Aside from tuition fees and semester contributions, there are many other costs that come along with being a student in Germany. Luckily, there are multiple organisations offering scholarships and grants to international students. There are multiple programmes for different nationalities, degree levels and fields of study.
Around 90 percent of German higher education institutions participate in the Deutschland Stipendium, a programme that awards scholarships to high-achieving students of all different nationalities. The scholarship is a monthly grant of 300 euros; 150 euros is pledged by private sponsors such as businesses or individuals, who sometimes also provide non-financial support such as mentoring and networking. The other 150 euros comes from the federal government.
The EU-funded Erasmus+ programme, set to last until at least 2020, is open to students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey and Macedonia. Erasmus+ provides scholarships for study and internships abroad lasting between three and 12 months. Master students who take a full degree abroad can also apply for the Erasmus+ master loan.
The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service - DAAD) offers scholarships to students, graduates and researchers who wish to study in Germany. Many of the scholarships are only available to candidates from specific countries. To be successful, you will usually need to prove that your academic achievements place you in the top third of your year group and that you have proficiency in the German language.
Political party-affiliated scholarships
There are several German political parties that provide scholarships to well-performing, civically-engaged students. You do not necessarily need to be a member of the party, but must be able to prove that you align with their aims and philosophies. A few that accept international applications are:
There are also several faith-specific scholarships available. Students will normally need to be a member of the respective denomination, demonstrate strong academic achievements and social activism:
In addition to the above scholarships, many universities, universities of applied science and colleges of art and music will have their own range of scholarships. Many of these are open to international students and are usually tied to a specific discipline. Check with your university to see whether they have any scholarships suitable for you.
DAAD scholarship database
As well as providing advice and guidelines on application procedures, the DAAD provides a useful database of scholarships available in Germany.