INTERNeX Canada: The secret of the Canadian Happiness

A recently studio says that Canada is the 6th happiest country in the world (the first one is Denmark, if you feel curious). The study, supported by the United Nations, contemplates many factors like life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, generosity of fellow citizens, state of the economy, perceptions of corruption and freedom to make life choices.

This result doesn’t surprise me at all. Everybody has a smile here, everybody is polite and nice. Even the police.

I’m here for almost 5 months and I still feel surprised about the kindness of the people. Is very common that somebody come to you in the middle of the street only to say you: Hey! I really love your tights! And the other day I found the following notice in a Liquor Store:

“We are obligated to ask for two pieces of ID to all the people under 30. So don’t be angry with the employees if they ask you for your documents, it’s a compliment”.

After a while, is logical to realize that if they are so nice, is because they feel happy.

So, I decided to make a sociological investigation about the factors that explain why the Canadians are so happy.

– Obviously, one of the main reasons is that Canada is a rich country. They have a good economy, it’s easy to get a job and there are a lot of resources for a small population.

– The social cover is pretty good here, other reason to feel safe. Have universal health care and public education is one of the foundations of a happy society. This is one the biggest differences when you compare Canada with USA.

– Equality and tolerance. It’s also a country where the differences between the social classes are not very big, and other cultures are usually welcomed. I repeat, in general, it’s impossible to extend one opinion over a whole country. There are stupid people everywhere.

So up to now, we can find these factors in others countries with a good position into the ranking. But, what factors are exclusively Canadians, what makes Canada so especial, what is impossible to find in other place?

– The amazing nature. With all this beautiful landscapes around you is impossible to feel bad. And practicing outdoor activities, be in contact with the nature, is very easy even if you live in a big city.

– Hippie culture heritage: maybe is my impression, but I think that some concepts of the 60’s hippie culture are still present in the global values of the Canadian society. Apart of be nice and take care of the environment, there are other things. For example, be easy-going is almost a must here, at least into the young community. And is very common to hear expressions like “good o bad vibrations” or “harmony” and they have a strong sense about being a community.

– Avoid the critics or negatives comments are another very common features inside the Canadian society. This behavior sometimes drives the Europeans crazy, because is impossible to know if they really think that you are so amazing or they really hate you.

– Freedom: in my opinion the social codes are more relaxed here. For example, the other day I went to a hospital and my nurse was completely full of tattoos and she had green hair, which is completely impossible to find is Spain.

Anyway, this is only a personal opinion. If you want, you can share with us you more shocking experiences with the Canadian way of life.

Take care!

Clara.

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 9N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: How was your weekend?

Another week at the office starts today. But before we start, let’s take a look on the awesome weekend we had.

On Saturday we went to the Lynn Canyon Park in North-Vancouver.  We started hiking around 11am in the morning. In this park you can do some nice hikes. We saw waterfalls, bridges, fast flowing rivers, great views and of course the famous suspension bridge.

After a few minutes walking we went down to the river. The water was to cold for swimming, but with our shoes off we could climb to some of the big rocks. From there we took our shoes back on and continued our hike. Minutes later we arrived at the 30 foot pool. This is one of the main attractions of Lynn. It’s is a small canyon with some amazing blue and deep water.

  

Via a lot of stairs we came on a higher point. From there we hiked through the forest to the last thing on our list: the Twinn Falls. This is another waterfall you can visit (from the same river).
At the start point we took some lunch and enjoyed the (dry) weather. After the lunch we took the bus or bike back to our homes! Thanks for coming, we had a fantastic day with all of you!

Yesterday was also a busy day for me. I rented a car for one day to make a small roadtrip. First we went to Whistler, north of Vancouver. On our way we stopped at some awesome waterfalls. From Whistler we drove further north till we arrived at Pemberton. The temperature was amazing: 31 degrees Celsius! There was a small lake where some of us took a swim.

  

After a nice and full day of sightseeing is was time to go home. First we had some dinner in Squamish. After that we drove via the Sea to Sky highway back to (a rainy) Vancouver. I can recommend this trip to everybody; just rent a car and enjoy!

Have a great week,

Jelle

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: Culture Shock !

Hey guys,

How are u? I hope u’re doing well !! Today I’m gonna talk a little bit about my personal experience here in Vancouver.

Let’s talk about one thing that shocked me about Canada: Tipping!

tips For Canadians, it’s really natural to tip whenever they get some kind of service, and I don’t know why. Why do they tip whenever if maybe the service was not as good as it should have been?

In Spain for example, we don’t usually tip. I don’t mean we never do it, but we just tip when the service is really good. We don’t feel bad if we don’t tip and the service won’t get mad at you because you don’t do it! Simple, right? (Also if you’re a student it’s obvious you can’t afford tipping everywhere and everytime)

By the way, they usually tip between the 10-20% of the price. Isn’t that hard to believe?

I think that’s just their way to be: nice and kind people!

I don’t know if you agree with me or not, but I think it would be easier if the tip and the taxes are included in the final price, so I would’t have to use my calculator everytime I go out for dinner for example.

What do you think about this guys?

