FAQs and General Information

Why Internationally Oriented Studies (IOS)?

The IOS program is open to German and international students. 

In today's global marketplace, an international education is an important investment in the future. As rapidly advancing technologies continue to strengthen the ties between nations, more and more companies require employees whose skills go beyond the scientific. They are looking for professionals capable of contributing to the global exchange of ideas: people with superior technical and linguistic abilities, flexibility, and the ability to react quickly and appropriately in a variety of cultural settings. 

German Universities of Applied Sciences, known as Fachhochschulen, have long been recognized for their emphasis on practical experience. The IOS program is no exception. Internships and extensive lab courses provide students with the experience they need to get a head start in industry.  

The standard length of the complete Bachelor's program is 6 semesters (3 years), however, some students may need an additional semester to complete their degree.  Some international students may need longer due to cultural adjustments to Germany and the German university system. 

If you do not meet the admission requirements for the IOS Bachelor's program, you may still be eligible for the Freshman Program, which offers a preparatory year.


Freshman Program (prepare for the IOS Bachelor's programs)

The Freshman program is for students who don't meet the standard admission requirements to Bachelor's programs at German universities.  See the Freshman website for details.

German and English Names for Our University

The German word "Fachhochschule" (abbreviated "FH") stands for "University of Applied Sciences."  

German name: FH Aachen, Campus Jülich 
English name:  FH Aachen, Jülich Campus - University of Applied Sciences 

What is a Fachhochschule?

Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences) concentrate on programs in engineering and other technical disciplines, business, social work, architecture and design. The common mission of applied research and development creates a distinctive application-oriented focus.  Programs may include integrated and supervised work assignments in industry or other institutions.

What is the difference between a Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) and other types of German universities?

University of Applied Sciences

  • Focus on practical applications 
  • Examinations based on the information given during lectures
  • Research: small projects, variable, practically-oriented 
  • Professors: 5 years experience in industry


  • Focus on theoretical principles
  • Examinations often cover far more material than discussed in the lectures 
  • Basic research! Some projects take a lifetime 
  • Professors: often only university experience

About the FH Aachen, University of Applied Sciences

  • The FH Aachen, Jülich Campus, is a branch campus of the FH Aachen - University of Applied Sciences. This institution for applied sciences, research and higher education in Jülich focuses exclusively on the engineering sciences. 
  • Jülich Campus homepage
  • Founded in 1971 
  • Departments: 7 in Aachen and 3 in Jülich.
  • About 9000 students in Aachen and Jülich, including about 3000 students in Jülich, with about 600 international students. 
  • Research in a variety of fields 
  • 70 full time teaching staff (professors) 
  • 120 part time teaching staff 
  • 25 members of staff in the teaching and scientific research departments and administration 
  • 5 apprentices 
  • 50 laboratories 
  • 2 central academic institutions 
  • Electronic Processing Center 
  • Library 
  • Solar Institute Jülich 
  • More than 40 cooperation agreements with European and non-European universities and research institutions 
  • Master's courses at our university in Aachen and Jülich
  • Intensive cooperation with the Research Center Jülich, Germany's largest national research center. 
  • Close cooperation with industries and companies not only in Jülich, but also in Aachen, Cologne and Dusseldorf. 

Organization of the IOS Bachelor's Programs

The standard length of the complete Bachelor's program is 6 semesters (3 years), however, some students may need an additional semester to complete their degree.  Some international students may need longer due to cultural adjustments to Germany and the German university system.

Each semester consists of three modules of approximately 10 credits each that conclude with written examinations.  

Each module contains lecture courses, tutorials and laboratory seminars. In tutorials and laboratory seminars students work together in small groups of 10 - 30 students. 

Structure of Studies

The Bachelor's degree program is divided into three semesters of basic studies and three semesters of advanced studies, which offer a greater scope of choices as well as the opportunity for specialization.  The program concludes with the presentation of an extensive, independent and practically-oriented final thesis (Bachelor's thesis). 

Basic Studies Modules

The basic studies modules include the fundamentals of all the engineering sciences, including mathematics, physics, technical or applied mechanics, materials science, chemistry and electrical engineering, depending upon your field of study.  

Advanced Studies

The advanced studies modules are specialized for each field of study. This gives you the chance to adapt the curriculum to your individual needs. In addition to required courses for each field of study, students select specialization modules. 

Non-Technical Modules

Non-technical modules are available for students in such fields as languages, micro and macro economics, and seminars on specific topics.

Language of Instruction

These programs are NOT taught in English. The language of instruction in the complete IOS Bachelor's programs is German starting in the first semester.  Some tutorials may taught in other languages, including, but not necessarily limited to, English.

