Stepwest Stories: Christiane from Germany during her Engineering Internship in Vancouver!

December 28, 2018
Posted in News


There is no better moment than the present and our next Stepwest Stories star believes this to the fullest. Introducing Christiane, our participant from Germany. who is completing an internship in Canada through our Student Internship Program in Vancouver! 

Inspired by the quote “Living in the moment could be the meaning of life,” Christiane decided to move her life to Canada for 3 months to complete an internship as part of her studies in Business Engineering at University of Applied Sciences RFH in Cologne. Since last September, Christiane has being enjoying her work experience in Vancouver and it’s been the best decision she’s ever made! 

During my internship in Canada I can apply my skills from the classroom to real-life work experience. I’m being part of tangible projects to gain the real-world experience that I will need in my career once I go back to Europe!

Last month we had a chance meet with Christiane and she sat down with us to discuss her journey in Canada and how her internship experience has been so far in Vancouver, Canada. We love Christiane’s fun-loving energy and constant laughter, so we’re excited to share her story with all of you, read our interview with her to learn more!

How are you liking Vancouver so far?

Vancouver is such a friendly city! I love the people; my homestay family and co-workers are all so welcoming and helpful. The city felt like home even after one week and I’m enjoying seeing the city and exploring more parts of B.C. Doing an internship, instead of just learning English in classes makes the experience way more enjoyable as you get to interact with so many people that live in the city.

What is your study background in Germany?

I am from Cologne, Germany and I studied business engineering, which is a combination of economic and mechanical engineering, at the University of Applied Science RFH Cologne. Now, I’m completing my Masters in mechanical engineering, that’s why I wanted to complete an international internship, to get work experience abroad!

Why did you choose to do an internship in Vancouver?

I knew that once I finished my masters it would be harder to go live abroad, so this was my chance to do it. I took the opportunity and ran with it and so far it is like a dream. I love the nature — mountains and sea, and I thought I could easily combine my work experience and social life here. There was no doubt in my mind when I chose Vancouver, I was very set on coming here.

What is your favourite part of your internship in Vancouver?

My internship in Canada has been very good so far. I get to learn about how mining and engineering works in Vancouver and gain new experiences for the future. My co-workers trust me to work independently and share ideas, so I love being able to be a part of the team. I also love being a part of a start up because I see how far the company has come over the past few months. 

How do you like Vancouver?

Vancouver is amazing so far! I love Queen Elizabeth Park and it’s really close to my homestay which is nice. I can do exercise there and watch the sunset from time to time. The best spot is where you can see the view of the whole city, everyone needs to go there!

I also love Grouse Mountain. When I was hiking there, I actually saw my favourite quote “Live in the moment could be the meaning of life” on a sign and it made me think that it’s a sign that Vancouver is my second home. 

What has been the biggest challenge about doing your internship abroad?

The language was the biggest challenge in the beginning because everyone spoke so quickly and it was hard to understand. However, I took English classes for a couple weeks before starting my internship and I have quickly adjusted to the language. I now feel much better about my English skills! Although it was a challenge, I developed lots of self-confidence while adjusting to my new work experience through my internship and have become more open minded as well. 

Do you have any advice for those wanting to do an internship in Canada?

My advice is to research the city you are living in because it will make you feel more comfortable once you start your new adventure. Another thing that has helped me was choosing to live in a homestay. I like always having someone in contact with me during my time in Vancouver, and my homestay family is very welcoming and accommodating. I go out with my homestay family from time to time and it’s nice to have someone who is always there for you, besides your host company when you are completing your internship. 

Also, working with Stepwest has been very easy and helpful. There is nothing they could have done to make my experience of coming to Canada better. When I first started talking to them, they helped me prepare for my interview and that was probably one of the most helpful things they gave me! Also they helped me to get everything sorted with my International Co-Op internship work permit under International Experience Canada

What do you miss about home/Germany?

I mostly miss my friends and family, but other than that I don’t miss much because everything is new and different in Vancouver. I’m so busy that I almost have no time to miss much! I know my time during my internship in Canada is limited, so I need to make the most of time in Vancouver!

I love it so much, that I think I might live here for after I finish my masters! Who knows? Maybe with a Working Holiday!

I did not expect to want to come back and live here longer, but my internship host company is willing to hire me after I finish my masters in Germany, so I would love to come back as early as next year and work for them again for a longer period! Having a longer work experience abroad is what I am aiming for right now and Canada matches all my requirements, so I will be back for sure! 

It is amazing how one quote can change your life. Christiane’s belief to live in the moment because it could lead her to life changing moments, has led her to a new work experience in Canada! She’s excited to explore more places in British Columbia, Alberta, especially the Canadian winter for snowboarding, and we can’t wait to see where this journey takes her. We are also excited that she wants to come back and live here for an extra year, that is such amazing news!

Thank you for sharing your internship experience with us, Christiane. Hopefully, this has encouraged you to live in the moment and take a leap of faith no matter how scary it may seem — you might end up changing your life path because of it!

If you’re interested in going on a life changing journey yourself, check out our Student Internship programs. If you’re not from one of the International Experience Canada (IEC) countries, then we can still help you with our Study & Work programs. Contact us for a FREE consultation, we can’t wait to help you get your Canadian adventure started!

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