Topics A to Z

  Various round letter tiles strewn on a wooden surface © Anne Kröger  

Find helpful information on the following topics important for your research stay at RWTH Aachen University. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to contact us at the Welcome Center for International Researchers. We are happy to help you.


Topics Surrounding Your Stay

Arbeitslosenversicherung – Unemployment Insurance

If you have an employment contract in Germany, you will be registered with the unemployment insurance fund via your health insurance company. Contributions are automatically deducted from your gross salary. Please note that you are only entitled to German unemployment benefits if you meet certain requirements. Further information on Unemployment Insurance can be found on the Euraxess Germany portal.

Arbeitsvertrag – Employment Contract

Find out about the recruitment process at RWTH Aachen University here.

Aufenthaltserlaubnis – Residence Permit

We have summarized relevant information about visa and residence regulations for you on the corresponding subpage.

Bankkonto – Bank Account

We advise you to open a bank account in Germany or in the SEPA area to receive payment of your salary or scholarship installments. To open a bank account in Germany, you must first register your address with the local Resident’s Registration Office.

Bibliothek – Library

The University Library, UB for short, is RWTH’s central institution providing literature and information to its members.

Career Center

The Career Center is the central contact point for students with questions about beginning employment and career.  It gathers the various offerings available at RWTH in one place and serves as a hub to connect students and companies.

Center for Professional Leadership, CPL for short

With the Center for Professional Leadership, CPL for short, RWTH offers coaching and further education opportunities as well as career development support for postdocs, junior academic staff, science managers, and professors.

Checklist before departure from Aachen

You are about to leave RWTH Aachen University? In our checklist departure you can find the most important steps you will need to take.

Deutsch lernen – Learning German

Good German language skills can help you make your stay in Aachen a success. This is especially true when dealing with the German authorities, but also in other situations. The RWTH Language Center offers German courses of all levels for students and academic staff. But there are also various possibilities outside the university to acquire or improve your language skills.

Doctoral Academy

The RWTH Doctoral Academy is the center for providing continuing education and transferable skills training opportunities for doctoral candidates at RWTH. The focus is on methodological and social skills. Since the transferable skills courses are open to all doctoral students registered in the Doctoral Academy, they are also a great opportunity to meet and talk shop with researchers from other faculties.


An overview of the documents required for your research stay can be found on the Documents and Translations page.


All the important information about applying and enrolling for doctoral studies at RWTH can be found on the Applying for Doctoral Studies page.

Family Services Center

The Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office is an information, advising, and mediation center that develops individual and tailor-made support concepts for all university members in order to improve the balance between family and career or study.

GEZ – Radio Fee

GEZ, also called Radio fee, is a fee for public service broadcasting offers that amounts to 18.36 Euros per month and that has to be paid by every household in Germany, regardless of how many people live there, of how many devices they use or of the nationality. Even if you do not have any television, radio or computer, you will have to pay GEZ.

The registration to GEZ happens automatically upon your registration at the citizens office.

If you live in a shared flat, you will share this 18.36 Euros fee with your flat mates.

Usually, one of the residents pays the complete fee and gets refunded by his or her flat mates. If you live in a student hall of residence, the GEZ fee must be paid completely by each resident, as the rooms in student dorms are considered to be separate apartments.

You can check the conditions of exemption, in example for BAföG recipients, and find the application form and additional information at the Rundfunkbeitrag website or at the citizens office itself.

Internet Connection

Once you are enrolled or started your employment at RWTH Aachen University, you will be able to access the global university internet network Eduroam. Before that, you will have to search for other ways to access the internet. Here are some tips:

On the university campus you will be able to use the free RWTHguest WiFi.

Aachen City-WiFi

You can access internet everywhere and anytime near the Cathedral, City hall and Elisenbrunnen. For that, choose “AACHEN WiFi” out of the list of WLAN connections.
Please note that open WiFi are usually not secure connections and therefore you should not access sensitive websites or do online banking while logged into open WiFi.

The Library of Aachen offers internet access for 1.50 Euros per hour if you are not a library member.

Many cafés, restaurants and usually every hotel or hostel offer an internet connection you can use. If you are not sure or need a password, ask at the waiter or staff at the reception.

IT Support

The IT Center is RWTH’s central IT institution. It supports central processes of the University and provides basic as well as individualized services for university institutions.

Since January 1, 2010, the RWTH IT-ServiceDesk has been the central contact point or Single Point Of Contact, SPoC for short, for all students, employees, associated institutes, and cooperation partners of RWTH 

Job Ticket

All employees of RWTH can apply for a so-called Job Ticket, a discounted season ticket that is valid in the second class of all buses and trains in the Aachener Verkehrsverbund, AVV for short, and under certain circumstances also in neighboring regions.

Krankenversicherung – Health Insurance

In Germany, everyone is required to have health insurance. You can find more information on health insurance in our insurance overview.

Karriereförderung – Promoting Employee's Careers

From general continuing education offers to seminars, courses and workshops targeted at specific groups - RWTH offers its employees a wide range of qualification measures and staff development opportunities.

The Career Center is the central contact point for students with questions about beginning employment and career.  It gathers the central offerings available at RWTH in one place and serves as a hub for connecting students and companies.

With its Center for Professional Leadership, CPL for short, RWTH offers coaching and further education opportunities as well as career development support for postdocs, junior academic staff, science managers, and professors.

LBV – State Office for Salary and Benefits

The State Office for Salary and Pensions, or LBV for short, is responsible among other things:

  • for calculating and paying the salaries of employees of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • as family benefits office for public service employees, for paying the children’s allowance to employees of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Mensa – Dining Halls

The Studierendenwerk Aachen, or Aachen Student Services, offers varied and affordable meals for students and employees of Aachen’s universities via their network of nine dining halls.


You can find some general information on pensions in our insurance overview. Further links and detailed information about Germany’s Pension Scheme can be found on the pages of Euraxess Germany.

Semester Ticket

Enrolled university students receive a so-called Semester Ticket, which allows them to use all buses, trams, subways and regional trains in second class throughout NRW as often as they wish.

Blocked Bank Account

If you need to open a blocked bank account for reasons of residence law (such as visas or residence permits), you can find information on the website of the German Foreign Office.

Sports at RWTH

The University Sports Center, called HSZ for short, is a central facility of RWTH and organizes qualified sports and movements offers based on the needs of the Aachen universities.

Sprachkenntnisse – Language Skills

Good German or English language skills are essential for a research stay at RWTH Aachen University. We have put together information about requirements and language courses for you on a Language Skills subpage.

Steuern – Taxes

We have gathered some basic information on this topic for you on our Taxes subpage. Further information on tax liability when financing a stay based on a scholarship or an employment contract can be found on the Taxation page on the Euraxess Germany portal.

Stipendien – Scholarships

Information about scholarships awarded by RWTH and links to scholarship databases can be found at Scholarships and Funding Programs.

Unfallversicherung – Accident Insurance

Accident insurance is voluntary. For more information please refer to our Insurance overview.

Visa and Entry Regulations

Many international researchers must apply for a visa to enter Germany. This may also be the case if you are entering from within the EU. Please check well in advance which Visa and Entry Regulations apply in your case.

VBL – Federal and State Government Employees Retirement Fund

The Federal and State Government Employees Retirement Fund, VBL for short, has been providing public-sector occupational pensions for 80 years. It is the largest provider of supplementary pensions in Germany. The occupational pension scheme is based on the collective agreements negotiated between employers and trade unions.

Wohnungsanmeldung – Resident Registration

If you stay in Aachen for more than three months, you must register your address with the local Resident’s Registration Office, or Bürgerservice.