Scholarships for International Students in Germany


Financial Aid & Scholarships for International Students

Finances can be a big worry for international students moving abroad, but it shouldn’t have to be!

As an international student in Germany, there are plenty of financial aid and scholarship options available to you - so you can focus on your studies, not your finances. 

No matter what your situation is, there will be an option for you.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through all of the various financial aid and scholarship opportunities open to study abroad students. This will include scholarships like Erasmus+ and DAAD, as well as the scholarship that we offer to students coming to study at CBS.


How can I finance my studies in Germany?

Your studies, your choice! 

At CBS, we believe that every student should be able to pursue their dream career and study their dream programme - regardless of their financial status.

Because of this belief, we want to offer all of our students support and advice on the various ways they can fund their studies in Germany.

In Germany, there are 2 main ways that students can fund their studies - scholarships and financial aid.

There are many ways and possibilities to finance your studies. Those who claim that they cannot afford to pay for their studies are not familiar with the many financing options that students in Germany have.

Here are some ways to finance your studies in Germany:

CBS has its own financial aid programmes:

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Take the first step towards your dream career! Download our brochure & learn more about our undergraduate & graduate degrees in Germany!





A scholarship is a type of non-repayable financial support that students can apply for if they meet specific requirements - these requirements will differ depending on the scholarship you’re applying to.

Did you know that many scholarships in Germany don’t even get granted because too few students apply for them!

There are many different types of scholarships in Germany that international students can apply for. We’ve narrowed down the top options below for you:

Erasmus+ scholarship

What is the Erasmus+ scholarship?

Erasmus+ is the European Union’s programme for education, youth, and athletics. The aim of the programme is to support innovation and the exchange of well-established practices between countries.

Erasmus is also a good choice for international students willing to study full-time in Germany. Erasmus offers financial aid for one-year exchange periods for international students at participating universities in Germany.

The amount of money you can get from the Erasmus+ scholarship depends on the country you’re going to be studying in. The current rates are:

  • €420 per month for group 1 countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Norway)

  • €370 per month for group 2 countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Netherlands, Malta, Portugal)

  • €370 per month for group 3 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey)

  • Plus an additional €120 per month for disadvantaged students.

If you’re planning on studying at CBS, Germany is a group 2 country so you’ll receive €370 per month.

Who’s eligible for the Erasmus+ scholarship or who can apply for one?

Any student enrolled at a German university. In order to get the Erasmus scholarship both your home country university and the German university where you will study have a valid Erasmus University Charter.

You can find out more about the requirements of the Erasmus+ scholarship by visiting our Erasmus page or by visiting the European Commission website.

If you get accepted for Erasmus+ funding, remember that you’re committing to take compulsory language tests before and after your study abroad.

How can I apply for the Erasmus+ scholarship? 

Applications for the Erasmus+ scholarships in Germany for international students are made through your home university. If you want to apply it’s best to talk to your international office for more information.

When should I apply for the Erasmus+ scholarship? 

You should normally apply for the Erasmus+ scholarship the year before you plan to be studying abroad.

Check out our undergraduate degrees 

Check out our graduate degrees

DAAD scholarship

What is DAAD?

The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) scholarship is one of the largest financing institutions for international students. 

The scholarship programme has helped finance around 2 million student’s studies in Germany and is a joint organisation made up of Germany’s higher education institutions.

They offer a range of scholarships in Germany for international students, you can check the DAAD database to find the full list of available scholarships.

Who’s eligible for a DAAD scholarship or who can apply for one?

If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree in the last 6 years and have at least 2 years of work experience, you’re eligible to apply for a DAAD scholarship.

If you’re accepted, you’ll receive €850 monthly if you’re a postgraduate student, or €1,200 monthly if you’re a doctoral student.

How can I apply for a DAAD scholarship? 

You can apply for the DAAD scholarships online through their website

If you select the scholarship you’re interested in applying to, you’ll be able to find the application form as well as the admissions requirements.

When should I apply for a DAAD scholarship? 

A lot of the scholarships will open for applications between July and August each year, but we encourage you to check the specific date so you don’t miss it.

Study Foundation of the German People scholarships (Studienstiftung)

What is the Study Foundation of the German People scholarships?

The Study Foundation of the German People is one of the oldest organisations awarding scholarships for international students in Germany.

These scholarships are for outstanding students that are expected to make great contributions to society and who excel academically or artistically.

You can find out more about the Study Foundation of the German People scholarship by visiting their website.

