We orientate international students in the higher education area and advise them on the legal framework for residence, financing their studies, getting a job as well as on social and cultural offers. We offer guidance on the responsibilities of contact points and authorities in Hamburg as well as practical help in dealing with applications and forms.
The explanatory video of the Service Agency for Intercultural Competence of the Deutsches Studentenwerk explains requirements and possibilities for financing studies, explains legal restrictions in the area of jobbing for international students and gives practical tips for planning studies in Germany. The brochure "Visas, residence and work permits before, during and after your studies” from the Ministry of the Interior and Sports also provides important content on these topics.
If they meet the legal prerequisites, students with foreign nationality are entitled to aid according to the German law on higher education grants (BAföG).
Germans as defined by Art. 116 GG benefit from the BAföG grant and students from migrant backgrounds may also be entitled to it. On the other hand, international students holding a visa/residence permit for studying generally cannot receive any BAföG benefits. The requirements for nationality are stated in §8 BAföG. Please have a look at our information sheet below, to see if you meet the prerequisites.The monthly payment depends on the student´s individual requirements.
Those who are not entitled to BAföG may be able to receive an exam scholarship for international students from state funds for the completion of their studies.
If you have questions about BAföG, please contact our Counselling Centre for study financing – BeSt.
International students who are not entitled to BAföG can receive support for the completion of their studies from state funds. However, there is no legal entitlement to this funding.
You must complete your studies no later than two semesters after submitting your application and be able to demonstrate a level of performance that corresponds to the current semester. In addition, you must be needy, i.e. you must not receive any allowance from your parents or be financially secure in some other way.
Note for students of the HAW
Please contact the Student Administration Office at HAW for the overview of course achievements this semester. You can request the overview there by e-mail.
Students of these state universities in Hamburg are eligible to apply for the program:
Contact for students of HAW, TUHH, HfbK, HfMT and HCU:
For students of these universities Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (BAföG-Amt) – Examensstipendien für internationale Studierende is responsible. The application forms are also available here.
The application deadlines for the winter semester end on October 31 or September 30 for students at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW). The application deadlines for the summer semester end on April 30 or March 31 for students at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW).
We offer counselling by phone, email and in person (with appointment). You can book an appointment for a personal consultation here. We ask that you wear an FFP2 mask.
Contact for students of the Universität Hamburg
www.uni-hamburg.de/examensstipendien, Abteilung Internationales der Universität Hamburg, Mittelweg 177, 20148 Hamburg, 040 / 42 838 - 3311
You can find the application deadlines for students at the University of Hamburg on the University of Hamburg website.
Unfortunately, very few students in Germany are supported with a scholarship. There is no central office where you can apply for a scholarship or which forwards an application to the 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..
The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) is responsible for funding incoming students with foreign citizenship. Since you have to apply for a DAAD scholarship about one and a half years before you start your studies, you should check the DAAD's funding database in good time.
We have compiled lists of scholarship opportunities, search engines and databases for the different groups of students from abroad. An overview of scholarships for which students from abroad can apply can be found here | Download (PDF). Students with migration and refugee backgrounds can find a corresponding list here | Download (PDF).
You can also find more information on the related scholarship pages.
If you are in the final phase of your studies, use our list of scholarships for the final phase of studies (only available in German). Some of these scholarships are also open to students from abroad who are studying at a German university.
If you have questions about scholarships, please contact our Counselling Centre for study financing – BeSt.
A student loan can close a financing gap if necessary, but it is the most expensive form of student financing. We therefore recommend that students inform themselves comprehensively about the conditions of the respective offer before signing a contract.
International students can apply for a student loan or financing from an education fund under certain conditions. Please check with the respective provider whether financing is possible for your studies.
If you have questions about student loans, please contact our Counselling Centre for study financing – BeSt.
We are also a sales partner for the KfW student loan and examine more favorable alternatives during each consultation.
You can get initial information here:
The Studierendenwerk Hamburg has a loan fund called “Darlehenskasse”. Students in the graduation phase or, for example, with short-term unforeseen study expenses can be supported with a loan. In principle, a guarantor is required for this.
If you have questions about the loan fund, please contact our Counselling Centre for study financing – BeSt.
Here you will find a compilation of scholarship opportunities for students from abroad:
Scholarships for international students | Download (PDF)
The Deutsches Studentenwerk answers the question "What are the social legal rights of students with disabilities and chronic diseases from third countries?"
International students with chronic illnesses/disabilities. | Download (PDF)
The Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)) has prepared a detailed overview - published by Behörde für Inneres und Sport in Hamburg
Presentation | Download (PDF)
Summary information to help you plan and complete your studies can be found in this document:
Info sheet EU/EEA/Switzerland | Download (PDF)
Here you will find a compilation of scholarship opportunities for internationale students:
Scholarships for international students | Download (PDF)
The Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) answers the question "What are the social legal rights of students with disabilities and chronic diseases from EU, EEA states and Switzerland?"
EU-students with disabilities | Download (PDF)
Here you can find summary information for students with a migration background or refugees
Information for students with a refugee background| Download (PDF)
Here students from Ukraine can find information about BAföG for students.
Detailed information can be found on the website of the Deutsches Studentenwerk and the Deutschen Akademischen Austausch Dienst (DAAD). The International Offices provide information and advice to international students on social issues as well as on study-related measures and provide orientation on the offers at the university. The international departments of the student councils, the Hamburg Welcome Center and the Migration Advisory Service also provide assistance.
The International Offices provide information and advice to international students on social issues as well as on study-related measures and provide orientation on the offers at the university. The international councils of the ASten, the Hamburg Welcome Center and the Migration Advisory Service also provide assistance.
International councils of the General Student Committees (Allgemeine Studierendenausschüsse/AStA)
Hamburg Welcome Center and Migration Counselling in Hamburg