Info Service Center: Frequently Asked Questions

  students sitting on a bench Copyright: Stanislava Petkova

Below we have collected frequently asked questions about the following topics:


Online Programmes and information about the current Corona Crisis Situation

Below you can find a list of various links to online offerings and information on the coronavirus situation provided by RWTH and other Aachen institutions.

For links to free online German courses, please refer to the FAQ section "Questions about application and admission to RWTH (Bachelor/Master) for International Students" (Question: "How can I learn German?")


Information on entry restrictions and entry regulations in Germany

What is the “coronavirus emergency brake”?

As of Monday, March 29, 2021 a new Corona ordinance takes effect which regulates the procedure in the event of high rates of infection, the so-called “coronavirus emergency brake”.

If the 7-day rate of infection ("7-Tage-Inzidenz") in a city exceeds 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants for three working days in a row, the coronavirus emergency brake takes effect. At that point, the affected municipality, in close consultation with the Ministry of Health, has to decide between two options: to mandate a strict lockdown reversing of the easing of restrictions (such as the opening of shops) that went into effect on March 8, 2021, or to introduce a testing scheme. With a testing scheme in place, the restrictions may continue to be eased and shops remain open, but only for customers, visitors, and users of services who can show a recent negative test result.

In case of a strict lockdown, shops, museums, galleries, libraries, zoos et cetera will have to close. Idividuals are permitted to meet one person from another household in a public space. Close-contact services are prohibited, unless the distance requirements can be met, with the exception of medical services, hairdressers, and chiropodists.

Under a rapid testing scheme, shops, museums, galleries, libraries, zoos and close-contact services continue to be open, but customers and patrons need to show a recent negative test result (with the exeption of pre-school children). Meetings in public spaces are permitted, with a maximum of one person from another household.

In Aachen, a rapid testing scheme is in place, which means that stores remain open, but customers need to provide a current negative test result (the test result is valid for a period of 24 hours). Other regulations may apply elsewhere in North-Rhine Westphalia.

The measures will be lifted once the rate of infection is below 100 for three days in a row.

Can I travel to Germany and, if so, do I have to pass a quarantine period?

For up-to-date information on entry restrictions, please visit the website of the Federal Foreign Office:
Information on Entry Restrictions and Quarantine Regulations in Germany

Restrictions on travel from countries with coronavirus variants

A travel ban has been imposed on countries with widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern (referred to as “areas of variant of concern”). Transport companies, like air carriers and railway companies, may not transport any persons from these countries to Germany. There are only a few, strictly defined exceptions to this travel ban, namely for:

  • Persons who are resident in Germany with a current right to reside in the country
  • Persons on connecting flights who do not leave the transit zone of an international airport
  • Few other special cases

According to the explanatory memorandum on the law, transport shall not be denied to German citizens who are not resident in Germany and their accompanying family members.

All those who qualify for the above-mentioned exceptions are equally required to complete an online registration form and must present a negative COVD-19 test result prior to entry. Further information is provided below.

Travellers can find more information about the travel ban on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The list of “areas of variant of concern” is published on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

General Entry restrictions

For Germany, travel restrictions apply for entry from a large number of countries. These are issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, BMI for short. Please check with the BMI prior to your trip to find out what regulations apply specifically with regard to the country from which you plan to enter Germany.

In principle, entry is possible from:

  • EU member states
  • states associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • Other countries from which entry is possible due to the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.

Entry from any other country is only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being an urgent need.

Digital entry registration

Travellers who have visited a risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area in the last ten days before entering Germany must register at Digitale Einreiseanmeldung before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry.

This obligation always applies to those entering the country who have previously stayed in virus variant areas. Certain exceptions apply for previous stays in other risk areas and high incidence areas. In particular, those who have only passed through a risk area and have not had a stopover there are exempt.

If, in exceptional cases, it is not possible to complete a digital entry registration, travellers must instead fill out a substitute registration on paper.

Source: Federal Foreign Office

If students have any questions regarding this matter, they should contact their local health authority. For students living in the Aachen city region, this is the .

