4.2 Financing of studies in Germany

Generally, proof of sufficient financial resources must be given when applying for a visa at a German diplomatic representation abroad or for a residence permit at the Berlin Immigration Office (Landesamt für Einwanderung) in Berlin, which will enable the prospective student to pursue university studies without financial hardship at least at the beginning.

Students must be able to prove monthly financial resources of €934 (yearly sum of €11,208). These requirements are based on the maximum BaföG grant amount, and were increased accordingly from the winter semester 2022/23. In some cases, the German embassy or consulate may require the specified amount to be paid into a blocked bank account (Sperrkonto) to ensure financial security for the initial period of the applicant's stay in Germany. You can open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank, Expatrio, Fintiba or others. For more information, see the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.

Make sure to read the information about health insurance, as it is an essential part of living expenses in Germany and necessary for the issuance of a visa and/or residence permit (►4.3).

The cost of living in Berlin has risen in the last few years, however, it is not yet as high as in other major cities. Nevertheless, the prospective student is likely to encounter intellectual and cultural challenges of studying at a German university. In this situation it would be a disadvantage for him/her to be dependent on a job from the very start of studies just in order to cover basic needs. If no financial support is given from parents or family, or if a student does not have adequate financial resources of his/her own, other problems might arise very soon.

There are a few countries that provide scholarships which cover students' cost of living in Germany. In Germany itself, scholarships or grants are usually only awarded on the basis of academic performance and social commitment (► 8.1.3).

The German Acedemic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD) provides scholarships for international students within the scope of various programmes. Detailed information is available in the DAAD's scholarship database.

Enquiries can also be made at German diplomatic and consular representations, at Goethe-Institutes, at DAAD offices or with DAAD lecturers abroad for further information on other sources of financial support.