Best,

Mercedes

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: Culture Shock

Why are the Canadians so friendly and polite? I can’t understand!

I already knew before arrive in Canada that they are kind people, but, when the first day I arrived at the airport, and there wasn’t any barrier to enter into the skytrain… I was surprised that everybody paid for their ticket and there wasn’t people trying to pass for free…

Well, they have a strong sense of citizenship but they have a strong sense of punishment too. The police can fine you for crossing the street in red or eating inside the skytrain. So, be careful!

Other thing that suprised me is the fact that all the sellers smile to you and say:”How are you?” and “Have a nice day” all the time! And no one gets off the bus without saying first to the driver “Thank you so much”. And they are SO comprehensive if you don’t understand something… Vancouver have a lot of diferents cultures, so they are very accustomed to listen diferent accents.

Of course, you can also find some rude people, specially in big cities like Vancouver but…  not in general, so smile and reply: “fine, thank you, and you?”

Cheers,
Clara.

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: Culture Shock

PEOPLE ARE SOOO NICE HERE!!!

Let’s explore our impressions of coming to a new country and finding Canada a little bit different than our homes…

Nice people – this is probably the very first Culture Shock experience when foreigners arrive in Canada (especially Europeans 🙂 ). Already at the airport, when you are still lost and disoriented, people suddenly ask you if you need help with your bags. You, even more confused, are wondering why they talk to you, those strangers?!

While back home people are busy with their own business, always in a hurry, in Canada all they seem to care about is smiling and helping you. When you walk around in the city bumping into crowds while looking at your map, Canadians apologize to you because YOU are in their way. To say sorry for things they didn’t do, well, this is polite! Here, you won’t ever enter any building without a “Hello, How Are You” or leave a store without a “Thank You, Have a Nice Day”. Have you ever been in a bus in Vancouver? On my first ride I sat in the back in one of those extra-long busses and watched people yelling “Thank You” to the driver while they got off the bus through the very last back door!

What about you? Have you had similar experiences with this Canadian kindness? Tell us your stories!

Have a nice Sunday, be nice and hug somebody!

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

Lasertag and Karaoke Re-cap!

How did you spend your Labour Day? 12 INTERNeX candidates met up and had an amazing day playing Lasertag and singing their lungs out at Karaoke!Thanks everyone for coming out yesterday to our Lasertag and Karaoke night!

We arrived at Laserdome at 4.30 and we were able to start our Lasertag game. In total we played 3 games and had a lot of fun. Before each game we were divided into different groups and we were sent out to ‘kill’ as many people as possible.  Each of us had a vest on and a gun in our hands. The vest had several targets on them. They would light up a color (your team color) and you would have to shoot everyone that did not have the same color as you. There were some people (Adam!) that were really into it and they were even rolling around on the floor trying to shoot people. If you were shot than you were ‘dead’ for a few seconds and then you are back in the game again.  If you shot someone the gun would say:’ Good shot’ and you would earn 150 points for your team. If you got shot you would lose 75 points. You also had an individual score to see who was got the highest score of the group. For our group that was newcomer Youp! He just arrived in Vancouver and came out with us to meet new people.

After lasertag everyone was pretty hungry so we made our way back to Downtown and got a nice meal at Malone’s on West Pender Street. Most of us at a burger and fries, something I would totally recommend you to do!

After dinner it was time for Karaoke. We went to Fantacity, a Korean/Japanese style karaoke. This meant that we had our own room with a giant TV and two microphones. Everyone sung at least 2 songs and had a lot of fun doing it! We had songs ranging from Fame to the Real Slim Shady and some good, and some bad singers. Want to hear some of the songs we sang? Check Nathalie’s Facebook page for the video’s she posted online. On the INTERNeX Facebook site and our Flick Page you can view the pictures from the entire night!

Tomorrow is PuBNiGHT, a night that is also filled with music. But this time you don’t have to sing yourself. So meet us at the Blarney Stone at 8.30 pm for some games, laughs and beers!

–          Manouk

Summer Salsa Cruise in Vancouver!

What better way to enjoy an evening than with a night of salsa dancing! Grab a friend and head out for a night on the water! The MV Britannia is located at the foot of Denman off Georgia Street in Coal Harbour, and is Vancouver’s largest 3 level cruising vessel, with a capacity of just under 500, where two levels are inside and the third is just under the stars.

This event offers an exciting taste of Latin American Culture within the beautiful waters of Vancouver, cruising gorgeous False Creek. An outstanding night filled with only the best in music, entertainment and surroundings. Your ticket includes:

  • A sultry mix of Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and Reggaeton and of course some Top 40, R & B and Hip Hop also blended into the night’s music vibe.
  • Take part in the beginner’s Salsa Lesson taught my Vancouver’s best instructors, then sit back and watch the show that follows while later testing your new moves.
  • Dance the night away on either of the 2 levels that are covered and to cool off, venture to the 3rd floor to continue exploring the world of Latin dance.
  • Whether you are taking a class to learn the dance that continues to sweep the world or just want that cruise around Vancouver’s stunning harbour your evening be a memorable one.
Or more information on this event, visit http://salsacruises.com.

Cha Cha Cha!
– Laura