You can search for your own apartment, studio, or a room in a shared flat on the private housing market.
Living in a shared flat
A shared flat (in German “WG” = Wohngemeinschaft) is a very popular and typical form of housing. You rent a room in an apartment with multiple flatmates and share the costs of rent, the kitchen, and the bathroom. The advantage is that you get to meet other students directly! If you wish to live in a shared flat, you should prepare for an informal interview with your prospective flatmates. Mostly, students living in WGs are interested in sharing not only the apartment but also experiences. Therefore you should be open and ready to get involved in community life.
The first weeks in Aachen might be rough, especially in the winter term, as many other students are also searching for a place to live. Before arriving to Aachen, you should always make sure to book a temporary accommodation in order to have a roof over your head and a place to come back to after a long day of housing hunting.
Some student associations, such as AISA implemented a system similar to Couchsurfing and the KHG provides emergency accommodation for a few nights during the first months of winter term. Hostels and Boarding houses might be a good option in you would like to stay several weeks.
Subrenting a flat can also be a good temporary solution for a few months when arriving in Aachen, as the rooms are mostly furnished. Usually, they belong to students going abroad themselves for a few months. The difference from renting an accommodation on your own is that you pay the rent to the main tenant and not to the landlord directly. INCAS and the International Office Housing Advice Service maintain both lists with private offers. You might want to contact them to check if there is any offer interesting for you.
Aachen is More Than Just a City Center!
You have chosen to study in Aachen and would prefer to live directly in the center for an affordable price. In most cases, this won't be possible since availability is low and rent is higher than in other neighborhoods.
For this reason, we recommend including the area surrounding Aachen in your search: the outer city districts of Aachen, which include Richterich, Haaren, Laurensberg, Brand, Eilendorf, Kornelimünster, and Walheim; Würselen, Herzogenrath, Kohlscheid, Alsdorf, Eschweiler or Stolberg. This would significantly increase your chances of finding an affordable apartment.
As a student of RWTH Aachen you will receive a semester ticket after you enroll. This allows you to comfortably use public transportation and reach the outer neighborhoods in just minutes.
Studying in Aachen, Living in the Euroregion
At first glance it may seem counterintuitive to study in Aachen and live in the Netherlands or Belgium. At second glance though, this is clearly a good alternative! Aachen is located in the three-country corner and is just a few kilometers from Vaals, Kelmis, and Kerkrade.
EU citizens specifically can easily commute between countries. The connection with public transportation is very good and you can even cover parts of the route by bike. Usually, non-European citizens are not able to study in Germany and live in the Netherlands or Belgium due to residence restrictions. There is one exception: the pilot project Parkstad Limburg which provides housing in Heerlen and Kerkrade for International Students. Since 2016 there has been a collaborative project between Parkstad Limburg, Netherlands, and RWTH Aachen: this pilot project allows international students to study at RWTH and live in the Netherlands. The housing project is open to all international students.
One particularity is that non-EU students must apply for a Dutch visa. The residence hurdles have been smoothed over specifically for the pilot project. However, since the visa procedures take time and since you cannot apply for both German and Dutch visa, you should decide early enough whether you would like to live in the Netherlands. Do you have questions about this housing project? Contact the project coordinator in Kerkrade, Ms. Notermann.
You might also be interested in having a look at Vaals, which is very near to Campus Melaten. As the community of Vaals is very interested in attracting a younger population, some student dorms have been built and the city provides advantageous offers for students. If you would like to have more information, you can contact our Housing Service!
Scam attempts have increased over the years and are particularly numerous around the beginning of the semesters. In order to protect yourself best against scam attempts, there are some basic rules to follow:
- If you rent or subrent a room / apartment, insist on getting a written rental contract and make sure to read it through in detail before signing it.
- Never pay anything before having seen the accommodation! Some scammers can be very convincing as they sometimes attach a personal ID and a seemingly legitimate lease contract.
If you have any doubt on an offer, you can contact our housing advice service. In case of serious presumptions, please report it directly to the police.