Who’s eligible for the Study Foundation of the German People scholarships or who can apply for one?

The Study Foundation of the German People offers a variety of scholarships that could be suitable for a number of international students. 

Some of their scholarships require you to have completed most of your studies in Germany, but some just ask you to have a University degree.

It’s best to check the requirements of the individual scholarships, but international students can be eligible for these awards if they have proof of their previous grades.

How can I apply for the Study Foundation of the German People scholarships? 

You can apply for one of the Study Foundation of the German People scholarships through their website.

On every scholarship page, you will find a link to an application form, as well as a list of other documents that you’ll need to submit - like a cover letter, CV, copy of your degree, and a letter of recommendation.

When should I apply for the Study Foundation of the German People scholarship? 

You should apply for these scholarships as soon as you can, the typical application deadline is in February and selections take place in June/July.

Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship

What is the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship?

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship is a programme specifically for international students who are looking to complete further postgraduate study in Germany.

Accepted students for this scholarship will receive a monthly scholarship of €850 (€861 as of August 1, 2020) over 2 years for Master’s students, and €1,200 for PhD students. 

Students will also be able to get fees related to their studies refunded - up to €1,500 per semester.

Who’s eligible for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship or who can apply for one?

Any international student who already has a university degree and above-average performance are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

The other requirements also include:

  • Have a good knowledge of the German language (B2-level)

  • Be actively engaged in voluntary work

  • Have an interest in political issues, democracy, and human rights

How can I apply for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship? 

You can apply for this scholarship by filling out the application form on the KAS website.

When should I apply for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship? 

The application deadline for the KAS scholarship is the middle of July every year, in 2021 the deadline was July 15.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) scholarship

What is the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung scholarship?

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung scholarship is for German and international students who are taking their Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD studies in Germany and have socio-political goals.

Students who get accepted will receive up to €744 per month, as well as a flat-rate student fee of €300 euros.

Who’s eligible for a Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Scholarship or who can apply for one?

As well as showing proof of above-average performance in their studies, students must also show a commitment to society. This can be shown through youth work or through participation in student councils or political organisations. 

Students should also have confirmation of a place to study at a German university, and demonstrate sufficient German language skills.

How can I apply for a Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung scholarship? 

You can find the application form on the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung scholarship website.

When should I apply for a Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung scholarship? 

If you’re a Masters's student, the application deadline is 30 November 2021 for the Winter semester, and 31 May 2022 for the Summer semester.

If you’re a PhD student, you can apply at any time.

Check out our undergraduate degrees 

Check out our graduate degrees

CBS scholarship

What is the CBS scholarship?

The CBS scholarship is offered to international and EU students who attend our university as we believe in the potential of young people and want to support them in shaping their future.

Up to 4 CBS scholarships are awarded per campus each semester to students who receive outstanding results during high school, or their first degree. Through the scholarship, we aim to make it easier to attend CBS for students who might otherwise not be able to study at a private university.

If the requirements are met, students who have successfully completed the application will receive a scholarship of up to 25% on tuition fees.

Who’s eligible for a CBS scholarship or who can apply for one?

Students who have successfully passed the selection process at CBS and are about to start their first semester are eligible for the scholarship. The programme is open to both national and EU  students. Regardless of full-time or part-time.

This includes Bachelor’s, Master’s, and MBA students - regardless of part-time or full-time studies.

We offer 2 different types of scholarship that have different eligibility requirements:

  • Best Performer scholarship - based on your high school GPA

  • Social Engagement scholarship - based on your social commitment e.g. voluntary work

In addition, CBS also offers a scholarship for international students (Bachelor, Master, MBA) who intend to study at CBS International Business School in Germany. All highly motivated international applicants are given the opportunity to receive a one-time 3.000 € scholarship of the total tuition fee (1.500 € for MBA Fast-Track), if they fulfill the following requirements. A separate application for this scholarship is not required, the eligibility will automatically be checked during the application process, provided that all required documents have been submitted.

How can I apply for a CBS scholarship? 

You can apply for the CBS scholarship through our online application form. You’ll also be asked to submit the following documents:

  • A tabular curriculum vitae (CV)

  • A motivation letter explaining why CBS should sponsor you

  • An officially certified copy of your last certificate (High school certificate for Bachelor’s students or Transcript of Records for Master’s students)

  • For the Social Engagement Scholarship: proof of your social commitment

International students could be eligible for the CBS international students scholarships, if they fulfill the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be a non-EU citizen (EEA applicants please refer to the CBS-scholarship)

  • A full application for a CBS programme (Bachelor, Master, MBA)

  • The applicant provides excellent academic achievements


  • Proof of extracurricular activities in a social and cultural field


  • A letter of motivation (1-2 pages) that states your enthusiasm to study at CBS and in Germany (For Master and MBA applicants: One letter of motivation is sufficient for both the scholarship and the study programme)

When should I apply for a CBS scholarship? 

