Informationen für Incomings

Für ausländische Studierende gibt es ein breites Angebot an der RWTH Aachen. Sollten Probleme auftauchen, sind wir für dich da. Es gibt viele Anlaufstellen, die dir bei Problemen helfen können. Auf unserer Seite für Incomings versuchen wir dir schon einige Fragen im Vorfeld zu beantworten.

At Arrival

Congratulations on your decision to study at the RWTH Aachen University. While planning your studies and your stay in Germany, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind to ease your life here:

1. Finding a Proper Accommodation:

Before a new semester begins it often gets difficult to find accommodation due to a large influx of students in the city. It is therefore advised that you start looking for accommodation as early as possible. 

You can check out the dorm offers from the Studierendenwerk here.

For more information we recommend reading the Housing guide.  

Furthermore the housing advice service of the International Office offers virtual consultation as well as in Person consultations. The current consultation hours can be found here.

2. City Registration:

Within 14 days of your arrival you should get the city registration completed at the city hall. City registration requires a document called “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” to be filled and signed by your landlord. Keep in mind that you will have to do your city registration every time your address changes as well as unregister when you leave the city.

3. Health Insurance:

If you want to study in Germany, you will need health insurance, either from a public or a private company. This ensures that the costs of medical care and/or medication do not have to be paid privately in case of sickness or an accident. All international students must present proof that they have health insurance when they enroll. If they are not insured with a health insurance provider that is recognized in Germany, they will have to take out insurance here.  

3.1 Bringing your health insurance with you 

Can I work with health insurance from my home country?

Even if you come from one of the countries stated above, you need to have a German health insurance, if you work or are doing an internship. It does not matter if you have a student work contract, work as a student assistant or have any other kind of minor employment. 

Can I bring my health insurance from my home country?
  • International students who come from countries in the EU, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey, are not required to get additional health insurance because their public insurance plans from their home countries are valid in Germany. These students can have their insurance recognized by a statutory health insurance provider in Germany. Your insurance provider in your home country can tell you how to go about this. Usually, you will need to provide your European Health Insurance Card to a public health insurance company (by going to their office) or send a scan thereof per E-mail.
    Private health insurance from other countries is sometimes also recognized. In that case however, you cannot switch to a statutory health insurance provider during your degree program in Germany. Your insurance provider abroad will inform you.
    To enroll at the University, you will need a document proving that you are not required to take out German health insurance, which is issued by the statutory (public) health insurance providers. 

3.2 Health Insurance in Germany

What is the student tariff and how much does it cost?

The statutory health insurance providers offer a relatively affordable student tariff with monthly costs of around 110-130 Euro.
You can make use of this health insurance tariff until the end of your 14th subject-related semester or until the age of 30. After that, you may renew your policy at the public insurance company, at a higher tariff, or change to a private one. You can check this video to learn more about German health insurance

4. Other Insurances

While studying and living abroad, there is a lot that can go wrong. The insurances listed below are not mandatory, but we strongly advise you to consider taking them up.

4.1 Personal Liability Insurance (Private Haftpflichtversicherung)

This insurance provides for third-party compensation in case you cause (accidental or unintentional) damage to a third party or their property. In Germany, you are legally responsible for any damages caused to others by your person. This can often be expensive. The personal liability insurance will take care of the damage costs up until a limit that you have set before signing the contract.
Foreign students holding a personal liability insurance in their respective home country should check whether insurance cover is provided while they are in Germany.

4.2 Accident Insurance

All students enrolled at RWTH Aachen are automatically insured against work-related accidents and accidents taking place during university-organized events, as well as on the entire premises of the university. This insurance however does not cover accidents during your leisure time outside of the university’s premises, so you should consider taking on a private insurance for that case.
Visiting students, who are completing a project or internship at a RWTH institute but who are not enrolled at RWTH, are not automatically insured against accidents.

5. Enrollment at the university

Before applying for a residence permit, you should already be enrolled at the university.
You will need to visit the International Office in person and present the original copy of the documents you submitted on your application online which are:

  1. Official application form to enroll at RWTH, signed by you.
  2. A valid passport, or alternatively personal identification for EU citizens.
  3. The originals of your school and university certificates; if the originals are in English or French in addition to your native language, you must submit these too.
  4. The original translations of your school and university certificates; these translations must be completed by a certified translation office or recognized by the German embassy or consulate in your home country. The translation office can either be in Germany or your home country.
  5. Translations of your school and university certificates; these translations must have been made by a sworn translation agency or recognized by a German embassy or consulate abroad. The translation agency can be located in Germany or in your home country.
  6. Documentation of the required language skills, as stipulated in the relevant examination regulation. Please refer to the language requirements subpage for detailed information on the type of language skill certification you will need to provide.
  7. Insurance confirmation from a German public health insurance provider.
  8. Proof of termination of studies at a German university if you have previously been enrolled at a German university; this also applies to former students at a preparatory college, or so-called Studienkolleg.
  9. Proof of pre-internships for courses of study that require them.
  10. If applying for a higher semester you will need the placement confirmation for a higher core semester from the respective RWTH Examination Board.

6. Residence permit:

Once you have all of the above settled, you can apply for your residence permit. Make sure to get the residence permit done within the time frame given in the Visa granted to you. You have to apply for an appointment online, in order to visit the office of the Foreigner’s Office (Ausländeramt) in the SuperC building. Then you can attend to your appointment with the required documents and  mentioned fees to apply for the residence permit. You will have to collect the card at a later date (around 4-6 weeks) at the Foreigner’s Office located at Hackländerstr. 1. Please keep in mind that at the moment, the typical waiting time can range from 4-8 weeks.

During Studies

Problems and Contacts

Are you having legal woes or problems with your visa? Contact the Representation of Foreign Students (AV). You can have a free consultation with a lawyer specialized in aliens’ law.

Who can I ask for help?

International Students Clubs and Leisure Time

If you are looking to find people from your cultural background or simply want to engage in international student activities, here is a list of all the (international) student clubs in Aachen: AV also offers events throughout the semester. 

If you are looking to meet new people and make contacts with people already studying at the RWTH, check out the Be Buddy programme.You will be matched within the programme with an experienced RWTH student – if possible from the same faculty – who will provide support and general information in your first semester.