The story of Paulina

Java Backend Consultant

The Netherlands is the friendliest country for expats.

Paulina arrived in the Netherlands in early 2021. Her first four months feel like the longest and hardest time of her life. But also, the happiest she has ever been.

Meet Paulina

Born in Costa Rica, Paulina is now living in Utrecht. “I joined WAES as a Java Backend Developer and currently I am assigned at a project at Wärtsilä.” Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. “I’m super excited about vessels, ships and the energy consumption on them. So, working at Wärtsilä is something I really like.”

Paulina started coding when she was at high school, at the age of 13 or 14 already. “After high school I pursued a minor in computer science. Then I went to college, and I kept having internships and kept working. That all let me here as a Java Developer.”

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The relocation process with WAES was something Paulina experienced as a smooth process. “It felt like somebody was holding my hand the entire time. WAES has always been by my side. If it’s not the person who was helping me with my relocation, it would be somebody else from the staff of another coworker. Everybody was super helpful.”

“I’m living in Utrecht, which is an amazing, vibrant city. At first it was a tough decision because I just knew Amsterdam. I think most people just know Amsterdam, because when you travel around the Netherlands it’s a city where everybody is going. I knew the WAES office was located in Eindhoven, so that would be an option as well. I’ve heard of Utrecht before, but I really kind of had to play by the ear and trust that it would be close to my client’s facility, close to Eindhoven and not like Amsterdam.” Paulina chose not to live in Amsterdam, because she didn’t want to live the touristic live.

“Living in Utrecht is something I really like; I think it’s the best place to live. The canals are beautiful. People are super nice. The house that I live in, I really, really like it. I think it’s the perfect city to live in and to experience a little bit of Dutch culture and be surrounded by malls and shops of brands that you know.”


At home, Paulina was very adventurous. She liked to go traveling, bungee jumping or diving. In the Netherlands she also wanted to try something new, so she bought a piano and joined music lessons. “I do see coding as a creative movement myself. People might think it’s very technical, but I think it’s more in the creative side of the brain. For me, the piano really complements my way of expressing.”

Besides being adventurous and playing the piano, Paulina is into cooking as well. “For me, cooking is almost a way of caring for people. I really like to have people over at my place and exchange recipes. When I go to another house, I always bring out dishes as well.

The Netherlands is the friendliest country for expats. You can unlock a new life here if you are ready for it. There are a lot of communities of expats that are really friendly with expats from all over the world.”

Meeting new people is very easy, in Paulina’s opinion. She explains: “At first you meet one person who is super helpful. That person introduces you to their group of friends and that group introduces you to even more people. At the end of the day, you end up with a lot of friends. Also, at WAES, there is a big community. There is a great diversity of different natioanlities that you can meet. For me it’s super exciting to get to know them. They kind of become your little family.”