Certificate International Pro


For Technical and Administrative Employees

Two people crouching over a laptop Copyright: © Martin Braun

Do you regularly come across international students, doctoral candidates, researchers, or guests at work? Would you like to improve your language and intercultural skills in order to cope better with the increasingly international working environment? Then we hope you will join our Pro Certificate International program – a unique further education course exclusively for technical and administrative employees at RWTH Aachen University.


Are you a research associate? Then the Certificate International Compact program is right for you.



Kathrin Helsen

Coordinator Welcome Week / ZIP / IntSpire


+49 241 80-90665



Aim of the Certificate International Pro Program

The effects of internationalization are apparent in many areas of work and are presenting employees with many new challenges. With this further training program we aim to support you in preparing yourself for internationalization.

In a small group, you will get to know different facets of internationalization over a one-year period. You will improve your language and intercultural skills and have the opportunity to participate in a five-day stay abroad at an international partner university. Alternatively, you can welcome an international colleague in Aachen and accompany them during their orientation phase.

Structure and Content of the Program

Certificate International Pro is a modular program that covers many facets of internationalization.

Candidates must complete modules 1 to 6 in order to acquire the certificate.

In Module 6, you have the choice to pursue a stay abroad at an international partner university or to act as a Staff Mentor to supervise a new international employee.

The Certificate International is enriching on all levels. I learned a lot about other cultures, improved my language skills abroad, and met many great people from RWTH. A fantastic opportunity to broaden one's horizons, superbly organized and supervised by the International Office.

Julia Reißen - Department 12.0 - Staff Development and Talent Management


Module Descriptions

Module 1 – Introduction to the Internationalization Strategy

In this interactive workshop you will learn about the University's internationalization strategy and gain initial insights into the tasks of the International Office. How does internationalization affect the everyday life at the University? How and is the internationalization strategy implemented and by whom? How does the internationalization of RWTH compare with the rest of Germany?

Module 2 – Intercultural Skills

In this module you will find out about important contextual information and instructions for dealing with people from different cultural backgrounds. You will look at preventing stereotypes but also the topics of cultural standards and ways to solve conflict situations. Intercultural skills are important in many areas: successfully working in international teams, but also preparing you well for dealing with international students or your own stay abroad. You will also be able to expand your network with colleagues who are interested in intercultural topics.

Module 3 - Language Course (Self-Organized)

In cooperation with the Language Center of RWTH Aachen University, Division 8.4 – Vocational and Further Training offers a wide range of English courses. Successfully attending a foreign language course counts as a component for Certificate International Pro. In order for the course to be recognized, the (English) course must comprise at least 48 teaching units of 45 minutes each and you must attend at least 75 percent of the sessions (other foreign languages by individual arrangement). Please register for the language course yourself. The Language Center and Division 8.4 will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable offer. You can find further information and the current course offerings in the further training database.

Module 4 – Intercultural Skills – Specific (Predetermined Session)

In this course, the skills acquired in Module 2 will be deepened and applied to specific cultures.

It is especially important to focus intercultural training on China and India in particular. These are both focus countries of RWTH Aachen University and are proportionally the most represented nation among international students and researchers.

The cultural differences between Western Europe and Asian countries have high potential for cultural misunderstandings, which can lead to conflicts at work. With appropriate awareness, however, cultural misunderstandings can easily be eliminated.

Module 5 – Optional Components (Self-Organized)

Various activities related to an international/intercultural topic can be completed as optional components, such as further training in DAAD's iDA program, further intercultural training, an internship at International Office, co-organizing an international event, voluntary work in the intercultural field, etc.

Check the detailed list of optional components.

In order to be recognized for the program, the components must last at least 8 hours in total. We are happy to offer you advise and support you on this topic.


Module 6 – 6a) Stay Abroad or 6b) Staff Mentor

6a) Stay Abroad (self-organized or group travel)

A stay abroad is one of the best ways to broaden your personal horizons and develop your language and intercultural skills. Staff mobility within Europe can be supported through the Erasmus+ program, plus visits to our international (strategic) partner universities can be financed. In cooperation with the Travel Management Office, Division 2.3 Mobility will be happy to assist you in organizing a mobility abroad.

