Study Abroad

  Study Abroad © AVT  

Studying abroad offers excellent opportunities for personal and professional development. The exchange programs are supervised by various departments, in each of which some students of RWTH Aachen can study abroad. Course achievements fulfilled abroad can be easily integrated into the curriculum in compliance with the formal conditions.

RWTH Aachen University offers numerous opportunities for exchange programs at partner universities in Europe and around the world.   A general overview

These programs are targeted for process engineering students. The available exchange programs are listed below:

University College London, England

National Technical University of Athens, Greece

University of Strathclyde, Scotland

KU Leuven, Belgium

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA


Slides for the information event in the context of the international week of the RWTH on 24.10.2023 "Going abroad with AVT"


FAQ Study Abroad AVT

How do I apply for the ERASMUS exchange with AVT?

An application for all ERASMUS universities but Cambridge is submitted via MoveON-Portal of the faculty. Deadline for winter was shifted to 31th January. A list with all necessary documents for application can be found on the website of the faculty. Please note that a motivation letter is no longer necessary. For Cambridge, applications have to be sent by and with motivation letter.

Do the applications for the AVT ERASMUS program count towards my three selected universities that I submit when applying for ERASMUS through the faculty?

No, we have adapted the application process. AVT-applications are included in the maximum of three applications for ERASMUS.

Is Chemical Engineering as the selected field of specialization mandatory for the participation in one of the AVT ERASMUS programs?

No, it is not a formal requirement for a study abroad. Nevertheless, the exchange agreement exists between the AVT and the Chemical Engineering Department of the partner university abroad. Your planned studies at the local university should therefore be focused on this specific department. The option to take courses offered by other departments solely depends on the willingness of the partner universities and can vary depending on the individual case; on the part of the AVT, this does not pose a problem. Generally, it is a good idea to describe your planned studies briefly in your letter of motivation and, if appropriate, to justify. In the selection process, it is certainly taken into account that your intended studies are plausible and are consistent with the remaining course of studies.

Do I have to specify a choice of subjects for the application?

No, a specific choice of subjects does not have to be submitted at the time of the application. Nevertheless, it is sufficient to outline the intentions for your studies in your letter of motivation and, if necessary, to give reasons for it. For the selection process, your intentions should be plausible and should fit into your previous course of studies. In case of a nomination, you are later asked to coordinate a final study plan as part of the Learning Agreement with the Study Abroad Counseling.

Which courses taken abroad will be recognized by the RWTH Aachen?

We cannot provide information on recognized courses, as the acceptance of international credits depends on many criteria. For more information, contact the Mentoring for Chemical Engineering.

Which language certificate is required for a study abroad with the AVT?

Usually, a language certificate is only necessary, if you are nominated by us and you subsequently have to apply to the partner university. For your application for the nomination for the AVT no formal language certificate is required, as long as your application does not give rise to serious doubt in this regard. As we are not directly concerned with the language certificate for the partner universities, we cannot name specific language certificates. Generally, there is a variety of possibilites to proof your English skills – an „Englisch-Leistungskurs“ is only one of them. If needed, an appropriate test (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS) can also be delivered later.

What is the scope of the letter of motivation?

Motivation letter

All MoveOn applications are subject to the general conditions of the MoveOn portal. These include a text stating the subject motivation (max.2000 characters), one on the non-subject motivation (max.1500 characters), one describing own extracurricular qualifications (max.750 characters), as well as one explaining why one considers oneself a suitable representative of RWTH (max.750 characters). All these texts are to be submitted in English for the AVT exchange programs.

Deviating from this, if an application is made via e-mail, a separate letter of motivation of 1-2 pages should be submitted. This must also be written in English (exception: the cover letter for the CMU - this must be written in German and has a maximum length of one page).

As an alternative to the full-text motivation for our AVT exchanges (KU Leuven, University of Strathclyde, University College of London, the National Technical University of Athens, and Carnegie Mellon University), you can write 5-10 bullet points summarizing your key motivation arguments.

Is it possible to take courses within the field of economic sciences during the semester abroad (affects: Business Engineering [“Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen”])?

The departmental exchange only exists with the Chemical Engineering Department of the university abroad. Your planned course of studies should therefore primarily be located in that department. The chance to take courses at other departments at the host university, e.g., in the department for economic sciences, exclusively depends on the willingness of the host university and continues on a case-by-case basis; on the part of the AVT, this is not a problem.

How many ECTS per semester abroad are suggested?

The Study Abroad Counselling of the faculty can provide information on the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Generally, a minimum of 15 ECTS per study abroad semester have to be completed successfully to receive an ERASMUS mobility stipend (consult: Fakultät für Maschinenwesen).

According to which criteria will my application be examined? Which role does my GPA play?

The selection criteria of the AVT strongly comply with the criteria of the faculty (consult Kriterien der Fakultät).
The individual criteria are:

  • Grade of preliminary studies resp. GPA of academic performances so far (Bachelor) resp. GPA of Bachelor Diploma (Master) as well as duration until graduation
  • Your application (above all motivation, preparation, preoccupation with the university’s offers, optical impression, …)
  • Extracurricular commitment

Consider, that you will be representing the AVT abroad; therefore a very good to good academic performance is implied.

How many applications do the AVT Erasmus programs receive each year?

The number of applicants varies reasonably. A reliable statement can therefore not be made concretely. Generally, we can always encourage you to apply.

Progress report

You can receive progress reports, once you have been nominated for an AVT exchange program. We expect every participant in one of our programs to share her/his experiences in a progress report (2-3 pages, gladly more) after returning, so future students can benefit from your experiences. Since the faculty expects a progress report as well, the same report can be submitted for the AVT exchange programms.

Do I have to send my application to the partner universities?

The application proceeds in two steps. First, you will apply to us for a nomination. For this purpose, you need to send in the documents specified on the AVT website. In the next step, if you are chosen, your nomination is reported to the partner university. After that, you will have to apply directly to the university abroad as well. Depending on the university, there are different specifications and deadlines for this application; therefore, you will have to consult the website of the according university. This step will only be relevant after a potential nomination.

I am studying environmental engineering. Can I apply for AVT exchange programs via MoveOn?

Yes, in this case the Faculty 3 - Civil Engineering has to be indicated at "Current course of study at RWTH". However, contrary to the red indication on the page "Information", the Faculty 4 - Mechanical Engineering need to be selected at "desired study abroad placement" in order to be able to apply for the different AVT exchange programs. Important: After completing your application, please send it to us via as a pdf. Otherwise, we will unfortunately not be able to consider your application.

What about Brexit?

Negotiations between the EU and the UK regarding Brexit have not yet been finalized at the present time (January 2022). Nevertheless, student exchange with universities in the UK is possible in the academic year 2022/23. No tuition fees will be charged and financial support is also possible during this period. For a short stay of up to six months, no visa is required; for six months or more, you will need a visa.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has set up a website showing the latest developments.


If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us (ideally in English) via .
(This this email address is valid for all programs with the exception of )