Sustainability in Internationalization

  SuperC forecourt Copyright: © René Seyfarth

Winter School in India

Winter School 2023 on "Microgrids – A Key Contribution towards a Carbon Neutral Society".

We invite interested graduate students and PhD scholars from Indian and German universities to apply for this exciting opportunity.

Applications are now open until December 15, 2022


The International Office is working on aligning its own activities, projects, and programs with the Sustainability Mission Statement of RWTH, minimizing the conflict between international mobility and sustainability as far as possible and inspiring previously underrepresented university groups with easily accessible offers for stays abroad.

The focus here is on various activities and measures that are to be continuously expanded in dialog with all university stakeholders.

One specific consequence of these considerations is, for example, that international short stays, insofar as they require air travel, will only be funded in exceptional cases. It takes time to get used to a new environment abroad. In this respect, a longer semester abroad is not only more sustainable from an environmental perspective, but also when it comes to the learning experience when compared to a two-week summer school or an eight-day workshop.

This modified funding structure is intended to provide an incentive to opt for a longer and thus more sustainable stay.


International Funding Programs and Offers With Sustainable Features

Some international funding programs and offers with dedicated sustainability features can be found in the following list:


Within Europe, it is not always necessary to travel by air. However, since alternative means of transportation are generally more expensive, the Erasmus+ program provides additional funding for students who choose an environmentally friendly means of transportation to travel to their destination. You can find out how to apply for the so-called "Green Travel Support" in the FAQs About the Erasmus+ Study Stay.


The PROMOS funding program this year is focused on sustainability. Specifically, this means that if the project pursued abroad has a proven sustainable theme, the chances of receiving funding are higher.

Indo-German Centre for Sustainability

The IGCS supports research stays at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and a number of other IITs as well as research stays of students from Indian universities at German partner universities. The focus is on sustainability topics in the areas of water, energy, waste as well as urban and spatial planning. In addition, there are joint events such as summer and winter schools on sustainable topics.

ENHANCE – European Universities of Technology Alliance

The European ENHANCE network of seven universities of technology is particularly committed to socially inclusive and sustainable research and education. One of the network's main goals is to drive responsible societal transformation through advances in science and technology. ENHANCE promotes inter- and transdisciplinary approaches and methods of co-creation and knowledge transfer to address the major global challenges of our time. The network offers students a wide range of opportunities for dialogue and exchange, including online courses and summer schools on topics such as sustainability and gender equality.

By the way: You can also have your sustainable commitment during your stay abroad recognized via the Certificate Mobility. Please also note that our website is regularly updated, with new programs and offers continually added.


Other International Office Activities

In June 2021, the International Office participated in the Sustainability Weekend of AStA – Students' Committee and organized four workshops with international partners from different continents, each of which presented and discussed a Sustainable Development Goal in cooperation with an RWTH institute:

  • SDG 2 – Tokyo Institute of Technology - Prof. Yoichi Yatsu, Department of Physics in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Florian Wellmann, Department of Computational Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering.
  • SDG 5 – University of Alberta - Prof. Dr. Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika, Women's and Gender Studies Department in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Carmen Leicht-Scholten, Teaching and Research Area Gender and Diversity in Engineering
  • SDG 6 – Indian Institute of Technology, Madras - Prof. Dr. Vinu, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Stuttgart - Dr. Gabriela Garces, Chair of Waste Management and Emissions in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Holger Schüttrumpf, Chair and Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management
  • SDG 11 – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile - Maria Otero, Vicente Aprigliano in cooperation with Fabio Bayro Kaiser, Chair of Urban Design and Institute for Urban Design and European Urbanism