Info Service Center: Frequently Asked Questions

  students sitting on a bench Copyright: © Stanislava Petkova

We have compiled answers to frequently asked questions for you on this page. What's more, you will also find links here to the central topics of the International Office.


Survival Guide

We have compiled a survival guide with all the important information about studying and living in Aachen in a compact form for you.


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:

Information on the application process for exchange students (incoming) without degree:

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.

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

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.

Additional information can be found on the Guide to German Courses website. Information on German exams of the SZ of RWTH can be found on the website DSH and TestDaF.

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 Survival Guide.

Do I need German health insurance?

Proof of valid health insurance is mandatory to enroll at RWTH. 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 statutory health insurance company before you enroll, stating that you intend to study at RWTH.

You can find additional information on the pages student health insurance Enrollment in Bachelor Studies, or Enrollment in Master Studies.

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 including all relevant information 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) on the page Applying for and Extending Your Residence Permit.

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.

If you experience difficulties with learning or planning your semester, you can benefit from the mentoring opportunities offered by almost all RWTH faculties. 

What advising offices are available if I have questions/problems or if I have chronic illnesses/disabilities?

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 ourSurvival Guide. On the portal page Advice and Assistance, 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 Survival Guide.

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 our Survival Guide.

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 detailed information, please review the student information and visit the newsroom 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. Furthermore we explain what to do in the event of loss or theft of important documents in our Survival Guide.

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. 

Last but not least – follow the RWTH Facebook page or the International Office's Instagram account 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. 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.