Questions and Answers About Orientation Week

Where do I have to go and when?

The first event you have to attend is the welcome by our rector, which will be held virtually on Monday. You can find out when exactly you need to tune in by checking the schedule for the events.

What happens the whole week?

During Orientation Week the older students explain the most fundamental parts of your studies. On the first couple days you have welcome events and an introduction to your subject. The last days are reserved for tours of the institutes, opportunities to get to know one another, and a technical project day. Your student representative council will provide you with more exact details about the week but you can find a rough overview here.

I can't come one day. What do I do?

Please tell your student representative council. They can tell you what you should do so that you get the most out of the week. Here you can find an overview of the student representative councils.

My subject is not in the subject overview.

In this case, please contact us so that we can help you find your student representative council. You can reach us via email at .

I have questions about the exact schedule for the week.

Contact your student representative council. The people there plan the week's details and can help you. Here you can find an overview of the student representative councils.

What do I need to bring the first day?

The most important things are time and a good mood! An umbrella in Aachen is never a bad idea, you should also bring some water, but you do not really need to bring a school bag with you.

Please check whether the planned events are held virutally or in person. This is indicated on the weekly schedules. If you have any questions, please ask your student representative council.

Can I meet up with other students for the virtual offers?

The purpose of holding such events virtually is of course to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. So please do not linger in large groups in university buildings to watch the online offers together. Everything else you do is at your own discretion as long as you follow the hygiene regulations of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and RWTH.

Can I or should I bring my parents?

Please don't. The lecture halls have limited capacity and have just enough room for the number of new students. The new virtual events are also only intended for students.

I've heard the week is basically all alcohol and parties.

This is a common misconception, which is actually not true. The majority of the week is made up of orientations, welcome events, and learning about your studies. A bar, or café, or party is often visited in the evening to round out the day. However, this is not mandatory and no one is forced to go to a party or drink alcohol. Glass bottles are not permitted on RWTH grounds.

I don't drink alcohol due to my religion or personal convictions. Is that a problem?

No, not at all. Alcohol is not an explicit part of the orientation week. Regardless of alcohol, please make note that glass bottles are not permitted.

Glass bottles aren't permitted? Why not?

RWTH does not have its own campus but rather is very integrated into the town center. When thousands of first-year students explore the city during the rally, bottles inevitably fall on the ground now and then. Glass bottles break and leave shards. Schools with holiday camps and cobblestones are located near the rally. By banning glass bottles, we avoid having shards everywhere.

How much time should I reserve for the Orientation Week?

We recommend that you assume the Orientation Week will last all day each day. On the first day your student representative council and older students will tell you the exact details of what you are doing when during the week.

I'm a first-year Master's student. Is there an Orientation Week for me too?

That depends on your student representative council and your faculty. You may find your course of study in this schedule. If not, please try contacting your student representative council.

I am enrolled. What do I do till Orientation Week?

Although not mandatory, we do recommend the bridge courses. Focus is not only on the fundamentals of certain subjects but also on social components – meaning you can already meet your fellow students here.

I have a disability. Is the week handicap accessible?

Please contact your student representative council. A large part of RWTH's grounds is handicap accessible and your student representative council can ensure in advance that you are in a group that will avoid non-handicap accessible spaces. Here you can find further information and contacts.

What do I need to do before Orientation Week?

You need to transfer your semester fee and upload a photo for your BlueCard, the student ID, to RWTH SelfService before coming to orientation. You will only be sent your Semester Ticket, which allows you to ride all the busses and trains in NRW, once the University has received your payment for the semester fee.

How do I get my student ID?

You will receive the BlueCard, which is the student ID at RWTH, after you have transfered the semester fee and uploaded a photo to RWTH SelfService. You will receive an email notifying you when you can pick up the card. We have a separate FAQ page on this topic, which can help you further.

I have a BlueCard without a chip – how is that going to work at the dining halls?

Student Services have changed over to a chip card payment system at most dining halls some time ago. If you have ordered a BlueCard without a chip, you can get a Student Guest Card and pay with it. You can find further details about that here.

How do I create my RWTH email address?

You can find a detailed description on registering for RWTH's online services here.

Do I need to have a device I can access the Internet on?

Since many of the offers are offered virtually, we recommend you have a laptop, desktop PC, tablet, or cell phone with an Internet connection. If you do not have one of these devices or your Internet is unstable, simply contact your student representative council and they will gladly help you find a solution.