Could I be suitable for a scholarship?
Scholarships are ideal for financing your studies as, unlike BAföG funding or a student loan, you don’t have to pay them back. What a lot of people don’t know: Even if you’re not a straight-A student, it’s always worth applying for a scholarship as many foundations award them not only based on your exam results but also on criteria such as your contribution to society, your study subject, your country of origin or your parents’ occupations.
A multitude of organisations in Germany supports students by offering scholarships. These range from large scholarship organisations such as politically-affiliated foundations and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (“Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”), to religious or private foundations, trade associations and even individual companies. The selection criteria can vary greatly between the individual foundations, as can the type and amount of funding.
Financing your studies with a scholarship may mean that you need to spend more time on applications and additional work as you study but you shouldn’t let this opportunity pass you by.
Information especially for international students in regards to scholarships can be found on the websites of the German Academic Exchange Service (“DAAD”), the International Office of TU Chemnitz and the International Office of WH Zwickau. You can seek competent advice at these specialized services or of course also contact our Social Counselling Service.
Options offered by TU Chemnitz and WH Zwickau:
- National Scholarship Programme ("Deutschlandstipendium") at TU Chemnitz and WH Zwickau
- Scholarship support groups (“Förderwerke”) and foundations at TU Chemnitz: Former scholarship holders of different foundations provide information about their scholarships and can assist with the application.
- You can find a list of the scholarships currently on offer at TU Chemnitz online.
- On the WH Zwickau website, you can find information about the larger scholarship programmes.
Recommended scholarship search engines:
Stipendienlotse (only available in German)
Database of the Bundesverband deutscher Stiftungen (Association of German Foundations)
Stifterverband der deutschen Wissenschaft (only available in German)
Aufstiegsstipendium für Berufserfahrene
What kinds of student loans are available?
Many banks in Germany offer student loans for future academics. However, they can vary hugely in terms of cost, risk limitation, maximum loan amount and in regards to the necessary legal and residential status of the applicant within Germany.
There is no right one for everyone! Some loans do not cover a semester abroad, others are comparatively expensive but offer you greater flexibility. Take your own situation into account to find the best option for you.
The regular comparative tests, which are published by the CHE (Center for Higher Education), can be helpful in the decision process. The CHE-Studienkredit-Test (PDF 2.86 MB) is updated annually and takes a closer look at different study loans. It provides practical support for your decision as to whether a loan is necessary to finance your costs of living and / or studies, and if so, which one could be considered.
Before you sign a credit agreement, we recommend that you consult a comprehensive and independent consultation on this issue. Our social advisers are happy to help you with your orientation.
The following loans are often used by German students:
- For students in higher semesters or in advanced study courses (like Masters degree program) the Training Loan (“Bildungskredit”) is an option of financing your studies.
- The KfW Student Loan (“KfW-Studienkredit”) is suitable for the financing of the first degree program.
Häufig von Studierenden in Anspruch genommen werden folgende Kredite:
As a student am I entitled to parental maintenance?
In Germany an entitlement exists whenever a German child is unable to support him- or herself financially. This means that in principle, unmarried children have the right to remain dependent on their parents according to the German Civil Code (BGB) for a first appropriate training up to the first professional qualification (consecutive master's degree). Students generally have to study quickly and purposefully in order to keep the costs for their parents as low as possible and calculable.
The amount of entitlement for a student is set by the so-called Düsseldorf table from the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf. Parents can also provide maintenance in form of accommodation and food. This may be modified by request of the child at court. In addition, the entitlement of students should cover the cost of health and long-term care insurance. Own income from employment, savings or inheritance diminishes the parents' obligation to provide maintenance.
If parents are not capable to support their child due to their financial situation, the German state can support the regarding student by BAföG payment.
If the parents do not pay maintenance and therefore the studies are at risk, a request for advance payment (PDF 115 kB) can be submitted to the BAföG Office.
What do I need to know if I decide to get a part-time job?
Unfortunately it is not possible to provide a general answer to this question for international students. As the answer depends on your nationality, residence status, the kind and the amount of work you will be doing.
