Student Life in Aachen
The great number of students makes student life in Aachen vibrant and unique. Not matter if you are interested in sports, arts or culture, there are plenty of options to enjoy your student life. This page will provide you with information that will help you to organize and enjoy your life in Aachen, be it regarding culture, sports or helpful institutions.
RWTH International Academy
The RWTH International Academy aims to make your stay in Aachen both as productive and as exciting as possible. For the latter purpose, we hold a whole array of experiences and activities in store for you: we provide an extensive social and cultural programme starting from day one of your time in Aachen.
RWTH International Academy Activities
The RWTH International Academy organizes different excursions, field trips and (social) events every semester for our international student community. See also Networking/Field Trips.
- intercultural workshops to smooth your way for a great start in Aachen
- frequent field trips to some of Germany’s most notable companies (Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Bosch, Thyssen etc.)
- seminars that will sharpen your scientific skill set
- job searching seminars preparing you for a successful career in Germany
- career days where you can get in touch with potential employers
- soccer tournaments, casual get-togethers, hikes, holiday celebrations, barbecues, city tours etc.
RWTH International Academy Newsletter
Peer-to-peer Programme by the International Academy
Senior students of the M.Sc. degree programmes help to welcome the new arriving students by taking responsibility for a small group of fellow students of their study programme. The senior mentor can help the freshmen to get to know the university, the course structure, the city and the student life and will just be present to answer all questions which may come up after arrival.
Senior Mentors Responsibilities
- A senior mentor is an experienced International Academy student that has studied in Aachen for two semesters or longer.
- He/she would like to share his/her knowledge about living and studying in Aachen.
- They want to start off freshmen that experience their first weeks in Aachen.
- They help answering questions: Which supermarket is the best? What courses are mandatory? Which bus goes to campus Melaten? Where is the library? How to get in contact with student unions? Which place is the best to have lunch at?
- They will get in touch via email before arrival and attend at least one Academy event or organize an own meeting.
- There are few responsibilities that a senior mentor really has. Still, most of the senior mentors take their job very serious and they do their best to welcome their fellow students to the city and the university.
Registration as a senior mentor:
- All students are invited to take part in the programme in May/June by email
- A kick-off meeting takes place and afterwards mentees and seniors will be assigned
- After succesfull participation in the programme and handing in the questionnaire, a certificate will be awarded
What can a mentee expect from a senior mentor?
- As mentioned above, most of the senior mentors strive to give high quality advices to the freshmen and help them to make their start up in Aachen easier. Mentees should after all keep in mind that each senior mentor is assigned not only one, but a group of mentees that he/she gives advices to. Furthermore, it is important to know that senior mentors offer help as a favour to the freshmen, because they exactly know what it feels like to be new in Aachen. Usually, senior mentors are very eager to share their knowledge with the mentees and try to help them, but they are not obliged to e.g. organize accommodation. What they may do is providing help for the mentees on how to search for private accommodation themselves.
Registration as a mentee:
- Admitted students receive a registration form along with their admission documents
Other Student Support Initiatives
Furthermore, there are plenty of other institutions and student clubs in Aachen that help international students to get settled and who support international exchange and intercultural communication.
BeBuddy Programme of the RWTH Aachen University - Mix with German students
The International Office of RWTH Aachen University offers a “Buddy Programme”, an informal mentoring programme that brings together German students and international freshmen. In order to support the adjustment process, an experienced RWTH student takes care of an international student by showing him or her the campus, the city and things to be done.
Buddies are socially engaged RWTH student volunteers from all faculties who would like to meet international students and support them in the process of settling into university life in Aachen and adjust to their new surroundings. Buddies support their mentees by offering informal advice on practical issues and by discussing with their mentees the specifics of their degree course. As experienced students, they act as informal mentors of the newly arrived international students, who are thus also called "mentees".
Registration for a Buddy
Please see the website: website
Often more international students assign, then there are buddies to match. However, part of the buddy programme are also open events, that can be joined without having an individual Buddy!
Private Tuition in German
Students who have a high degree of competence in spoken and written German, act as a tutor to international students and provide them with private tuition in German. You can just sit and talk about different topics, exchange interesting information about your studies or read German newspapers or other interesting texts together.
The BeBuddy team offers this opportunity for you on Fridays from 1 - 3 pm at Humboldt-Haus (Pontstr. 41) Aachen. Use this opportunity to meet German students and improve your German. It´s for free and the tutors are waiting for you! You don´t need to apply for it! Just be there!
Follow the BeBuddy team on Facebook in order to stay updated.
International Student Clubs
INCAS is a student organization supported by the International Office of RWTH Aachen, the RWTH International Academy and the "Akademisches Auslandsamt" of FH Aachen. Its main objective is to meet the needs of international students, trainees and participants of German language courses. Therefore INCAS organizes regular events for the newcomers in Aachen and brings together both international and German students in a pleasant atmosphere.
You can also get in contact with a student club of your homecountry. There are many student clubs from one specific country, e.g. AISA (Association of Indian Students in Aachen), MexAs Aachen (Mexican students club), ColAachen (Colombian Club), PPI Aachen (Indonesian students club) or others like AIESEC, an organization for international exchange and intercultural communication.
