In the summer semester of 2020 I began my graduate studies in data science and physics at Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, a.k.a. RWTH (pronounced err-vey-tey-ha). RWTH is Germany’s largest technical university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), near the Dutch and Belgian borders.

It’s an amazing place to study due to the abundance of parks and nature nearby, and I often find myself sitting in the park or in the forest getting lost in what I’m reading while enjoying the fresh air and listening to the birds chirp. There’s tons of places nearby to go hiking, and the terrain is quite hilly which makes for some amazing views. Pretty much everything can be reached on foot/bike without ever needing a car which makes it easy to stay physically active and healthy.

As a student at RWTH my semester fee (approx. 300€) includes a train pass that allows me to travel throughout NRW for free; I think this is just awesome since there’s a lot of places worth visiting in the region. My favorite cities to visit are ones on the Rhine because they have a ton of places to sit along the river where you can relax, have a snack, and watch the boats go by. When it’s a beautiful day out and I want a change of scenery I just hop on a train to somewhere like Bonn, Cologne, or Dusseldorf and make an adventure out of it. My day trips usually consist of a few segments:

  1. Study on the train ride there
  2. Explore the city a little bit and grab a snack
  3. Find a nice place to sit and study for a few hours
  4. Grab some food and explore the city a little more
  5. Study on the train ride back

Structuring a trip like this means that I can travel and still be productive, which helps to reduce a lot of the stress associated with studying, and makes for a rewarding experience.

Bonn

Cologne

Dusseldorf

Included in my semester ticket is also travel to some nearby cities across the Dutch and Belgian border, such as Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Maastricht

There’s also a ton more places that I plan to visit such as Eifel national park and some of the smaller dorfs (towns) nearby, so there’s a good chance I’ll write a follow up post related to that. Overall I’ve had an absolutely amazing experience studying at RWTH in Aachen so far, and I hope this post gives a glimpse into what it’s like!