You can find initial information on the homepage of Deutsches Studentenwerk (German National Association for Student Affairs).
For international students from a non-member state (e.g. India, China) with a residence permit under section 16 Abs. 1 of the German Residence Act (“Aufenthaltsgesetz”), the “120-day rule” applies.
For further information please contact our Social Counselling Team!
Who can apply for a social loan of Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau?
Students who study at TU Chemnitz or WH Zwickau can apply for a social loan of Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau. The fundamental requirements for the application are that the respective student got into this particular situation of financial hardship through no fault of his/her own, also that the respective student can proof that he/she has no other options of financing him-/herself and that the continuation of his/her studies or final degree is at risk due to the financial situation. Please note that there is no legal claim for the authorization of a Studentenwerk social loan.
The loan is interest-free and limited to a maximum of €500 per month. For short-term loans (max. 3 months duration) a maximum amount of €1,500 is possible, medium-term loans (max. 6 months duration) are granted up to a total of €3,000 in total.
The loan normally must be covered by the applicant through collateral, that is, either the applicant has to be entitled to BAföG funding or he/she needs to provide a guarantor for the repayment of the loan. The installment rate and the repayment conditions are agreed upon completion of the loan contract.
For further information please read the Sozialleistungsordnung (PDF 499 kB)of the Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau (only available in German). For personal consultation please contact the Department of Finance & BAföG (“Studienfinanzierung”) or visit the Social Counselling Team (“Sozialberatung”) of Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau.
The loan application is to be handed in personally, please arrange an appointment for that purpose via: +49 371 5628-450 (Chemnitz) or +49 375 2710-116 (Zwickau).
As a student can I receive German unemployment benefits II (Arbeitslosengeld II)?
In Germany, unemployment benefit II (“ALG II” or "Hartz IV") is the basic financial protection for needy employable beneficiaries within the age of 15 to 65 years according to the Second Book of the German Code of Social Law (SGB II). It is intended to enable people with the right to lead a life in conformity to human dignity. However, in extreme cases the payments can be completely canceled by sanction mechanisms. Thus, the securing of subsistence minimum is not unconditional. In general, it is usually not possible to claim unemployment benefits II for enrolled international students. This also applies if BAföG support was ceased, e.g. due to a change of study program, exceedance of age limit or maximum duration of BAföG support. However, there are some exceptions to this principle, e.g. in regards to:
- children of students (Sozialgeld)
- unemployment benefit II as a loan in case of hardship or as a bridging loan
- unemployment benefits II during a semester on leave of absence
- unemployment benefits II during part-time study
- unemployment benefit II for students living in their parents‘ household
- increased demand (“Mehrbedarf”) according to SGB II e.g. due to illness/disability, pregnancy or for single parents
- one-time benefits for pregnant women / students with child
As German students, international students can only apply for unemployment benefits II in exceptional cases as well. All international students with residence permit according to §16 para. 1 AufenthG are definitely not entitled to apply for this social benefit. In all other cases the situation is more complex, therefore a personal consultation is recommended to clarify whether you can apply for ALG II.
If you have further questions please contact the Social Counselling Team of Studentenwerk or directly turn to the responsible Jobcenter.
As a student can I apply for housing benefits?
Housing benefit (“Wohngeld”) is a German social benefit for citizens who can receive a subsidy for their rent or costs of owner-occupied residential property, because of their low income.
Whether you are entitled to housing benefits and to what amount, depends on four main factors:
- number of the ordinary household members,
- amount of the total income,
- amount of eligible rent or costs
- if applicable: type of residence permit
Please note that in general only a small share of students and international students can apply for housing benefits. International students with residence permit for studies (§16 Abs. 1 AufenthG), should not apply for housing benefits. Otherwise they are risking their residence permit for Germany, because the fundamental criteria of secured study finances for the residence permit is not fulfilled any more (“Finanzierungsnachweis”).
European citizens having their place of residence in Germany can in principle apply for housing benefits if they fulfil all other conditions for housing benefits. That is because they are equivalent to the German citizen due to the free movement of EU citizens (“Freizügigkeit”).
