Financing your stay
The question "How do I finance my studies?" is an important and sometimes crucial one. At times, financing your studies can be a considerable challenge.
Especially for international students from a third country there are only limited possibilities to finance their studies in Germany. Therefore, we advise you to do an in-depth research for your own financing and you can start with the information we have summarized below.
In order for you to prepare your stay, we have listed the expected living costs on our website.
Financing your stay in Germany
Below you can find information about the most common financing options for international students. In particular, the information for the blocked account, the scholarship or the letter of sponsorship is relevant, as these are the three accepted financial proofs for the initial granting of a residence title.
Please note: Since October 2022, the annual standard requirement that must be presented when applying for a student visa and the extension of the residence title for Germany is 11,208 euros or 934 euros per month.
Do you have any questions about working as an international student in Germany?
Then visit our student jobs website.
Financing options during your studies / stay in Germany
International students from a non-EU or non-EEA country must prove that they can cover their own living expenses. To provide this proof, a blocked account is required.
It is called a "blocked account" because the money deposited in the account can only be withdrawn after the account holder has arrived in Germany. Likewise, the account holder cannot withdraw more money than 934 EUR (unless more money was transferred than the required minimum amount).
The Blocked Bank Account serves as proof of financial means for foreign students to stay in Germany for up to one year and is one of the most important requirements for applying for a German study visa or a residence permit for study purposes.
As of October 2022, the annual standard requirement that must be paid into the German blocked account when applying for a student visa to Germany is 11,208 euros or 934 euros per month for your planned stay (up to 12 months). As a rule, a blocked account must be opened before you arrive in Germany. In exceptional cases (e.g. Iranian students), the account can be opened in Germany; this would then be included in the text on the visa itself.
Tip: Since the blocked account has to be activated after arrival, you cannot access the money immediately. It is therefore recommended that you bring some cash with you to cover the first few days in Germany.
For more information on the blocked account, please visit the website of the German Foreign Office.
Due to the fact that there are basically no tuition fees in Germany, the scholarship offer for international students is accordingly quite small. Most scholarships are available for the final phase of studies, but some have other criteria as well. Therefore, it is always worthwhile to take a look at the various scholarship databases to find the right scholarship for yourself.
Scholarship databases or foundations:
- Scholarship database of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): In the scholarship database of the DAAD, international guest researchers, doctoral candidates and students can inform themselves about various funding opportunities.
- Funding database of the EURAXESS Germany Network: As a researcher you can find numerous programs of different funding organizations in Germany in the database of the German mobility center "EURAXESS Deutschland"
- Foundation index: The Foundation Index of the Federal Association of German Foundations offers a search service that covers around 10,000 German foundations.
Below you will find some scholarship providers and scholarships that are always worth a look.
- Saarland Scholarship: International students and doctoral candidates who are in the final stages of their studies can apply for a Saarland Scholarship. The application is done online and is available in German and English. The application deadline is always February 28 or July 31.
- Germany Scholarship (Deutschlandstipendium): The Deutschlandstipendium supports students at Saarland University with 300 euros per month, regardless of nationality, age, number of semesters or course of study. Applications for a Deutschlandstipendium are possible from 01 - 30 June each year.
- Santander Scholarships: Becas Santander offers a multilingual database to search for scholarships, sorted by subject and target group.
- Care Concept Scholarships: Care Concept awards scholarships for German students going abroad, for international students in Germany and for refugees in Germany.
- VELA Scholarships: Vela awards scholarships to students who are enrolled at a German university, have a German residence and a German bank account. As soon as a new scholarship is announced, you will be informed here.
- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH): The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards fellowships to foreign scientists. Among other things, the AvH offers a special program for scientists from developing countries and the CIS.
- Fellowships of the Heinrich Böll Foundation: The Heinrich Böll Foundation sponsors around 1000 students and doctoral candidates of all disciplines and nationalities each year. Outstanding academic or scientific achievements, social commitment and political interest are expected.
- DAAD - Support for foreign guest lecturers to teach at German universities: With this program, the DAAD supports the teaching activities of foreign guest lecturers at German universities. The application for funding is submitted by the German university.
