Language fellowships and German courses

Language fellowships prior to the research fellowship

As one of the factors determining the success of a stay in Germany is often the fellow’s degree of proficiency in German, the relevant Alexander von Humboldt Foundation selection committee grants language fellowships lasting up to four months to research fellows who do not have an adequate knowledge of German to attend an intensive German course at a Goethe Institute or similar recognised language school in Germany. The language fellowship falls immediately prior to the actual research fellowship; if the stay is divided up into three blocks (experienced researchers), then immediately before the beginning of one of the blocks. The language fellowship can neither be interrupted nor taken up once the research fellowship in Germany has begun.

In the context of a language fellowship the Humboldt Foundation covers the fees for the course as well as the cost of accommodation and breakfast. A further monthly sum of €610 is granted towards other meals and pocket money.

Application for a language fellowship may be made when applying for a research fellowship. Husbands and wives accompanying fellows may also be granted a language fellowship or language course on application.

German courses during the research stay

Research fellows and their marital partners who do not take advantage of the four-month language fellowship may be granted an allowance towards the costs of a German course on application to the Humboldt Foundation. Usually, the German course should take place during the first half of the research fellowship. Please inform the language institute that you are attending the course in the context of a Humboldt Foundation research fellowship. Intensive courses which would interrupt research work cannot be sponsored.

Applications must be submitted to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation prior to commencement of the German language course. Processing usually takes up to 14 days.

Online application

Further Information

German courses are offered, for example, by


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