SBW Berlin Scholarship for Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in Germany 2021 (fully funded)

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Overview

With our scholarship, we support talented young people from abroad who are socially committed and have volunteer work experience. We believe that education is key to improve the living conditions in the poorer countries of the world.

Therefore, as part of our cooperation with other non-profit organisations, we award scholarships to young, committed talents from abroad so that they can achieve a university degree or apprenticeship in Berlin. A full scholarship includes the funding of the tuition fees, accommodation in our in-house student flats and a monthly allowance for living expenses.

Our scholarship holders initiate and implement social projects while they are studying in Berlin. Ideally, these projects a are part of the non-profit work of organisations based in their home countries and / or contribute to improving the living conditions there.

After successfully completing their studies, we expect them to continue these projects and advance them through the skills they have acquired here. SBW Berlin assist with advice and mentoring.

As refugees are usually unable to return to their homeland, slightly different requirements apply to them.

At present, our scholarship is reserved for students from Eastern Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. We believe that these regions have a particular need for development assistance due to their current economic and/or social situation.

Detailed information about our scholarship and the entire application and selection process can be found in our guidelines.

Objective of the Scholarship

The SBW Berlin Scholarship supports young people from abroad who have a financially disadvantaged family background and use the skills they acquire during their studies in Germany to boost long-term non-profit projects, preferably in their home countries. We award our scholarships for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Berlin and Potsdam on the basis of the student’s academic qualifications, personal aptitudes and social needs. In general, all scientific and artistic disciplines can be funded.

In special cases we also assist vocational training in Berlin or Potsdam.

Funding of studies in your home country or in other German federal states is excluded.

Mentorship Project – Norah Kirimi

Students SWB Berlin

Who can apply?

• Foreign nationals, whose home countries appear to have a particular need for development
assistance1
• Homeless foreigners
• Recognised refugees2
• Holders of a settlement permit
• Holders of an EU long-term residence permit
• Students from EU and EEA countries who have already worked in Germany in an activity
related to their studies, before taking up their studies
• Students from EU/EEA countries with permanent right of residence as defined by the
Freedom of Movement Act (Freizügigkeitsgesetz EU)

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

An exception to this rule is assistance under the Federal Education Assistance Act (BAFöG). In
this case, the amount of the scholarship is adjusted according to the BAFöG allowance.

Application requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

• between 18 and 30 years old
• average grades correspond with a German grade point average of at least 2.0
• application before the start of their university education or fully enrolled in the first, second
or max. third semester at a state-recognised university (in Germany or abroad) or
application for a Master’s degree shortly before or after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree

• able to prove that they have not stayed in Germany for more than 18 months before the
application
• no first-degree family members who reside permanently in Germany
• intention to work in their country of origin for at least 18 months after graduation3
• professional or volunteer experience in the non-profit sector and
• able to prove a relatively low net income4
Applicants who do not meet all the requirements stated above cannot be considered.

Deadlines and application documents

The application deadlines end on December 31 and June 30 of each year.

Application documents can only be submitted between November 15th to December 31st and
May 15th to June 30th of each year.

The final decision whether a scholarship (starting the following semester) will be granted can be
expected at the beginning of February respectively the beginning of August of each year.

Only complete applications can be considered. Applicants must submit at least the following
documents:

• application form (fillable PDF or online form)
• letter of motivation (one or two pages long)5
• current curriculum vitae6
• 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
• information about the net household income7

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

• qualification for university entrance
• admission of the university in Berlin or Potsdam where you intend to study (or are already
studying)
• internationally recognized language certificate for the language in which your studies will be taught8

• all previous work, training, apprenticeship and internship certificates and references
• all already obtained university certificates and records of achievements (graded and
ungraded)

We recommend 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 income9

The application and all enclosed certificates and supporting documents must be submitted in
German or English. If the original document was issued in another language, we also ask for a
translation into German or English.

Non-certified copies and translations are sufficient for the application.

If the applicant successfully passes the selection process, certified copies of some of those
documents will be required during the verification process.

Selection criteria

The following criteria are decisive for the selection of future scholarship holders:

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.

Applicants whose household income does not exceed the average income officially stated for
their country of origin are also deemed in need of assistance. The income of all household
members and all sources of income of the family will be considered (e.g. wages, income from
entrepreneurial activities, property income, child benefit or pensions).

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 addition, the applicant’s personal non-profit project will also be evaluated. Our rating will be
based on the following criteria:

• Importance of the project for society
• Documentation (structure, completeness, clarity of the project description)
• Feasibility of the agreed goals
• Feasibility of the project’s time schedule
• Cooperation with a partner organisation in the home country

The rating of the applicant’s personal non-profit project influences the amount of the scholarship
that this candidate will receive.

We will decide individually, if additional financial resources for the implementation of a personal
non-profit project will be granted.

Selection process

During the first phase of the selection process, the curriculum vitae, the letter of motivation and
the grades of the applicants will be considered. Then we decide to which category the applicants
are assigned.

