Connect project

For Students

If you would like to stay in the Netherlands after graduating, the University of Twente offers you an excellent opportunity to expand your work experience and professional skills and to broaden your chances on the Dutch and international job market through the Connect International Traineeship Programme.

This programme offers University of Twente and Saxion graduates a traineeship at a company or organization in the Netherlands for a time period between six and twelve months, directly after graduating. Companies and organizations with international ambitions are most interested in hiring high skilled workers with knowledge of, and experience in, specific cultures, languages and countries. Not only as technical staff, but also for management, logistics, sales and marketing positions. Through the University of Twente’s extensive network of companies and organizations in different industries all over the Netherlands, graduates have excellent possibilities to find interesting traineeship positions.

How does it work?

Selection and matching

All international graduates from the University of Twente and Saxion can apply for the programme. Through direct mail and relevant websites graduates will be informed about the selection process, which usually takes place in April/May. If you don’t graduate in July or August, there is always a chance to apply during the year. In that case you can contact the programme manager.

After selection, candidates will be prepared for working in The Netherlands through a series of workshops (see below), Dutch language classes and we will work with them on optimizing their CV.

Also, they will be matched with employers in the Netherlands, among which there are multinationals, but also small - or medium-sized companies.

IMPORTANT: Being selected does not automatically mean that a candidate will be placed in a company. Finding a suitable place very much depends on whether it is possible to match the profile of a candidate with the demand from companies at that moment. Connect does not give any guarantees for placement, and requires an active attitude from candidates in the search for options.


When a successful match is made with an employer, trainees sign a temporary labour contract with the company. The duration of a traineeship is flexible, but usually between 6 and 12 months. During this time trainees receive a modest salary; minimum wage for 23 year olds and up, as established by Dutch law. Trainees will carry out previously described and agreed projects and tasks. These can be specific projects, but may also involve the trainee taking part in the daily work routine of a team or department. The level of work should always correspond to the education programme the trainees have just finished (Bachelor or Master).

Additional training

Before, and sometimes also during the course of the traineeship, Connect provides additional training through a series of workshops and language classes. These usually take place on a Thursday or Friday afternoon or evening, about two or three times a month, both in Deventer and Enschede. The workshops focus on:

  • Networking and presentation skills,
  • Job application skills
  • Dutch labour market: how does it work, important legal matters,
  • Intercultural skills

Also, all trainees attend Dutch language classes.

For the workshops and language classes, trainees are expected to pay a small fee.

Residence permit

The so called “search year permit” allows graduates to stay in the Netherlands for one year following their graduation from a Dutch institution of higher education. This gives international graduates the chance to find a suitable job in The Netherlands. During this search year they are allowed to work in the Netherlands. When graduating, candidates should make an appointment with the Immigration Services (IND) and start the application process for the search year residence permit. Trainees will be informed on the procedure by the management of Connect, the procedure can take up to two months.

Trainees should also take out their own health insurance.


If, after finishing the traineeship, both employer and trainee would like to continue the working relationship, the contract could be extended. The salary should be competitve from that moment on. Similar programmes show that 75% of the trainees are offered positions at the traineeship employers after finishing the traineeships. If a trainee has a job offer at the end of the search year, he/she can apply for a residence permit as “highly skilled immigrant”.