields where you can choose to do the Snocoach. The Snowcoach takes you up to the Anthabasca Glacier and gives you the chance to actually walk on the glacier itself. Here you can make beautiful pictures and taste the fresh water of the glacier itself. You can take an empty bottle of water with and fill it at the glacier.

Lake Louise gondola + buffet
Lake Louise WT.jpegThe day after you have the chance to do the two other optional activities. The first one is a bit more relaxing and a perfect activity when you would like to get some rest during this busy schedule. You can take the Lake Louise gondola up and have an amazing view over the Rocky Mountains at the top. The activity includes an all you can eat lunch buffet, so you don’t have to worry about getting any lunch beforehand. You may even see bears on the way to the top!

Emerald Lake canoeing
If you would like to do something more active then you can go canoeing at Emerald Lake. Canoe on the beautiful blue waters of Emerald Lake and forget the world for a second.

The prices for additional activities are about:
Lake Louise Gondola & Buffet – $45
Snocoach Glacier Experience – $65
Snocoach & Lake Louise Gondola & Buffet – $105
Emerald Lake canoeing – $60

To ensure that you can do these activities you have to go to the Westtrek office and book your activity. You can also book the activity on the bus itself, but there is no guarantee that there will be spots available.

Are you getting excited about the Rockies trip? Then come to the office and sing up to make sure that you get to go on this amazing trip!

– Iris

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