In the second phase of the selection process, a personal interview or video conference will be
conducted with each candidate who has been deemed suitable after the documents have been
examined. During the interviews with candidates of the second category we will also discuss the
details of the applicant’s planned non-profit project.

detailed project description must also be submitted, in which the social significance of the
project you are planning, the individual work steps, a cost and time estimate, financing ideas and
a schedule are presented (see information sheet “Requirements for your own non-profit project”).

After reviewing these project descriptions, the final selection will be made.

Verification Process

If they have not already been submitted, the following documents will be required after the
selection in the so-called verification process:

• copy of your passport with a current passport photograph
• copy of your student visa
• evidence of the net household income
• Evaluation report from uni-assist or other evidence of the grade conversion into the German
grading system
• copy of your university entrance qualification
• admission to the university in Berlin or Potsdam where you intend to study (or are already
studying)
• confirmation of enrolment, if already issued
• copy of your latest school or university certificate with a grade overview, if another certificate
has been issued since the application
• certified copies of all university certificates and performance records that you have obtained
so far (graded and ungraded)10
• legalisation of your highest academic qualification (university-entrance diploma from school
or university diploma like the Bachelor certificate), if this certificate is from a foreign
institution

• certified copies of your study-specific work, training and internship certificates
• copy of an internationally recognized language certificate for the language in which your
studies will be taught.

SBW Berlin can cover the costs for the required certification and legalisation of the documents.

During the verification process, the final details of how to conduct and oversee the non-profitproject
are agreed with the candidates and made binding. The project description then becomes
part of the scholarship contract.

Scholarship benefits

SBW Berlin bears the necessary living expenses of the scholarship holders for the duration of
their scholarship. A full scholarship includes:

• a room in our shared student flats in Berlin
• cost-of-living allowance in the amount calculated in section IX.
• tuition fees11
• possibly also a travel allowance for your journey to Berlin before the start of your studies
and for the journey home after you have completed your studies12
First payments can only be made after the scholarship holder moved into the student flat.

Amount of the assistance

In the first semester, the scholarship holders receive a living allowance of € 450. In the following
semester, the scholarship holders can receive a living allowance up to a maximum of 550 euros
per month. The amount of the grant depends on the rating of your project and will be 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
60 – 69 points 350 Euro
50 – 59 points 325 Euro

Applicants who receive benefits in accordance with the Federal Education Assistance Act
(BAFöG) will only receive allowances that do not count as income under the terms of § 21 para.
3 Nr. 2 of BAFöG.

These applicants usually only receive a flat rate (book allowance) of 100 Euro maximum per month because the cash value of the accommodation that SBW Berlin provides must be considered.

The amount of the scholarship will be recalculated if a stay abroad is part of the study program. The precise amount will correspond with the standard rate of the scholarship within the framework of the State Graduate Funding Laws (Länder-Graduiertenförderungsgesetz).

Duration of our assistance

Our assistance will be provided for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 48 months,
depending on the standard duration of studies in the discipline you have chosen. We grant
assistance for specific periods of time, usually for the following semester.

We have a total of 20 scholarship places. Each semester, we can award as many scholarships
as there are vacancies.

SBW Berlin can terminate its assistance if you fail or postpone three exams.

Another reason for the termination of the scholarship is the failure to meet the target agreements
set for your non-profit project or changed intentions with regard to the return to the home country.

Return to the home country and repayment obligation

The SBW Berlin scholarship program provides that the stay of the students is limited to their duration of the studies. SBW Berlin grants this scholarship in the form of a loan, which is repayable after the end of the funding period.

There is no obligation to repay the loan if they return to their home country after completing their studies.

Final provisions

Scholarship holders must inform SBW Berlin immediately if circumstances change, that were relevant for the funding decision.

They are also obliged to inform SBW Berlin immediately about their graduation and submit a copy of their diploma.

In addition, they have to submit copies of all the university certificates and performance records (graded and ungraded) which they obtain during their studies.

Further rights and obligations of the scholarship holders are listed in the scholarship contracts and may differ slightly from one another.

Additional documents

Please don’t forget to include at least the following documents in your application:

• a motivation letter (1 or 2 pages long)
• a copy of your last school or university certificate that shows your grade point average
and a grade overview
• a copy of your highest academic degree (high school diploma or university certificate) with
your grade point average and a grade overview

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

• university admission or evidence of your qualification for university entrance
• a copy of an internationally recognized language certificate for the language in which your
studies will be taught1
• all previous work, training, apprenticeship and internship certificates and references
• if you have already started studying: all so far obtained university certificates and records
of achievements (graded and ungraded)

We recommend 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 income2

The application and all enclosed certificates and supporting documents must be submitted in
German or English via email to [email protected]. If a document was issued in another
language, we also ask for a translation into German or English. Simple copies and simple
translations are sufficient for the application.

Your letter of motivation should answer at least the following questions:

• Why have you chosen this field of studies?
• What are your career goals after you have finished your education?
• Why should we select you as one of our scholarship holders?

Applicants with a grade point average equivalent to the German 1.5 up to 2.0 should also outline
their project idea.

Only complete applications can be considered.

Data Protection

Data protection is important to us. All documents that you send us will be handled with the
utmost care. For further details please see the data protection declaration on our homepage.

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