Scholarships in Germany for International Students
Germany is not only popular as a tourist destination but a preferable place for international students as well. While safety and academics are looked into as the leading criteria while selecting a study destination, scholarship options too are looked into before taking the final call.
Germany ranks quite high as a study destination preferred by international students; and the university degree here enjoys global respect and recognition.
There are many universities to choose from based on one’s subject preference and a plethora of courses are available in maximum of the universities. The icing on the cake is the affordable cost of living; making the lives of students comfortable and hassle free. A place with an intriguing history and a vibrant lifestyle makes almost every student fall in love with Germany.
Though the cost of living is decent here, every international student is on a lookout for scholarship as they need to fend for themselves in their day-to-day lives; and the same holds good in Germany as well. The good news is Germany has a large number of scholarship options and it is always better to be aware of them and applying for them before taking the plunge.
Categories of scholarships:
There are basically three categories of scholarships in Germany for international students.
- Government funded scholarships: Like DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Scholarships and Erasmus+ scholarships
- Non government scholarships: There are quite a few scholarships for international students to study in Germany in this category; a few most popular ones being – Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship, Henrich Boll Scholarships for international students, Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) scholarships, Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships, Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for developing countries, Mawista Scholarship, Deutschland Stipendium and The Helmholtz Association
- University specific scholarships to study in Germany for international students: A few most popular ones in this category are – Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Doctoral Tuition Waivers, FRIAS Cofund Fellowship Programme for International Researchers, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences for Masters Scholarships, Heidelberg University, Humboldt University International Research Fellowships, KAAD Scholarships for developing countries, HHL International MSc Scholarship for Effective and Responsible Leadership, International Doctoral Positions at Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies, KAAD Scholarships for Developing Countries, Kofi Annan MBA Scholarships for Developing Country Students, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Ulm University Scholarships for International Students, Universitat Hamburg Merit Scholarships and RWTH Aachen University scholarships.
These three categories work on different time frames and specifications. In terms of specific university scholarships, one must always study the university’s website thoroughly, keep a tab on the website updates, scholarship announcements and check with the university as to the eligibility criteria for the scholarships being offered.
For the government and non-government categories, a thorough online research of the universities is recommended; but some scholarships are country specific and so this must be kept in mind as well. You can even touch base with the specific universities and ask them clearly about the various kinds of scholarships available and their eligibility criteria.
Most of the scholarships are based on academic scores, so if you have dreams of doing your Masters or Doctors or some specialization, ensure you score well during your university and pre-university education. Each university has a Career Counsellor who would be able to run you through the scholarship options available in their particular university. Some scholarships are also based on the financial status. So, it is vital to have complete information on all the options available before finalizing the university.
Let us look at length at some of the most popular Scholarships in Germany available for international students from the three categories mentioned above.
DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Scholarships:
DAAD or the German Academic Exchange Service focuses towards promoting international academic relations. They concentrate and work towards the exchange of students and researchers; offering scholarships and funding to international students, graduates and scientists who wish to pursue their education in Germany.
DAAD Scholarships are awarded to students who strive to get a qualification in a full-time course of study.
Eligibility criteria – The applicant should have completed his/her Bachelor degree, within the last six years and they should be carrying at least two years of proven work experience. The stipend amount of the DAAD scholarship is 850€ monthly for postgraduate students and 1,200€ monthly for doctoral students.
This scholarship is most sought after by international students who wish to study in Germany.
Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus+ Scholarships:
Quite a few study programs are funded by the Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus+ study programs. These scholarships finance international students to pursue Masters or PhD courses in Germany.
This is led by the European Commission, enabling international students to study in Germany. This particular scholarship provides grants to eligible students towards their living cost while participating in an exchange program to study in Europe.
This national programme created by the government of Germany has been helping many students to study in Germany. The main aim of this scholarship is to enable meritorious students to benefit. The selected students are awarded 300 Euros per month and is an efficient way to encourage international students to study in Germany. Through this programme, the students also benefit a line of mentoring programmes, academic events and beneficial internships.
To be eligible for this scholarship one needs to meet the requirements of the university and the funding is given for at least two semesters; the extension of which solely rests on the University based on the eligibility of the student.
The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung:
This scholarship for international students in Germany is more of a political foundation. It focuses on international and German students with grades above average and who execute responsibility towards the society. The students involved in social or political movements are preferred in this category. To take care of enrollment fees, health insurance and monthly education expenditure (books, stationery etc), the selected students are awarded 1000 Euros per month.
Heinrich Boll Foundation:
This specific scholarship at degree level, is to pursue education in Germany by international students in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and on programmes with a focus on Environmental Science.
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships:
KAS scholarships are for international students who plan to study a Master’s or a PhD programme in Germany. This is again a very sought after scholarship as the award is offered for one year.
The eligibility criteria is for students to have German language skills (level 2 CEFR) even if the degree they apply to is being taught in English. Also the applicants must meet the 30 years age-limit requirement to qualify for the KAS scholarship.
This supports those international students and young professionals financially who wish to pursue a research or a study programme in Germany.
The eligibility criteria for qualifying for this scholarship is to show very good academic track record. Moreover the project must stand out with an innovative angle.
The thirst and hunger for education never stops, especially for meritorious students. But, at times one needs to ponder when you have a child as there are lot of things to consider like lodging, food, child care etc. MAWISTA scholarship is a blessing in disguise for such a parent-student as it mainly focuses towards ‘Studying Abroad with a Child’.Every year a parent-student is supported with financial aid worth 6.000 Euros in this particular scholarship programme.
The Marie Sklodowska-Curie mainly focuses towards supporting international researchers in Germany in all stages of their career. The eligibility and application details can be found on their website and they are very supportive on phone calls as well.
Apart from funding the Marie Sklodowska Curie actions also support researchers towards coordinating between industry and academia. They also provide training to enhance career opportunities.
RWTH Aanchen University Education Fund:
As mentioned earlier many universities have their in-house education funding for international students studying in Germany to ensure students can focus on their studies without having to fret about their finances.
RWTH Aachen University is one of the universities offering these Education funds to their international students.
To be eligible for the funding from RWTH Aanchen University, students must have exemplary academic achievements. Apart from the academic excellence, additional focus is also given on extraordinary personal life experience, extracurricular activities and involvement in community service.
Tips for students applying for scholarships to study in Germany:
- Look at the eligibility criteria minutely to ensure your application does not get rejected in the very first step.
- Ensure you submit your filled-in application well in time. Adhere to the submission deadline strictly.
- Keep a regular tab on the scholarship updates being made on the websites of your selected universities.
- Keep in touch with the Student Counsellor of your preferred/selected universities as they are well informed about Funding and Scholarship programs.
- Apply for more than one scholarship that you are eligible for, to enhance your chance of being selected for atleast one scholarship.