2024 SBW Berlin Scholarship for International Students—Fully Funded

The SBW Berlin scholarship for international students young people from abroad who are already socially committed and will use the skills they acquire during their studies and thereafter to develop social or non-profit projects at non-profit organizations or social institutions in their home countries.

SBW Berlin awards scholarships based on professional qualifications, personal suitability, and financial need to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree program at a university or a university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) in Berlin or Potsdam. In principle, all scientific, social, and artistic disciplines can be funded. In special cases, the scholarship may support a vocational training in Berlin or Potsdam.

The SBW Berlin scholarship program supports scholarship recipients during their studies in Berlin or Potsdam but there are also expectations of SBW Berlin associated with it. Our scholarship program focuses on the scholarship recipients’ social commitments and the Development of non-profit/social projects in their respective home country. In cooperation with a Local non-profit organization or social institution, the scholarship recipients work on their own projects, which they present during the application process by submitting a project description. All projects aim to support people in need and the non-profit or social institution’s objectives and have a greater benefit for society, in general.


Bachelor degree

Master’s degree

Targeted Countries

International students




Up to 4 years

Eligibility Criteria for the Scholarship

  • Foreign nationals, whose home countries appear to have a particular need for development Assistance
  • Holders of a student visa for Germany or a residence permit with the purpose of taking up or carrying out a course of study in Germany
  • Between 18 and 30 years old
  • Professional or volunteer experience in the non-profit/social sector (proven by a social institution’s letter of recommendation)
  • Able to prove that they have not stayed in Germany for more than 18 months before the Application
  • Qualification for university entrance
  • Intention to work in their country of origin for at least 18 months after graduation or to Engage in non-profit work until the repayment plan has been fulfilled
  • Able to prove a relatively low net income
  • Average grades corresponding to a German grade point average of at least 2.0.
  • No first-degree family members who reside permanently in Germany
  • Application before the start of their university education or fully enrolled in the first, second or max. third semester at a state-recognized university (in Germany or abroad) or Application for a master’s degree shortly before or after obtaining a bachelor’s degree


Students whose studies in Germany are already being funded by another scholarship are not eligible to apply.

Benefits of the Scholarship

For the duration of the scholarship (max. funding period is equivalent to the regular period of the Study program), SBW Berlin covers necessary living expenses of the scholarship recipients. The Scholarship includes:

  • a furnished room in shared student flats in Berlin
  • cost-of-living allowance currently in the amount of 480 Euro per month
  • tuition fees
  • possibly also a travel contribution for the journey to Berlin before the start of the course of Study and for the journey home after successful completion of the course

Selection Criteria

In addition to a proven collaboration between the applicant and a non-profit/social organization Based in the applicant’s home country, the following criteria are decisive for the selection of incoming scholarship recipients:

  • In need of assistance are all applicants who meet the requirements of § 1 BAföG (German Federal Education Assistance Act). The individual amount of funding will depend on the personal Circumstances of each applicant.
  • In need of assistance are also applicants whose total household income does not exceed the Average income which has been officially stated for their home country. The income of all Household members and all sources of income of the family and/or the applicant (e.g., from Employment, business activities, property, child benefit or pensions) will be considered.
  • Eligible are all applicants whose intellectual abilities, as substantiated by the application documents and during the interview, justify the expectation that the applicant will easily meet the Performance requirements of the funded studies and degree.
  • Worthy of assistance are all applicants whose personality and social commitment suggest that they will achieve the goals of this scholarship during and after their studies in cooperation with a Non-profit organization or social institution in the home country of the scholarship recipient.
  • In addition, the applicant’s non-profit/social project will be evaluated.

The granting of any additional, financial resources to implement the project will be decided case-by-case

Required Documents

  • Letter of recommendation from a non-profit organization or social institution or one of  SBW Berlin’s partner organization (by email)
  • Application form (A link will be shared with outstanding applicants.)
  • Project description (two to five pages)
  • Qualification for university entrance
  • Information about the net household income
  • Copy of the last school or university certificate that shows the grade point average and a Grade overview
  • Copy of the highest academic degree (high school diploma or university certificate) that shows the grade point average and a grade overview.

 If available, copies of the following documents should also be included:

  • Admission to a university or university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) in Berlin or Potsdam
  • Internationally recognized language certificate for the language in which your studies will be taught
  • All already obtained university certificates and records of achievements (graded and Ungraded)
  • All previous work, training, apprenticeship and internship certificates and references

We recommend to all applicants to submit the following additional documents, which are not mandatory:

  • One or two letters of recommendation from professors, schoolteachers, employers, etc.
  • Evidence of the net household income

How to Apply for the Scholarship

When applying for the scholarship, proof of the applicant’s social commitment in the form of a letter of recommendation from a non-profit organization or social institution is required. The nonprofit organization or social institution submits the letter on behalf of the applicant as PDF to [email protected]. After carefully reviewing the letter, outstanding prospects will be granted access to the application form. Only complete applications can be considered.

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Application Deadline

There are no deadlines. Applicants can apply for the scholarship program all year round.

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