Further information from the Ministry for the Economy, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy in the state of North Rhine Westphalia (de)

Further information from the Robert Koch Institute (de)


Although the information on this website is updated regularly and we do our best to ensure that the information is correct, it may sometimes take a few days for the latest updates and changes to be implemented. For this reason, we always advise additionally referring to the following websites:

Corona news by RWTH Aachen University

Further information from the Ministry for the Economy, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy in the state of North Rhine Westphalia (de)

Further information from the Robert Koch Institute (de)


Questions About Application and Admission to RWTH (Bachelor/Master) for International Students

Where can I find information about courses of study/courses currently offered at RWTH?

You can find all of RWTH Aachen’s courses of study and detailed information about individual programs and admissions requirements on the page Courses of Study.

Information on the application process for full courses of study:

What is the average cost of study at RWTH?

There are no tuition fees at RWTH Aachen, with the exception of the programs from RWTH Academy. However each student, including exchange students, must pay a student body and social contribution fee, which include the cost of the Semester Ticket. The exact amount varies each year, but on average it is about 300 Euros per semester. The entire cost of studies and life in Aachen, including rent, insurance, livelihood, etc, are on average at least 1100 Euros per month or 13,200 Euros per year.

You can find additional information on our page Costs and Finances.

How do I apply for Bachelor’s studies as an international student?

Everything you need to know as an international student at RWTH is explained on Division 2.1 Admissions and Social Affairs‘ webpages.

You can always find the current application deadlines on the webpage Application to First Semester for Internationals.

Please note that all international applicants who are not legally equivalent to German citizens, such as non-EU students, must complete a TestAS aptitude test before applying to RWTH. The test is offered four times a year only, so please make sure to register for the test in time! For further information please visit the TestAS website.

As a prospective international student, can I apply directly to RWTH with my secondary school certificate?

You first need to check and see if your secondary school certificate is equal to the German Abitur, which would grant you direct university access. You can use the website anabin, where you can look for your secondary degree under "Schulabschlüsse mit Hochschulzugang." If your secondary school certificate does not grant you direct access to a German university, you must either first attend a Studienkolleg, a preparatory college, in Germany or have successfully studied for one to three years in your home country.

You can find detailed information about the application process and contact information for some of the preparatory colleges in Germany on the website Studienkollegs. If you have additional questions about this topic, please contact the preparatory college of your choosing.

What language skills do I need for Bachelor’s or Master’s studies as an international student?

Please note that all Bachelor courses of study at RWTH Aachen are taught in German. For this reason you must provide documentation of the necessary German skills. You usually have to provide proof of your language skills when it is time for you to enroll. You can therefore first apply without submitting the valid language certificate. You will however be refused the opportunity to enroll if you cannot provide proof of the required skills during the usual enrollment period. Please note that there are some Master courses for which both English and German language certificates are required! You can read which certificates are accepted on the page Language Skills for Bachelor, Staatsexamen and Master.

How can I learn German?

German Language Courses

The RWTH Language Center offers German courses that prepare you for University studies. Please refer to the Language Center website for current information about courses and the registration process. Under certain conditions participants in the German courses can be enrolled at RWTH Aachen while taking the German course. You can find additional information on the page Application German Language Course.

Online German Courses by External Providers

VHS Portal

  • Levels A1, A2 and B1, as well as B2 for vocational/professional language courses
  • In 19 languages
  • With a "literacy component," as a so-called ABC German course
  • Free-of-charge online tutoring
  • Available via web browser and , for levela A1, cell phone app (Android and iOS)
  • Approved as a full language/integration course

Deutsche Welle Nicos Weg

  • Language levels A1, A2, B1
  • Telenovela-based learning
  • Available in six languages: English, Arabic, Russin, Persian, Spanish, and Portuguese
  • Available as cell phone app for Android and via web browser

Deutschtrainer of the Goethe-Institut

  • Language level A1
  • Available as cell phone app for Android and iOS

Language learning for professional purposes:

VHS Portal

  • Language Level B2
  • Available as cell phone app for Android and via web browser

For care and nursing professionals learning German (B1 and higher)

Ein Tag Deutsch in der Pflege

  • Educational game for individuals who (aspire to) work in the nursing professions and want to improve their job-related German language skills
  • Available as smartphone app for Android and iOS and via web browser

How do I apply for Master’s studies as an international student?

Everything you need to know about application and admission to RWTH Aachen is explained in detail on the webpages of Application Master for Internationals.

Please note the application deadlines.

Please check the webpages for your chosen course(s) of study carefully to find out if you need to submit any additional documents required by the Examination Board of your Master's course of study (for example Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) result, TestAS) have to be submitted in your application.