All students who are not entitled to BAföG anymore or who are granted BAföG benefits exclusively as loans may, under certain circumstances, receive housing benefits from the responsible authority of their city.
This is the case when e.g.:
- you have exceeded the age limit or the maximum period of BAföG funding
- you were unable to provide the necessary proof of study performance for BAföG during your 4th semester
- you took a semester on leave of absence („Urlaubssemster“)
- you are studying towards your second degree
- you have children (the child might have a claim)
It does definitely not include the refusal of BAföG applications due to strong income or wealth.
In order to claim housing benefits the applicant has to have his/her main or subsidiary residence in the respective city of application and has to have his/her own household where his/her main place of residence is.
In addition, the applicant must proof that he/she has sufficient income to cover his/her livelihood. Study loans are thereby recognized as a possible financing option. A certificate from the BAföG Office about the anticipated refusal or a negative BAföG decision has to be attached to the application for the housing benefits. Therefore, it is advisable to always consult the BAföG Office first.
Housing benefits are granted at the earliest from the date of application. You always have the possibility to submit missing documents later.
You can find further information, the housing benefit tables (“Wohngeldtabellen”) and a special calculator for housing benefits (“Wohngeldrechner”) on the pages of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Reactor Safety.
On the web pages of the City of Chemnitz and Zwickau, you will also find more useful information concerning the specific application process, all necessary application forms, as well as a special calculator for housing benefits (“Wohngeldrechner”).
In case of questions please turn to our Counselling Team.
Who can receive child benefits?
Generally an application for child benefits is possible for parents with children, who have their place of residence or their permanent address within Germany. The amount is at least €204 per child. The Family Office (“Familienkasse”) of the Federal Employment Agency is responsible.
Foreigners who live in Germany are also entitled to child benefits in case they have the appropriate settlement residence permit (“Niederlassungserlaubnis”) or other residence permit entitling them to child benefit. Nationals of the EU / EEA countries (and citizens given parity of treatment) are entitled to a child benefits without a settlement residence permit or other residence permits, because they are equivalent to the German citizen due to the free movement of EU citizens (“Freizügigkeit”). Please note that a residence permit for the purpose of study (§ 16 para. 1 AufenthG) does not entitle to apply for child benefits.
A written application is necessary in case of child's birth and when the child reaches majority. The Family Office must be informed about the beginning and end of the study period and additionally the current matriculation certificate must be submitted every semester. Please note that leave of absence semesters (“Urlaubssemester”) have an influence on the granting of child benefits.
The entitlement to child benefits for children in education/studies ends with the completion of 25 years of age.
In case of questions please feel free to contact our Social Counselling Team of Studentenwerk or turn to the responsible Family Office.
Is a refund or exemption from the semester contribution possible?
Under certain conditions, students, who are taking a semester leave of absence (“Urlaubssemester”), students enrolled in continuing education programs (“Weiterbildungsstudierende”) or distance learning students (“Fernstudierende”) may receive back a part of their semester contribution from the Studentenwerk (amount for Campus Catering / Mensa). In detail, the conditions for this are regulated by the contribution regulations of Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau (“Beitragsordnung (PDF 57 kB)”). For an application for reimbursement / exemption according to our contribution regulations, please use the appropriate form, depending on your university affiliation:
For documents still to be submitted, there is a separate letterbox on the second floor of the building Thüringer Weg 3 in Chemnitz, next to the elevator.
In case of questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Thüringer Weg 3, Room 216
Tel.: +49 371 5628-719
Tuesday - Thursday: 09:00 - 11:30 am and 12:30 - 03:30 pm
Friday: 09:00 - 11:30 am
Innere Schneeberger Straße 23, building 1, room 115/2
Phone: +49 375 2710-519
Tuesday: 9:30 - 11:30 am and 12:30 - 03:30 pm
Wedenesday: 9:30 - 11:30 am
Thursday: 9:30 - 11:30 am and 12:30 - 03:30 pm