One of the most important requirements of the SBW Berlin scholarship is the scholarship recipient’s intention to return to his or her home country to work for at least 18 months after the study program is completed. As a result, from the start of the scholarship, SBW Berlin has assisted all scholarship recipients in achieving their professional goals in their home countries. This is accomplished through networking with other organizations, as well as SBW Berlin’s assistance with targeted job searches in the scholarship recipients’ home countries and subsequent job material preparation. Furthermore, all developed social non-profit projects must have strong ties to the scholarship recipients’ home countries.
Rules And Criteria For The SBW Berlin Scholarship
The Scholarship’s Purpose
The SBW Berlin Scholarship assists young people from around the world who come from financially disadvantaged families and want to use the skills they learned in Germany to help long-term non-profit projects, preferably in their home countries.
We award bachelor’s and master’s degrees at universities or special universities of applied sciences in Berlin and Potsdam based on the student’s academic qualifications, personal aptitude, and social needs. In general, funding is available for all scientific and artistic disciplines.
In exceptional cases, the scholarship may be used to fund vocational training in Berlin or Potsdam.
Studies or vocational training in the applicant’s home country or other German federal states are not eligible for funding.
Additional funding is not available after the regular study/professional training period has ended.
Who Is Eligible To Apply?
Foreign nationals whose home countries appear to have a specific need for development assistance
- Homeless foreigners Recognized refugees
- Holders of a settlement permit Holders of an EU long-term residence permit Students from EU and EEA countries who have previously worked in Germany in an activity related to their studies
- Students from EU/EEA countries who have a permanent right of residence under the EU Freedom of Movement Act (Freizügigkeitsgesetz EU)
Students who are already receiving funding for their studies in Germany are ineligible to apply.
The Federal Education Assistance Act (BAFöG) is an exception to this rule. In this case, the scholarship amount is adjusted in accordance with the BAFöG allowance because of their current economic and/or social situations, we believe that many countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America are particularly affected.
See also the SBW Refugee Scholarship.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Between the ages of 18 and 30; professional or volunteer experience in the non-profit sector; and a strong desire to work in their country of origin for at least 18 months after graduation.
- Be able to demonstrate a relatively low net income
- There are no first-degree family members who live in Germany permanently.
- Capable of demonstrating that they have not resided in Germany for more than 18 months prior to the application
- Average grades corresponding to a minimum German grade point average of 2.0
- Application before beginning their university education or fully enrolled in the first, second, or maximum third semester of a state-recognized university (in Germany or abroad) or application for a master’s degree shortly before or after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
Applicants who do not meet all of the above requirements will not be considered.
Deadlines And Application Materials
Each year, the application deadlines are December 31 and June 30.
Each year, application documents can only be submitted between November 15th and December 31st, and May 15th and June 30th.
The final decision on whether a scholarship (beginning the following semester) will be made at the beginning of February and the beginning of August of each year.
Only fully completed applications will be considered.
Applicants must provide the following documents:
- Application form (fillable PDF or online form) motivation letter (one or two pages long)
- Most recent curriculum vitae
- Information on net household income
In addition to determining whether the specific selection criteria outlined are met, we will determine whether the applicant can be expected to return to their home country for at least 18 months after their stay in Germany ends.
This does not apply to refugees or holders of a residence permit under Sections 22, 23, 1, or 2 of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz), who are unable to return to their home countries for the reasons stated in those paragraphs.
The applicants’ total household income does not exceed the officially stated average income for their home country.
All household members’ income and all sources of family income (e.g., from employment, business activities, property, child benefits, or pensions) will be considered.
Any previous volunteer commitment, future professional goals, and a project idea should be explained in detail in the motivation letter. Please review the application form for more information on the letter.
The CV is included in our application form and does not need to be submitted separately.
This information is also included on the application form and does not need to be submitted separately. Please provide supporting documentation such as pay stubs, pension notices, and/or bank statements.
A copy of the most recent school or university certificate indicating the grade point average and a grade summary.
A copy of the most recent academic degree (high school diploma or university diploma) with the grade point average and a grade overview
Copies of the following documents, if available, should also be included:
- Qualification for university admission
- Admission to the university where you intend to study (or are already studying) in Berlin or Potsdam
- A certificate is an internationally recognized language for the language in which your studies will be taught.
- All previous employment, training, apprenticeship, and internship certificates, as well as references.
- All already have university certificates and achievement records (graded and ungraded).
We strongly advise all applicants to submit the following additional documents, which are not required:
- A letter or two of recommendation from a professor, a schoolteacher, an employer, etc.
- Evidence of household net income.
- The application, as well as all accompanying certificates and supporting documents, must be submitted in either German or English.
- We also request a translation into German or English if the original document was issued in another language.
- The application requires only non-certified copies and translations.
- If the applicant is selected, certified copies of some documents will be required during the verification process.
Scholarship Selection Criteria
The following criteria will be used to select future scholarship recipients:
- All applicants who meet the requirements of 1 BAföG (German Federal Education Assistance Act) are eligible for assistance.
- The amount of funding will be determined by each applicant’s personal circumstances.
- Applicants whose household income does not exceed the official average income for their country of origin are also considered in need of assistance.
- All household members’ income and all sources of family income (e.g., wages, income from entrepreneurial activities, property income, child benefits, or pensions) will be considered.
