Information for refugees interested in studying

Three students on the grass

The programme NRWege ins Studium (Pathways into Studying) will support your path into one of 30 higher education institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia. You can learn the German language skills you need directly at the institution you intend to study at, and you’ll also receive extensive support during your course. In 2020, applying for a scholarship to finance your living expenses at some of the higher education institutions also became possible.


Before you start your studies, you’ll be confronted with many questions: Which degree programme would you like to take and where is it on offer? What qualifications do you need to begin a degree, and how do you go about studying in Germany?
To help you answer these and other questions, extensive advisory services are available at all 30 higher education institutions in the NRWege ins Studium programme.

The experienced staff at the International Offices and Advice Centres at the various institutions can answer all your questions on studying in Germany. They will also provide you with information on the qualifications you need to start your studies and the language and specialised courses that the institutions offer.

Language and specialised qualifications

To study in Germany, besides specialist education, you’ll need to be highly proficient in German. Hence, many higher education institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) provide language courses free of charge for applicants who have fled to Germany. The preparatory language courses for studying generally start at the B1 language level and prepare you step-by-step to gain specific qualifications for studying at a higher education institution. Once you have successfully passed the C1 language test, you meet the language requirements to begin studying at a higher education institution. You can also take further language courses throughout your time as a student to constantly improve and expand your knowledge and skills. You can learn more about your career prospects and the specific requirements of the German labour market by attending workshops.

Please note: You must apply directly to your for a place in one of these courses.

Financing your studies and scholarships

Attending (Pathways into Studying) courses is generally free of charge. However, while you take a preparatory course for studying, you will need to finance your own living expenses, for instance with the support provided by job centres.

During your study programme, the NRWege ins Studium programme provides scholarships, which you can apply for directly via your own institution. For more detailed information on the amount and duration of the scholarships offered, please contact directly.

Asylum seekers, recognised refugees, persons granted subsidiary protection, and persons with further protection status may be entitled to German state educational support,  known as. Please contact the BAföG office at your higher education institution for more information. The BAföG office can also advise you before you begin your course whether you meet the conditions for a grant.

Further scholarships can also be found in the database  (scholarship pilot) as well as via  (organisations for the promotion of gifted students).

Many students, whether German or international, need to work during their studies. The provides an initial overview of the opportunities and regulations to do so, and information on additional financing options.

General information on studying in Germany

The higher education system in Germany, and specifically in North Rhine-Westphalia, can seem complicated at first glance. To get an initial overview, watch the film "".  

You can find information about the individual institutions and courses by searching using the site. The website also provides a great deal of information on what you need to consider and how best to organise your studies.

The individual institutions themselves also offer a wide range of guidance services. By visiting the various websites of the international offices and the AStA (The General Students’ Committee), you’ll quickly find everything you need to know about your study options and much more.

Funded by


Logo of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia