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STUDYING WITH CHILDREN AND/OR PARTNER: SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO YOU

In Germany, it is of course also possible for international students with children to study. In addition to financial support, higher education institutions and student services provide a range of assistance for students with children. Beside you get to know, if your partner can come with you to Germany.

by the editors and Sophie Nagel (text) and Sarah Schultes (video); (last updated May 2019)

Mother with her child  © DAAD/Sophie Nagel
Mother with her child . © DAAD/Sophie Nagel

Many international students who have children or a partner want their families to remain with them during their study visit. Naturally, this is possible during this period.

Visa requirements for families and children

Do you come from the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland?

If you come from the European Union, the EEA or Switzerland, you may bring your family and children with you to Germany without a visa.

Further important information for you and your family >>

You do NOT come from the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland?

If you meet certain conditions, you may bring your family or child(ren) with you to Germany. However, you need to meet the following conditions – you must:

  • Have a valid residence permit
  • Have sufficient financial resources
  • Have health insurance
  • Have proof of housing
  • Have confirmation of admission to your higher education institution

Further information about visa requirements for children and spouses >>

CHILDCARE

Two children with toys © DAAD/Sophie Nagel
Children in the kindergarden . © DAAD/Sophie Nagel

Many higher education institutions in Germany provide nurseries or other childcare facilities which you can use as a student. Your contact for childcare at the higher education institution is student services.

Compulsory education: Compulsory education legislation in Germany stipulates that, if your children are older than six, they must attend school here. State schools are free and have a high standard of education. There are also private and international schools.

Guidance

Student services at your higher education institution can answer any questions you may have on managing your academic studies and family life.

Higher education institutions sometimes also offer special advice and information services.

Financial support

Some higher education institutions or their student services provide financial or material support, e.g. basic equipment for newborns or welcome money.

Find out here about the options available from student services at your institution.

Examples of childcare facilities and support at higher education institutions in Germany

Anna Grenzebach is a single parent in the fifth semester of the Bachelor’s degree “Education and Support in Childhood”. During the week, her two-year-old son Enno is looked after at the Kiwis day nursery run by Gießen student services. The nursery prioritises single parent students, which is why Anna was able to get a place for her son at short notice.

The 29-year-old is very happy that she can also leave her son at the nursery until 6pm if she has to attend a compulsory course at the university. The opening hours help to ease the burden on her. Drop-off and pick-up times are also tailored to fit around the needs of student parents. The nursery opens at 7.30am.

In addition to holiday childcare and a childminder network, student parents at the University of Gießen can also apply for a babysitter allowance. To supplement the nursery provision, out-of-hours childcare is also offered in parent-child rooms on campus. Rabea Pfeifer (27) and her eight-year-old daughter Lelia are lucky enough to live in student housing for families run by student services in Bonn-Poppelsdorf. This neighbourhood is normally a bit more expensive than others, but public funding makes the rents reasonable and the students also have access to a communal garden.

Rabea is taking a bit more time with her teacher training programme. She even took her daughter Lelia with her to Spain for a semester abroad. “The International Office said I was actually the first person to have done that. The International Office was able to help me apply for Erasmus funding, but I had to find a nursery and housing by myself.”

A research institute at the University of Gießen offers a unique programme that helps doctoral candidates with children combine their doctoral work with their family commitments. As well as receiving financial support, the parents also have an assistant who takes care of extra tasks, such as copying information from books.

A nursery with a dinosaurs-mobile in the foreground, in the background a mother is dressing her toddler sitting on a baby's changing table.
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