Candidate Exposé – Tess Mallens

20170624_135608I am Tess Mallens, 20 years old and I am from the Netherlands. I study International Event Management at NHTV Breda. I am in my third year now were we need to complete a 7 month during internship to finish the year.

I decided to come to Canada because I had to do an internship for my study programme and I wanted to do this abroad. When I was 17 years old I moved out to live in the city of my university. That was already a big step for me back then, but now I already survived that for three years now, so I guess it was time for a new challenge. I wanted to have a good placement, so I didn’t pick a country, but just an internship that suited my needs and that happened to be in Canada. Besides that my uncle also studied in Canada and I heard many great stories from him, so that also made the decision easier. So now I am interning at Internex itself as a PR-coordinator and I found it through the database of my university.

As a PR-coordinator I am responsible together with the other interns to make sure our candidates have a great time here in Canada. We organise pub nights, weekly events and monthly trips. We are there for the people when they need to get something from their chest, and just to create a great group of friends, who become kind of your family while you are here. I really like my work since I’ve met so many great people and learned a lot about their cultures. It is a fantastic and dynamic group and great to hang out with. I also really like my colleagues in the office and I am really into my projects. I develop the monthly videos and I built the new Candidate Exposé, so what you are reading now, is my project 🙂

For this internship I think you really need to be open-minded, a planner, have Tess Mallenscommunication skills and you need to be adaptable. You are working with people from different cultures, so they also communicate different. I think you have to be open-minded about their cultures and also adapt yourself to every person to make everybody comfortable. I know Dutch people, me included, are very direct so I needed to be careful with that. I guess I found my way through it though, and I learned a lot from it.


I live in a shared house in the Kitsilano / West Point Grey area, which are great neighbourhoods. I found it on Roomster, which is a platform to find rooms and apartments to rent. I am close to the beach and it takes me about half an hour to get downtown and work so I am very satisfied. I also get along really well with my housemates and I really can do my own thing there.

I remember it like it was yesterday when I arrived in Vancouver. I took a cab to my airbnb and after settling in a bit me and Danielle decided to walk into the city seeking for dinner. We didn’t know anything about the neighbourhoods yet so we walked on east hastings, a place you may rather avoid in the evening. I saw quite some homeless people, large buildings and it was dark. The only thing I thought was “What did I do, why did I come here”. Luckily the next day the sun was shining and we understood the neighbourhoods better. Once I walked in the financial district and around Canada Place, I already felt way better!

IMG-20170703-WA0022Because I organise the pub nights and activities myself, I attend most of them. I think they’re throughly great, since they give you the opportunity to meet other interns and young professionals really fast. Those people became my family during my time here. I think it is great Internex created this, since it would be really hard to get a group of friends when you’re just working in a company and only socialize with your colleagues. We get to explore fantastic places and create beautiful memories together.

surfing3I visited many places around here. I did many hikes and I am still planning to do a few more. My favourite trips were the Rockies trip, traveling with my parents around BC, experience Canada day in Victoria, snowboarding in Whistler and my trip to Tofino.

What I like most about Vancouver is the diversity of the city and its people. I am just never bored here and everywhere I go, somebody is in for a chat with you. People are really polite here, sometimes maybe a bit to polite in my opinion, and very understanding and accepting. I feel very welcome here and I just love the variety in Nature. I am really going to miss the mountains and the sea with its amazing beaches.

16144535_10202610003927059_1448813019_nSome difficulties I had while living here was the beginning of my stay, when I didn’t feel comfortable yet and I really had to adjust to the culture. Keeping up with my bank account was a difficulty as well, because you really run out of money fast in this city. Besides that I sometimes had to deal with home sickness, but that went quite fine. My friends made an amazing booklet for me where each of them wrote a story about me, accompanied with ridiculous pictures. They always get a smile on my face again with that, even though they are not here in person.

The most memorable things I did here are snowboarding in Whistler with my colleague 20170304_112545Becky, the Rockies trip and a surf trip to Tofino with my friends. Whistler mountain is amazing, and I felt throughly grateful for being there. It is a dream that came through, and with good company it only makes the experience better. I also surfed two times in Tofino and I really have no words for that feeling. Especially the second time was amazing since the conditions were just great and I experienced a great weekend with friends, beautiful sunsets and breathtaking nature.

This trip definitely inspired me to travel more, and also to travel more by myself. I lived all by myself for seven months, miles apart from my familiar and save life. I can do anything now and I will explore the world. Next stop: I hope to see London really soon, I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet, South America is definitely on my list as well and I am thinking about southern Asia.

The first thing I will do when I get back home is say hi to all my family in the airport and then run to the first restaurant / cafetaria I see to order a “frikandel” and “patatje oorlog” (A frikandel is kind of a fried sausage but then ten times better than the thing you are imagining now, and patatje oorlog is fries with satay sauce, mayonaise and onions). Then during the week I hope to get spoiled by my mums’ dishes, a croissant with melted cheese, cheese in general and cheese onion chips. I guess I like cheese.

– Tess

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

“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.


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.


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-

Review: Kingsnight PuB NiGHT at the Bimini

Yesterday’s PuB NiGHT was amazing!! Thank you all so much for celebrating our Kingsnight with us, we had a great time!