In order to be recognized as part of the Certificate International Pro program, the stay abroad must last at least 5 days and fulfill the purpose of professional training (e.g. staff training week, job shadowing, participation in workshops and seminars, language courses, or teaching).

If interested, group mobility for participants in the program will be designed and organized in coordination with the group.


6b) Staff Mentor including preparatory training

Staff Mentors accompany new international employees and support their so-called mentees in their new orientation in Aachen and at RWTH Aachen University. After your registration, the Welcome Center for International Researchers will look for a suitable mentee or a suitable employee for you and provide the contact details.

You will stay in contact with your mentee for a period of about 3 months before they come to Aachen and for an initial period once they are here, meet regularly (in person or virtually), support with formal and organizational matters and answer questions about life in Aachen.

Through the Staff Mentor training you will be well prepared for the job and of course the experienced consulting team of the Welcome Center will assist you with all your questions. The support activity as a Staff Mentor is a good opportunity to make international contacts and to apply your intercultural skills. You can find further information and the registration form at the Welcome Center for International Researchers.


Completion of the Program

Once you have completed the program, University Management will present you with the Certificate International Pro. In recognition of your special commitment, you will also receive a one-time bonus of 500 euros, which will be paid to you alongside your regular monthly salary.

Further Questions?

If you have any further questions about the program or its content, please feel free to send us an or call us!


FAQ on Certificate International Pro

How much time do I have to dedicate to the program?

You can complete the whole program in one year, provided that you attend all the predetermined sessions. You have a maximum of 2 years to complete all the required modules and submit the relevant certificates. The total time required is approximately 100 hours.

Who can take part in the program?

Certificate International Pro was designed exclusively for technical and administrative employees with the aim of promoting the internationalization of staff in administration, laboratories, workshops, libraries, etc. at the foreground.

What can be recognized as an optional component?

Many activities related to an international or intercultural topic can be recognized as optional components.

On the following page, you will find an exemplary (but not exhaustive) list of optional components.

If you are unsure or need any help with organizing the optional components, please contact us.


What happens if I want to drop out of the program part-way through?

We would like to support you in successfully completing the program. If you are having any problems fulfilling any of the components, please contact us. Once you have completed modules 1 to 5, you can be awarded the Certificate International Compact. In addition, you will receive certificates of participation for the individual modules.

How can I find a language course?

In cooperation with the Language Center of RWTH Aachen University, Division 8.4 – Vocational and Further Training offers a wide range of English courses. You can find further information and the current course offerings in the further training database.

What language courses can be recognized?

In terms of internationalization, acquiring advanced to proficient English skills is vital. If you already have a high level of English, specialist language courses and specialist English courses with an intercultural/international or thematic focus can be taken upon individual arrangement. From C2 level (certificate required), further foreign language courses relevant to your work can also be taken upon individual arrangement.

I took a language course last year, can I have this recognized?

It is great that you have already attended a language course. As part of the Certificate International Pro program, we would of course like to encourage you to continue! For this reason, participants must complete language courses of at least 48 teaching units of 45 minutes each during the program.

If you already have a good command of English and German (high level or native), you can replace module 3 with another activity or you can learn another foreign language upon individual consultation.

I already have international/intercultural experience, can I have this recognized?

We are happy to hear that you have already been involved in international and intercultural activities! You can have your achievements recognized as optional components retroactively (i.e. up to one year before the start of the program) and will then be exempt from participating in Module 5.

If you have already attended intercultural training, you can be exempt from Module 2 or Module 4 upon consultation. We will be happy to advise you on this.

I am an international employee. Can I take part?

All technical and administrative employees can participate in the Certificate International Pro program.

International participants are welcome to attend a German course instead of an English course, for example, if required. Currently, however, the modules are predominantly offered in German.

If you speak little or no German at all, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.

How long do I have to have lived in Aachen for in order to be a Staff Mentor?

To be able to work as a Staff Mentor, you need to have good general knowledge of the University and the City of Aachen.

As a rule, Staff Mentors should have been working in Aachen or at RWTH for at least two years.

If you are unsure whether your knowledge is sufficient, please contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers.

Who can I contact with accessibility questions?

Please contact us if there is anything in particular you would like us to consider when planning and implementing the program. In cooperation with the Representative Council for Staff With Disabilities, we will create the program to be accessible and take your needs into consideration.