Language Preparation

  Bruno de Castro Copyright: Martin Braun  

I did not only learn German as a second language. I have grown as a person. My stay in Aachen gave me the opportunity to acknowledge the intercultural differences between Germany and Brazil and to learn from them. This affects my professional relationships but even more so my personal relationships.

Bruno de Castro


Please note

All exchange students can also attend German courses at RWTH Aachen during the semester. You can register once you are enrolled at our university.

DUO courses are exclusively reserved for ERASMUS students.


We recommend that you take a German course to prepare for your study abroad at RWTH. The minimum language requirement for courses taught in German is level B1.1 in the Common European Framework of Reference of Languages (CEFR). Even if you have already reached this level, or will only be taking courses in English here, we still recommend you learn some German before your stay. You will benefit from your stay more if you can speak and understand German, as it will make it easier for you to socialize, communicate at the University, and generally get by in Aachen.

We will now outline a few opportunities for you to learn German. There are also many other language schools offering courses. Here are a few suggestions we have compiled. You are of course welcome to take a German course or test at other language schools or institutes.

Before You Get Here

Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support, OLS For Short

This offer includes a language test for Erasmus+ students and even a free language course for some selected students. Each university receives a certain license contingent and advises students on this offer, as well as issuing licenses for the free language course. Please contact the international office at your host university for more information. You can also find information on the EU Commission's Erasmus+ OLS pages.

Deutsch-Uni Online

Deutsch-Uni Online, DUO for short, offers online German courses that are exclusively for ERASMUS students. Please contact Deutsch-Uni Onlinedirectly if you have any questions.


The Goethe-Institut offers many opportunities to learn German. You can take a German course or exam at one of their many locations all over the world. You can find all the information about courses and cultural offers directly on the Goethe-Institut website.

RWTH accepts OLS, DUO, and Goethe-Institut language certificates for application purposes. Usually the certificates must not be older than three years. In individual cases, please check the validity of your certificate with Incoming Student Services.

When You Are Here

DEUTSCHInternational Course

RWTH’s Language Center offers the DEUTSCHInternational course every September. The intensive refresher course is specifically for exchange students from partner universities and participants in mobility programs. This language course is a three-week intensive advanced course for students who

  • already have basic German knowledge, for example, at least A2.2 level, or
  • want to take courses taught in German at RWTH and therefore require B1.1 level

You can apply online from the start of May to the middle of August. Incoming Student Services will send you information on registration and a link to the login page by email once you have submitted your application for an exchange placement at the International Office.

Please note you must take a preliminary online placement test beforehand, but this does not replace the mandatory placement test. The time and place of the placement test in Aachen will be announced in good time. The test always takes place at the beginning of September and is mandatory. If you cannot take the test in September, you will not be able to take a language course.

There will not be an intensive German course on offer before the summer semester. Due to limited places, the course is not open to students whose level is higher than B1. If you would like to improve your German skills, please take a look at the course offers at RWTH.



You must be enrolled as a student at RWTH to be able to take a course at the Language Center. You will need your so-called TIM ID to be able to take the placement test and receive your test results. Please make sure that you get enrolled at RWTH by the middle of September or March.


German Courses at RWTH

All exchange students can also attend German courses at RWTH during the semester. You can only sign up once you have already enrolled at the University. If you do not have your TIM ID at the time of the placement test, you will unfortunately not be able to take it.

Please note that the RWTH Language Center charges fees for its German courses. Please take a look at the Language Center's webpage for more information.

Other Opportunities

If cannot, or do not want to pay for a course, there are also many other opportunities and different ways to learn German in Aachen.

Deutsche Welle offers free online courses for all levels.

INCAS, the international student club, also offers many opportunities to learn new languages, for example together with a tandem partner or in a group.

Finally, the International Office also regularly organizes a Deutschstunde, where international students can chat to German native speakers in a relaxed atmosphere and improve their language skills.