Studying with chronic illness/disability/impairment

The general conditions for students with chronic illness or disability vary greatly at the universities. We therefore recommend that prospective students inform themselves about the local conditions at an early stage. The Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI of the Studierendenwerk Hamburg provides support in claiming specific benefits and compensation schemes.

As part of the PIASTA Welcome Week of the University of Hamburg (20.03.2024), the lecture "Studying with health impairments." was created in cooperation with the Studierendenwerk Hamburg/BeSI. (Dr. M. Gattermann-Kasper/Dr. S. Peschke/B. Gayer). It provides information on specific issues in studying and gives a good overview of current counselling services. You can find the presentation here (barrier-free PDF, only in German).

As part of the University Day of the University of Hamburg on 20.02.2024, the lecture "How can you study with health impairments?" was created in cooperation with the Studierendenwerk Hamburg/BeSI (Dr. M. Gattermann-Kasper/B. Gayer). You can find the lecture here (barrier-free PDF, only in German).

Everything at a glance

Explainer videos
Studying with impairment
Explainer videos

Explainer videos
Studying with impairment
Explainer videos

Students with disabilities in Hamburg 
Are you one of them?

Studying with Impairment in Hamburg

Application and admission to Hamburg's state universities - Can you improve your chances of admission?

Study orientation in Hamburg - What should you clarify? Does the impairment play a role?

Study entry

Reasonable Accommodation (with subtitles)

Applying for reasonable accommodatin (with subtitles)

Withdrawing from exams (with subtitles)

for applicants and first-year students at state universities and colleges in Hamburg

The representatives for the interests of students with chronic illness/disability/ disability at the University of Hamburg and the HAW Hamburg as well as the Studierenwerk Hamburg have compiled a glossary for applicants and first-year students at state universities and colleges in Hamburg. Each term is explained in a sign language video and in written language.

Studying with a mental illness
(How) is that possible?

The website "Studying with a mental illness: (How) is that possible?" (only in German) is a project of HAW Hamburg and the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU). With the help of those affected, the creators have put together a range of information for students, prospective students, lecturers and university employees on the subject of mental illness.

Their aim is to provide information about mental illness, to point out various support services in the university context (and beyond) and to contribute to the destigmatisation of mental illness.

Students and prospective students who would like to find out more about mental illness and the support services available during their studies will find overviews and information on the following topics:

  • Before studying
  • During studies
  • Contact points
  • How are others doing?
  • Knowledge and diagnoses

Studying with impairment

Studying with impairment

Social benefits - From when is there entitlement?

Social benefits, such as Child benefit, housing benefit, benefits for BAföG recipients living with parents, citizen's benefit, social benefit, needs for education and participation, additional needs for single parents, additional needs for expectant mothers after the twelfth week of pregnancy, additional needs for costly nutrition for medical reasons, Loans in case of special hardship according to the German Social Code (SGB) Second Book (II), Study assistance within the framework of integration assistance for people with disabilities to attend a university in accordance with the Social Code (SGB) Ninth Book (IX) can be obtained by students under certain conditions.

International students, especially those with a residence permit for the purpose of studying according to § 16b of the Residence Act (AufenthG), are generally not entitled to social benefits. Advice on this can be obtained from the Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI.

We are happy to help you

We are happy to help you

Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs - BeSI

+49 / 40 / 419 02 - 155 
(Outside the telephone office hours our answering machine is switched on.)

Grindelallee 9
(3. floor)
20146 Hamburg
(near Dammtor station)

The mailbox in Grindelallee is accessible throughout.

Postal address
Studierendenwerk Hamburg
Beratungszentrum Soziales & Internationales – BeSI
Postfach 13 01 13
20101 Hamburg

Office hours by phone
Mon 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tue 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wed 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thu 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Personal consulting hours (without appointment)
Mon 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tue 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thu 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Use our open office hours or book an appointment.


Information and advice
Barrier-free through studies
Together with the Hamburg universities and student councils, we support you in your studies with a chronic illness/disability/impairment.