See "Language Requirements" below for detailed German and English language admission requirements.

German Language Requirements

We require a TELC or Goethe Institute B2 German language certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages*.  We also accept the following certificates as equivalent: 

We cannot make any exceptions to this requirement.

English Language Requirements

Proof of English language ability is required of ALL applicants. 

You can prove your ability in English in one of the following ways, with a notarized document as described above.

Applicants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistanas well as many other countries must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, even if your complete education was in English. 

All score sheets must be submitted with your application. We cannot upload or review score sheets sent separately by ETS, IELTS, TOEFL, the applicant or another organization.

  • TOEFL score 53 on the internet-based test (IBT) or equivalent. 
  • IELTS. Minimum score requirement Band 4.5.
  • English is your native language.  This is only valid if you have attended at least 4 years of secondary school in one of the following countries and enclose a school certificate showing your grades for the entire period of enrollment: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America.
  • If English was your language of instruction from another country than those listed, contact Ms. Stone stone(at)fh-aachen.de for more information.  
  • Option only available to applicants for Biomedical Engineering:  German Abitur or Fachhochschulreife with a minimum mark of 3 (befriedigend) in English.  Please contact Ms. Stone stone(at)fh-aachen.de if you have any questions. 

The FH Aachen reserves the right to decide if the student’s academic background demonstrates sufficient English knowledge.

Applicants already in Germany who do not meet the English language requirements above may be interested in an exam offered by our partner institution, the Sprachenakademie Aachen.  See the website http://www.spraachen.org/sprachenzentrum-an-der-fh-aachen/pruefungen/zugangspruefung-englisch/ for more information.

The Academic Year

The academic year is divided into winter and summer semesters.

All IOS programs start in the winter semester. It is not possible to begin the IOS program in the summer semester.

New student arrival period: Late August.

New student orientation and intensive German language course:  First to third weeks of September.

Note: Native speakers of German are not required to attend the intensive German language course.

Winter Semester
Lectures begin in late September and end in late January or early February.  They are then followed by exams in January/February and in mid-March.

Summer Semester
The lectures for the summer semester start in mid-March and end in early July, after which there is another exam period in July.

A third exam period is in late September, just before classes begin for the next winter semester.

During the semester break students have time to evaluate and consolidate what they have learned and gather strength for the next semester.

In addition, the semester breaks are often used for language courses, work placements, internships or seminars and projects.

Exam Periods
January/February and March, July, and September.  


Your final course grade is determined by one examination at the end of the course. There are three exam periods per year, in February-March, July and September. Written and oral examinations take place at the beginning and at the end of each semester. 

Exams for block courses may be offered at the end of the block.

You can generally take the exam for a course at the end the semester or the beginning of the following semester.

If you fail an examination, you can take it again, but not if you are just unhappy with your grade/mark.  (The exception to this rule is permitted under very special circumstances and will be explained to you in detail when you arrive in Jülich.)

You may take an exam for one course up to a maximum of three times. If you fail the third time, you will automatically be exmatriculated and will have to leave the FH Aachen and Germany.

Grading System

The grading scheme in Germany has five levels (with numerical equivalents; intermediate grades may be given):

"sehr gut" (1) = very good
"gut" (2) = good
"befriedigend" (3) = satisfactory
"ausreichend" (4) = sufficient
"nicht ausreichend" (5) = insufficient/fail.

The minimum passing grade is "ausreichend" (4). 

Examination Regulations - Prüfungsordnungen

The admission requirements, examination regulations and other important decisions regarding your studies are formalized in documents called "Prüfungsordnungen." 

The examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung) that apply to these programs can be found in the download center (available only in German).

Thesis Projects

The focus, especially for the Bachelor's thesis, is on current practical problems and applied research and development. 60% to 70% of theses are written in cooperation with industry. 

The research for the project generally takes about three months, however, depending on your project, it may take longer. Additional time is needed to organize and plan the project, then to write up the results at the end of the project.

Studying in Jülich

Jülich offers international and German students an ideal study environment. The small class size means there is time to devote to individual students needs.

Modern forms of communication and teamwork, combined with lectures, internships and seminars, give you the important tools you need for your future career.  

Courses are offered in modules of 9-10 hours per week, which enables students to concentrate in great depth on just a few courses each semester. 

Although lectures in the Bachelor's programs in the first two semesters may be large, with all first year students (approximately 100-150) together in the math, physics and computer science courses, you will also have the opportunity to study in small groups of 15 to 30 students led by professors, qualified faculty and student tutors.  

Starting in the third semester, lectures are generally smaller, as well as in the Master's programs. 

You can meet with professors during tutorials and seminars, or individually during their weekly office hours. 

