Frequently Asked Questions About the War in Ukraine
RWTH condemns the attack on Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with all people affected by war or crises. In the context of the sanctions against Russia, there are consequences for the scientific community, including the suspension of all university collaborations with the Russian Federation. Russian students, researchers, and staff who are already at RWTH are and will remain a part of the University community. We ask everyone to continue to respect each other at this time.
For a statement from the Rector and current information on the situation, please refer to the University’s press releases.
This web page provides you with information on the following topics:
- Aid and support in Aachen and at RWTH
- Application and Admission to Degree Programs and Doctoral Studies
- Visiting Scholars, Exchange Programs, and Mobility-Related Questions
- Impact of the War on Studies and Research at RWTH
Aid and Support in Aachen and at RWTH Aachen University
Where can refugees find information on how to organize their arrival and stay in Aachen?
In Aachen, the City's integration management team plays a key role in coordinating a wide range of support initiatives. The Aachen hilft website provides an overview of what steps to take after your arrival in Aachen. Information sheets are available for download in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.
How does RWTH support refugees?
Academic information and support services for refugees interested in studying are outlined on our Academic Refugee Assistance page. Doctoral candidates and researchers who have fled to Germany can contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers.
How can I help those affected by the war?
The Aachen hilft website offers an overview of local and nationwide support initiatives.
Currently, donations are being collected at RWTH for the following campaigns:
Emergency aid program to support the medical facilities in Ukraine
-A joint fundraising campaign of RWTH and Uniklilnik RWTH Aachen
Loans and free meals for students in financial need
Coordinated by AStA in collaboration with proRWTH and Studierendenwerk. Donations can be made via the proRWTH association.
Application and Admission to Degree Programs and Doctoral Studies
I am an international (prospective) student from Ukraine and I would like to study at RWTH or continue my studies at RWTH. How can I apply?
International prospective students and international students who would like to transfer to RWTH have to apply for a placement via the International Office. An overview of the degree programs offered is available online. Further information can be found on the Admission Requirements and Application web pages. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Department 2.1 - Admission and Social Affairs.
I am/was enrolled as an international student at a Ukrainian university and would like to continue my studies in Germany. What do I have to pay attention to?
International students from third countries who have stayed in Ukraine for educational purposes and have fled to Germany due to the war are allowed to enter without a visa and legally stay in Germany until August 31, 2022.
Please note that this only applies to students who are not able to return to their home country, that is, primarily students from countries for which there is a ban on deportation, such as Syria and Afghanistan. It most likely also applies to students from the following countries who are subject to conscription: Russia, Belarus, and possibly also Eritrea, Somalia, and Iraq. If you are only allowed to stay in Germany until August 31, 2022, for the reasons mentioned above, you should apply for a residence permit for educational or employment purposes. Please get in touch with the Immigration Office.
I fled the war and would like to start or continue my studies in Medicine at RWTH. What should I be aware of?
In principle, it is possible to apply for a place in the Medicine degree program at RWTH. However, please note that there are only very few spots available. There is usually only one place available per nationality for start in the winter semester. For those who wish to transfer to a higher semester of study, the chance of obtaining placement are also very low. For this reason, we strongly advise you to apply to several universities and to submit additional applications for admission to degree programs related to medicine, such as biology or chemistry.
If you would like to enroll in a higher semester because you already were enrolled in a degree program, you must first contact the State Examination Office to obtain recognition of your academic achievements. Further information is available at: Landesprüfungsamt – Anrechnung von Studienleistungen (de)
Please also visit our web page on: Application to Higher Semesters for Internationals
I have a school leaving certificate from an Ukrainian secondary school. Am I eligible to enroll or apply for a study placement at RWTH?
Unfortunately, no. If you have obtained a "Svidoctvo pro zdobuttja povnoji zahal'noji serednoji osvity" (2019 or later), in order to study in Germany you must first either attend a so-called Studienkolleg or complete the Examination for External Candidates (“Externenprüfung”). Unfortunately, RWTH does not offer Studienkolleg placements. However, you can find detailed information on public Studienkollegs online. In addition, the Aachen University of Applied Sciences offers education and training at the Freshman Institute.
The Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V. awards scholarships to young refugees in accordance with the guidelines of the University Guarantee Fund (RL-GF-H ). Funding is provided in the form of a scholarship following educational counseling. Funding is provided for tuition costs, cost of living/accommodation, necessary costs for tutoring, travel costs, examination fees, and costs related to social integration. The funding period is up to 30 months.
I am a student refugee from Ukraine and I am unable to present any documents to prove that I am eligible to apply for admission to RWTH. What can I do?
You may be admitted to an RWTH degree program if you can provide evidence of your educational background, for example academic transcripts or similar certificates, letters of admission from a university, your student ID card, et cetera.
Another option is to complete additional exams in Germany in order to provide evidence of your educational background. If you need advice in this regard, please contact Department 2.1 - Admissions.
