International students: Apply for interest-free loans in Germany
All international students studying in Germany are now allowed to apply for financial aid to support their studies as of June 1st. German students have had access to the application form for the interest-free loan of up to €650 per month since May 8; however, the form only became available to Germany’s almost 400,000 overseas students at the beginning of June. Through an online application that is available on the website of state bank KfW, students can apply for the loan, which is distributed in amounts of at least €100 each month. The loan can thereafter be given to students for up to 14 semesters, or a maximum of €54,600.
Are International students eligible for the loans?
The Federal Education Ministry of Germany qualifies all students aged 18 to 44 enrolled at recognized higher education institutions if they meet the criteria.
- German citizens’ dependents who also reside in Germany
- EU nationals who have lived in Germany legally for at least three years (or their dependents)
- Foreigners who have registered in Germany and earned their university admission credentials there.
- The loans are available to people who are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral programmes right now.
- The age of the student also affects how long the award will last.
- Estimates from the Ministry of Education indicate that the loans could total up to €1 billion.
Working while studying for International students
- Almost two-thirds of students in Germany work while enrolled in classes.
- About three-quarters of international students rely on part-time employment.
- A survey by Studying-in-Germany.org found that 90% of foreign students in Germany were impacted by the Corona incident.
- According to higher education analyst Njomza Zeqiri, the majority of students lost their jobs after the lockdown, leading to financial uncertainty for German foreign students.
Rules for working while studying
- Non-EU students can work part-time for up to 120 full days or 240 half days.
- Self-employment is allowed only upon request and under specific circumstances approved by the Ausländerbehörde (foreigner’s office).
- Stricter regulations apply to students enrolled in language or preparatory courses.
- Approval from the Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) and the Ausländerbehörde is required for working during lecture-free periods.
In conclusion, international students in Germany face varying work restrictions, with non-EU students allowed 120 full days or 240 half days of part-time work. Self-employment requires specific approvals. Stricter regulations apply to language or preparatory course students. Working during lecture-free periods demands approval from the relevant authorities.
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