There are very few financing options for international students, but we have outlined them for you below. We do not recommend starting studying without financial protection.
Information on further financial services for international students, e.g. social benefits, emergency funding, discounts on the HVV monthly transport card can be found here.
BAföG for international students
If they meet the legal requirements, international students are entitled to aid according to the German law on higher education grants (BAföG).
This monthly aid payment depends on the student´s needs (child-care allowance if applicable).
Germans as defined by Art. 116 GG (including ethnic German resettlers and naturalised Germans) benefit from the BaföG grant, although students from migrant backgrounds may also entitled to receive it. The criteria for international students entitled to receive the grant have been broadened by virtue of the 25th BAföG amendment act. For further information, see here. On the other hand, international students holding a visa/residence permit for studying cannot receive any BAföG benefits. The requirements for international student aid are stated in§ 8 BAföG, see Leaflet for foreigners (§ 8 BAföG)
Those not entitled to it may be able to receive aid from state funding to complete their studies.
State funding for international students
International students who are ineligible for a BAföG-allowance may be awarded funding from state resources for the completion of their studies. However, there are no legal claims for this funding.
You must complete your studies no more than two semesters after applying. You must also be in need of support, that means not be receiving money from your parents or being otherwise financially secure.
Students from the following Hamburg colleges may apply:
- Universität Hamburg
- Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften/University of Applied Sciences
- Technische Universität Hamburg
- Hochschule für bildende Künste
- Hochschule für Musik und Theater
- HafenCity Universität
Contact for students from University Hamburg
Students from University Hamburg should contact:
Department of International Affairs
Mittelweg 177, 20148 Hamburg
Tel.: 040 / 42 838 - 3311
Contact for students from other colleges
Students from the other colleges should contact the Studierendenwerk Hamburg (see contact at the bottom: Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (BAföG-Amt) – Funding for international students). Application forms can also be obtained here.
The deadline for the summer semester is 30.04. or 31.03. for the University of Applied Sciences, and for the winter semester 31.10. or 30.09. for the University of Applied Sciences.
Scholarships – the efficient way to fund studies
Unfortunately, very few students are supported by scholarships in Germany. There is no central authority to which you can apply or which forwards applications to funding institutions. You must actively look for establishments awarding scholarships yourself and apply to them individually.
The International Office at your intended university provides counselling and support for new international students. The office details can be found on the university website.
Below are some lists we have compiled for you to make your search for a scholarship easier:
Scholarships for International Students
Overview of scholarships for which international students can apply
This list provides information on:
·State funding options
·Scholarship programes at universities in Hamburg
·A selection of private scholarship options, and
·Foundation and scholarship databases in which you can search yourself.
The German Academic Exchange Service
) provides funding for incoming international students. As you need to apply for a DAAD scholarship approx. 1.5 year before starting your studies, you should make sure to read through the information in the DAAD funding database well in advance.
If you are in the final phase of your studies
, you can use our list
(see: "Stipendien für die einzelnen Studienphasen") of scholarships for final course phases. International students studying at German universities may also apply for some of these scholarships.
Student loans and education funds
A student loan may bridge a funding gap, but is the most expensive form of study financing. We therefore advise students to thoroughly read through the respective loan conditions before signing any contracts.
International students can request a student loan or financing from an education fund under certain conditions.
Students holding student visas for Germany generally cannot receive these loans or funding.
Please ask the respective provider whether you are entitled to receive funding for your studies.
KfW student loans
Further information for international students can be found here
Educational funding providers:
Test series for loans and educational funding: