Get Paid to Study in Germany: Heinrich Böll Foundation International Student Scholarships

Get Paid to Study in Germany: Heinrich Böll Foundation International Student Scholarships

The Heinrich Böll Foundation supports students with a passion for topics like ecology and democracy by providing around 1,000 scholarships to study in Germany every year.
by Caitlan Reeg

Named after a famed pacifist writer, the Heinrich Böll Foundation's primary goal is to further the development of human rights and democracy internationally. A statement on the foundation's website sums it up this way: “We gladly follow Heinrich Böll’s exhortation for citizens to get involved in politics, and we want to inspire others to do the same.” To do this, the Green Party-affiliated foundation supports a think tank, a vast international network of policy makers, and offers financial aid to students pursuing social change.

To help inspire and support those interested in Heinrich Böll's ideals of democracy and justice, the foundation offers a number of scholarships to socially and politically engaged students planning to pursue degrees in Germany. The foundation has scholarships targeting students who have earned their university entrance qualification in Germany and also international students.

Here we'll focus on opportunities for international students looking at masters or doctoral programs in Germany.


International applicants must already be admitted to a state or state-recognized school in Germany and have a very good previous academic record. The foundation accepts applications from all international scholars and has a special focus on students coming from countries of conflict, newly industrialized countries, and EU neighbors. Doctoral students doing work related to focal points of the foundation's activities will be given priority.

Application materials include a curriculum vitae, an outline for the chosen course of study, information on social commitments and political interests, certified copies of previous degrees, plus additional materials. Foreign applicants will need to demonstrate at least a B2 level of German, and references and an interview will be required before receiving a financial award. Documents must be submitted in German, with the exception of references and expert reports - these can also be submitted in English. Students should complete the online application by March 1.

Scholarship Award:

Non-EU Nationals

Masters students receive monthly stipends of 750 euro per month. Doctoral students earn 1,000 euro, plus a 100 euro mobility allowance per month.

EU Nationals

The amount of scholarship awards given to EU nationals pursuing a masters degree is based on parental income or personal assets. Maximum funding is 597 euro monthly, plus 300 euro for books. Doctoral students may earn 1150 euro per month for the basic scholarship, plus 100 euro for research costs monthly.  


The foundation says masters program students will receive the scholarship for a regular period of study and may apply for a one-semester extension. Doctoral students receive the scholarships usually for two years but may extend twice at most by a half a year.

After the Scholarship:

Scholarship alumni stay in touch through the foundation's “Green Network” and its newsletter. Alumni often go on to take part in selection committees or become liaison professors in Germany and abroad.

More information, including links to the online application, can be found here.

by Caitlan Reeg