While studying in Germany in general is free of tuition-fees, as granted in the Constitution, students still need to finance their daily lives and study material. In addition to finding a student job, which is also possible for students from abroad, there is a wide range of funding opportunities and scholarships available for students. Germany's Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) is the most well-known funding instrument by the federal government which is available to German students who fulfill certain requirements.
While studying in Germany in general is free of tuition-fees, as granted in the Constitution, students still need to finance their daily lives and study material. A number of foundations offer scholarships to students on different levels, in different fields, and from different cultural and socio-demographic backgrounds. An overview of the different options can be found online.
The German constitution grants free education as a basic right. Hence, except for a small semester fee that includes a regional transportation ticket, there are no tuition fees. The living expenses in Germany are fairly reasonable compared to other European destinations. Shared housing in the center city is available starting at 300 EUR per month. Groceries in Germany on average cost 30% less than in France, or the UK, or the U.S.
Especially for students who need to fund their studies independently without financial support from third parties, student positions are a great way of combining early research qualification with practical financial benefits. Student assistant positions (“WiHi” – Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft) can be filled by students even before completing the first degree (BSc). WiHis usually work up to 10 hours per week and the respective positions are offered by individual professors or group leaders.
International students are allowed to work within certain limits and/or according to the specific regulations of their scholarship foundation. EU citizens and all students with unlimited residence permit may work up to 20 hours per week (without losing their student status and the connected reduction of fees for social security insurance). All other nationalities may work for up to 120 days (or 240 half days) per year without restriction of job field.