Deutsches Studentenwerk

Who can help when money gets tight?

On the whole there is little financial support for international students in Germany. Nevertheless, for those who find themselves in financial distress there are several places they can turn to for help.

The first contact point should be the social office in the Studentenwerk or the academic international offices of the university. The advisors there know who at each university helps international students in financial difficulty. The social office also provides information on financial help from the state which you might be able to apply for.

For example, one-off financial support can be applied for from the catholic or the evangelical student community of the universities. At some universities there are also private societies that support international students.

Many Studentenwerke have access to emergency funds for international students or can help with a bridging loan. You can draw on the emergency fund in case of hardship; for example, if you momentarily cannot finance your cost of living during examinations or due to a longer period of illness. However, you do not have a legal claim to the money in the emergency fund. International students can borrow money at a reduced rate of interest from the loan association at the Studentenwerke.

In several instances it is possible to apply for a rent allowance or for special financial aid for low-income cases (e. g. fuel subsidies or reduced radio and television licences). The social office at your Studentenwerk can provide you with information on this type of support.

More information online