INTERNeX Canada: Have you ever tried a POUTINE?

Canada doesn’t have an official national food, but our famous “poutine” is a strong contender for this title! What is it? A poutine consists of three main ingredients: fries, gravy and cheese curds.

Yup, basically a dish full of grease and calories and probably shouldn’t be eaten, but it is the most delicious thing ever. This is the best thing when you are freezing cold or if you are taking a break from skiing on the slopes.

Cheese curds, which is basically unprocessed cheese that should be eaten when fresh, was invented when dairy farmers in Quebec wanted to save excess production. It has a soft chewy texture with little taste and makes a squeaky sound when you bite into it.

Quebec is also where poutine has originated. Many Quebecois communities such as Drummondville and Warwick claim to be the birthplace of this dish in the late 1950s, but nobody really knows who or where this trend really started.

Now, poutine has become popular all over Canada and in the United States especially in New York and New Jersey. There are many variations to the basic gravy, cheese and fries with additional ingredients such as other cheeses, pulled pork, beans and barbecue sauces. Basically like a nacho, anything goes!

You might have to go to Montreal to find the best and most original kind of poutine, but here are some really good and cheap places in Vancouver to try this dish:

  • La Belle Province (1215 Davie St. & Robson St.): This is where you are going to find the most authentic version as it serves traditional Quebecius cuisine.
  • Fritz European Fry House (718 Davie Street & Granville St.): As the name hints, Fritz specializes in fries. That’s pretty much all they sell there with a whole bunch of poutine toppings and sauces to try.
  • Costco Food Court (605 Expo Boulevard, right across Rogers Arena): This might be an unusual place for poutine as Costco is a warehouse that sells goods in bulk. (Psst, this is a special Smart Saver Vancouver for those of you who got this far in the post!) Their huge poutine goes for about $4.50 and everything on the menu is very cheap. While you need a membership card to purchase anything else in the store, their food court is open to anyone!

You must try this Canadian cuisine while you are living here! It might look kind of gross, but trust me, you’ll fall in love!



INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

Do you know how you get Dutch people to be mad at you? I succeeded.

I made this terrible mistake this week and got punished for it :-), not only with this extra blog post from my boss, but also with disapproving looks and comments from the (quite big!) Dutch INTERNeX community. I openly declared someone being from Holland. That is wrong. The Dutch are from The Netherlands! I now remember that every time Germany and The Netherlands/Holland engaged in their usual soccer rivalries I was wondering why this country seems to have two names. I learned now that Holland is just a region in The Netherlands. So it’s The Netherlands. Never will make this mistake again.

Thinking about this faux pas of mine, similar issues from my own and other countries came to my mind. The world likes to think of Germans as leather pants-wearing and beer-drinking Bavarians. Just to make it clear: Germany is not Bavaria and people usually don’t dress like that (the beer thing might be true, though).

Another thing I learned recently: you better don’t assume that somebody is from Australia just because they speak Aussie English. Apparently, New Zealanders in hostels all over Canada constantly have to listen to people who label them Australians. By the time they cross Canada, they might get slightly mad at anybody who calls them that!

And of course, Canadians are not American! I lived with this very committed and proud Quebecois-Canadian lady once. The first thing she told me was that Canadians are different from their southern neighbors. Even more important, people from the French-speaking province of Quebec are not like the rest of Canada. So, should you ever encounter a person from this eastern province, remember: Quebecers are kind of ok with being Canadian, they are not in the least American, and they are certainly not French, they just speak it! 

Cultural lessons like this are exactly the reason why I love being abroad and meeting so many different people. Staying in my familiar comforts at home I probably wouldn’t have learned that Holland is not the same as The Netherlands or that you never never ever should refer to Quebecers as French.

Have you ever experienced something similar? Do you have more examples? Please let me know!


INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149

Fun Facts about Canada

Today I would like to tell you some interesting facts about Canada and of the 12 different provinces! After reading this article you will know a lot more about Canada!

Canada: Canadians consume the most macaroni and cheese in comparison with other countries. And did you know that John Cabot was the first explorer who reached Canada in 1497

British Columbia: did you know that the world’s largest octopus, scallop, and sea star are found in British Columbia’s ocean water.

Alberta: On January 27th, 1962, Alberta experienced a Chinook! this is a very warm wind that blows though the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The temperature rose from – 18.9 to +3.3 in only 1 hour! Can you imagine that?

Saskatchewan: In this province the daylight saving time does not occur, the clock will stay on the standard time. easy eh?!

Manitoba: The area portage la Prairie, located in this province is called the strawberry capital of Canada!

Ontario: did you know that there are more than 250.000 lakes here? that is a lot!

Quebec: in this province is 70% of the world’s maple syrup produced. No matter where you are in the world, the change is  big the maple syrup is from Quebec!

Newfoundland: If you are standing on the East coast of this province, then you are closer to Ireland than Saskatchewan.

New Brunswick: This is the only province with two official languages, French & English.

Nova Scotia: The name Nova Scotia (Latin) means New Scotland, which is names after Scotland.

Nunavut: 50% of all polar bears in the world are living here! And this province contains 1/5 of all the land in Canada!

Northwest Territories: In this province you can find the great slave lake, which is the deepest lake in Canada!

Yukon: Here you can see the amazing Northern lights in Yukon’s night sky!

Cheers, Lydia

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200-211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-


Hey guys,

I have some very interesting fact’s for you. After reading this Part 1, you will know a lot more about the provinces Canada’s.

