Financing their own studies can prove quite a challenge for many students. Due to the presence of language barriers and legal particularities it can be even more difficult for international students to
obtain money. We can show you some options to finance your academic education.
"BAföG" is the abbreviation for "German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act" and refers to a social benefit. Your education is supported by the state if you or your family are not able to finance your training. The training assistance under BAföG consist in equal parts of a grant funding and an interest-free loan. The loan part has to be paid back later.
Foreign students may receive BAföG benefits under certain conditions. As an EU citizen, for example, you are entitled if you have a right of permanent residence in accordance with the Freedom of Movement
Act/EU or if you are entitled to freedom of movement by Union law as employee/self-employed person. Since the legal rules are extensive and more case groups may be eligible for funding under BAföG, we recommend an individual consultation in your BAföG office.
Students who are recognized as having the right to asylum, recognized refugees and foreigners with a legal permanent residence permit may also be supported according to BAföG, if the legal requirements are met. Please contact your BAföG office on time to find out about the legal requirements that have to be fulfilled by foreign students.
They are treated practically equal to the German students, have free access to the German labour market and can work in accordance with the framework.
They can work for 120 full days or 240 half-days without having to obtain permission. Activities that exceed this limit need to be coordinated with the Foreigners Office and the Employment Agency. Self-employment is only possible in exceptional cases and only to a limited extent, e.g. in terms of activities as interpreter or language teacher. Scientific or student assistant activities are allowed for an unlimited period of time. But they should be discussed with the Foreigners Office in advance as well.
If you want to complete an internship in Germany, this will also be
considered as regular work - even if the internship is unpaid. Each day of the internship is deducted from your 120 days credit. You need the permission of the Foreigners Office and the employment agency, for example, if you have already worked for 120 days. Internships that are a mandatory part of your studies are exempted from this limitation.
Stricter provisions than for regularly enrolled students apply if you attend a language course or preparatory course. You may only work with the permission of the Foreigners Office and of the employment agency - and only in between terms.
Our student job placement service will gladly assist you during a meeting.
There are also many foundations and funding associations (Förderwerke) that support international students. Find more information here on our website.
It is also possible for international students to benefit from many discounts in everyday life. Click here to find out more about student discounts, reductions and other savings tips.