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

How does it work?

Selection and matching

All international graduates from the University of Twente and Saxion can apply for the programme until June 15th.  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.

To qualify for the programme, you have to:

  • Be fluent in English, both written and spoken, (knowledge of Dutch would be a great asset)
  • Show initiative and be proactive,
  • Plan to work and live in the Netherlands for the next few years,
  • Be committed to completing the programme,
  • Planning on staying in the Deventer-Enschede Area, during the programme.

 Students who are studying with a scholarship of the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) can NOT apply.

After interviews with the candidates, (13 June-22 June) only a select group of students will be admitted to the programme. When selected, candidates will be prepared for working in The Netherlands through the Connect Career Development Programme. After selection, candidates will be prepared for working in The Netherlands through a series of workshops (see below), optional Dutch language classes, and we will work on optimizingyour CV.

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.

Additional training

 The Connect Career Development Programme provides 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.


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).

Residence permit

The so called “search year permit” allows graduates to stay in the Netherlands for one year. 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.

Please check “working in the Netherlands after graduation” for more information about the search year permit. 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 competitive 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”.

Enrolling for the program? Send an email to careerservices@utwente.nl