- All applicants are eligible if their intellectual abilities, as demonstrated by their application documents and during the interview, justify the expectation that they will easily meet the performance requirements of the funded studies and degree.
- If an official language certificate is not included in the application documents, it must be submitted by the applicant.
- The most recent verification procedure
- If the application only included information on net household income, proof of evidence must be submitted during the application process.
- The procedure for verification
All applicants deserving of assistance are those whose personality and social commitment indicate that they will achieve the goals of this scholarship both during and after their studies.
Additionally, the applicant’s personal non-profit project will be assessed.
Our rating will be determined by the following factors:
- The project’s significance/relevance to society
- Documentation (structure, completeness, and clarity of the project description) Feasibility of agreed-upon goals
- Timeline feasibility of the project Collaboration with a partner organization in the home country (desirable)
- The amount of the scholarship that this candidate will receive is determined by the rating of the applicant’s proposed non-profit project.
- We will each decide whether to grant additional financial resources for the implementation of a proposed non-profit project.
The Selection Procedure
The curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, and grades of the applicants will be considered during the first phase of the selection process.
After all, documents have been thoroughly reviewed, a personal interview or video conference will be held with each candidate who has been deemed suitable during the second phase of the selection process. During the interview or video conference, the proposed social non-profit project may also be discussed.
Applicants must also submit a project description that includes a detailed overview of the proposed project’s social significance, individual work steps, cost and time estimates, project financing ideas, and a detailed time schedule.
The final decision will be made only after reviewing these project descriptions.
Procedure for Verification
Following the selection in the so-called verification process, the following documents will be required if they have not already been submitted:
- Copy of your passport with a recent passport photocopy of your student visa.
- Evidence of net household income a copy of your university entrance qualification admission to a university in Berlin or Potsdam where you intend to study (or are already studying) or confirmation of enrollment, if already issued a copy of your latest school or university certificate with a grade overview if another certificate has been published since.
- Certified copies of all university diplomas and performance records obtained thus far (graded and ungraded)
- Certified copies of your work, training, and internship certificates from your studies
If this certificate is from a foreign institution, legalization of your highest academic qualification (university-entrance diploma from school or university diploma such as the Bachelor certificate) copy of an internationally recognized language certificate for the language in which your studies will be taught.
In exceptional circumstances, SBW Berlin may cover the costs of document certification and legalization.
During the verification process, SBW Berlin and the candidate reach an agreement on the final details of how to carry out and oversee the non-profit project, which becomes legally binding. The project description is then incorporated into the scholarship contract.
SBW Scholarship Advantages
SBW Berlin covers the scholarship recipients’ necessary living expenses for the duration of the scholarship (maximum funding period equals the regular period of study).
A full scholarship includes:
- A room in one of our Berlin shared student flats
- Tuition fees, possibly also a travel allowance for your journey to Berlin before the start of your studies and for your journey home after you have completed your studies in the amount calculated in section IX
The first payments can be made only after the scholarship recipient has moved into the student flat.
The Amount Of Assistance
During the first semester, scholarship recipients receive a maximum living allowance of 450 euros.
Scholarship recipients may receive a monthly living allowance of up to 550 Euro in the following semesters. The amount granted is determined by the project’s rating and is calculated as follows:
95 – 100 points 550 Euro
90 – 94 points 500 Euro
85 – 89 points 450 Euro
80 – 84 points 425 Euro
75 – 79 points 400 Euro
70 – 74 points 375 Euro
Candidates applying for a master’s degree scholarship must also provide certified copies of all university certificates and performance records from their bachelor’s program.
- A deductible is likely if tuition fees exceed the national average.
- The maximum budget for trips within Europe is 500 Euro, and the maximum budget for trips outside of Europe is 1,000 Euro.
60 – 69 points 350 Euro
50 – 59 points 325 Euro
Applicants who receive benefits under the Federal Education Assistance Act (BAFöG) will only receive allowances that do not count as income in accordance with BAFöG 21 para 3 Nr. 2. Because the cash value of the accommodation provided by SBW Berlin must be considered, these applicants usually only receive a flat rate (book allowance) of 100 Euros per month.
Timeframe For Assistance
SBW assistance will be provided for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 48 months, depending on the average length of study in the discipline you have chosen.
We provide assistance for specific time periods, usually for the following semester.
Additional funding is not available after the regular study period has ended.
We have a total of 20 available scholarships.
We can award as many scholarships as there are vacancies each semester.
SBW Berlin reserves the right to withdraw its assistance if a scholarship recipient fails one required course or fails two exams.
Other reasons include failure to meet the target agreements set for the scholarship recipient’s non-profit project or changes in the scholarship recipient’s intended return to his/her home country.
Return to home country and obligation to repay
The SBW Berlin scholarship program requires scholarship recipients to limit their stay to the length of their studies. This scholarship is provided by SBW Berlin.
The form of a loan that must be repaid at the end of the funding period There is none.
If they return to their home country after completing their studies, they must repay the loan.
Scholarship recipients must immediately notify SBW Berlin if their circumstances change that were relevant to the funding decision.
They are also required to notify SBW Berlin of their graduation and submit a copy of their diploma.
They must also submit copies of all university certificates and performance records (graded and ungraded) obtained during their studies at the end of each semester.
Scholarship holders’ additional rights and obligations are outlined in their scholarship contracts, which may differ slightly from one another.