- Hilde Domin programme: With this program, the DAAD supports globally at-risk students and doctoral candidates who are formally or de facto denied the right to education and/or other basic rights in their country of origin to take up or continue their studies in Germany in order to obtain a degree or doctorate at a German university.
Your studies at Saarland University can be funded according to the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG). The BAföG office of the Studierendenwerk Saarland is responsible for this:
Office for Educational Support
Building D 4.1
Mon-Thu 9.00 - 12.30 h and 13.30 - 15.30 h
Fri 9.00 - 12.30
Telephone consultation hours are currently offered.
BAföG as an international student:
Students who are staying in Germany with a residence permit may be entitled to educational support if you have a perspective of staying in Germany.
This includes, in particular, persons to whom one of the following criteria applies:
- A student is a recognized asylum seeker, a recognized refugee or the residence permit was granted for reasons of international law, humanitarian or political reasons.
- A student is the spouse or partner of a German citizen.
- A student has custody of a minor child with German citizenship.
- A student has a residence permit according to § 30 or §§ 32-34 of the Residence Act as the spouse or life partner or child of a foreigner with a settlement permit.
- A student has been granted a residence permit for temporary protection according to § 24 Residence Act or a corresponding fictitious certificate.
For other foreign students with a residence permit according to § 25 para. 3, para. 4 sentence 2 or para. 5, § 31 of the Residence Act, there is only an entitlement if they have also been legally residing in Germany for at least 15 months.
In addition, an entitlement can exist if the student has already been gainfully employed in Germany for five years prior to the start of his or her studies or if one parent has been gainfully employed in Germany for a total of three years during the last six years prior to the start of studies.
Important note: Students who are staying in Germany with a residence permit according to § 16 of the Residence Act only for the purpose of studying are not entitled to BAföG unless they also fulfill one of the other requirements mentioned above.
Students can then receive BAföG if they begin the education for which they are applying for support before they reach the age of 45 - or, in the case of master's degree programs, before they reach the age of 35.
If an international student wants to apply for a visa for Germany, he or she has to prove that they can pay the costs for their travel and stay in Germany. In addition to the blocked account already mentioned, a third person can submit a so-called " letter of sponsorship". This person commits himself or herself to cover the costs of the visitors in case of an emergency. This also includes the costs for medical treatment or deportation.
The obligation to pay for all costs continues until the international guest leaves Germany or is granted a residence permit for another purpose. The obligation ends after 5 years at the latest. Until this time, in case of emergency, all costs for the person must be taken over or paid back.
Please note: Once the visa has been issued, a letter of sponsorship can no longer be withdrawn.
Further information regarding the declaration of commitment can be found on the website of the German Foreign Office.
Student loans support you in financing your living expenses during your studies or doctorate at a state or state-recognized university located in Germany. This loan must then be repaid within the contractually agreed term.
The education loan offers financial support for the completion of studies (in an undergraduate course (diploma) after the intermediate examination, in a bachelor's course after the first year or in a master's course). The age limit here is 36 years.
Loan from the emergency fund
International students who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in a particular economic hardship may apply for a loan from the Student Union Assistance Fund.
The fund receives its resources from donations from the University, the Association of Friends of the University, the student body, other individuals and institutions.
Assistance in filling out the application is available at the Welcome Center. You can also hand in the completed application there.
Funding opportunities for doctoral students
- Avicenna Studienwerk e.V.
Target group: Muslim doctoral students in the initial phase of their doctorate
- Cusanuswerk e.V.
Target group: Catholic doctoral students in the initial phase of their doctorate who are doing voluntary work
- Ernst-Ludwig-Ehrlich-Studienwerk e.V.
Target group: Jewish doctoral students in the initial phase who can demonstrate social or university-political commitment; Non-Jewish doctoral students working on Jewish topics
- Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst e.V.
Target group: Protestant doctoral candidates in the initial phase who can demonstrate social, church or political commitment.
- Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Target group: Graduates who make a relevant contribution to research and are politically engaged in the spirit of the Foundation
- German Academic Scholarship Foundation
Target group: High-achieving doctoral candidates in the initial phase who can demonstrate a social commitment.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to be informed about further funding opportunities.