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Studying in Germany: How to Find a Scholarship

Learners in Berlin

To anyone who plans to study or write a Ph.D. thesis in a German university and would like to receive funding, first of all, it is necessary to know that grants are mainly allocated by political and public organizations, as well as by commercial enterprises. The educational institutions themselves rarely provide scholarship support.

  • Individual Search

    The first source of information for those who just began to search for grants are the websites offering a common list of funds working with undergraduates and graduates. These sources include:

    • the online portal of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD);
    • the website of the Association for the Support of Gifted Students (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Begabtenforderungswerke);
    • the database of the Ministry of Education and Research of Germany – and the website

    On these websites are listed the organizations that provide financial assistance to learners of various specialties. An adaptive search system allows one to purposefully search for suitable grants for the applicant. In this way, by entering your specialty, academic status, citizenship, and other data in a query string, you can get a list of the programs and grants that meet the individual requirements of the future grant holder. All these programs are accompanied by a brief description and a list of participation requirements for potential applicants.

    More details on the terms of the programs, as well as what documents are needed to apply for them, can be found on the websites of specific funds and organizations. In the same place, future applicants can ask the questions they are interested in.

  • For Learners of Any Specialties

    Considering Germany's scholarship funds themselves, there are a few particularly large ones that provide assistance to students of any specialty. These include:

    • The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD);
    • The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation;
    • The Friedrich-Naumann Foundation;
    • The Gottlieb-Daimler und Karl Benz Foundation;
    • The Hanns-Seidel Foundation;
    • The Heinrich-Boll Foundation;
    • The Friedrich-Ebert Foundation;
    • The Konrad-Adenauer Foundation;
    • The Rosa-Luxemburg Foundation;
    • The Catholic Service for Academic Assistance to Foreigners (KAAD) and others.
  • Programs for Individual Destinations

    Information Room

    Along with the above-mentioned funds, which provide grants to the learners of all specialties, there are also organizations that provide financial assistance to learners of only certain faculties.

    The Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) supports the Germanists planning to work as teachers of the German language in the future. The Alfred Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation provides financial support to those studying pedagogy, medicine, culture, literature, and sports. The concern Bayer assists people of medical faculties (Carl-Duisberg-Stipendien).

  • Scholarships from Universities

    Nevertheless, some universities also possess the scholarship funds for the support of German and foreigners; although, as already mentioned above, there are few such grants, and they assign them pointwise. For example, the Paul and Cilly Weill Foundation at the Goethe University of Frankfurt offers a grant for research at the medical faculty of this university. The Berlin Free University has a program for literary critics working on a master's thesis (Promotionsstipendium Literaturwissenschaft).

    The University of Hamburg provides grants to foreigners and post-graduates who need financial assistance during the year (Examensstipendium, Leistungsstipendium). The University of Kiel supports future teachers of gymnasiums (Schonhauser-Stiftung). Cologne University pays a benefit for exchange studies in one of its partner institutions (Gerhard Michel Stipendium).

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