In principle, you can apply for a scholarship even if you have not yet been admitted to a university. In the case your application is accepted, the scholarship will only be paid once you begin your studies. The application process can take up to 6 months. You should write your application letter yourself - even if your German isn’t perfect yet. In the larger application process, it is important that the scholarship foundation learns about your motivation and qualification.

Numerous scholarships are awarded by political foundations (i.e. Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation, etc.). If you would like to apply for a scholarship from a political foundation, you should be familiar their political programme and be aware of whether it corresponds with your personal values. In addition to your overall academic peformance, social engagement (e.g. voluntary work, etc.) is an important selection criterion for most scholarships. You will find more detailed information on the application requirements, selection criteria and benefits on the respective websites of scholarship foundations.

An overview database can be found at: or

Further information on scholarships can be found on the pages of the International Office.

In addition to the common scholarships, there are also programmes that explicitly address students with refugee background. These include:


The Deutschlandstipendium adresses all students (including Incomings) at the Goethe-University and offers financial support of 300€ per month as well as various support programs. Requirements for the program include an outstanding academic background as well as a strong social commitment. Biographical obstacles are taken into account during the selection process and students with refugee backgrounds are encouraged to apply. More information can be found here: Deutschlandstipendium.

Contact at GU: Dr. Beate Firla; E-Mail:

HessenFonds for Refugees

The Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts (HMWK) in the framework of Hessenfonds awards scholarships for particularly talented refugees who are graduates and academics at the Hessian universities of applied sciences. The funding serves to help the continuation of study or a career in science in a state-run Hessian university. There are quarterly application rounds. Please submit your application to the Service Point for Refugees, International Office (Campus Bockenheim, Hörsaalgebäude, Eingang Mertonstraße, Raum 101).

Further information and application forms can be found here.

WELCOME - Scholarship Program for German Universities in Cooperation with the Otto-Benecke-Foundation

The German University Foundation (DUS) founded the WELCOME Scholarship in October 2015. The unique feature of this scholarship is that it provides one-on-one support for participants through willing university students in the same subject area. Furthermore, the scholarship offers other benefits to facilitate successful studies and entry into the German job market.

hochform - Scholarship program of the German University Foundation in cooperation with the Otto-Benecke-Foundation

The scholarship program “hochform” promotes German-speaking master students with a refugee background. The program’s key feature is providing of one-on-one support to scholarship holders provided by university students who are trained by the German University Foundation. In addition, the scholarship provides the further services to facilitate the successful study and entrance into the German workforce for scholarship holders.

  • Connection with a University professor as a mentor.

  • Seminars on the development of key competencies (twice a year, cumpulsory)

  • Travel costs for seminars and other travel connected with the program

  • Support counseling sessions for individual and career planning in crisis or upheaval

  • Participation in scientific events (i.e. DHV symposium) and integration into relevant networks

  • Financial support of up to 300€ per year per scholarship holder