What level of German do I need to study at RWTH?
All Bachelor's degree programs and some Master's degree programs are taught entirely in German. C1 level German is required for enrollment, although enrollment ist also possible for applicants with B2 Level German. However, applicants must submit a C1 Level certificate within their first two semesters. RWTH is currently working on expanding its range of language courses. Please check the RWTH Language Center to see which courses are available for RWTH students and for which courses applications are still open.
Furthermore, language courses that prepare students for their studies are planned and carried out in cooperation with the RWTH Language Center. Currently, a German course for people with B1 skills is being planned for July 2022. For further information, please contact the Academic Assistance for Refugees Team at RWTH.
For further language courses in the city of Aachen, please visit the websites of the VHS Aachen and the Sprachenakademie Aachen.
The Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V. awards scholarships to young refugees in accordance with the Guidelines for the Higher Education Guarantee Fund (RL-GF-H ). Funding is provided in the form of a scholarship following educational counseling. Funding is provided for tuition costs, cost of living/accommodation, necessary costs for tutoring, travel costs, examination fees, and costs related to social integration. The funding period is up to 30 months.
Proof of specific language skills is not required for doctoral candidates. However, you should clarify in advance with your supervisor whether your language skills are sufficient to carry out the doctoral project or the necessary research activities. As a rule, German or English will be agreed upon as the working language.
What application deadlines apply for prospective students to RWTH who are refugees in Germany?
The application deadlines are outlined here. RWTH is considering extending the application deadline for open-admission Master's degree programs for those who have been recognized as refugees in Germany. We will announce any changes to the deadlines here as soon as they have been confirmed.
Are there scholarships available for refugees from the Ukraine war who wish to study in a fee-based program at the International Academy?
Given the the ongoing war and crisis situation in Ukraine, the International Academy is keen to make a contribution to opening up prospects in Germany for Ukrainian students in particular. For this reason, the applicant scholarship "High Potential Student Grant", HiPS for short, has been expressly extended to persons with Ukrainian citizenship.
Qualified applicants can have the entire tuition fee waived for one of the International Academy's postgraduate master's programs in mechanical engineering or European studies . Information on this and how to apply can be found on this website.
I am from Russia/have Russian citizenship and have already been admitted to RWTH. Can I still study at RWTH?
Study places allocated for a regular course of study are currently not affected by any sanctions. For this reason, admissions for the 2022 summer semester and 2022/23 winter semester 2022/23 are still valid. Should sanctions be extended, RWTH will immediately inform you about the effects on admissions.
Studying at RWTH Aachen is currently not possible for me. What other options do I have?
Aachen is a university city. In addition to RWTH Aachen University, refugees can also benefit from the programs and courses offered by Aachen University of Applied Sciences and the Catholic University of Aachen. On the DAAD website you can find a list of all English-language Bachelor's and Master's degree programs at Aachen University of Applied Sciences. The Catholic University of Aachen offers separate places for refugees in its social work degree program.
In addition, you can find information on all German universities offering English-language Bachelor's and Master's programs on the DAAD website if you do not have German language skills.
Visiting Scholars, Exchange Programs, and Mobility-Related Questions
Are exchange programs with Russian partner universities affected by sanctions?
Yes, all university collaborations with Russia are suspended until further notice. As of now, this also includes mutual exchanges (Incoming and Outgoing) of students and university staff with Russian institutions.
Students from Russian universities who are currently planning outgoing mobility stays at RWTH as part of a university partnership will soon be informed about the cancellation of their stay and the revocation of their admission to short-term studies.
In this context, public funds for scholarships will also no longer be made available with immediate effect. Mobility stays already in progress are exempt from this measure.
I am a Russian citizen, but I am currently studying at a university outside of Russia. Can I apply for study abroad at RWTH?
Yes, you can apply for a study abroad placement at RWTH. Our web pages for incoming students provide you with information about the formal criteria and the application process.
Can I apply as a Visiting Project Student for the current summer semester?
Yes. You can apply as a Visiting Project Student regardless of the application deadlines for exchange students or free movers. Visiting Project Students can work on a research project, write their thesis, or complete a student research internship. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, we advise you to contact the Departmental Coordinator of your faculty, as you will need a faculty supervisor. They will then look within the faculty to see who might be available as a supervisor. For more information, please contact the Incoming Student Service.
I am studying at a Ukrainian university and am currently an exchange student/visiting project student/free mover at RWTH. Can I extend my stay here at RWTH?
We are happy to support you in extending your stay at RWTH. Please contact the Incoming Student Service for further information.
I am a student of a Russian university and I am currently enrolled as an exchange student/visiting project student/free mover at RWTH. Can I extend my stay at RWTH Aachen University?
In principle, it is possible to extend your stay in coordination with your Faculty. Please contact the Incoming Student Service for further information.
I am a researcher at a Russian university and I have been offered a research stay at RWTH. Can I come to Aachen as planned?