18198084_10209369193888897_856724913_n.jpgAs the entire PR-team exists of Dutch people, we wanted to celebrate Kingsnight together with you. On Kingsday we celebrate our King’s birthday, but also celebrate being Dutch. It is the day when the whole Netherlands turns crazy (and orange) and it is therefore not strange that most people refer to “Dutch madness” when they are talking about Kingsday or Kingsnight. A lot of people go out on the night before Kingsday, as Kingsday is a national holiday, which means that people don’t have to deal with their hangover at work or at school.

The Bimini is a pub in Kitsilano and part of the Donelly Group. Every Wednesday it has a College Night with cheap prices on beers and a DJ. It also has pool tables, pinball and table football. Because of the College Night we thought it would be a great place to celebrate Kingsnight with some drinks and dances!

18198009_10208840573952635_1195962131_n.jpgIn the beginning of the night we started to just have a few drinks and talk with everyone. Some of you guys were dressed in orange, which was amazing! We also had the Dutch flag in face paint and it didn’t take long before almost everybody had a flag on their face. Around 10 the DJ started and we started dancing, like you should on Kingsnight.

Thank you all so much for coming! You guys made our night amazing and we celebrated it properly even when we were 8000 kilometres from the Netherlands!

– Janel

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

How was your weekend?

There was quite a lot going on these past few days.
First, we had to say goodbye to one of our most awesome PR Coordinators Natasja. We met up at Waterfront Station and accompanied her to the airport. There we had some breakfast and then it was already time to send her off! There were lots of hugs and couple of tears. Eventually, we managed to let her go back to the Netherlands though. But we will definitely meet again!

Sunday many of us went hiking up Black Mountain. It was an event planned and organized by Chris one of our INTERNeXers.
It was pretty exhausting! And I’m sure some didn’t quite expect what hiking really means in Canada since it was their first time trying it after arriving in Vancouver. Regarding the weather it was extremely cloudy at first but luckily the sun came out when we reached the summit and were rewarded by an incredible view at Eagle Bluffs.

It was a long weekend! So, naturally we also had to do something on Labor Day. We would have been bored otherwise. In that case, what better place to go than the Extreme Air Park in Richmond?
We signed up for 2 hours of jumping fun. However, we quickly realized this is super exhausting as well!
Either way we constantly alternated between recklessly jumping into the Foam Pit while trying to do cool flips, doing dunks in the Zero Gravity Basketball area and playing 3-D Dodgeball. We had an insane amount of fun!

What did everyone else do on the weekend?



INTERNeX International Exchange – PR Coordinator
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What to do on the weekend?

It’s Friday what means that it is again time for our favourite time in the week, the weekend is coming up. Of course also this Friday we have a short overview about that, what you can do on this probably really sunny weekend in Vancouver.

Khatsahlano Street Party
The Khatsahlano Street Party is Vancouver’s biggest Music and Arts Festival completely for free on this Saturday! This festival offers you about 40 food trucks, 50 live bands and hundreds of merchants and vendors across 10 blocks (about 1 mile). For more information and the schedule just have a look here.
As you may know, we are going to this festival together as well. We will meet us at 12:30 pm at the Esso Gas Station at Burrad Street / W 4th Avenue. We will be happy to see you there!


Theatre Under the Stars
Theatre Under the Stars is located at one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver, this theatre is located in the Stanley Park. The summer shows are starting this Friday till the 23th of August. This year they perform the two musicals ‘Shrek’ and ‘Legally Blonde’, one musical a day starting at 8 pm. Complete Schedule.


Food Cart Fest
The Food Cart Fest is a perfect way for you to try every different kind of Vancouver’s street food. Try what ever you like at one of over 20 different food carts located at the Olympic Village every Sunday in the summer.  The entrance fee will be $2. If you like to go but you are not able to  go an Sunday’s or to the Olympic Village; the Food Cart Fest is also in Surrey on Saturday’s at the City Hall Plaza.


The weather forecast for this weekend is making us very happy, it is supposed to be very warm in Vancouver, up to 27 degrees! So it will be perfect days for enjoying these days at one of Vancouver’s beautiful beaches. Mostly all of them are perfect for nearly everything you like: sports, just relaxing or tanning, swimming in the water or even a picnic at the beach. Vancouver has eight beaches which are directly at the open water: English Bay Beach, Jericho Beach, Kitsilano Beach, Locarno Beach, Second Beach, Spanish Banks Beach, Sunset Beach, Third Beach. We hope you enjoy the weather!


Soccer World Cup in Brazil
It is still world cup time! This weekend will be the last but also the most important and exciting weekend in the world cup! It time for the final on Sunday, 12 pm! Germany and Argentina will fight in the last match for the world cup trophy. Of course the INTERNeX PR-Crew is cheering for Germany, for which team are you cheering for? You should not miss the final, enjoy an exciting match and cheer for your favorite team. There are many spots where you can watch the final, it will be a great end of the world cup, even when you watch it in a city with so many nationalities like Vancouver.


We hope you will have a great and enjoyable weekend and may see you at the Khatsahlano Street Party or to watch the soccer world cup final on Sunday! Just have an amazing time while you are in Vancouver!


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