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Aachen market square with a fountain in the centre
©iStock.com/golero

Studying in Aachen

Aachen offers you 37 degree programmes in English at 8 higher education institutions.

Aachen is international, student-oriented, innovative and of historical importance, as evidenced by the cathedral and the city hall. It is also the westernmost city in Germany, located at the border triangle of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Its prestigious higher education and research institutions as well as its central location in Europe make Aachen attractive to international students.

With 250,000 inhabitants, Aachen may not be a metropolis, but its location at Germany’s border means you can be in the Netherlands or Belgium in no time, and Paris is also within easy reach by train or car. With the so-called NRW-Ticket, students can use public transport in Aachen free of charge and they can even get to Cologne, Düsseldorf or Bonn quickly and, above all, for free.

Aachen itself also has a lot to offer: The compact student city with international flair has a historic city centre, many green residential areas, numerous parks, a beautiful surrounding area, and a wide variety of cultural and leisure activities. Popular nature and recreation areas are the Nordeifel National Park with Lake Rursee or the Ardennes forested mountain range.

Aachen is a young and lively city – every fifth inhabitant is a student at one of the four higher education institutions and numerous research institutes which are characterised by scientific creativity, technological innovation and social progress. The city is also an international hotspot for start-ups, research and teaching, especially in the technical field.

Aachen's housing situation is relatively relaxed. On the private housing market, you will find many rooms and flats at fair prices. The student halls of residence are even cheaper. However, there, you will have to add yourself to a waitlist, as capacities are limited.

Life in Aachen

252,000 residents

  • High-speed train connections

    In close vicinity

  • International airport

    Cologne/Bonn airport in 75 km distance

  • Coast

    North Sea in 170 km distance

  • Mountain range

    Eifel in 30 km distance

  • Other countries

    The Netherlands in 5 km distance

  • Attractions within 100 km

    • Bonn (former capital of Germany) in 72 km distance

    • Cologne Cathedral in 65 km distance

    • Tri-border area between Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium in 5 km distance

8 higher education institutions in Aachen

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Subject groups of degree programmes in Aachen

There is a wide range of degree programmes in Aachen. Here you can see the main subject groups. Currently, degree programmes in Aachen are mainly offered in the subject group Engineering Sciences, followed by Teaching Degrees and Economic Sciences, Law. Find out more information here about the subject groups and degree programmes offered in Germany.
  • 0

    Agricultural and Forest Sciences

  • 24

    Humanities and Social Sciences

  • 41

    Mathematics, Natural Sciences

  • 18

    Art, Music, Design

  • 15

    Language and Cultural Studies

  • 14

    Medicine, Health Sciences

  • 52

    Economic Sciences, Law

  • 105

    Engineering Sciences

  • 62

    Teaching Degrees

View of the town hall, cathedral and market square from above
©iStock.com/taranchic

The town hall and cathedral let you feel the historical significance of the city.

It might smell like rotten eggs, but the thermal water of the city’s Elisenbrunnen is said to have healing powers.

Probably the most important building and landmark of the city is the cathedral. Together with the cathedral’s treasury, it was the first German and the second cultural monument in the world to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Another special feature of Aachen is that King Charlemagne made it his main residence in the 8th century. As a result, the city was long regarded as the centre of Europe, also partly because of its geographic location.

Aachen is thought to be one of the German cities with the highest ratio of pubs per inhabitant. In particular, the old town and Pontstraße in the city centre are popular meeting places for students. The cafés, bars and smaller clubs offer you and your friends a place to relax or celebrate. You'll also notice that there are always plenty of student parties going on in Aachen.

If you notice an unintelligible conversation in the city or in a pub, it's probably Öcher Platt. The Aachen dialect is closely related to dialects from the neighbouring Dutch provinces. Words to remember are Adieda (goodbye), au Banan (expressing astonishment) or Klenkes (little finger; stretching out your little finger is a non-verbal way of greeting people in Aachen).

Aachen is a part of the Rhineland, where carnival is serious business and causes a standstill in the city. The motto of the Öcher (inhabitants of Aachen) at carnival is simple (and difficult to translate): "Spaß an der Freud" (fun in joy). People sing, sway, dance and laugh. The carnival season, also known as the "fifth season", usually begins on 11 November at 11.11 am. The so-called street carnival then runs throughout February. The streets of Aachen's city centre and other Rhineland cities are dominated by costumed people (Jecken). The active carnival participants greet each other during this period with the traditional cry "Oche alaaf" ("Aachen above all").

A young woman walks through the city
A young woman walks through the cityJan von Allwörden / DAAD

You can find more information at study-in-germany.de

For more information on living and studying in Aachen, visit the city portraits at study-in-germany.de