Study in Germany: Finance Your Studies With a Scholarship

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Study in Germany: Finance Your Studies With a Scholarship

Depending on the country you come from and which subject you would like to study in Germany, there are different options for funding. Scholarships are offered by different institutions.

The DAAD scholarship database for foreign students, graduate students and scientists contains extensive information and a variety of possibilities for those who are seeking financial support for their studies, research work or teaching assignments in Germany. The database not only lists all the scholarships offered by the DAAD, but also diverse programmes offered by a wide variety of institutions.

Types of support

There are two forms of scholarships – financial and non-monetary scholarships – both of which are often coupled together:

In the case of financial scholarships, the recipient is awarded a fixed amount, paid out on a monthly basis over a defined funding period. These types of scholarships are often full scholarships, i.e., they generally cover the applicant’s entire living expenses. Recipients of partial scholarships, however, are required to secure additional financial support to cover their living expenses. When awarded a full scholarship, recipients are generally not permitted to receive funding from other scholarships simultaneously.

In addition to financial support, many institutions also offer non-monetary scholarships. Recipients are invited to workshops, lectures and scientific conferences where they also have the opportunity to network with other scholarship holders. In most cases, these non-monetary scholarship programmes aim to create a long-standing relationship between the scholarship holder and the institution well beyond the scholarship period.

Remember: All the programmes have one thing in common, however – no one is entitled to a scholarship.


The Institutions

The institutions which grant scholarships can be roughly divided into six groups:

  1. Party-affiliated foundations: They maintain close ties to the political parties represented in the German Bundestag. Consequently, they expect applicants to share their socio-political views, which the applicants often express through their social commitment.
  2. Business-related organisations: Recipients can be chosen based on their subject of study, research emphasis, social attitude, or purely on their achievement – epitomizing whatever model qualities that distinguish the namesake of the foundation.
  3. German federal states: They offer scholarships based on economic or performance-oriented aspects. To apply for such scholarships, applications should be submitted directly to the universities of the state in question. Applicants are generally required to hold a higher education entrance qualification or doctoral programme qualification to be eligible for such scholarships.
  4. Social institutions: In addition to outstanding achievement, the selection committee also places strong focus on financial hardship, as well as the applicants’ commitment to use their knowledge and skills attained in Germany for the benefit of others in their home country e.g. the German churches.
  5. Research institutions: Award scholarships based on purely scientific criteria e.g. the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  6. Student organisations: They are mostly run by volunteers, in which students assist other students and find supporters who are willing to help them finance their visit and thereby enable them to stay in Germany.

Although extensive, the DAAD scholarship database is by no means comprehensive. There are a large number of grants and scholarships that are not listed here because they are either too specific in scope or offer only small amounts of funding. Furthermore, universities often award scholarships that are based on cooperative partnerships with local companies and institutions. To increase your chances of securing financial support and ensure that you find the programme best suited to your circumstances, we recommend you to enquire at the International Office, the Central Student Counselling Office or your faculty department or institute at your university. We also recommend visiting our database for international programmes.

Find a suitable scholarship in the DAAD scholarship database!

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