High-quality and affordable education in Europe is in great demand. However, only a few countries provide the opportunity for international students to study at their universities for free. These include Germany.
Higher education in Germany can be obtained free of charge at one of the prestigious universities for studying (bachelor’s or master’s) in one of the many specialties and areas. German universities combine a wealth of academic traditions and the use of modern technology in teaching. The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation is assistance in obtaining higher education in Germany for international students.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Scholarship
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung is one of the largest scholarship funds in Germany. It supports gifted students and young scientists from around the world. Established in 1925 and named after Germany’s first democratically elected head of state, Friedrich Ebert’s foundation focuses on values such as freedom, justice, and solidarity.
The scholarship is offered to young applicants from developing countries to pursue a degree abroad. The scholarships are awarded to successful students and include a comprehensive seminar program that helps to enhance the social competence and academic skills of candidates.
The purpose of the FES scholarship is to erase social imperfections by providing opportunities for students working for freedom, justice, and social cohesion, a commitment to social democracy, or those who will pursue these activities in the future. Scholarships can be received by both those who study in undergraduate and graduate programs and those who research graduate school.
The program applies to all areas of study, except for postgraduate studies in medicine. Students from public universities and polytechnic colleges, as well as students of postgraduate programs (Ph.D.), can apply for the allowance.
Students must be fluent in German. Language proficiency is critical when deciding on a scholarship, even if a student’s curriculum is in English.
The amount of the scholarship depends on the stage of study at which the applicant is. The Basic Support Program (Grundförderung) is designed for foreigners planning to study or are already studying at one of the German universities in a bachelor’s or master’s specialty.
The amount of scholarship for the Basic Support Program is 650 euros per month. The duration of funding depends on social and political activity of the student and his/her academic performance. Also, the fund covers the expenses of the scholarship holder for medical insurance and provides material support of 276 euros per month to the family members of the scholarship holder (spouse and children) who live with him/her in Germany. But if the scholarship holder gets a job and his/her monthly income exceeds 400 euros, the amount of the scholarship may be cut.
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The program for persons with higher education (Promotionsförderung) is designed for graduate students who plan to write a doctoral dissertation in Germany and have the appropriate approval of one of the German universities. A graduate student can participate in the scholarship program for two years. In some exceptional cases, this period can be extended for one more year.
The monthly allowance is 1000 euros. As in the case of students, the foundation covers the costs of graduate students for health insurance and provides material support to family members living with them in Germany for 276 euros per month. The funding of the scholarship holder can also be reduced if his/her additional earnings exceed 400 euros per month.
The Ebert Foundation expects its fellows to regularly attend seminars on scientific and socio-political topics and actively participate in the life of the university. Fellows must be active in the social and political life of Germany. Besides, they must complete their studies or write a Ph.D. thesis with above-average results.
Getting a scholarship
Applying for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Scholarship should be taken seriously. The list of required documents is very extensive. The absence of one of them threatens to be excluded from the competition. The application can be submitted at any time. The fund does not set specific terms.
The competitive selection of scholarship holders is carried out in three stages. Applicants first fill out an online form. Then, in case of a positive response from the commission, They should send the following required documents:
a short resume;
a letter of motivation;
two letters of recommendation from teachers of a German university or school (if studying at a university have not begun yet);
postgraduates are also required to provide a letter of recommendation from their supervisor and a detailed description of the topic of the scientific work.
After checking the documents, the commission selects candidates and invites them to participate in the interview. The interview with the candidate is conducted by a trustee of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, as well as one of the members of the selection committee of the foundation.
Then, two letters with the characteristics of the candidate are drawn up. After that, they, together with the documents, are sent to the selection committee for decision. Sessions of the commission, which include professors from German universities, politicians, and famous figures of science and culture in Germany, are held several times a year. The applicants are informed about the decisions of the commission via e-mail.