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Home / International / English Version / Timeline / Arrival - The First Few Days / Financing your Studies

Financing your Studies / Financial Aid

The Studentenwerk Gießen recognizes that students often require financial support. For this reason you will find ample amounts of information on how to finance your studies - from BAföG, AFBG and studies credits, to student loans, savings, studentships, foundations, part-time jobs and our job exchange below!

However, we would like to, regrettably, point out that very few of these financial options, apart from part-time jobs, savings, or studentships are offered to international students from non-EU countries.

Ways to finance your studies:

  • Savings or financial support by your family
  • BAföG
  • Studies credits
  • Student loans
  • Studentships
  • Student jobs
  • Federal Employment Agency
  • Work permit

Personal savings or financial support from your family

Certainly, you may finance your studies from your own personal savings or with the support from your family/parents. If you choose this option, remember that you will still need to prove to the German authorities upon application of your residence permit that you have sufficient funds for your stay in the Federal Republic.

Federal Education and Trainings Assistance Act (BaföG) / AFBG (Master BaföG)

BAföG/AFBG is state-funded financial aid for students. Eligibility for BAföG and AFBG is regulated by the state, and is generally only granted to German citizens. Who gets or gets no BAföG or AFBG is very complicated and regulated by the state. Some EU-citizens, asylees or homeless foreigners are entitled, however most of the foreign students are not.

For further information and consultation just visit our BAföG-department at the Studentenwerk Gießen; our colleagues will be more than glad to help you.

Click here: Studienfinanzierung: BaföG/AFBG

Studies Credit (der Studienkredit)

As a student you are entitled to a number of special studies credits or student loans. However, as an international student you may not qualify for every/all of German student loans or studies credit, so please read the terms and conditions of each loan or studies credit thoroughly.

A further note of caution: studies credits and student loans differ from studentships! The amount borrowed through studies credits or student loans must be repaid by the lender (you), following the completion of your studies.

  • KfW-student loan
    • Amount: 100-650 Euro/month
    • Entitled to apply: German people and their relatives, EU-citizens and their relatives, if they have resided at least for 3 years in Germany; students at their first degree at a German university; maximum age at finance begin: 30 years old; usually for 10 terms of studying (upon request a an extension of 4 semesters is possible if degree is achieved within this period); terms of studying before applying will be counted; credit pause during holiday semesters.

  • Db-student loan
    • Amount: 200 Euro in the first 2 semesters, afterwards max. 800 Euro/month
    • Eligible to apply: individually by a consultant; German people, EU-citizens residing legally and indefinitely in the Federal Republic with a minimum 2 year residence in Germany before studying; maximum age at finance begin: 30 years old; payment pause up to 5 years; prescribed period of study plus max. 3 semesters; payment during holiday semesters too; financing a second degree-study and semesters abroad upon agreement.

  • Dresden flexible student loan
    • Amount: 200-600 Euro/month during the basic course, up to 1,500 Euro/month during the main course
    • Eligible to apply: German people, foreigners residing at least 3 years in Germany before study start; maximum age at study start: 23 years old (at vocational education: 26 years old); financing only possible for a maximum of 14 semesters; a maximum of 2 months study in another field of study; first degree/postgraduate course/graduation/term abroad/studying abroad; works like a drawing credit.


Loan to finance living expenses - for those in the advanced stage of their studies, i.e. NOT for freshman-students

  • Interest-bearing bank credit in line with Federal Education and Trainings Assistance Act
    • Amount: varies like BAföG
    • Eligible to apply:
      • Those entitled to BAföG after exceeding the prescribed period of study due to a change of study field in an urgent case
      • Support with graduating: if registered for graduation exam and passing it within 12 months
      • For a further apprenticeship according to paragraph 7, section 2, line 1 No. 1 to 3 and line 2

