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Exchange Students

Spend an exchange semester at Ruhr West University

Ruhr West is committed to promoting student mobility through university partnerships worldwide. Students of our partner universities abroad are welcome to spend one or more semesters studying at Ruhr West and benefit from a simplified admissions procedure. Likewise, international students from other foreign universities are welcome to come to Ruhr West as non-degree exchange students.

Erasmus and other exchange students have to submit their application through the international office of their home university. Hence the first step in the process is contacting your international office to find out whether your university has an agreement with Ruhr West. We have signed agreements with a number of universities all over the world. Click here for a list of our current partner universities.

The application form for exchange students is available here. ERASMUS students are encouraged to use the ERASMUS+ app:

Should you be in need of assistance regarding your application, please contact Ruhr West University's International Office. Please check our website for further information:


The regular language of instruction at Ruhr West is German. Good German skills are an essential prerequisite for studying at HRW. However, international exchange students may take a semester programme of courses entirely in English, if available in their field of study. The courses in English at HRW are part of the regular curriculum and are open to domestic and international students alike. Although we recommend that international students speak some German or take a German language course while they are at HRW, a specific level of German skills is not required. The level of English should be B2 (intermediate), B1 at minimum.


As a public German university, Ruhr West does not charge tuition. However, all students are required to pay a semester fee (currently € 350,02 per semester).

Courses in English in the summer semester 2024:

Business Administration:


Computer Science and Engineering:


Computer Science (M.Sc.):




Courses in English in the winter semester:

The following courses are expected to be offered in the winter semester 2024/25.

Business Administration:


Computer Science and Engineering::

Computer Science (M.Sc.):




Click on the course titles to retrieve detailed module descriptions. Each completed course is worth 6 ECTS credit points, unless otherwise noted. Most modules are taken from the fifth semester of undergraduate study.

The IES programme is open to all students, thus giving international and domestic students the opportunity to take the same courses together. All IES courses are based at the Mülheim campus unless otherwise noted.


International Exchange Students should check the requirements for the modules they want to attend, as they may require basic knowledge in the particular field of study. In addition, good English language skills (at least B1 level, depending on the faculty and course) are required. Knowledge of German is helpful but not mandatory for courses taught in English.


Registration for courses begins during the application process for the exchange semester. Erasmus students use the Learning Agreement for their course choice. Exchange students from outside the EU will receive a similar form from the International Office at HRW, unless their home university provides their own document.

If possible, the International Office team at HRW will register you for your courses even before you arrive. Changes are possible within the first two weeks of the lecture period. Sometimes courses might not be available, for example if the number of participants is too low or because of time table discrepancies, if you choose courses from several faculties.

Summer Semester 2024 
Official Start of Semester 01.03.2024
Arrival Week for Incoming Students18.03. – 22.03.2024
Welcome Week for International Students25.03. – 28.03.2024
Start of Lectures 02.04.2024
End of Lectures12.07.2024
Exam Period        15.07. - 02.08.2024

Winter Semester 2023 / 2024
Official Start of Semester01.09.2023
Arrival Week for Incoming Students11.09. – 15.09.2023
Welcome Week for Incoming Students18.09. – 22.09.2023
Start of Lectures25.09.2023
End of Lectures19.01.2024
Exam Period22.01. – 09.02.2024

For nominated exchange students from partner universities, the International Office at HRW provides assistance with registration for a room in a dormitory in Muelheim, Essen or Duisburg (two neighboring cities). Please note that the dormitories are managed by Studierendenwerk Essen-Duisburg, an independent student services organisation that also operates the university’s dining halls and cafeterias. HRW does not have any influence on the application process or the rental contracts.

For more information click here

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ECTS Credits

30 Credits/ Semester

60 Credits/ Academic Year

More detailed information on grades by percentage is available here

Whether or not you need a visa to enter Germany and study here depends on your country of origin. Special regulations apply to citizens of the following countries:

  • Students from the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa or residence permit to enter Germany. They simply need to register with a local Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Office) within the first two weeks after their arrival and will automatically receive a 'Residence Permit for Study', provided they can show proof of sufficient funding and health insurance coverage. 
  • Students from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of South Korea, and the United States of America as well as Brazil, El Salvador, Andorra, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino do not need a visa to enter Germany. In addition to registering with a local Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Office) within the first two weeks after their arrival, students from these countries need to apply within three months to the local Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners Office) for the 'Residence Permit for Study'.

All other students require a German student visa (issued by a German Embassy) before entering Germany. Please note that even if you come from a country (other than those mentioned above) whose citizens can enter Germany with a simple tourist visa, you must possess a German student visa in order to apply for the residence permit. Tourist visas cannot be converted into residence permits under any circumstances. So if you don’t have a student visa at the Citizens’ Office, you will be required to return to your home country. This regulation applies both to holders of a residence permit from another EU country and to persons who entered Germany with a tourist visa. There is absolutely no exception to this regulation and Ruhr West will not be able to assist you.

Applying for a student visa

Apply for your student visa at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country, and do so well in advance, as processing may take several weeks. Your visa will be valid for up to 90 days. You will normally be required to submit the documents listed below. The Embassy, however, can ask for additional documents or further clarifications. The information provided by them takes priority.

  • Visa application form (available at the Embassy)
  • A valid passport
  • Zulassungsbescheid (Letter of Admission) from Ruhr West (issued upon admission)
  • Finanzierungsnachweis (proof of sufficient financial resources)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Proof of any academic credits gained or examinations passed
  • Proof of German proficiency
  • 2 passport-sized photographs (35mm x 45mm)

For further questions, please refer to the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Addresses are available at the website of the Federal Foreign Office, which also provides further information on the visa process and the appropriate application forms.

Non-EU students in Germany are required to submit evidence of sufficient funds to finance their studies in Germany. In most cases, this proof of financial resources (German: Finanzierungsnachweis) must be included with the visa application. Expected living expenses are estimated by the Foreigners Office based on BAföG, a German funding programme for living expenses. At present, you must prove you have at least € 934 per month or € 11208 per academic year at your disposal.

Proof of financial resources can be provided in various ways. The following forms are generally accepted:

  • Paying the required amount of money to a blocked bank account in Germany.
  • Having a German resident provide the Aliens’ Registration Office with a written statement that they will cover your expenses (sponsorship).
  • Receiving a scholarship from a recognised scholarship provider.
  • Providing a bank guarantee from a bank institute in Germany.
  • Submitting evidence of your parents’ income and financial assets.

Please contact the German Embassy or Consulate in your country to find out which form of financial proof is required.

Please note: Although international students are allowed to work in Germany under certain conditions and to a certain limit of hours per week, you should not expect to work to cover the cost of your education at Ruhr West.