Academic advising is performed by professors and other qualified academic staff.

Tutoring in individual subjects is also available.

Where is Jülich?

The global coordinates for Jülich: 
50°55'57.80" N 
6°22'20.84" E

Where is the FH Aachen, Jülich Campus?
Show on Google Maps

(Google Maps has an old picture that doesn't show our new building.)

Click to enlarge the pictures below.

artistic picture of the FH Aachen, Jülich campus
artistic picture of the FH Aachen, Jülich campus
artistic picture of the FH Aachen, Jülich campus

Practical Experience

All programs at the FH Aachen emphasize practical experience and applied research. Through your internship you gain hands-on experience in your chosen field of study.

Although no internships are required in the Master's programs, students still have the opportunity for hands-on experience during their projects, assignments, and Master's thesis.

Some students participate in an internship semester, either in Germany or abroad. Here you can get experience in an industry you find particularly interesting and at the same time learn about your future profession.  Certain restrictions may apply to international students. 

Click here for the internship requirements for admission to the IOS program.

International Students

Since the beginning of the Internationally Oriented Studies (IOS) program in 1997 we have had international students from a variety of countries. For example, among the approximately 600 international students now in Jülich are students from Australia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Cyprus, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Macedonia, Maurtania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philipinnes, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA, Venezuela, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.

Every year we also welcome guest students from our partner universities, who stay in Jülich for one or two semesters before returning to their home countries. In the past few years we have had guest students from Australia, Finland, Greece, Spain, USA, ....  

We are very proud of our varied student body.  Living and working with people from all over the world helps you stretch your horizons and is an excellent basis for international understanding in an increasingly interconnected world. 

Cost of Living in Germany

Fixed costs for students are

  • Tuition and fees, currently about € 300 per semester, including the Semester Ticket (see below) for free local public transportation.  These fees may change over time.
  • Living expenses, room and board, mandatory health insurance, generally around € 800 per month 

International students may have to provide proof of approximately € 10000 per year to receive or renew their visas.  Some international students may have to open blocked bank accounts when they apply for visas.  Check with the German embassy in your country for details.

Financing your Stay in Jülich

  • Applicants should not to count on financing their stay in Jülich or Aachen by working part-time during their studies. The FH Aachen does not provide any scholarships.
  • International students usually do not get a work permit.  Students from EU countries who would like to work are generally subject to the same rules as German students.
  • International student are allowed to work up to 120 calendar days per year (or 240 half-days, up to 4 hours per day) outside the university without a work permit.  Student jobs at the FH Aachen are an exception to this rule, however students rarely get jobs here during their first year, as they need to use this time to concentrate on their studies and learn German.
  • You are responsible for keeping track of these 120 days.  In some cases you may have to sign a confirmation about how many days you have already worked.  If you work more than 120 days or 240 half-days, you will have to pay a large fine. 

Proof of Financial Ability

  • Before coming to Germany:  In some cases the German embassy in your home country may require proof that you have enough money to support yourself in Germany. See the information under Visas.
  • After arrival in Germany:  The Foreigners Office (Ausländerbehörde) requires you to document that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself in Germany.  They will require this every time you renew your visa/residence permit.

Semester Ticket (bus and train pass)

The Semester Ticket is part of the student activity fee and all students are required to buy it. With the semester ticket you can ride most trains and buses in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW).

You will not get your semester ticket until about one week after you arrive in Jülich.

Department of International Affairs

The FH Aachen, Jülich Campus has an International Office with a full-time social worker on staff available to help the students with cultural and social issues. An American on staff has lived in Germany for over 25 years, is fluent in English and German, and is familiar with the problems of international students living in Germany.

The International Office assists students in all of the formalities of registering at the FH Aachen. We assist all students in many aspects of their arrival in Jülich, including registering at the university, opening a bank account, buying health insurance, extending their visas and arranging work permits.

The International Office organizes parties and short field trips to help students learn about Germany.  See our Facebook page for pictures. 

If you have any questions that aren't answered on this website, you can contact us at ios(at)fh-aachen.de. However, we cannot tell you if you will be accepted unless you send us a complete application.

Link to the International Office in Jülich.

Akzent - Student Advisory Service

Akzent is a network of student advisory and support services in Jülich.

Room:       00A 64.

Website:   www.akzent-fh-juelich.de

Office Hours:  Check the door or the website.

Details about most of the members are below the list.