If you have questions about your formal eligibility, please contact the Admissions Office of the RWTH International Office.  If you have any questions regarding imposed additional requirements or reasons for refusal, please contact the respective examination board directly.

Where can I have my documents/certificates translated?

If your documents, certificates, etc. are not in English or German, you must have them translated by a sworn translator in your home country or in Germany. You can find a list of sworn translators in Germany and their contact information in the Translator and Interpretor Database.


Questions About Studies and Life in Aachen

Where can I live in Aachen? Are there student dorms?

Start your apartment search as early as possible. The housing market in Aachen is fairly tight due to the high number of students in Aachen. Unfortunately, your acceptance letter does not include a housing offer and does not guarantee you a room in the student dorms.

Do I have to officially register and deregister with the city administration/Bürgerservice?

You must officially register with the city administration/Bürgerservice within 14 days after your arrival, even if you do not yet have a permanent place to live. You can find all of the necessary information about registration in our City Registration and Deregistration Information Sheet.

Do I need German health insurance?

Proof of valid health insurance is mandatory to enroll at RWTH Aachen. You can either get German health insurance or, if you are completely insured in your home country, you can have a German health insurance company confirm that you are exempt from German health insurance.

In both cases you must contact a public health insurance company before in enrollment. You can find additional information on the webpages Enrollment in Bachelor Studies or Enrollment in Master Studies as well as in the information sheets Health Insurance Degree Students and Health Insurance Exchange Students and private insurance.

What documents do I need to enroll as an international student?

A complete list of the documents required (for example proof of health insurance, language certificate, school transcripts, etc.) can be found on the admissions division’s webpage about Enrollment in Bachelor Studies and Enrollment for Master Studies for international students. The documents are also listed in your acceptance letter.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Division of Admissions.

Where can I get more information about RWTHonline?

For further information, please refer to our RWTHonline web pages as well as the RWTHOnline document portal.


How do I get my BlueCard (student ID)

In order for your BlueCard to be issued, you must transfer the semester fee after enrolling, activate your IT services, and then upload a photo via your RWTH self-service account. After a few days you will receive an email and can then pick up the card from the BlueCard Service Point. You can also find detailed and up to date information on the BlueCard info page.

I have not received my Semester Ticket yet.

It can take one to two weeks to get your Semester Ticket at the beginning of your studies after transferring the semester fee. After one to two weeks please check to make sure that you entered the correct address in RWTHonline and contact the ASEAG Customer Service Center at Schumacherstraße 14, on the corner of Peterstraße, if you have not received the ticket.

When and how do I apply for a residence permit?

If you are not from an EU country (with the exception of Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway) and arrived in Germany on a student visa, you must apply for residence permit no later than one month before your visa’s date of expiration. The Immigration Office of the Aachen city region is responsible for this. You can find all the necessary information (contact information, documents, opening hours) in our Residence Permit Information Sheet and on the page Applying for and Extending Your Residence Permit. Please contact us if you have problems extending your permit or have a difficult case.

Sometimes the Immigration Office requires an academic progress certificate in order to extend the residence permit. You can find additional information about requesting this certificate as well as general information about right of residence on the page Residence Permit.

How do I effectively study for my exams?

Watch the video series "Learning How to Learn" for plenty of tips on how to optimize your study time. The video series was created by the Student Advice Centre at RWTH. You are encouraged to contact them if you have any questions concerning your studies. Their service offering includes talks and workshops on various different topics, such as questioning your choice of degree, changing your degree program, and reorientation. In addition, students can briefly talk about any concerns and questions during open office hours or alternatively arrange an individual appointment with staff at the Student Advice Centre.

What advising offices are available if I have questions/problems?

There are experts in advising offices for all problems and questions pertaining to studies or life in Aachen. These experts are happy to provide advice and assist you. We have collected the contact information of the most important offices in our Information Services Information Sheet. On the portal page, you will find all advice centers at RWTH. If you do not know who the appropriate contact is, ask the International Office’s Info Service Center.

Are there scholarships for international students?

The International Office offers two special scholarships for international students: a Scholarship for Particularly Involved International Students and the Scholarship for Completing Studies.

International students can also apply for the Germany Scholarship from the Education Fund. Detailed information is available on the page Education Fund.