- See a list of all student clubs at RWTH Aachen University here.
Evangelic and Catholic Student Communities
Evangelische Studierendengemeinde Aachen: The ESG offers are open to everyone! Everyone - regardless of confession, religion and nationality - is invited to participate.
STUBE: a development-policy educational programme for students from Africa, Asia, Latin America and eastern
Europe that offers career-oriented placements and study periods and developmentpolicy seminars. See Flyer.
Katholische Hochschulgemeinde Aachen: Catholic Student Community in Aachen. Offers rooms/apartments for catholic students. The KHG also owns the Chico Mendes, a bar run by students for students, where you can learn, relax, play and meet friends.
Useful links and institutions at the RWTH Aachen University
- Communication, Sports and Culture at RWTH Aachen University: This link will provide you a general overview of diverse student initiatives: student newspaper, student movie club, drama club, language-tandems, big band, choire, etc.
- International Student Organisations: The RWTH Aachen University is a very international university in Germany: About 18% of the RWTH students (about 43,000 in total) come from foreign countries. Therefore, there are many International Student Organisations that are able to help students with very specific problems.
- Sports Centre (RWTH Hochschulsportzentrum): The RWTH Hochschulsportzentrum (Sports Centre) offers a broad range of activities from Aikido to Zumba. The 'Kontakthüpfen' (contact jumping, fitness with music) is a great opportunity to get to know fellow students.
- University Library: The RWTH University Library (Hochschulbibliothek) is the centrally situated library opposite the Super C. You can read or borrow books, do internet research, copy things or just read the newspaper in the entrance hall. The library has just been renovated and it is worth a visit, especially in the first days.
- Visa Information by the International Office
- Visa Information by the Department for foreign affairs
- Advice and assistance at RWTH: assistance for international students, psychological assistance (see also: Medical Care and Safety) etc.
General Practical Information
The following paragraphs provide you with information about cultural and social activities, medical care, transportation and legal advice.
Events, Culture & Sports in Aachen
Events in general
- Student Events website "Campuslife" (see the section "Termine")
- Klenkes, the website of Aachen's city magazine
Culture & Sports
- Cinemas in Aachen: The Cinecarree is the biggest cinema in Aachen. Besides that, there are others like the Apollo (that also transforms to a bar/club at some days of the week), the Eden Palast (that e.g. offers operas or theatre plays from time to time) and the CAPITOL.
- Museums in Aachen: There is much more to see in Aachen than only the Rathaus (city hall) and the Dom (cathedral), even if those two buildings are really worth visiting. Aachen has got a newspaper museum, a museum for international art and many more.
- Theatres in Aachen: There are many different theatres in Aachen: From those ones that present plays in traditional Aachen dialect (Öcher Platt) to those that offer plays especially attractive to young people. Students can get a great discount and enjoy different plays at an incredibly good price.
- Aachen Sports League (Alemannia Aachen)
- Spa / Hot Springs: Aachen is very famous for its hot springs. The European emperor Charlemagne (about 800 AD), made Aachen the capital of his empire and his residence because of the hot springs and the healing potential they have. They are a great opportunity to relax, especially after a long study week.
Transportation in and around Aachen
- Air Traffic: Maastricht Aachen Airport / Cologne Bonn Airport / Duesseldorf International Airport
- Bus Schedule: for transportation in and around Aachen (ASEAG) with your semester ticket
- City of Aachen: City council, public facilities like museums and swimming pools, information about registration, etc.
- Taxis, for example Taxi Gering
- Trains (national/international): The Deutsche Bahn has, besides the Semester Ticket (free transport with bus and trains in the whole state of North Rhine Westphalia), special offers for travelling around Germany (Schönes Wochenende Ticket), to Paris (about 3 hours with Thalys), etc.
Medical Care and Safety
- Fire Accident (Fire Department): In case of a fire, please dial: 112
- Police (Emergency, eg. assault): Dial: 110
- Police Station, Criminal Investigation Department: Dial: 1891
- Security at the RWTH Aachen University: Dial: 113
- Emergency Services
- Doctors (German)
- Hospitals and Clinics in Aachen
- Center for mental health for students (ZPG): RWTH Aachen University developed (together with FH Aachen) the first psychiatric and psychotherapeutic counseling for students: the Center for Mental Health for Students (ZPG). A team consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists and social education workers offers students professional help (without waiting hours) with all problems and life crises. The ZPG can be found at the Uniklinikum Aachen and counseling can also be done in English.
- Psychological Counseling – Confidential, Autonomous, Free of Charge: The Student Advice Centre offer RWTH Aachen students psychological counseling in times of crisis, when encountering personal problems, and for all questions and problems that can compromise one's studies.
You can find help with legal consultation at the AstA (Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss der RWTH Aachen), your student representation at RWTH Aachen University.
However, we kindly ask you to first come to our Master Office as early as possible and talk to your responsible Study Course Coordinator to discuss the problem and evaluate further strategies.