Dictionaries: Pons, Leo

Online courses: DUO


Tandem refers to a team of two students from different nations, who teach each other in their mother tongue. For example: Mark is an exchange student from the USA who wants to learn German. Lea is a German student who wants to improve her English. They meet once every week to have a coffee or drink a beer and they speak for one hour in English and for one hour in German.

Language Tandems are a great way to improve you knowledge, because you will not only practice your listening and speaking, but also learn a lot about the culture of your partner’s home nation and maybe become friends. Some teams even sit together to practice grammar exercises or write essays, which they correct for each other, but this is totally up to you and your partner to decide.

So how can you find a tandem partner?

  • On the one hand side you can simply ask one of the German students you meet in lectures or during free time activities, whether he/ she would be interested.
  • You can post your request on one of the RWTH facebook groups. State clearly, which language you can offer to teach and which language you would like to learn.
  • The student organization INCAS can help you finding a Tandempartner. INCAS sprachtandem You only need to fill a form and they will contact you when they find a suitable person.
  • The INCAS team organizes also Language meetings in several language combinations with German.Actually in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, further on perhaps in Portugese, Dutch, Swedish. INCAS Language meetings
  • Old fashioned but still very effective: Pin up a notice on one of the notice boards in university, for example on the ground floor in the Audimax, in the Kármán Auditorium or in the canteen. Maybe the most effective place for a notice is in the institute for Romance and English languages in the Kármánstraße 17/19.


The Sprachenzentrum is a body of the RWTH Aachen University. They teach German as a foreign language and many other languages like French, Spanish, Russian and even Mandarin. Classes in foreign languages are for free, but for some reason the German classes cost a fee. Nontheless you will find that the courses at Sprachenzentrum are cheaper than those of comercial competitors and you will be in a group with other students.

If you are interested, be sure to apply for the courses in time - before the start of the semester. There is a deadline for online registeration, all the dates are published on the website of the Sprachenzentrum:

If you already have some knowledge and you want to register for an advanced language course, you need to apply for a placement test, which takes place at a specific date each semester. This test will evaluate which course will be the ideal level for you. You do not need to sit the placement test if you want to take the beginners course.

To apply for a German course, follow the guidlines on the website