Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we decided that we will not invite people from abroad to travel to Ilmenau for ISWI 2021.

But do not be sad! Right now we are working on introducing hybrid approach, where everyone can join online streams of the opening and closing ceremonies, keynote lectures, etc. We also continue reviewing the applications and hope that we will be able to organise online groups for the selected participants. More information will be coming in the next weeks. Please, check your emails regularly.

We know that this will definitely not be the same as having everyone here in Ilmenau and interacting with each other, but we are sure that it will still have some value to it. We hope that you understand our decision.

We will limit the in-person-participation to people residing within Germany. We held onto the dream of inviting people from all over the world for as long as possible, but given the current infection numbers it is reasonable to take this decision.


 Right now we are working on a concept where everyone can join online streams of the opening and closing ceremonies, keynote lectures, etc. and we hope that we will be able to organise online groups for the selected participants.

The conference

The final selection of your workshop will be made after your arrival in Ilmenau at the check-in, where you will register for the working group you will participate in. We will try to give you your first choice, but due to capacity reasons it is possible that we can only offer you your second or third choice topic. Note: You will only be able to participate in one working group during the conference.

You will participate in only one of the three working groups you selected during the application process (see the preceding question).

Currently we are working on an exciting and varied program. We will keep you updated.

The application 

To apply for ISWI 2021 you have to be at least 18 years old (on 28th May 2021) and you must be a student. Unfortunately we cannot consider other applications.

The application starts not until the 1st of October. It consists of two steps (1. Registration 2. Filling out the application form, writing two essays & submitting the application)

  • Essay 1: A statement on your personal connection to the topic of ISWI 2021 ‘Our future, Our responsibility – There is no Plan(et) B’ and your motivation to join ISWI 2021.
  • Essay 2: A statement concerning the choice you made regarding the working group.

The essays will serve as the basis for choosing the participants of ISWI 2021. They will be assessed by the Organising Committee of ISWI 2021.

Tip: Use a text document to compose your essays before you apply. This way, you can take your time writing the essays. Furthermore, your essays won’t get lost if your Internet connection breaks down.

The deadline for the application has been extended to November 18th for students currently outside Schengen countries (at 11:59 pm Central European Time). The deadline for student’s in Schengen countries was December 20th.

Note: The difference between deadlines is established due to the time needed to complete the visa process and the COVID-19 situation.

Do not copy any texts from the Internet, books, friends or other sources. Mark every quotation and state the source. Applications containing plagiarism will not be taken into consideration for ISWI 2021! Please be sure of this as we will read every essay and check for plagiarism.

After the deadline we begin reading and assessing your applications. This can last for about two months. If we have chosen you to participate in ISWI 2021, we will send you an official invitation letter. (We would appreciate your patience until all of the applications are reviewed and you receive your official invitation.)

After you have received the message saying that you are invited, please contact us if you will not participate, so that we can give other people the chance to the part of ISWI 2021.

In case that some circumstances prevent your participation, please contact us as fast as possible.

Invitation letter 

Yes, you will get an official invitation to ISWI 2021. We will presumably send the invitations at the end of January 2021 or the beginning of February 2021.

The official invitation confirms that you are invited to the 15th International Student Week in Ilmenau. It is signed by the president and the vice president of the ISWI 2021 Organising Committee as well as by the Rector of “Technische Universität Ilmenau”. The ISWI 2021 is officially supported by Technische Universität Ilmenau.
The invitation is important for obtaining a visa to enter Germany (that is if you require one – you can check here). You can also use it as a confirmation for your university that you are officially invited to ISWI 2021, in case you need a document in order to be released from your classes.

Travel and Arrival

Look for the next German Railways (“Deutsche Bahn”) train station. You can buy a ticket to Ilmenau at German Railways offices (“Reisecenter”) or at any ticket machine. 

