Questions and Answers About Orientation Week
Where do I have to go and when?
The first event you have to attend is the welcome by our rector. This is held by subject on Monday. You can look at the Bachelor's Orientation Events to see when exactly you have to go somewhere.
What happens the whole week?
During Orientation Week the older students explain the most fundamental parts of your studies. On the first couple days you have welcome events and an introduction to your subject. A rally is held on Wednesday, during which you and your group can discover the city and university together while solving problems. The last days are reserved for tours of the institutes and a technical project day. Your student representative council will provide you with more exact details about the week but you can find a rough overview here a few days before the event.
What happens on October 3 with the national holiday?
On the national day of Germany, the University is actually supposed to be closed. For some degree courses there will be events nevertheless. You can find these here in the weekly schedule for your particular course of studies. If nothing is entered, you could seize this opportunity to get to know Aachen and the surrounding area or to meet your fellow students.
I can't come one day. What do I do?
Please tell your student representative council. They can tell you what you should do so that you get the most out of the week. Here you can find an overview of the student representative councils.
My subject is not in the subject overview.
In this case, please contact us so that we can help you find your student representative council. You can reach us via email at email@example.com.
I have questions about the exact schedule for the week.
Contact your student representative council. The people there plan the week's details and can help you. Here you can find an overview of the student representative councils.
What do I need to bring the first day?
The most important things to bring are time and a good mood. An umbrella in Aachen is never a bad idea, you should also bring some water.
Can I or should I bring my parents?
Please don't. The lecture halls have limited capacity and have just enough room for the number of new students.
I've heard the week is basically all alcohol and parties.
This is a common misconception, but it is untrue. The majority of the week is made up of orientations, welcome events, and learning about your studies. A bar, or café, or party is often visited in the evening to round out the day. However, this is not mandatory and no one is forced to go to a party or drink alcohol. Alcohol and glass bottles are not permitted on RWTH grounds.
I don't drink alcohol due to my religion or personal convictions. Is that a problem?
No, not at all. Alcohol is not an explicit part of the orientation week. Regardless of alcohol, please make note that glass bottles are not permitted.
Glass bottles aren't permitted? Why not?
RWTH does not have its own campus but rather is very integrated into the town center. When thousands of first-year students explore the city during the rally, bottles inevitably fall on the ground now and then. Glass bottles break and leave shards. Schools with holiday camps and cobblestones are located near the rally. By banning glass bottles, we avoid having shards everywhere.
How much time should I reserve for the Orientation Week?
We recommend that you assume the Orientation Week will last all day each day. On the first day your student representative council and older students will tell you the exact details of what you are doing when during the week.
I'm a first-year Master's student. Is there an Orientation Week for me too?
I am enrolled. What do I do till Orientation Week?
Although not mandatory, we do recommend the bridge courses. Focus is not only on the fundamentals of certain subjects but also on social components – meaning you can already meet your fellow students here.
I have a disability. Is the week handicap accessible?
What do I need to do before Orientation Week?
You need to transfer your semester fee and upload a photo for your BlueCard, the student ID, to RWTH SelfService before coming to orientation. You will only be sent your Semester Ticket, which allows you to ride all the busses and trains in NRW, once the University has received your payment for the semester fee.
How do I get my student ID?
You will receive the BlueCard, which is the student ID at RWTH, after you have transfered the semester fee and uploaded a photo to RWTH SelfService. You will receive an email notifying you when you can pick up the card. We have a separate FAQ page on this topic, which can help you further.
I have a BlueCard without a chip – how is that going to work at the dining halls?
Student Services have changed over to a chip card payment system at most dining halls some time ago. If you have ordered a BlueCard without a chip, you can get a Student Guest Card and pay with it. You can find further details about that here.
How do I create my RWTH email address?
You will receive a RWTH account after you enroll. Your account is made up of your TIM ID – for example ab123456 – and a password. You can use these to log into the SelfService and create your RWTH email. Once you have created the address, you can log on to Online Outlook. Your username is TIM-Kennung@rwth-aachen.de – for example firstname.lastname@example.org – and your password is the TIM password.