Scholarships for international students

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Performance is promoted

Scholarships and grants are welcome means to help finance your studies in Germany. Foundations that award scholarships have varying objectives and profiles, and as a rule applicants have to have special characteristics or skills. In most cases, applicants are expected to perform above average in their studies and show sociopolitical commitment. However, this does not apply to all scholarship providers. Research the relevant requirements carefully so that you don’t put lots of effort into an application in vain. The application often requires a lot of work, but it may be worth it.

>> Scholarships offered by Goethe University to international students

  • Goethe University Deutschlandstipendium
  • Graduation Scholarship
  • Scholarships for internships that advance the studies
  • Goethe Goes Global Master Scholarship

>> Scholarship providers specifically for international students in Germany

  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service)
  • Otto Benecke Foundation
  • Katholischer Akademischer Ausländerdienst (KAAD – Catholic Academic Service for Foreigners)
  • Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) Protestant Development Service

>> Talent programmes and other scholarship foundations

  • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation)
  • Political foundations
  • Faith-based scholarship providers
  • Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (Foundation of the German Industry)
  • Further talent programmes and subject-specific scholarships

This is a list only of scholarships available in Germany for international students at German universities. Do also enquire about scholarship providers in your home country.

Up-to-date information on talent programmes and foundations can be accessed via the scholarship information page of the SSC. They also list the Vertrauensdozent_innen (contact professor) of the respective foundation at Goethe-University.

A detailed list of German scholarship providers can be found in our flyer:

Flyer – Scholarships for international students

Scholarship databases

Which scholarship is best for me?

These databases enable focused research targeted for example at scholarships that apply exclusively to certain study subjects or countries of origin. This is your starting point for finding a scholarship that suits your needs.

You can access a good and comprehensive overview of various scholarship providers as well as all scholarships awarded by the DAAD here: Scholarship database of the DAAD

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research also has a comprehensive data base, the Stipendienlotse (scholarship pilot).  

Scholarship information of the Studien-Service-Center

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The SSC of Goethe-University has gathered comprehensive information on scholarships for its students. Here you can get further hints and information.

Tips for your scholarship applications

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Read the scholarship application requirements very carefully to determine whether you are eligible. You can use the scholarship databases for this. Some scholarships have certain requirements or they are eligible only for specific target groups (e.g. students of a particular subject area). Check if you fulfil the requirements. If you are not sure, contact the scholarship provider.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Often it is not simply a matter of being “the best“ student. Besides a good or satisfactory study performance, you often also have to prove your commitment or special personal achievements (e.g. overcoming obstacles resulting from your personal history). If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a specific scholarship, give it a try and wait for the reaction. If you are not selected, ask why. Sometimes it is only due to formal errors, and sometimes the feedback helps you to develop further and enables you to apply for a scholarship again, at a later time.

Be confident! In your application, describe your strengths and goals carefully and in detail. In Germany, your application must emphasise any strengths rather too much than too little (for internships and for jobs), even if you are normally more reserved or if this is not appropriate in your home culture.

If a personal statement (motivational letter) is required, make sure you allow sufficient time for this. Adapt the personal statement to the relevant scholarship provider. Research the values and sponsoring principles of the foundation in question. This way, you will be able to emphasise why you specifically are eligible for their scholarship.

It is imperative that you ask a native speaker to proof-read your documents. There should be no spelling mistakes in your application.

Take care that the required documents are complete (it is best to bring certified copies of important documents such as report cards or certificates to Germany with you, just to be prepared). You must submit the documents exactly as required by the scholarship provider – complete and correct documentation counts very highly.

In any event, submit your application on time. Many scholarship providers have deadlines for each year and do not accept later applications.

Further tips for your scholarship application