A question of money

Costs and Financing for International Students

Studying at the University of Bonn is free of charge, unless you are taking one of a handful of degree programs for continuing education. Securing the necessary funding can pose a challenge, however. As well as information on how much studying costs, therefore, this web page also gives you some tips on financing and funding opportunities.

Costs during your studies

Semester fee

The University of Bonn does not charge tuition fees. However, students have to pay a social contribution every semester, which is used to finance various services. 

Living expenses

Living expenses for a student in Bonn amount to roughly €800–€1,000 a month and will mainly go on your rent.

Health insurance

Students in Germany are required to take out health insurance when they enroll at a university. However, there are exceptions.

Evidence of funds

Students from non-EU countries will generally have to provide evidence of sufficient funds as early as when they submit their visa application or, at the latest, when they apply for a residence permit. This proves that you will have enough money for a degree program in Germany. Since January 01, 2023, the minimum requirement has been €934 a month or €11,208 a year.

The following forms of evidence will be accepted:

  • Blocked account
  • Proof of your parents’ income and wealth
  • Scholarship approval notification from a recognized scholarship provider
  • Bank guarantee
  • Commitment made by someone resident in Germany to the Immigration Office confirming that they will cover your costs

You can get more information on this from the German Embassy or German Consulate in your country of residence.

Financing your studies

There are various ways to fund your studies at the University of Bonn. Numerous organizations and foundations award scholarships to international students. You can also look for a part-time job if your residence permit allows you.

Scholarships

For many students, scholarships are a good way of funding their studies. They are a form of financial support that does not need to be paid back. However, they will rarely cover all of your living expenses, so you will need to consider other funding options as well.

Loans

Loans are another way to fund your studies. Unlike a scholarship, a loan will have to be repaid at some point in the future. Before you apply, make sure you know exactly what terms are offered on loans to international students.

Studying and earning money

International students have the opportunity to earn money during their studies by taking a part-time job. If you have EU/EFTA citizenship, you do not need a work permit for this. For students from third countries with a residence title for study purposes, a restricted work permit applies during their stay.

Further scholarship opportunities for international students

Students on exchange programs such as Erasmus+ are able to apply for financial support from their university. Your home university can give you more details.

DAAD-STIBET I scholarships under the Global Exchange Program

International students who come to Bonn from partner universities as part of the Global Exchange Program can obtain a DAAD-STIBET I scholarship. Their partner universities put their names forward for the scholarship via email when nominating them for the Global Exchange Program. Applications are submitted to the partner university, which also makes the final selection decision.

The scholarship is worth €650 a month and can be awarded for up to 10 months.

This year, the International Office is able to use funding from the DAAD “Zukunft Ukraine” (Future Ukraine) program (combined scholarship and mentoring program) to support students of the University of Bonn who have been forced to flee due to the war in Ukraine. This may also nationals of other nations if they had a permanent residence permit or enjoyed international protection in Ukraine. Find more information in the link below.

Current application period: August 01 to September 10, 2023

Learn more

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NRWege ins Studium supports students of the University of Bonn who have a refugee history. We offer monthly scholarships of €300. We also provide counselling on the way to your university degree.

You can apply for this scholarship before your study program has started as long as you are enrolled as a student of the University of Bonn starting from summer term 2024.

If you are not eligible to BAföG and do not have other sources of income we can grant scholarships up to €934 in individual cases.

Formal conditions for application

  • You are considered a refugee in accordance with the program’s specifications: you have received a first decision by the BAMF; you are granted temporary protection or protection on humanitarian grounds; you are holding a residence permit for the purpose of admission from abroad; you are not subject to a final deportation order; you do not hold a settlement permit
  • You have received your university entrance qualification (equivalent to Abitur) abroad (not at a German school)
  • You have arrived in Germany within the past 5 years. This period can be extended to up to 7 years if you have underaged children, if you cared for other family members or if you suffered from illness for a longer period of time. If you took part in NRWege programs or Integra programs before, the time period of 5 years might also be extended

Selection criteria

  • Strong motivation for achievement and interest in your subject
  • Your achievements so far indicate that you will successfully complete your study program
  • Social engagement can be a plus (active membership in an association, social and political engagement, cultural activities)
  • You are willing to participate in counselling and activities within the NRWege program

Funding period and amount of funding

  • April to December 2024 with the option of extension (subject to approval by the Ministry of Culture and Science of NRW)
  • €300 per month for a scholarship complementing an income of max. €934
  • up to €934 per month for full scholarships

Application process and documents

  1. Complete the application form online
  2. Submit your application documents as PDF via email to support@verwaltung.uni-bonn.de
  3. Application deadline: March 04, 2024
  4. The selection committee will take its decision based on your written application. If you are applying for a full scholarship of €934 we will conduct an interview via zoom
  5. We will inform you about the result of the application process by March 31, 2024
  6. Payment of the scholarships will start by April 01, 2024 (retroactively if necessary)

Application documents

  • Letter of motivation (one or two pages)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Transcript of records (if you are only about to start your study program: certificate of German language skills with grade)
  • Certificate of enrollment or letter of admission from the University of Bonn (scholarship can be awarded only after enrollment)
  • Copy of residence permit or first BAMF decision
  • BAföG decision or proof of application for BAföG
  • If applicable, proof of income from other sources of public funding (e.g. ALGII)
  • If applicable, proof of income from a part-time job or other activities
  • Informal disclosure, dated and signed, about your general financial situation: monthly funds and its sources (salary, public funding etc.), if applicable income of your spouse
  • If possible, letter of recommendation (if you are in your 4th semester or above a letter of recommendation is mandatory)
  • If applicable, proof of your social engagement or outstanding achievements
  • If applicable, proof of participation in preparatory courses (e.g. language courses funded by Integra or NRWege)

Questions?

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact:
Dr. Katharina Kreuder-Sonnen
support@verwaltung.uni-bonn.de


Explanatory video: Financial Matters

This video will give you important information on some of the financial aspects of your studies, including opening a blocked account or a normal bank account, managing your finances and applying for scholarships. (The presentation is in English; German subtitles can be added in.)

Financial Matters (©Universität Bonn \ Quelle: YouTube)

Also see

Support for doctoral students

Details of the support available for doctoral students can be found on the Bonn Graduate Center web page.

Financing and support

More information on topics such as BAföG, scholarships and taking part-time jobs while studying is available from the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service web page.

DAAD scholarship database

Information on various forms of support and relevant services provided by the DAAD.

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