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-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Candidate Exposé – Janel de Boer

Janel de Boer

I am Janel de Boer, 21 years old and I am from the Netherlands. Currently I am studying International Leisure Management in Breda, the Netherlands. I had to do an internship abroad for my university and I wanted to do that outside of Europe. I couldn’t go to South Africa or Asia, so I chose to go to Canada.

I found Internex through my university since they have a partnership, so the company was mentioned between all the internship partners. So now I am doing the practicum program here and I really like it!

I am placed at Internex itself as a PR-coordinator. I organise the pub nights, weekly events and monthly events. I really like it here as I get t make friends with the candidates and create an amazing time for them here in Vancouver. I think you need to be open-minded and have some organizational-, planning-, and marketing skills for this internship. I think this internship is really useful for my career goals. I learned to be a team leader and I learned how to organize and market events and a lot more!

In Vancouver I live in an apartment downtown. I really like it as it is close to everything Janel de Boer (words)and I live with a good friend of my, which is also really nice. In the beginning I was really overwhelmed as I arrived in the evening on Granville Street. In the evening it is really busy here with a lot of lights. The next day it was raining, like usual, but I really liked the big city feeling and the feeling of being in Canada. Now at the moment I think it is too big for me. I can live here for the several months I planned to, but I would never want to actually live in such a big city.

During my stay I have been to the Rockies, Tofino, Victoria, Whistler, Kelowna, Seattle, Squamish and Wisconsin. I also went skiing a lot and hiking in the beautiful parks around Vancouver.

What I like most is that everybody is really polite in Canada, you would never see that in the Netherlands. I also really like all the parks in Canada, the nature here is so beautiful.

Being in a different country is always really difficult. It is hard to be away from your family and friends for such a long time. Also the culture is different from the Netherlands and it is not always easy to adjust to it.

The most memorable thing of my stay here is the Rockies trip. It was an amazing weekend with great friends, parties, places and nature. This experience didn’t’ t really inspire me to travel more since I already wanted to travel more before I came here. I would really love to see a lot of the world and get to see all the different cultures. Asia and Africa are definitely parts of the world I want to see.

I worked for Internex and I would definitely recommend it to others. If you are doing your internship in another country it is always hard to find friends outside your company, but with Internex you get to know a lot of people and make a lot of friends.

When I get back home I will see my family at the airport and have a really amazing Dutch dinner with them. After that the weekend starts and I will see my friends again.

– Janel

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

PR-team adventures

About one and a half week ago I went on a little trip together with Iris and Merle. Although it was only a two-day trip, it felt like I’ve been away for at least a week and our time there was great!

So where did we go? Well a few weeks ago I wrote how great my first surf experience was and I totally fell in love with it, so I decided to do it again: destination Tofino. I was lucky that Iris and Merle also wanted to have this experience and we were able to go together.

19642812_10203284236822460_5645433533691633944_n24th of June, 6 AM: I was standing at the bus stop with only three hours of sleep and a little hungover from my barbecue party the night before. Once I saw the girls and our tour bus from Discover Canada Tours, I felt kind of alive again and I was good to go. According to our fantastic tour guide we had a full day of planning on our way to Tofino. So we took the ferry to Nanaimo, drove to Tofino and made a few stops in between. We saw some big trees and a beautiful spot along the river.

 

Good thing; it was super warm and shiny weather, bad thing; our air-conditioning didn’t 19554676_10203284237262471_9110746863512227894_nwork. Sweaty kids in the back of the bus, but still laughing our asses of from all the stupid jokes that came from our overheated brains. Besides that I must say our tour guide did a great job with keeping us entertained by covering Lady gaga, Adele and even Queen. Along with great dance moves we were very amused.

When we arrived in Tofino, we had free time and I showed the girls around the city (actually only two streets since Tofino is not that big). Of course I ended up at a boutique buying some vintage clothes while I really promised myself I was not going to buy any clothes that month, whoops. After that we went to a sushi restaurant that had an amazing view over the inner harbour. Unfortunately the sushi was not that great, but the company and the view made it a good experience.

19554292_10203284237822485_5670989559610156534_nOur tour guide picked us up and brought us to the hotel. We took a quick shower since we were melting away in the bus the entire day, and made ourselves ready for the campfire on the beach. I still can’t really believe this since there were quite some guys on the trip, but I lit the campfire (yay me). Here we finally got the chance to meet the others from the bus and we had some really nice conversations. We enjoyed the amazing sunset and the fire went on for hours. This really is one of my favourite nights in Canada because Tofino kind of became my happy place. We had good company and a stunning sunset, what do you want more?

The next day, after three hours of sleep again, it was time for our surf lesson. Surf Sister gave 19702223_10203284239262521_6492473239970302674_nthe lesson and in my opinion they did an amazing job. First they explained a lot about the ocean and how it works with surfing and then, after some practise on the beach, we took our boards into the water. I could really feel my previous lesson helped me since standing up became easier. In the end I even did a 180!

Because it takes a lot of energy we went lunching in town afterwards, together with our new friend from the bus. With full stomachs we took the Tonquin trail to Tonquin Beach, hoping to spot wales. Unfortunately we didn’t see any, but we did see Eagles flying in a scenic view. We had a great time chilling there and before we knew, it was time to get back to the bus and head to Nanaimo.

Sweaty kids in the back of the bus again, I guess it was even worse then the day before, but we made our way to Nanaimo. On the ferry we were able to enjoy the sunset and we went on a little whale hunt again. I guess we weren’t very lucky with the whales that weekend, since we didn’t see them around. We saw a dolphin though, which was really cool too!

Back at Canada Place we said our goodbyes and we all went home. The days after were pretty hectic since I met up with people from the trip, which was really fun! Now everybody is back to their daily routine, but the trip will remain a great memory.

