Scholarship opportunities and requirements for your studies in Germany

For many students, a scholarship is a great opportunity to go study at a university, which would usually be impossible for them to finance otherwise. However, this also means that they are highly contested in most cases and specific requirements need to be met to be even considered for a scholarship. Go on reading to find out which would be your path to attaining a scholarship for your studies in Germany.

What is a scholarship?

You most likely have heard of scholarships before. Scholarships are usually granted to support students (or sometimes interns) on their further educational journey. Even though most scholarships are money grants at their core, some also offer additional, non-material support, such as access to networking events or student consulting. In most cases, scholarships are granted based on previous academic achievements or special activities that qualify the students for financial support. However, regardless of where you come from, what you did before or what you are planning to do, you need to have excelled in some way on your previous path to be granted a scholarship for your studies in Germany.

Who offers scholarships?

There are plenty of different institutions that offer scholarships for different fields of study, degree programmes and purposes, for people all around the globe, aspiring a stay in Germany. The main sponsors of these scholarships are political organisations, businesses, religious institutions and institutions such as the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (EN: German Academic Exchange Service)). Although the different scholarship sponsors tend to have different specific requirements towards their recipients, it should not make too much of a difference for you, who is the one offering their support, as long as you are sure that you can fulfil their requirements.

What are the requirements for a scholarship?

As mentioned above, there are certain requirements to be granted a scholarship. Due to the different requirements depending on the scholarship provider it is not possible to give a perfect handbook on how to apply for one. However, we can give you recommendations on what is usually expected of scholarship holders to increase your chances of being awarded a scholarship.

First up, it strongly depends on the scholarships that you chose to apply for. There are scholarships that are awarded strictly based on former academic successes. One example of such a scholarship is the Deutschlandstipendium. Then again, there are also scholarships that are more likely to be granted to socially, culturally, or financially underprivileged students, to help them make their dreams come true. Below, you can find a list with the most common requirements that are held against scholarship applicants:

  • Involvement in associations, political parties, initiatives, youth organisations, university groups
  • Above-average performance in previous studies, academic work or work experience
  • High level of motivation to achieve your goal, often expressed through an interview or a letter of motivation

Tip: A well thought through motivation letter as well as letters of recommendation will increase your chances!

In a letter of motivation, you have the unique opportunity to explain why you, of all people, are suitable for the scholarship. Here is some inspiration for what you could include in your letter:

  • The reason why you chose your field of study
  • What particularly interests you about your studies
  • How you imagine your future career
  • Previous successes such as awards
  • Previous jobs or internships
  • If you are involved in a club, a political party or social projects
  • How the scholarship would advance your career
  • How you would use the money to reach your goals
  • What you would attempt to change in the world

You can also address financial aspects here, for example, by mentioning that greater financial freedom would help you to concentrate more on your studies. But most important: Be creative but genuine when writing your letter. Always remember that you do not want to write the same as everyone else but stand out from the crowd.

Even though a letter of recommendation is often not explicitly required, it comes in handy for the application process. It is best to ask at your university or school whether one of your professors or another teacher, who knows you well, could issue you such a letter. A letter of recommendation can often work wonders because it emphasises your suitability for a scholarship from a professional point of view as well.

Where and how can I apply for a scholarship?

Since there are multiple organisations that offer scholarships for different fields and qualification levels, there are in theory countless points of contact you can apply at for a scholarship. Of course, you can go ahead and search for the specific organisation you wish to apply at for a scholarship. However, probably the quickest solution is to go to a portal that offers an overview of available scholarships in Germany, at least in a specific field, and then filter for the scholarships that are applicable for you. Websites that offer such services are the DAAD, Stipendienlotse, scholars4dev, and Begabungslotse (here you also find other sponsorship offers). All those websites offer the above-mentioned functionalities to filter and search for specific types of scholarships. It is worth to mention that only the DAAD and scholars4dev have English websites.

Get your proof of financial resources for your studies in Germany

As soon as you have enough money to study in Germany, you can apply for a visa. For this, you need proof of financial resources. The most convenient way to provide this proof is by opening a digital blocked account – with Fintiba it is quick, secure and will be accepted by all German authorities with a 100% guarantee.

Summary

Even though it may sound difficult to attain a scholarship and they are certainly not awarded lightly, it is always worth looking out for a scholarship that suits you as a person and your course of studies. As an application costs nothing except some of your time, it is worth giving it a try to get a chance to relieve some of the financial strain while studying in Germany. So, go ahead and find a scholarship that fits your situation and get the applications rolling.

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From preparing your stay to mastering your visa application and navigating through daily life in Germany. Our Study Guide within the Fintiba app provides you with relevant information throughout all important stages of your German adventure – tailored to your individual situation.

Last update: February 2, 2021

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