The deadline for the summer semester (Cologne campus only) is 12 November 2021. The deadline for the winter semester 2021 (all campuses) is 12 June 2021.




Take some time and try out our Degree Finder! It will take you just a few clicks to find the degree programme that matches your profile.

Whether Bachelor's, Master's, full or part-time, in German or English - there is something for everyone here at CBS in Germany. 


Financial Aid for international students

BAföG – Federal Financial Aid 

What is BAföG?

BAföG is a type of financial aid for international students which is financed by the state. It’s there to help students who may not have otherwise been able to fund their studies pursue their dream programme.

BAföG is a mixture of grants and zero-interest loans that can total up to €861 a month.

This type of aid is normally only granted to students who have been resident in Germany for 5 years, but sometimes exceptions can be made if you have a strong prospect of remaining in Germany after your studies.

How to apply for BAföG?

If you’re coming to study with us at CBS, you can apply for BAföG at the Federal Administrative Office through the Cologne Student Union (Kölner Studierendenwerk). 

Whether you’re accepted for BAföG is decided on a case-by-case basis. The decision will be based on you, and your family's income and assets.

You can find further information on the Federal Ministry of Education and Research website.

Student Loans

Although some students may be deterred by getting a loan, it’s actually a great way to finance your studies - as long as you choose the right loan for you.

Are international students eligible for student loans in Germany?

Yes, international students can easily get student loans in Germany and there are quite a few options. 

Most banks in Germany offer special loan programmes that offer financial support to students that offer a lot of flexibility and relatively low interest rates.

Check out our undergraduate degrees 

Check out our graduate degrees

CBS Education Fund

What is the CBS Education Fund?

Study first, pay later – doesn’t that sound like a great way to finance your studies? 

The CBS Education Fund is our own student loan programme which ensures that students don’t have to pay any tuition fees during their studies. Instead, our cooperation partner, Brain Capital, will take over these costs.

After your graduation, you’ll then have to pay back a percentage of your salary to the CBS Education Fund once you reach a certain minimum income - the amount you pay will then be dependent on how much you earn.

How do I apply for the CBS Education Fund?

You can apply for the CBS Education Fund by using the application form on the website of our cooperation partner.


What is Bildungskredit?

Bildungskredit is the Federal Government’s loan scheme for students studying in Germany. 

Anyone under the age of 36 can apply for Bildungskredit, and can receive as much as €7,200 a year. Repayments of the loan will then start 4 years after graduation and will not be more than €120 a month.

How do I apply for Bildungskredit?

You can apply for Bildungskredit online using an application form on the BVA website.

Check out our undergraduate degrees 

Check out our graduate degrees

Personal savings

International students might decide to fund their studies with their own personal savings, which can be put into a blocked account before moving to Germany.

If you have savings it’s a good idea to put this money aside into a blocked account so you know you always have that money there to help you finance your studies.

Find out how blocked accounts work and how you can set yours up.

Parental income

To get your German student visa, you'll need to show proof of your financial resources which can be shown through parental income. 

This can be proved by submitting a copy of your parent’s bank statement which shows they have the ability to fund your studies and living costs in Germany.

Working as a student

Working part-time during your studies in Germany is a great way to gain some experience and to cover your living expenses. According to the law, international students can work up to 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. 

Students must keep in mind that this additional earning may impact the amount of student loans they receive. Any income over €450 a month will result in student loans like BAföG being reduced. 

You can learn more about working as a student in Germany by reading our article here.

At CBS we also give students the opportunity to work as a teaching assistants or administrative assistants on campus. 

We also have a great Careers Center that is always posting new job vacancies throughout the campuses.


We hope that this article has helped you understand the various funding options you can choose during your studies in Germany to fund the various expenses you may experience - from scholarships and loans to working and personal savings.

Learn about all the reasons why Germany is the perfect place to study

If you’d like any further information or support in funding your studies, you can schedule an appointment with one of our friendly student advisors who are always happy to help or attend one of our virtual info sessions.

Check out how to study in Germany and the requirements