– Tess

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

PR-team adventures

As some of you may know, my parents visited me in May and we went on a road trip on Vancouver Island. Although we had many amazing moments, one stood out by far for me: surfing in Tofino.

I already wanted to go surfing for years, but the moment never came until the idea did arise on our way to Tofino, which is kind of the surfing Walhalla around here. So I called the Tofino Surf School and they were immediately able to book me in on an afternoon class. I was so stoked to do this, but once I booked it I was also kind of creeped out because I saw those massive waves earlier that day and me being a 1.65 cm girl would easily get washed away by it. But there was no turning back now, so I showed op for my surf class at 4 pm.

Once I was in the office I was provided with some boots and a wetsuit, which is the hardest thing to get on (later on I found out this was nothing compared to the wet thing I needed to get off after class, which was really the hardest thing ever). We were ready to go and drove behind our surf teacher who had all the boards with him.

When we got to the beach I chose a nice red surfboard and thought it was lighter then I surfing1imagined. Though, once I saw the long path I still needed to take to the beach while carrying my board, I was already kind off exhausted before I even got to surf. But we managed eventually and we were ready to surf! It was not that simple and after the instructions on how to stand up, we first needed to do these steps with our boards on the beach, which felt really awkward and funny. So I was paddling and paddling… through the sand and managed to get up at the first time! Just joking, that is easy with that surface of course.

But I was ready and our teacher sent us of in the ocean. I was scared it would be really surfing2cold, but once I was in I was actually sweating in the water if that is even possible. I really got to experience how high and strong those waves are and it really made me speechless how strong nature is. I was ready to roll with it with my board. So I was paddling and paddling… and got up at the first time! No joke! It was so amazing to just get along with the wave while you get to see beautiful nature surrounding it. After that I got up a few times more, which was just amazing. After that I kind of got too excited and tired, so I started making mistakes and I couldn’t stand up anymore. It came to an end and I thanked my teacher for the great lesson, while already feeling sore in my entire body. You don’t really feel it while surfing because you are just in a rush, but it is such a workout and I had sore muscles for at least three days!

Despite all that soreness it was just great and I would always remember it! I also think if surfing3you just love something and you may be able to do it, just go for it. So I just got out of the Discover Canada Tours office to book my next trip to Tofino with Iris. I am really happy I am going to improve my skills on those waves and to make new memories while surfing!

So guys little advise here; do the things you always wanted to do while you may still be able to do them! And go surfing, surfing is just great. Our PuB NiGHTS too, so I hope to see you tonight!

– Tess

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

Vargas Island Tour Guide: Activities

The camping trip is only 2 weeks away! Here is another blog to get you totally ready for the trip! This time I will inform you about the activities you can do on the Saturday.

Tofino

There are a few things you can do in Tofino itself. Tofino is known as one of the best surf spots of the world, so when you are there you should definitely try out surfing. There are several surfing schools on the island, so don’t let your lack of experience hold you back! As it is an island, it is perfect for other water sports too such as kayaking and stand up paddling. If you would rather explore Tofino by foot then you could go for one of the hikes around the town, for example the Rainforest Trail!

Whale Watching

IMG_3260.JPGFirst of all, Tofino is known for its whale watching tours. During March and April there are lots of gray whales migrating from Mexico to the north. In May till November there are over 200 gray whales that stay in the waters next to Vancouver Island. Between June and September they have the highest sightings of Humpback whales. So there is a lot of chance that you will see whales if you go on a whale watching tour during our trip!

Hot Springs Cove

There is also a hot spring close to Tofino. If you want to do this tour you even might be able to see some wildlife. When you arrive at the dock in Hot Springs Cove you will first walk through a rainforest and on the end of this walk are the hot spring pools, a waterfall and some great views of the Pacific Ocean.

Meares Island

14229116502_aa92a5f39e_oMeares Island is an island close to Tofino and Vargas Island. There are two hikes on the island. The first hike is the Big Trees Trail. This trail will lead you through world’s largest Western Red Cedar Trees on a boardwalk. The second hike is for more experienced hikers. This hike will get you up the Lone Cone Mountain. It takes around 4-6 hours to go up the mountain and back.

I hope I informed you guys enough about the activities. Next week there will be an update about the schedule! If you would like to know more about the camping trip, then check out our event page. There is only one more week to sign up, so come by the office and sign up to ensure your spot!

– Janel

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

Vargas Island Tour Guide: Places

In the weekend of the 9th of June till the 11th we will go on a trip to Vargas Island and Tofino! With the following tour guide blogs we hope to inform you more about the places we will visit, the activities and the schedule.

During the weekend we will camp on Vargas Island. A water taxi will take us there from Tofino and we will set up our camp on one of the campsites for the following 2 nights. On Saturday we will go back to Tofino for one day to do some activities.

7252262084_00720a27f7_oVargas Island is a Provincial Park close to Tofino. The park contains 5788 hectares of land. It has 3 amazing wilderness campings, two at Ahous Bay and one on the north beach of the island. If we are lucky we might even see whales pass in the distance. The Ahous Bay has a west-facing beach looking straight out at the Pacific Ocean. Vargas Island is home to wolves. The wolves are used to the people, but food must be stored out of reach.

Tofino is a small village on Vancouver Island. It is a really easygoing and friendly town with only around 2000 inhabitants. The village is a big tourist destination in summer and it attracts lots of surfers, hikers, campers, whale watchers, fishermen or just anyone looking to be close to nature. Tofino was even named best surf town in North America in 2010. As Tofino is part of the Pacific Rim National Park, there are also lots of hikes around the village.

I hope I informed you guys enough about the places we will visit. Next week there will be an update about the activities! If you would like to know more about the camping trip, then check out our event page.

– Janel

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