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Students from abroad
Financing your studies and your stay in Hamburg

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.

BAföG for international students

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.

Exam scholarship for international students
Study completion phase

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.

Requirements 
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.

Students of these state universities in Hamburg are eligible to apply for the program:

  • Universität Hamburg (UHH)
  • Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg (HAW)
  • Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH)
  • Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HfbK)
  • Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg (HfMT)
  • HafenCity Universität Hamburg (HCU)

 

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 see the application deadlines for students at the University of Hamburg on the University of Hamburg website.

Scholarships
The favorable component of student financing

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.

Student loans
for students from abroad

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:  

Government loans

Education fund provider

Loan fund

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.      

Students with a residence permit for the purpose of studies/visa according to § 16b AufenthG

We have compiled some information that can help you prepare for your studies if you have a residence permit according to § 16b AufenthaltG.

Summary information

Support to help you plan and complete your studies can be found in the document:
Info Visa | Download (PDF) and in Hamburg Welcome Center and Clearing Office from the city of Hamburg. Various events (not only for students) are also offered in English here.

Information for prospective students, which should facilitate the preparation for studies

Here you will find an overview of when what is due for study preparation.

Checklist for prospective students and study preparation | Download (PDF)

Information on scholarships for international students

Here you will find a compilation of scholarship opportunities for students from abroad:

Scholarships for international students  | Download (PDF)

Information for international students with chronic illnesses/disabilities.

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)

Information on the right of residence of foreign university graduates

The Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)) has prepared a detailed overview - published by Behörde für Inneres und Sport in Hamburg

Presentation | Download (PDF)

Students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

We have put together some information that can help you prepare if you come from the EU, an EEA country or Switzerland.

Summary information

Summary information to help you plan and complete your studies can be found in this document:

Info sheet EU/EEA/Switzerland | Download (PDF)

Information for prospective students, which should facilitate the preparation for studies

Here you will find an overview of when what is due for study preparation.

Checklist for prospective students and study preparation | Download (PDF)

Information on scholarships for students from EU/EEA countries/Switzerland

Here you will find a compilation of scholarship opportunities for internationale students:

Scholarships for international students | Download (PDF)

Information for international students with chronic illnesses/disabilities.

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)

Students with a refugee background

If you have a refugee background, here is a compilation of information that can help you prepare for studying.

Summary information

Here you can find summary information for students with a migration background or refugees

Information for students with a refugee background| Download (PDF)

Information for prospective students, which should facilitate the preparation for studies

Here you will find an overview of when what is due for study preparation.

Checklist for prospective students and study preparation | Download (PDF)

Information on scholarships for students with a migration or refugee background

Here you can find an overview of specific scholarships for students with migration and refugee background.

Scholarships for students with migration and refugee backgrounds | Download (PDF)

Escape from Ukraine: Information and support

Here you can find further links for students and prospective students from Ukraine | Download (PDF)

Students affected by the war in Ukraine and those preparing for their studies

Aid for students and preparatory students affected by the Ukraine war

Studierendenwerk Hamburg maintains an emergency fund from which aid is given to needy students in an unforeseen, acute and temporary emergency.

The emergency fund has been expanded with the support of the Authority for Science, Research, Equality and Districts and the Claussen-Simon-Stiftung to include the "Aid for students affected by the Ukraine war" (Beihilfe für vom Ukraine-Krieg betroffene Studierende, in short „Beihilfe Ukraine“). The aid can be applied for from 25.7.2022 at the Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI.

The "Beihilfe Ukraine" of the emergency fund is aimed at:

  • Hamburg students and preparatory students at the Studienkolleg of the University of Hamburg, who are in financial need as a result of the war against Ukraine (e.g. because their parents in Ukraine can no longer support them in financing their studies due to the war) and
  • Students and preparatory students who have fled Ukraine since February 2022, who want to continue or start their studies in Hamburg and who already have a promise of a study place at one of Hamburg's universities or at the Studienkolleg of the University of Hamburg and need support to start their studies.

The possible support is based on the individual situation of the student and is intended to make a one-time contribution or a contribution limited to two months to enable the student to continue or start his/her studies.

For further information and advice on the "Beihilfe Ukraine" as well as on how to apply, please contact the Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI.

Students who find themselves in need for other reasons can of course also continue to take advantage of the advice and assistance of the Counseling Center - BeSI.

 

Supported by Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg – Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung, Gleichstellung und Bezirke (the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg - Authority for Science, Research, Equality and Districts) as well as the Claussen-Simon-Stiftung. 

                    

Further counselling services for international students
Your studies in Germany

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.


International Offices

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 Counseling in Hamburg