Language fellowships and German courses

One of the main factors determining the success of a stay in Germany is the fellow’s ability to communicate in German. The introductory seminar is held in German.

German courses in the fellow’s own country prior to the stay in Germany

In order to enable fellows to begin learning German as soon as possible the Humboldt Foundation will consider applications for financial support for language courses in fellows’ own countries prior to the fellowship. Fellows with little or no previous knowledge of German are particularly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Language fellowship prior to the introductory seminar

The stay in Germany begins with a mandatory two-month intensive language course in Bonn from August to September; Fellows whose German language skills are good but could still be improved are required to take part in a one-month language course; for fellows with excellent German language skills the requirement to take this intensive language course is waived.

The Humboldt Foundation grants language fellowships for the period covered by the intensive language course in Germany. The language fellowship comprises the tuition fees for the language course, the cost of accommodation and an additional sum of €690 per month for the duration of the course for meals and other expenses.

On application, marital partners accompanying fellows during the stay in Germany are also welcome to attend the intensive language course prior to the introductory seminar. They are eligible to be granted a language fellowship on identical terms. For organisational reasons, however, accompanying children may only join their parents in Germany after the language course has come to an end.

German language courses during the fellowship period

Once the fellowship period has begun application may also be made to the Humboldt Foundation for the reimbursement of course fees for further German courses, such as those offered by adult education centres (VHS) and universities. Intensive language courses which would interrupt the fellowship cannot be sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation.


Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
Sponsorship and Network Department
Jean-Paul-Str. 12
53173 Bonn