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Studying in Germany with a child

Expatrio 2024-02-15
Frau mit zwei Kindern im Arm


Studying can be stressful in itself, and parents often have much more to think about than the average student. But don't worry: there are plenty of resources available in Germany for student parents.

We will take a look at the challenges you may face as a studying in Germany with a child and the services that may help you.


Problems with course scheduling as a student parent in Germany

Irregular study hours can cause issues with finding childcare

Students might have issues not only with attending classes, but also finding time to study for exams and write dissertations. Many childcare facilities located nearby or onsite at university campuses are very aware of the problems student parents can face. These centers may offer one-off or short-term flexible options so that you can get your child the care they need, when they need it.

In addition, evening lectures or working at the weekend can also present problems with the need for flexible childcare. Fortunately services and funding are available to help parents deal with these situations.

Living on-site
Look into on-campus accommodation that caters to children. Living on-site makes life much easier in terms of traveling and being close to the childcare center.


Support from Studentenwerk

Studentenwerk is a student services organization in Germany

There are 57 Studentenwerke that offer support and advice to 2.8 million students in 300 educational institutions. This organization focuses on equal opportunities and improving conditions for studying.

Support for students with children, as well as international students, is offered in various forms including childcare and help in settling into life in Germany. Some Studentenwerke can also provide financial assistance or help with baby gear for new parents.


Where can I get support as a student parent in Germany?

Studentenwerk offers childcare or helps finding external services for parents who are studying. Many centers are open for extended hours to accommodate parents attending early or late classes, during the holidays and on weekends.

They also organize spaces for parents and children in universities, which can include breastfeeding areas, play areas and baby changing facilities. Children are welcome in cafeterias in many universities, and some even have toys available, so that you can dine and play with your child during the day.

The university's International Office may also have advice and services available for overseas students with children.


Financial support for studying in Germany with a child

While studying with a child, you can get financial help

There are several options for financial assistance when studying in Germany if you have a child. These include BAföG, Elterngeld and Elterngeld Plus.


Can I get financial support as a student with children in Germany?

  • BAföG is short for Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (Federal Education and Training Assistance Act) which provides funding for qualified students. BAföG is a needs-based scheme that usually provides half of the funding as a grant and half as an interest-free loan, with a maximum repayment of €10,000. See our BAföG and other student loans page for more information. 
  • Elterngeld is a child benefit that is paid for the first 12 or 14 months of a child's life. As a student, you may be eligible for it if you work for no more than 30 hours per week.
  • Elterngeld Plus is a scheme that offers parental allowance and the ability to work part time.

Don't be shy, find out about all the services on offer at your university for parents and pregnant women. For example, some Studentenwerke offer free meals for children in the university cafeterias.

Your Studentenwerk should be able to inform you about which financial support you may be entitled to and how to apply for it. Expatrio can help you with regard to health insurance and a blocked bank account, which are important financial points to deal with before you can study in Germany.

About Expatrio

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Bringing your family when studying in Germany with a child

Germany, in general, is a very family-friendly country and universities are no exception


What is the German Visa for Family Reunification?

The Family Reunification visa is a visa that your family members can apply for in order to stay in Germany with you while you study. If you are a student parent in Germany you can apply for a visa for your child and spouse.


Which family members can apply for a German Family Reunion Visa?

Spouses and minor children can apply for the Family Reunification visa in Germany. You must have been married to your spouse at the time you were issued with a residence permit or, if you were married afterwards, you must have had your permit for two years and your spouse must meet the general requirements needed for the visa.

Children over 16 may be required to be fluent in German and expected to adapt to conditions in Germany.

When you apply for your student visa or residence permit, make sure you are aware of all the restrictions and requirements that may affect your family or individual circumstances.

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