- In Germany, refugees have the opportunity to study at German universities, especially if their refugee status is recognized.
- Some universities have special programs for refugees. These include trial courses, transition courses, courses auditing, and supplementary courses.
- The application and admission process for entry into a degree program is similar to that of an international student.
- Most German universities charge low tuition fees, or no tuition fees at all.
- A refugee is eligible for financial aid depending on how long he/she has been in Germany, his/her age, and the residency status.
- Several organizations, universities, cities, and states offer scholarships for refugees.
- Once you choose the university where you would like to study, find out about scholarship options available.
- The best option for funding for refugees is BaföG (BundesAusbildungsförderungsGesetz), a government funding program.
What does BaföG cover?
- BaföG funding comes in two equal parts – one part is a grant and the other part is a zero-interest government loan.
- The payment of this loan is required no earlier than five years after graduation.
- No individual pays back more than €10,000.
- The amount received by each refugee depends on certain factors. The maximum amount received is however €735 per month.
Am I Eligible to Apply?
For refugees, entitlement to BaföG is as follows:
- Recognized Refugee – A recognized refugee is one who is entitled to asylum, has been granted refugee status, or is under subsidiary protection. If you are a recognized refugee, you can apply for BaföG irrespective of how long you have been in Germany.
- Tolerated Refugee – If you are a tolerated refugee or a holder of a specific humanitarian residence permit, you can apply for BaföG 15 months after the date you originally applied for asylum in Germany.
- If your application for asylum is still being processed, you are not eligible for BaföG.
University entry requirements include:
- Sufficient language skills (German and/or English, depending on the level of study)
- University entrance qualifications depending on the course applied for and the university.
- Refugees who have studied previously can have their coursework and certificates certified in Germany.
How Do I Apply – Next Steps
- Fill out the application forms and submit them to the Studentenwerk (student service organization) office at the university at which you would like to study.
- A checklist for filling out the BaföG application is found at the Studentenwerk website.
- Documents and certificates are also required. These include:
- Certificates from universities previously attended
- Bank statements showing your income and assets
NOTE: You can only receive BaföG if your application is complete.
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