FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions

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> Questions about grants offered by the DAAD London Office

> General questions about Germany as a study and research destination



1) Questions about grants offered by the DAAD London Office

1) I am an international student currently living in the UK/Ireland. Do I apply via the DAAD London Office or via my home country?


Applicants of all nationalities may apply, provided that the applicant is either currently enrolled at a British/Irish university and has been living and studying in the UK for at least one year or graduated recently from a British/Irish university. All international students who graduated from a British/Irish university but no longer live in the UK/in Ireland are kindly requested to contact the London Office before starting their application (scholarships@daad.org.uk). 


2) I am a German national currently living in the UK/Ireland. I would like to study/carry out research in Germany. Am I eligible?


Generally, this is not possible. The idea behind the academic exchange is to allow EU/international students to go to Germany and German students to travel abroad.   However, exceptions can be made for:


  • German nationals applying for a postgraduate grant or research grant for PhD students/junior academics if they have been living in the UK/Ireland for at least 6 years at the time of application
  • German nationals applying for a senior academic study visit grant if they have been living in the UK/Ireland for at least 10 years at the time of application


3) I would like to do my whole Masters/PhD in Germany. However, your grant is for a maximum period of 10 months. Can I apply for funding to cover the whole degree in Germany?

The initial grant can only be awarded for the maximum duration of one year (10 months) for a Study Scholarship. If your course lasts more than a year you may be given the opportunity of an extension once you have taken up your grant. Please note that you need to apply for the full funding period (i.e. two years) with your initial application to be considered for an extension. 

The Research Grant - One-Year Grant cannot be extended. 


4) Where can I find further financial support to complete my degree in Germany?


You should always check whether the host institution in Germany offers any scholarships you could apply for. Apart from that you can check our scholarship database for any further DAAD or non-DAAD funding opportunities.


In very rare cases students may also be eligible for BAföG (the German government student support, which is half grant and half loan) or BILDUNGSKREDIT (governmental student loan). You or your parents should have normally worked in Germany in the past in order to be eligible for either of the two schemes.


5) Do you offer any funding for studies and research in the UK/Ireland?


The DAAD funding schemes are designed to foster academic exchange between Germany and the UK/Ireland. British/Irish home students and international students who are looking for financial support with their studies in the UK and Ireland are kindly advised to seek advice from a British or Irish funding body. Useful links are Directgov for the UK and EducationIreland


6) What level of German is required to apply for a DAAD grant?

As a general rule: you are expected to have the appropriate level of German to carry out your study/research project in Germany .


Applicants for the Study Scholarship  and the Research Grant - One-Year Grant are required to sit a DAAD language test. This test is intended to indicate the level of proficiency in the German language. There is no specific pass mark. Candidates applying for a degree course taught entirely in English or whose research will be conducted in English only and English is also the working language are exempt.


7) If short-listed for a grant, do I have to attend an interview?


This depends on the type of programme you are applying for. Please check the details of your specific programme in the Funding to go to Germany section.



General questions about Germany as a study and research destination


1) Do I need a visa to study in Germany?


This depends on your personal circumstances. Applicants from the UK should enquire with the German Embassy in London, applicants from Ireland with the German Embassy in Dublin .

 You won’t need a visa if you are an EU citizen.

2) What types of higher education institutions are there in Germany?

The German term "Hochschule" (higher education institution / HEI ) is a generic term for a number of types of higher education institutions: universities   (Universitäten), technical universities (Technische Hochschulen/Universitäten) , colleges of art, film and music  (Kunst-, Film- und Musikhochschulen), universities of applied sciences  (Fachhochschulen), universities of administrative sciences (Verwaltungshochschulen), and church-maintained colleges .

The diversity of the   German higher education system is its strength. It ensures   that students can make the best choices, depending on their interests, skills, abilities, and career preferences. Students, for example,   who prefer a practical approach   to learning will probably find the Fachhochschule/University of Applied Sciences   most suitable, whereas those who en jo y theoretical thinking might find that a Universität   meets their interests and needs best.

The vast majority of higher education institutions are public institutions. However, with around 60 private instituions out of a total of more than 300 higher education institutions in Germany, the private sector is increasingly poplar. Please note that private higher education institutions may charge considerably higher tuition fees. You should also check whether the degree programme you would like to enrol for is accredited by the Wissenschaftsrat .

3) What are the admissions requirements at German universities?

The main DAAD website offers comprehensive general information on admission to German institutions of higher education. Please note that depending on your personal academic record, as well as your chosen institution and degree programme in Germany , further admissions criteria may apply to you as every prospective student is assessed individually. It is vital that you find out as soon as possible (preferably a year in advance) whether you fulfil all necessary criteria by contacting the International Office (in German: ‘Akademisches Auslandsamt’) of the university, Fachhochschule/or other institution of your choice.

4) Do I have to pay tuition fees in Germany?

The decision whether to charge tuition fees and how much to charge lies with the federal states in Germany. The majority of the sixteen states in Germany are currently (2011)  not charging fees or about to scrap fees, but decisions are in constant flux.

The easiest way to find out whether tutition fees apply is by contacting the International Office at your chosen institution. If tuition fees apply, you should expect them to be within the upper limit of €650 per semester for a Bachelor degree. Please note that this refers to state institutions. Private higher education institutions , which are not bound by these regulations, are likely to charge considerably higher tuition fees.

The costs of Masters degrees vary considerably, so please do check with the International Office of your chosen institution.

 Please note that PhDs / doctoral studies are currently tuition fee free in Germany.   

5) What are the tuition fees for international students?

There is no differentiation between home, EU, and international students in Germany in terms of tuition fees. If fees apply, they will be the same for everybody. Please note that PhDs/doctoral studies are tuition fee free.  

6) What are the living expenses in Germany?

The cost of living in Germany is around the average of EU member states, i.e. it is generally less expensive than the living costs in counties such as France , Britain or the Netherlands . Rents vary depending on the city and what type of accommodation you have.

For a more detailed overview please click here .

7) Am I entitled to work during my studies in Germany?

This will depend upon whether you need a visa to go to Germany and the restrictions that apply. Generally, the following applies:

Students, language course or preparatory course participants from EU and EEA countries have practically the same status as German students. They have free access to the German labour market.

Exception: Under the EU Accession Treaty, students from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia only have restricted access to the German labour market until 2011. Before they can take up a job, they always have to obtain approval from the Federal Employment Agency.

Non-EU citizens and stateless persons
  • Students are allowed to work for 90 full or 180 half days per year. Anybody wishing to work longer must first obtain approval from the Federal Employment Agency and the Foreign Authority (Ausländerbehörde) Exception: Jobs as a student or graduate assistant may exceed the 90-day limit. But the foreign authority must always be informed.
    Independent or freelance work is not allowed.
  • Participants of language courses and preparatory courses may only work with the approval of the Foreign Authority and the Federal Employment Agency – and then only during the semester vacations (Semesterferien).
  • Students from third countries (non-EU countries) registered at a foreign university are not allowed to work in Germany.
    Two exceptions: They may spend up to a maximum of three months working in a holiday job that has been arranged through the Federal Employment Agency. And, under certain circumstances, they may complete an internship of up to a maximum of 12 months. This requires that the internships are offered within the scope of international exchange programmes involving associations, public bodies or student organisations and arranged in agreement with the Federal Employment Agency.
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