Information on studying for refugees

Preliminary information and the application process

For regular advice on starting a degree programme at the University of Göttingen and to clarify your requirements, you can contact us either via telephone or e-mail or visit our official office hours. Contact information can be found in the signature below.

For information on the degree programmes offered by the university, see the A-Z list. The list also contains an overview of programme structure, course content and language requirements.

If you are still unsure which degree programme to pursue, seek advice by our Central Study Advisory Service.

Almost all undergraduate courses (Bachelor, State examination) at the University of Göttingen are taught in German. To enrol, you usually need to provide evidence of proficiency in German at the level C1. If you want to study in Germany, acquiring the necessary language skills should be your first objective.

Only one bachelor's programme, but numerous Master’s programmes are taught in English. Use the A-Z list to check your options.

Refugees may participate in integration courses free of charge. These combine language classes with basic orientation about German culture and society. Find an overview of providers all over Germany, and also in Göttingen with this link.

Intensive courses specifically preparing for studying at a university can be found at the Institut für Interkulturelle Kommunikation e.V. (IIK). These courses are subject to a fee.

More options for paying language courses in Göttingen are:

General language courses in Göttingen can be found here.

Admission to an undergraduate study programme (Bachelor, State examination) requires a university entrance qualification (HZB). Check the database ANABIN to know if your school leaving certificate or prior degrees fulfil the requirements.

In case you are interested in applying for a Master's or Doctoral Degree, your requirements will be checked during the application process at the faculty. Please get in touch with the contact person of your chosen study programme to discuss the requirements. Contact persons can be found in the A-Z list.

If you already hold a degree from your home country country, you can apply for recognition in Germany. You can find support at Anerkennungsberatung in Göttingen.

> before studying

While preparing yourself for studying different kinds of expenses can occur, e.g. for language courses (German or English), study preparatory courses or travel expenses. The Garantiefonds Hochschule (GF-H) can provide support. Please contact our colleagues for a consultation.

> while studying

Financing studies is a major challenge for all students. It is important to develop a sustainable funding concept before starting your studies. The most common options to finance yourself while studying are compiled under this link.

BAföG for refugees

As a recognised refugee (recognised person entitled to asylum, refugee with refugee status or subsidiary protection: BAföG §8 par.2 No.1) you can apply for BAföG, regardless of how long you have been residing in Germany. In addition, you can earn an extra 4,800€ per year. Since 01 January 2016, this also applies to tolerated persons and holders of certain residence permits issued for humanitarian reasons if they have been residing in Germany for more than 15 months.

If the BAMF is still assessing your application for asylum, you cannot apply for BAföG. You will receive support according to the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (AsylbLG). You can become gainfully employed if the Foreigners’ Registration Office issues a permit.

Since 01 June 2022, you can also apply for BAföG if you hold or have applied for a residence permit according to §24 par. 1 of the Residence Act.

Scholarships for refugees

Further scholarships can be found here. Advice on funding options can be had here .

Refugees apply for degree programmes in line with all other international students. Requirements and the application and selection process are identical. More information is available here and via the application portal.

Starting your studies

For every new semester, the International Office organizes introductory events and supplies material to work through online as well. Find events and material here to get well prepared for your studies.

Right before the start of the lecture period, many faculties offer preparatory courses for all newly enrolled students. These courses support you in refreshing basic knowledge your degree programme will build upon, for example in mathematics, and will introduce subject-specific terminology, too.

Online platforms allow you to register for courses and exams. Find an introduction to their function and use here.

Think about finding or creating spaces for learning as early as possible. The SUB Göttingen offers facilities for studying, which are open and accessible for everyone without registration. Refugees and asylum seekers are very welcome. Access to the library is free for all refugees. More information can be found here.

Closed projects

Between 2016 and 2022, more than 500 refugees were able to take part in pre-study language courses funded by the German Academic Exchange Service’s INTEGRA programme. The programme came to an end at the University, but its successes continue. As immigrants from Syria, Mahmoud, Marwa and Dalia have shown a willingness to integrate. Their goal: to enter the labour market, to gain a professional foothold, and to establish themselves as members of the German society. With this goal clearly in mind, they first learned German at Göttingen University, passed the DSH 2 exam and then successfully completed their studies. Find out more about them here!

The assisted guest student programme for refugees offered refugees interested in studying counselling on choosing a course of study and an assisted entry into the programme. Support included basic orientation, help with the application process and course selection, and also workshops and information events meant to address differences in learning cultures. The programme’s scope thus extended far beyond institutional orientation and "academic success" alone.


The International Office
Incoming Office

Von-Siebold-Straße 2
37075 Göttingen

Personal Office Hours:
Mon 10am-12 pm and Wed 2-4 pm

Von-Siebold-Straße 2
37075 Göttingen

Phone: 0551 39-27777



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