Looking for an apartment
What am I looking for?
In addition to your choice of which area of the city you would like to move to, you must also decide on the type of accommodation you are looking for. A basic distinction is made between living alone and living in a shared apartment (“Wohngemeinschaft”, “Wohnduo”, “Studentenwohnheim”, “Studentische Verbindung”).
Living within a community is usually associated with different obligations, tasks and responsibilities. In addition, common rooms such as the bath or kitchen are usually shared. This often has a positive effect on the rent to be paid. This saving is often “paid for” with time or commitments. The deciding factor is certainly tolerance. The communal life can have many advantages, especially that one can easily make social contacts.
For those who want to live in favorable conditions an have a certain degree of tolerance, living in a student dormitory is an alternative to the free housing market. In Aachen, there are various providers of student dormitories. Most of these are provided by the Studentenwerk Aachen. More information these dorms and the application can be found online. Other major institutions are the Student Services of the Catholic and Protestant Student groups. These all offer everything from small rooms or shared flats to apartments for families. The kitchen and sanitary facilities are shared in many dormitories.
Since all dormitories have their own websites you should go and look at their location and facilities in advance. The dormitory places are distributed via several different distribution procedures such as waiting lists and interviews. In addition to affordable housing, dorm life often has other advantages: most dorms have a beverage service, washing machines, photocopiers, inexpensive and fast internet, workshops, their own bars, saunas and many more…
Wohnduo is a project co-initiated by the AStA, where older people make living space available for students free of charge in exchange for day-to-day support. But that does not mean that you need to care for these people. More information and applications can be found online.
In order to bridge a short period of time, the best solution is to rent a room as a subtenant. If this is not possible on short notice, you can check in at the Aachen Youth Hostel. Projects such as hospitalityclub.org and couchsurfing.org offer an inexpensive alternative for a short period of time where young people offer a bed or a place for a mattress for little or no money.
When and where can I look?
It can be especially difficult to find a suitable apartment at the beginning of the semester; therefore, you should keep an eye on the housing market as early as possible. In addition to the classic “offline” advertising media such as newspapers and bulletin boards, the Internet has established itself as the dominant platform for the open housing market as well as social housing in Aachen.
Bulletin boards in public buildings (especially cafeterias and auditoriums)
Newspapers (Aachen Nachrichten, Aachener Zeitung, Annonce, Marketplace)
HomeCompany (interim renting)