Enjoy 🙂


Nova Scotia

Capital: Halifax

  • Oxford, N.S.  is known as the blueberry capital of Canada
  • There are 150 lighthouses in N.S.  – the most in Canada
  • A 9.3kg lobster was documented as the largest lobster caught. It was caught in N.S. in 1977
  • Nova Scotia is Latin, meaning “New Scotland”

New Brunswick

Capital: Fredericton

  • The highest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy.
  • Shediac, N.B. is with 10.5 meters Long and a weight of 90 tonnes home to the world’s largest lobster monument.
  • In 1899, the world’s longest covered bridge with a length of  390m was built in Hartland, N.B.
  • N.B. is Canada’s only official bilingual province.
  • N.B. has the highest total potato crop, Prince Edward Island the largest crop per acreage.


Capital: St. John’s

  • On the Island of Newfoundland, there are no snakes, skunks or poison ivy found.
  • On the east coast of Newfoundland, you are closer to Ireland than you are to Saskatchewan.
  • Squirrels were first introduced to Newfoundland in 1963 and are now found throughout the entire Island.


Capital: Québec

  • Some of the oldest rocks on the earth are part of the Canadian shield, which covers most of Québec
  • In Québec 70% of the world’s maple syrup is produced.
  • Montreal is the world’s second largest French-speaking city, after Paris
  • Quebec City is surrounded by a four- meter high wall. It is the only walled city in North America



Capital: Toronto

  • Waterdown, has the world’s longest gum wrapper chain. March 11, 2004, the chain was   13 526.4144m long! That’s a lot of gum to chew.
  • Ontario contains over 250 000 lakes.
  • The largest freshwater lake in the world is Lake Superior, measuring approximately 260km west to east and 560km north to south.
  • The tomato capital of Canada is Leamington, Ontario.


Capital: Winnipeg

  • The world’s biggest Trilobite fossil was found near Churchill, Manitoba. It is 70cm long and is over 445 million years old.
  • Baldy Mountain is 831 meters high and is Manitoba’s highest point.
  • Portage La Prairie is known as the strawberry capital of Canada.

To be continued 😉


Your PR-Crew

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200-211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149

Candidate Expose-Anja

So lucky you! This week you have two candidate exposes. Anja is actually currently participating in the hospitality program. She was gracious enough to take the time out of her busy schedule to sit down with me (over the Internet of course) and answer a few of my questions in regards to her experiences in Canada. I think she is a perfect example of how beneficial our programs can be for our candidates future goals. So keep reading and see if the hospitality program might be for you!

What is your name?

Where are you originally from?
Munich Bavaria, Germany. I have lived there since i was born, so around 21 years ago.

Why did you want to come to Canada in the first place?
I had just recently finished up with my apprenticeship in Germany which i had been doing for the past three years in a hotel. I needed a change and so i decided to go abroad. Honestly at first i had no idea as to where i would like to go so i went through an agency back home and they gave me the option of either Canada or Australia and so i chose the former.

How did you find out about INTERNeX?
Well i applied in Germany through the agency known as StepIn and they are working together with INTERNeX and they said that INTERNeX was the company to work with if i was really interested in working in Canada.

Why did you choose to participate in the Hospitality Program?
I signed up for this program because i wanted to gain some invaluable experience in the international hotel business. I have already had some amazing experiences with my company and my language skills have improved drastically.

For how long were you participating in this program?
I will be working for one year in total. I started organizing everything last year in February with StepIn in Germany and in March I got in contact with Internex and 4 weeks later I found out that i would be going to Vancouver soon. And in May 2009 I finally arrived in Vancouver and had my meeting with Marien and she gave me all the details and than I was on my way to Banff. All happened very quickly!

What position do you currently hold at your site of employment?
Front Desk Agent.

What kind of tasks are you responsible for on a daily basis?
Checking in and checking out guests, making reservations, dealing with complaints, giving information about all our resort has to offer, preparing check in packages for arriving guests, dealing with lost and found items and of course making our guests happy!

Do you feel that this experience has helped in terms of your future goals both professionally and personally?
I really do because it has helped me to learn so much about people, both Canadians and Americans, and how to deal with different situations which can be a challenge for me because i am not an English native speaker. Before i came here my English was really bad but now it makes me so happy when guests are telling my how great my English sounds!
When i worked in Germany i was very much focused on other people and what they need and i would always forget to ask myself what i really want. I never would do things just for me and now that i am here in Canada i am doing what i love and i am learning things about myself that i never really acknowledged. I would really like to open my own restaurant and hopefully have locations all over the world…and my experiences here are taking me one step closer to my dream.

What was one of the most memorable moments you have had in Canada so far?
By far when i met Connie, the president of the Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours. I had the pleasure of accompanying her on one of her many trips with her wolf Shaman. That was just amazing for me! I never in my life thought that i would meet a wolf face to face…but i can check that of my list now.

List the top three reasons why you would recommend others to participate in the Hospitality Program?
Everyday is different, you get to travel to lots of different places and you meet so many people from different cultures.

Have you managed to do any traveling? And what is the one place that you recommend people to visit in Banff?
So far i have managed to visit Vancouver, Jasper, Edmonton and lots of places around Banff of course. But at the end of my trip i am going to head over to Montreal, Toronto and Quebec. One place that i would highly recommend is The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel it is one of the most spectacular looking hotels i think i have ever seen-it truly looks like a castle!