A self-organized stay at RWTH that has been planned outside of a university collaboration is still possible, in principle. However, if you come to Aachen on a scholarship, please contact the scholarship provider to clarify whether you continue to be eligible for the scholarship.
How can I find current job offers at RWTH Aachen University?
Current job offers for all target groups (student assistants, research assistants, technical and administrative staff) can be found in the online Jobs Portal of RWTH Aachen University.
For those interested in a doctorate, employment as a research assistant in the context of a doctorate is often possible. On our website you will find more detailed information for doctoral candidates.
For assistance in finding a suitable supervisor or for further information on funding opportunities for refugee researchers, please contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers.
Impact of the War on Studies and Research at RWTH
Are Joint Publications With mit Russian Partners (Main Affiliation: A Russion Institution) Affected by Sanctions?
Based on deliberations with the DFG, the RWTH recommends a graduated procedure based on the stage of the publication in question:
- Works which are ready for publication may be published.
- Work on publications which require further activities and coordination to get ready for publication should be halted for the time being.
- New publications should not be initiated at present.
Are RWTH University members with Russian citizenship affected by any measures or restrictions?
No. Russian RWTH students, researchers and employees are not discriminated against or treated differently because of their citizenship. RWTH is a place of diversity and togetherness and all people affected by the war or other crises are supported by the University.
If you have any questions or concerns about discrimination, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our counseling centers. For further information, please visit: Equal Treatment and Nondiscrimination
Can Russian students and researchers at RWTH apply for (renewal of) a residence permit?
Yes. The initial application for and an extension of a residence permit are currently not affected by any sanctions or restrictions. Applications can be submitted as usual via the responsible Immigration Office.
Due to the war, I have found myself in financial difficulties and I cannot continue to finance my studies/residence.
Ukrainian students can apply for Bafög through Studierendenwerk Aachen from June 1, 2022. You can find more information in German on the website of the Studierendenwerk here.
The AStA Students' Committee offers RWTH students who are in financial need short-term and straightforward support in the form of a loan. Information on the social loan and the AStA's "Freitisch" (free meals) project can be found here.
International students and doctoral candidates at RWTH who are in the final phase of their studies can apply for the DAAD's Scholarship for Completing Studies. The award criteria and documents are listed on this page.
For an overview of other funding opportunities, please see our Scholarships and Funding Programs page.
In the RWTH job portal, you will also find current job offers at RWTH for students and academic staff.
Doctoral candidates and researchers who have questions on how to finance their stay should contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers.
I feel emotionally and mentally burdened because of the war and I cannot concentrate on my studies.
RWTH offers University members various psychological support services. The Student Advisory Centre offers psychological counseling. Furthermore, students can receive help and support at the Center for Mental Health.
RWTH employees can get in touch with our social and psychological counselors.
You can find an open invitation for Ukrainian students to attend psychological counseling sessions by checking the target group-specific offers at the Study Skills Workshop page here.
Further Questions? Our International Office Is Happy to Help You With the Following:
- Application, admission, and enrollment of international students and academic refugee assistance:
Division 2.1 Admissions and Social Affairs
- General advice and support for international students and scholars regarding living, studying, and working at the University and in the City of Aachen:
Division 2.2 - International Student and Scholar Services
- Questions about exchange programs and international university partnerships:
Division 2.3 - Mobility
- International networks, strategic partnerships, and projects:
Division 2.4 – International Strategy
- For questions about off-campus counseling services, processes, and assistance, please contact Integration Management of the City of Aachen.
- Stadt Aachen Ehrenamt Center im Depot
FAQ Web Page Federal Commissioner for Foreign Affairs
The FAQ web page is also available in Ukrainian.
- German Academic Exchange Service – Assistance for Ukrainian Students and Researchers
- IN VIA Aachen e.V. – offenes Treffen für ukrainische Flüchtlinge
- Advising Services – Catholic StudentUniversity Community Aachen (de)
- Counseling and Pastoral Care – Protestant Student Community Aachen
- Proasyl – Advice for Refugees From Ukraine
- Information for Refugees from Ukraine - BMBF
- Digital Contact Center With Offers of Help and Information, for Example, on Accommodation and Medical Care (Ukrainian/Russian/English/German)
- Good Collection of Various Offers of Help, Links and Information for Ukrainian refugees, Sorted by Federal States
- Information for new Arrivals From Ukraine (Ukrainian/Russian/German)
- Information About Day Care in Germany (in Russian)
- University Guarantee Fund (de)
- Educational Counseling Through the University Guarantee Fund
- Linguistics for Ukraine
- STARRING Aachen e.V. - Student Association for Supporting Refugees in Aachen
- European Research Area Platform as a Focal Point for Researchers residing in Ukraine and those who have fled Ukraine
- EURAXESS Initiative for Internships and Jobs and Information on Working in Europe for Refugees
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Guidelines
- EU Commission website on EU solidarity with Ukraine