You can find additional scholarship programs on the RWTH website Scholarships & Funding.

Can I work while studying and how do I find a job?

Each student can work up to 19 hours per week without a job permit during the semester. We have collected additional information about the legalities as well as useful tips for searching for a job in our Job Information Sheet.

The Career Center has a database with job offers. It is also possible find internal RWTH offers.

How do I open a bank account?

You can find detailed information about bank accounts in the pdf Basic Information on Bank Accounts.

Do I have to pay the broadcasting fee (fee for tv, radio, internet)?

Every household in Germany must pay the broadcasting fee to the Fee Collection Center or Gebühreneinzugszentrale, GEZ, to use the radio, tv, and internet.

If you are sharing an apartment with other students, you can split the cost among yourselves. The main renter is formally responsible for paying the fee to the GEZ.

For more detailed information, please read TV License Information Sheet and look at the GEZ website.

Further information in different languages is available here.

Is Aachen safe?

Aachen is considered a safe city. Nevertheless, we want to provide you with information and tips about safety and ask that you read them: Safety Information Sheet

We explain what to do in the event of loss or theft of important documents in the Theft/Loss of Important Documents Information Sheet.

What can I do in my free time?

A number of international student organizations and initiatives ensure for colorful and intercultural recreational offers. You can find a current list of the organizations and their contact information on the page Extracurricular and Leisure Activities.

The Humboldt-House as a meeting place for the international and local university members offers rooms for events, seminars, and exhibitions on different topics.

The University Sports Center offers a wide range of sport courses and regularly organizes events and exhibitions on different topics.

You can find other ideas for recreational activities on the city of Aachen website. 

These apps can make everyday life a little easier for you.

Last but not least – follow our Facebook page for the International Office’s current events and other information and tips about life and studies in Aachen.

I'm looking for an English-speaking doctor.

The website of the Ärztekammer Nordrhein has a search option for doctors with foreign language skills.

I need a certificate.

There are number of certificates that have to be requested from various RWTH offices. In general, the following applies:

  • You can print certificates about your academic performance via the RWTHonline portal or have them signed and stamped by your assigned administrative assistant in the Central Examination Office.
  • Certificates about your current student status (certificates of enrollment/termination of studies certificate) can be requested from the Registrar’s Office. If you don’t need an official signature, you can print them out yourself from CampusOffice.
  • If your embassy requires a certificate about the estimated cost of study, please contact the International Office’s Info Service Center.

I need a notarization or apostille.

You can find detailed information about notarizations and apostilles on the RWTH page Notarizations and Apostilles.

I feel I am being treated unfairly or discriminated against.

Fairness, equal treatment, and appreciation for others are of great importance to RWTH. The RWTH Equal Opportunities Office is available to answer any questions about these topics. Info flyers on topics such as antidiscrimination, equal treatment, sexual harassment, bullying, and much more are available to download from the Equal Opportunities Office website. An official complaint office will take your written complaint and help find a solution.

How can I terminate my enrollment?

All students must contact the Registrar’s Office to terminate their enrollment.


Questions About A Stay Abroad

How do I organize a stay abroad?

The first step we highly recommend taking is to attend a country- or topic-specific or general group advising session. You can find the current dates on the event page and on our Facebook page. The general course of events and the application process are explained and the different funding options are presented. The advisor can also answer your specific questions.

On the International Office’s website you can find helpful information and tips for planning your stay and search for funding opportunities in the DAAD Scholarship Database.

Internships and research stays abroad are funded by different scholarship programs. You can find an initial overview of programs and well as current offers here.

In what countries and at what universities can I spend a semester abroad?

On the following pages you can find current exchange opportunities and the partner universities of your faculty worldwide as well as the exchange opportunities offered as part of the Erasmus+ programs. Experience reports from students are available in the MoveOn online database. It also offers information about the contact person in the faculties and links to the partner universities.

Whom should I contact if I have questions?

If you have general questions we recommend first having a look at the websites of Division 2.3 Mobility as well as taking part in the Group advising sessions. Each November you can also take part in the Go Abroad Week.

In case you have questions about specific countries, forms of stay abroad or scholarship programmes, we recommend contacting the respective advisor in Division 2.3 – Mobility.

If you have questions about course content and getting credit for your academic performance abroad, we recommend contacting the responsible study abroad coordinator in your faculty. The International Office cannot provide any assistance on this topic.