  • Education loan
    • Amount: 300./month for a maximum of 24 months
    • Eligible to apply: Students after completing their intermediate exam/ with proof of completing the usual exams after 2 semesters (bachelor)/ are earning their masters; German people, EU-citizens and their residing family members, people with residence permit; maximum age: 36 years old; up to the end of the 12th semester at university (if authorised to graduation exam and passing it within 24 months, even with more than 12 semesters of university)

  • Graduation loan "DAKA"

    • Amount: max. 2,300 Euro one-time

    • Eligible to apply: all students of the JLU and THM Gießen, who are registered for the graduation exam, being in a financial emergency and are not eligible for BAföG or other credits

  • Soon-to-be-graduate credit by the Studentenwerk Giessen

    • Amount: max. 1,000 Euro, one-time

    • Eligible to apply: all students at the Justus-Liebig University Gießen and the University of Applied Sciences Gießen-Friedberg that have registered for their graduation exam, being in a financial emergency and are not eligible for BAföG or other credits

Foundations - 11 state-sponsored foundations / merit-based studentships

General foundations who grant studentships

  • German National Merit Foundation
    Eligible to apply: A-Levels graduates and international students of all fields of study

  • Hans-Böckler-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students of all fields of study

Party-related (politically affiliated) Foundations
  • Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students and postgraduates of all fields of study

  • Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students and postgraduates of all fields of study

  • Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students of all fields of study

  • Hanns-Seidel-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students and PhD students at all universities and of all fields of study

  • Heinrich-Böll-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students and PhD students of all fields of study

  • Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation
    Eligible to apply: international students and PhD students of all fields of study

Denominational Foundations
  • Cusanuswerk - Institution of the catholic Church
    Eligible to apply: Catholic EU-European students of all fields of study

  • Evangelical Studentenwerk Villigst
    Eligible to apply: EU-European evangelic students and PhD students of all fields of study

Economically oriented/Business related (Wirtschaftsnahe) Foundations
  • German Economic Foundation (Stiftung der deutschen Wirtschaft)
    Eligible to apply: international students of all fields of study

Other scholarship/studentship opportunities:

The Studentenwerk Gießen recommends that you also apply in your home country for studentships or scholarships, since home countries often offer financial aid for native students looking at studying abroad.

Part-time job

You would like to earn a bit of spending money while you study? And you are on the search for a part-time job? If so, then we would like to draw your attention to the Studentenwerk Gießen "Job Exchange". See Jobbörse

"Job Exchange" (Die Jobbörse)

The "job exchange" is actually a listing of current job offers from various companies for employment in and around Gießen. The majority of our job offers listed is for part-time employment seekers. The offers can be accessed easily online or by us, in the Department of Counselling and Service at the Studentenwerk Gießen. The Studentenwerk Gießen would like to emphasise that while we supply a list of job offers for you to help alleviate the stress of searching, we do not contact companies on your behalf. You alone are responsible for contacting employers of interest and putting together your application. Most employers also require good or very good German language skills from applicants.


Federal Employment Office (die Bundesagentur für Arbeit)

It is also possible to find a job through the Federal Employment Office.

Work Permit

Am I allowed to work in Germany?
Yes, international students are allowed to work in Germany. Limitations, however, do apply. Students are granted permission to pursue gainful employment (work) only up to 90 days, or 180 half-days, per year without applying for a work permit.

Exceptions to the 90 day/180 half-day law:
The following jobs are considered permissible over and above the 90 days/180 half-days rule. This means, the 90 day/180 half-day law does not apply to the following types of work.

  • Compulsory internships/practical training (even if paid)
  • Student assistants
  • Student related part-time work (for ex. working as a WoTuPro-tutor)
If you like to work more than 90 days/ 180 half-days, you will need to contact the Federal Employment Office first.

Students enrolled at a preparatory college

You may only work during semester breaks. Employment during the semester is tightly regulated and is therefore nearly impossible.

Language Course participants

You are not allowed to pursue gainful employment during the language course at any time.


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