Smile: ‘A WHP visa can help foreigners to discover another country’

Smile Cha is in the Netherlands on a working holiday, as a student from South Korea. She is currently enrolled in the Dutch Working Holiday Program (WHP). What are her experiences?

Smile Cha is studying health administration and tourism in Amsterdam with the WHP: "I've always been interested in travelling around the world. I didn't get the chance to go abroad however, because of my small budget. One day I discovered some books in Seoul about the Working Holiday Program. There I found lots of ideas on how to live and work legally in foreign countries for one year."

Discovering another country

After graduation, Smile applied for the Working Holiday Program of Australia, where she lived for a year: "During my time there I discovered how much a WHP visa can help foreigners to discover another country. I met some new Dutch friends and they were all so kind compared to the other Europeans. The Dutch are quite similar in their behaviour to Korean people. This makes sense: the Netherlands is a trendy, global-oriented and sociable country, although its size is small, just like South Korea."


"When I came back to Korea, I had a strong thirst to experience living in Europe before I would reach my 31st birthday and be too old to apply. I knew as well that Holland offers a WHP visa since 2016. That's why I chose to go to Amsterdam to find inspiration and experiences. At the same time, you need to save money for your time abroad – the costs of the airplane ticket, visa and stay as well as other initial costs." 

"If you want to live in Amsterdam with a WHP visa, it takes some time before you're settled down and all the paper work is in order," Smile says. "It is important that you start preparing your trip a year in advance. Fortunately I've met a nice boss who understood my situation, and now I work in one of the macaron shops in Amsterdam. I also have a place to stay for the duration of the program. But I got lucky: it is quite hard to find a room in Amsterdam, especially in the center."

Tons of cheeses

"I plan to enjoy lots of festivals and Amsterdam culture with local friends," Smile says of her time in the Netherlands. "I also want to taste tons of different cheeses everyday with yogurts. And I want to travel to other parts of Holland with my bike. Cheers!"