There are no direct trains from the aforementioned cities to Ilmenau, and you will at least have to change trains in Erfurt, which is the nearest larger city to Ilmenau. For more information about tickets and schedules, please check out: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml.

You can also take a bus from Erfurt to Ilmenau. In this case, you buy the ticket on the bus.

Make sure that you don’t confuse the Ilmenau station, where you’ll get off, with the other two Ilmenau stations, which come before Ilmenau. The correct station is simply called ‘Ilmenau’ and is the final stop. On the 28th of May, there will be someone from the Organising Committee waiting to collect you at the train station. If you decide to take the bus, get off at the Ilmenau bus station “Busbahnhof” (you can ask the driver when you’re not sure if it’s the correct station). The Ilmenau train station and bus station are right next to each other.

Please don’t hesitate to ask the staff at information centres in the airport and/or at the train stations, if you need more information. Also, don’t hesitate to call us if you need help. If you get lost in Ilmenau, try following the signs to ‘Technische Universität Ilmenau’ and asking passengers.

We will be expecting you to arrive in Ilmenau on Friday, the 28th of May, (or Saturday the 29th.) The info point and check-in area can be found in the Mensa building on the campus of Technische Universität Ilmenau. On the above days, somebody from the Organising Committee will be waiting at the Ilmenau train station for every train or bus that arrives, to collect you. For the duration of ISWI 2021, you will be able to reach us by phone (+49 3677 – 69 1946) 24 hours a day from Thursday, the 27th of May. If you arrive before Friday, please contact us a few days in advance.

Your stay in Ilmenau Finance

During the whole course of ISWI 2021 you are insured. The Organising Committee will provide you with free health-, accident-, and third party- insurance as well as legal protection. That fact also will be stated in your official invitation letter.

Unfortunately we cannot use our host system because of the COVID-19 pandemic but do not worry we still provide an accomodation for you.

Ilmenau weather can be very capricious. One minute, the sun may be shining and five minutes later, it may start to rain. So when you pack, bring both – clothes for warm and sunny as well as for cold and rainy weather. (If you want to pack light, remember you can always wear clothes in layers when it’s cold.) Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes, too, if you plan to go hiking in the forests around Ilmenau or participate in the sports event.
The other important things you need, are listed below:


  • passport (Make sure you have the necessary visa!)
  • copy of all personal documents (passport, visa, …)
  • ticket (flight and return flight)
  • a sleeping bag (if you have one)
  • money for your personal expenses
  • sense of humour and an open mind


  • sportswear and shoes for in- and outdoor sport during the sports event. Please make sure that your indoor shoes have a light sole; not a black one.
  • national costume and traditional music (for the International Dinner on Sunday)
  • traditional food of your country (for the International Dinner on Sunday).
  • lecture materials (If you want to give a lecture, be well prepared and if you need any equipment, let us know.)
  • medication you might need
  • comfortable and sturdy walking shoes (if you plan to go hiking on Thursday)
  • musical instrument (if you like to play some own music, especially in the music group)
  • camera (if you want to take photos, especially in the photography group)

Ilmenau is a smaller town (approx. 26,000 inhabitants), so most of the destinations can be easily reached on foot. Furthermore the majority of workshops will take place at the campus of the TU Ilmenau.


You will have to pay for your travel. Accommodation during the conference and basic meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) will be provided by us. There is no participation fee for this conference. In addition, you will have free entry to all ISWI 2021 cultural events.

No. There is no participation fee for ISWI 2021. You only have to pay your travelling and visa costs.

That depends on what you would like to buy. Accommodation, meals and festival events are free of charge for you, but you might want to buy some souvenirs or beer, juice and coffee at the student clubs while hanging out with friends. If so, we would like to stress that the standard of living in Germany is high. To give you an idea of the prices: a coffee is about 70 cents, a beer about 2 euros and a soft drink about 1,50 euro. These prices are taken from the student clubs on the campus, where everything is usually much cheaper than in other clubs or in restaurants.