  • Catholic Student Communit/Katholische Studentengemeinde (KSG)
  • Psychosocial Counseling/Psychosoziale Beratung
  • International Office, Jülich Campus/Akademisches Auslandsamt
  • Student Advisory Services/Studienberatung
  • Student Service/Studentenwerk 
  • Incas (Intercultural Center of Aachen Students (in Jülich))
  • Jülich Student Union/Fachschaft
  • Employment Office/Agenteur für Arbeit
  • Protestant Student Community/Evangelische Studentengemeinde (ESG)  (office hours only in Aachen)


  • coordinated advice for students  
  • transparency for students and members of the FH  
  • coordinated competence of advice 


  • how to finance studies
  • advice on academic questions  
  • job opportunities  
  • application for jobs  
  • advice in emergencies and conflicts  
  • activities and social events for students

KSG – Catholic Student Community

The KSG (Katholische Studierendengemeinde) invites you....  EVERYBODY!

All students are welcome from every semester, country and religion - men and women. 

Here you can meet people, make new contacts and friendships, take part in interesting meetings, explain your ideas and much more. The KSG offers personal guidance in emergencies and conflicts, organizes parties and meetings, workshops and discussion boards, Catholic masses and talks about faith....

Come and meet us - look out for our posters with special events.

Mr. Alexander Peters and his colleagues are there for you:

Tuesdays 10:30 – 12:00 and 15:00 - 16:00

KSG Jülich, in the “Roncalli-Haus”
Stiftsherrenstr. 19
52428 Jülich
Phone 02461/59398     Fax 02461/910508
email: ksg.juelich(at)fh-aachen.de    Internet: www.ksg-juelich.de

or at the university

Wednesdays from 11:00 – 13:00

in the “Akzent office” room 00A 64
Tel. 0241 6009 53109
Look for the new KSG brochure every semester!

Students who live in Aachen should visit the Catholic Student Community in Aachen www.khg-aachen.de.

Psychosocial Counseling

Psychosocial Counseling for students of the FH Aachen www.fh-aachen.de/hochschule/psychosoziale-beratung .They can help you with psychological problems related to your studies, such as fear of exams, problems during your studies, problems making contact with other people, etc. Everything you tell them is completely private. There is no charge for this service.

Employment Office – Agentur für Arbeit Düren

The Employment Office can help you with questions about careers in Germany.  However, they cannot help every student find a job.  See the Akzent booklet, which is available at the FH Aachen, for details.

Student Advisory Service - Studienberatung

The Student Advisory Service (Studienberatung) can help you with general and personal questions about studying.

See their website for details.

Student Services - Studentenwerk

The Student Services (Studentenwerk) can help you with questions about BAföG.

See www.studentenwerk-aachen.de/bafoeg.

Incas -INterkultural Centre of Aachen Students

The intercultural student organization INCAS in Jülich 

  • Help with understanding rental contracts
  • Lanuage partnerships
  • Help with problems of daily student life
  • New student orientation
  • Fun and activities, including trips and parties

See www.fh-aachen.de/hochschule/incas 

Fachschaft / Jülich Student Council

The Fachschaft is the Jülich Student Council.  These elected students are responsible for the new student orientation, parties, copy machines, a small shop for student supplies, old examination files, and scripts (lecture notes) for some lectures.  They're always looking for people to join them!

Student Council

artistic picture

Students in Germany are organized in different groups, including the Jülich Student council "Fachschaft". The student council is elected by the students of each department once a year. The function of the "Fachschaft" is to help the students with all kinds of academic problems. To the website of the student council

Study Abroaad

All German students are also strongly urged to consider a semester or practical workshop/internship abroad as part of their education.

The FH Aachen has cooperation agreements with numerous partner universities all around the world. The modular system ensures that study units will be acknowledged without any problems in Jülich as well as by our partner universities.

Modular units can be converted into European Credit Points (1 module is generally 10 ECTS points), facilitating the transfer of study units between universities.

More information is available on the Department of International Affairs website.


Employment after Graduation

Engineering graduates from the FH Aachen, Jülich Campus are employed in a variety of professional fields. Your academic training will provide you with the necessary background and fundamental knowledge required by industry and will enable you to familiarize yourself with many different areas of employment quickly and easily. As a consequence of scientific progress and development, new and constantly changing challenges will be part of your daily routine and will require high-level engineering competence.

In industry, you will be needed above all in the fields of research, development, production, application techniques, quality assurance, customer consulting, service and installation.

The specialization modules are specifically aimed at fields of employment where engineers are urgently needed, as they enable you to concentrate on topics that are not only extremely demanding from an academic point of view, but also develop and proceed hand in hand with progess in scientific research and industrial applications.

For these reasons our graduates are highly appreciated not only in industry but also in government service.

Since the programs are very application oriented, many students successfully start their own businesses or companies, a decision that is supported by the FH Aachen through special seminars and continuing education courses. The regional institutes for technology transfer affiliated with the FH Aachen act as mediators and also play an important role in this process.