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  • Internationals ­ Come in

    Organisation des Aufenthalts

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Costs & funding support for international students

Financing support

For international students there are several possibilities to finance their studies at Bielefeld University. Besides scholarships and side jobs there are several loans and grants you can apply for as an international student.

A scholarship is a financial grant for students by an institution. Scholarships are usually tied to certain requirements and are given according to need and achievement in the course of study.

Bielefeld University is not able to give out any scholarships for the financing of students' studies. The University also does not take responsibility for any student whose financing has been interrupted for whatever reason. However, there are several, but limited, possibilities for receiving financial support for a certain group of people and for a short time period.

The following scholarship programmes are available for international students:

  • End-of-study scholarships for students in the phase shortly before the BA, MA degree or state exam(ination) (application 2x/year, next deadline for applications: 15.01.2024) Here you can find further information.
  • Scholarships for students in English-language Master's programmes (together with the Bielefeld University Society), next call for applications in 2023
  • Scholarships for international students with a refugee background, for which you can find information here.

The academic achievements for the scholar, stipendiaries are mainly financial, but the students also receive non-material support. You can find an insight into the first scholar, stipendiary celebration of the International Office here.

In addition, there are a number of other scholarships that are financed by various sponsors, such as the scholarship programmes of the Studienfonds OWL (OWL Study Fund), which are aimed at all students at Bielefeld University. In the future, you will find an overview of other scholarships in the ISSC's Learning Room Plus. In addition, you can research here:

There are also support services for financial emergencies. The ISSC can pay international students emergency aid from funds of the Association for International Students in Bielefeld (ViSiB) in case of financial bottlenecks. Please contact issc-io@uni-bielefeld.de for further information. Alternatively, both the Protestant Student Community (ESG) and the Catholic University Community (KHG) can help with small amounts to bridge financial emergency situations. There is also the possibility of applying for a social loan from the General Student Committee (AStA).

Further information and support in finding and applying for a scholarship can be obtained at our events and student consulting hours on student financing. There you can also find out about support in financial emergencies. You can find the current office hours here.

Basically, with your residence permit (stamp in your passport) you receive a work permit for 120 work days per year. This allows you to work 120 full days (8 hours per day) or 240 half days (up to 4 hours per day). This condition must be noted expressly in the passport by the authorities.

Please also note the regulations on work permits.


Costs during the stay in Bielefeld

During your stay abroad, you will incur living expenses and a small social fee for services of the Studierendenwerk [Association for Student Affairs] and the use of public transport.

Since tuition fees are no longer charged, only a social fee, the so-called semester fee, is payable. This social fee is due once per semester. In addition to a share of the costs for the academic achievements of the Studierendenwerk [Association for Student Affairs], the semester fee includes a share of the costs for the semester ticket and NRW-Ticket, the area of validity of which covers the whole of NRW.

More information on the ticket is available from the Bielefeld University transport group on its homepage.

Information for the social fee can be found on the pages of the Student Office.

Studying in the Federal Republic of Germany is relatively expensive because the cost of living is high. According to a study, the following costs are incurred on average:

  • 280 euros per month must be calculated for rent in Studierendenwerk [Association for Student Affairs] halls of residence, private halls of residence, rooms and flats.
  • For health insurance and doctor's fees, you have to calculate about 80 euros per month.
  • Depending on your lifestyle, you can expect to spend about 150 euros a month on food.
  • In total, monthly expenses including food, clothing, leisure time, semester fees, travel costs, telephone and the above-mentioned expenses amount to approximately 850 euros. However, it should be noted that these are average costs throughout Germany.

In Bielefeld, there are various ways to save money. For example, you can live in halls of residence for as little as about 200 euros, and you can get a meal in the university canteen for about 2.60 euros (the canteen is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Because of the demands of studying, it is difficult to work during the lecture period. It is therefore absolutely necessary to clarify the financing of your studies before entering the Federal Republic of Germany.

Further information on the average cost of living in Germany can be found on the homepages of the Deutsches Studentenwerk [German Academic Exchange Service] and the DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service].


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