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: 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: Casual Friday

One of the most common conversations is around how fast the time goes! Time flies, isn’t it? But there are so many countless and unforgettable moments that you’ll keep on mind forever…

When something important finishes in a way that you didn’t expect, no matter if it is about your professional or your personal life, people usually blame themselves for wasting their time doing that…

I can totally understand that posture but I just can’t think like that. If something happens must be for a reason, and there is no better way to learn that learning or your own mistakes.

If you spent your time doing a job that you didn’t like, it’s OK. You realize and probably understand more about what you want or you don’t want in your future.

If you started one degree that you didn’t like, you didn’t waste one year of your life. You win the chance to know what you want to become one day and what certainly not.

If you spent your time with someone that was special for you and you were special for that person as well but in some point that changes… Forget about the hate; just try to stay positive and happy for enjoying that special time. Feel proud of yourself for being able to trust that person, sometimes and more after bad experiences is not that easy, and you have to be really brave to open up yourself once again. But it doesn’t make any sense to try to hate someone that you just love (d). It’s not really sincere, and lie is always an option, for sure, but there is just one person who you would never be able to lie. Yourself.  So always follow what you think, and what you feel, no matter what the rest of the world tell you.

So forget the word mistake, just call it experience.

Enjoy this Friday doing something or with someone that makes you smile! That should be the only rule of this life!

Cheers,

Irene

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

Grouse Grind Hike with INTERNeX!

With all of the rain we’ve been getting in Vancouver, I’ve been itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. If you’re in Vancouver, you know what I mean. Anyone is welcome to join Manouk and I tomorrow morning as we head to Grouse Mountain to hike their Grouse Grind trail. We will meet inside the Waterfront Station at 10 a.m. and take the sea bus to North Vancouver. From there we will hop on a bus that will take us straight to our destination.

What you will need:

  • Good hiking shoes / running shoes
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Bottle of Water
  • Packed lunch (optional)
  • Money ($10.00 Skyride down the mountain and bus fare OR 2 Zone bus pass)
  • Camera

The Skyride is optional, as you can hike back down the mountain. We can decide this once we get to the top, however the Skyride is a one-mile journey like no other.

High above towering Douglas firs, breathtaking views of the city of Vancouver, sparkling Pacific Ocean, Gulf Islands, and snowy peaks unfold as you journey up the mountainside. North America’s largest aerial tramway is your gateway to the majestic nature of the Peak of Vancouver, and an experience in itself.

Once we get to the top, there are many activities to do if we want to stay and have a few more hours of fun. They have :

You don’t have to bring a packed lunch, but it might be fun to have a little picnic at the top, it’s supposed to be beautiful out tomorrow. There is a few restaurants at the mountain and a Starbucks I believe if you want to buy food instead.

This will be a  fun adventure guys, hope to see you tomorrow at 10 a.m. outside the Waterfront Station!

Can’t make this activity? Join us for pub night at Metropole, June 23!

Cheers and have a great weekend

Laura

The Laugh Shop, Calgary

Looking for something to do? The Laugh Shop is Calgary’s one-stop hub for laugh-out-loud hilarity. It features the finest and funniest in live stand-up comedy — no joke. They also have an ever changing roster of national touring comedians, local favourites, and we’ve hosted numerous international celebrities too. The Laugh Shop is a great night out! They offer a cafe-style menu of appetizers, sandwiches, desserts, and a full bar.

Interested?

Shows & Tickets

Thursday – 8 p.m. $10

Friday – 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. $15

Saturday – 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. | $15.00

The Laugh Shop Calgary
The Blackfoot Inn
5940 Blackfoot Trail SE
Calgary, AB T2H 2B5

– Laura

Candidate Exposé

For the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Simone. She flew in from the Netherlands and came to explore Canada on October 15, 2009. I’ve gotten the chance to hang out and party with Simone while living at the INTERNeX staff house, and she is so full of character! It’s evident in her laugh that she’s been having a blast in Vancouver, and she recently got to show her family around town too while they came for a visit!

Why did you decide to come to Canada?
Well, it was really hard to get a visa for the United States. Vancouver was the next closest thing and the Olympics were going to be held there so that’s what helped me make my decision.

How did you find out about INTERNeX?
I found out about INTERNeX through a dutch organization called Travel Active.

What program are you currently participating in?
I am in the Hospitality program doing a city placement at Blenz.

What do you enjoy about your job?
I love working with other international people, some of which are my roommates and housemates.

What skills do you use at work?
I have to multi-task and have great social skills.

What would you tell others about Canada as a country?
It is beautiful – a lot like Europe. People are really nice here… almost too nice!

Can you sum up your experience in Canada?
It is an awesome time to get to know life and more about myself.

What kind of activities have you done since living in Canada?
I’ve seen a lot of nature, been to the Rockies, and visited lots of areas within Vancouver such as Granville Island, Metrotown and many different beaches!

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to travel more all over the world, and maybe come back to Canada to work on a farm. Eventually though I would like to settle down back at home in the Netherlands.

Not sure which program is for you? Visit http://www.internexcanada.com for more information on how INTERNeX can make your trip to Canada happen!

Great Day at the Barbecue Kick-Off!

Wow! It was great to see so many people come out for the barbecue on Saturday! I loved seeing new faces and hope everyone had a great time. Congratulations to Kim, who won two tickets to the Vancouver International Film Centre!

I also wanted to say thanks to Johan, who helped cook all the burgers, sausages and hot dogs for everyone! They were absolutely delicious! It was too bad the weather wasn’t nice, but I think everyone had fun playing poker and card games inside! The glow sticks in the dance room were a cool effect and fun to look at!

If you didn’t get the chance to make it out, there will be plenty more events and trips coming up, so keep an eye out for those. The next INTERNeX PuB NiGHT will be June 10, at the Blarney Stone in Gastown. More information about that can be found here.

If you would like to see pictures from the barbecue, visit our Flickr account! You’re probably in some shots!

If you have any questions, or would like to be signed up for our newsletter, send your name and e-mail address to laura@internexcanada.com. We always love to hear your comments and ideas for future events, so write us on facebook!

Hope to see you out with us soon!

Cheers,

Laura

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149