Certificate International Compact


For Research Associates

Three people at a training session 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 Certificate International Compact program – a unique further education course exclusively for employees at RWTH Aachen University.


Are you a technical and administrative employee? Then Certificate International Pro is right for you!



Kathrin Helsen

IntSpire / Welcome Week / ZIP


+49 241 80 90665



Aim of the Certificate International Compact 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 personal skills in an international/intercultural context.

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 5 in order to acquire the certificate.

Thanks to this program, I have already made some good contacts and was able to interact differently with our international guests and fellows. Background knowledge is important for good and respectful interaction.

Ursula Huppertz - Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems


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)

The Language Center of RWTH Aachen University offers a wide range of English and other foreign language courses.

The Certificate International Compact recognizes the successful attendance of a foreign language course as a component. 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 will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable offer. You can find further information and the current course offerings on the Language Center’s website.

Module 4 – Intercultural Skills – Specific

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, such misunderstandings can easily be prevented.

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.


Completion of the Program

Once you have completed the program, University Management will present you with the Certificate International Compact.

Upon completion of the Certificate International Compact, no performance bonus of 500 euros will be paid.

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 Compact

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 60 hours.

Who can take part in the program?

All RWTH employees can participate in the Certificate International Compact program. Technical and administrative employees can take part in the Certificate International Pro program.

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. You may receive certificates of participation for individual modules that you have completed.

How can I find a language course?

The Language Center of RWTH Aachen University offers a wide range of language courses for all target groups and will be happy to help you find a suitable course. Check further information and current course offerings here.

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 Compact 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 Compact 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.