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BAföG for Studying and Internships Abroad

In accordance with the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act, you can apply for BAföG for stays abroad for the purpose of studying abroad or completing a mandatory internship of twelve weeks or more. BAföG usually requires German citizenship.

Even for students who do not receive BAföG in Germany, BAföG for stays abroad may be of interest. As the funding rate and thus the assessment threshold is higher for stays abroad, students who are unable to receive BAföG in Germany due to their parents’ income may be eligible for this funding.

The maximum funding period is twelve months and applies to all countries worldwide.

Please note: You can also receive funding for the completion of an entire degree program (bachelor’s or master's program), in this case for more than twelve months. This, however, only applies to non-European countries and Switzerland.

  • What is included in BAföG?

    The amount of BAföG you receive depends on your parents’ income. For more information, please contact your BAföG office (only available in German). The regulations can be very complex in some cases. We can only provide an overview.

    Tuition fees abroad

    If necessary, BAföG covers the tuition fees abroad up to an amount of EUR 4,600. This is the case for example, if you have arranged for a study place abroad by yourself as a free mover. Currently, this funding does not have to be repaid, but is granted as a subsidy.

    General funding

    Half of the funding for studying or an internship abroad is paid as a subsidy, the other half as an interest-free loan. Funding is granted in the form of:

    • a grant for travel expenses for one round trip
    • additional funding for health insurance, if applicable
    • a grant for stays abroad, depending on the country

    Important notice:

    Students in master’s programs are eligible for BAföG for stays abroad even if they were previously granted BAföG for a stay abroad during their bachelor’s program. Students can thus receive BAföG twice: up to twelve months during the bachelor’s program and again up to twelve months during the master’s program.

  • Where do I apply?

    Please note that different BAföG offices  (only available in German) might be responsible, depending on your host country. The BAföG office in Mannheim (only available in German) is only responsible for BAföG in Germany. Yet, this is where you can go for information about BAföG in general.

    In order for the funding to be granted in time, you should submit the BAföG application several months before the beginning of your stay abroad. You may otherwise have to bridge the resulting funding gap. Also make sure that your BAföG in Germany is granted up until and including the last month before you leave, so that the BAföG for your stay abroad directly follows the regular BAföG.

  • Combining BAföG for stays abroad with other funding options

    Publicly funded scholarships (e.g. Erasmus, PROMOS, scholarships granted by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, Baden-Württemberg Scholarship, Deutschland Scholarship) are not being counted towards the amount of BAföG funding up to an amount of EUR 300 per month.

    Other limits apply for privately funded scholarships. Recipients of scholarships by the organizations for the promotion of young talent are not eligible for BAföG. Contact the BAföG office for information on specific regulations.

  • Proof of language proficiency

    In some cases, the BAföG office does not only require a proof of proficiency of the language of instruction but also a basic knowledge of the country’s official language.
     
    Students who are completing their stay abroad as part of an Erasmus or DAAD scholarship do not have to provide such additional proof.

    All students going abroad without an Erasmus or DAAD scholarship or as free movers should contact the competent BAföG office (only available in German) for information on individual regulations.

    If you do need basic knowledge of the countries official language, these are your options:

    • learning the language before your stay abroad, for example through a Studium Generale course (e.g. Swedish, Dutch, Polish) or by attending a course at the adult education center (Volkshochschule) or night school (Abendakademie)
       
    • learning the language during your stay abroad: you may also start learning the language at your host institution. Nearly all higher education institutions offer language courses for exchange students during the semester. You should then submit the proof of your language skills, which should at least be level A1 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages as soon as possible. You do not have to submit a formal document as proof of language proficiency, however, it has to confirm that the course was taken during the first two months of the stay abroad.

    Until you submit the proof, BAföG will be paid “with reservations”.

    Visit the official BAföG website for more information (only available in German).