catalyst Berlin Welcome Day 2021 by Dico Baskoro

Funding possibilities for students living in Berlin

Posted on 2022-07-28T22:00:00+0000 in News

A guide for native and international students moving to Germany

Citizens of the EU, migrants and refugees can now apply for German state funding. Options for Dutch and Scandinavian residents are also available via the respective nations’ funding organisations. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for student grants and loans. 

Further opening up our institute to creatives of all backgrounds, eligible citizens of the European Union, migrants and refugees who live (or have the prospect of living) in Germany can now apply for student funding at Catalyst via BAföG

Support for residents of Sweden, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands, via the nations’ respective funding organisations, is also available. 

Read on to find out all you need to know about funding options for BA and MA study at Catalyst. 

A word to the wise: we recommend that you submit your application to Catalyst by 31 March 2023 latest to allow yourself plenty of time to apply for funding or a visa.

catalyst Berlin Welcome Day 2021 by Dico Baskoro

1. Germany & EU citizens (non-EU citizens subject to prerequisites): BAföG

BAföG is a needs-based German state funding, granted if a student, their parent, or their spouse, do not have the financial means to pay for living expenses during their studies (tuition fees are not covered). Half of the financial support is usually a grant and the other half is an interest-free loan that needs to be repaid. Successful application of BAföG funding also allows you to apply for an exemption from paying Rundfunk­beitrag (radio tax). See a further breakdown of BAföG financial eligibility and potential funding options for students here.

Note: the below information is not exhaustive. If you have any questions about BAföG, you can reach out to studierendenWERK BERLIN on 030 93939 - 6000. They handle the processing of applications. For any questions related to Catalyst, please contact Jennifer Vaz at 


German citizens studying a full-time Bachelors or Masters course at Catalyst.

EU citizens (including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) studying a full-time Bachelors or Masters course at Catalyst can also apply, subject to any one of the conditions below:

  • You have worked in Germany for at least 10 weeks at 12h/week at a minimum (you must hold on to the job during the course of study)
  • Your spouse or parent is an EU citizen who is currently employed
  • You are in possession of permanent residence permit in Germany (usually granted after living here for 5 years)
  • One of your parents worked in Germany for at least 3 of the last 6 years
  • You are married to a German citizen.

Citizens of other countries can qualify for BAföG funding if:

  • You are officially recognized as a refugee or asylum seeker
  • You are married to a German citizen or the child of a German citizen
  • You, your parent or your spouse has permanent residence from working in the EU for at least 5 years
  • One of your parents worked in Germany for at least 3 of the last 6 years


How to apply

You must apply on the BAföG digital portal. To find the unique identifier number of your course, click here and look for Catalyst under AUSBILDUNGSSTÄTTE.

During the BAföG application process, you will be prompted to search for your desired programme of study. As shown in the picture above, do not search for “Catalyst.” You must instead search for one of the following Catalyst course names:

BA degree:

  • Electronic Music Production & Performance 
  • Creative Music Production & Sound Engineering 
  • Film Production
  • Screen Acting
  • Visual Effects*

(*Although our course is VFX, Digital Arts & Animation, you need to select "Visual Effects")

MA degree:

  • Creative Production (Music)
  • Creative Production (Film)

If you have any questions about the BAföG application process, you can make an appointment with studierendenWERK, here. It takes 2-3 months to process applications, with summer being the busiest season. So do plan in advance, keeping in mind the tuition fee deadlines in August.

catalyst Berlin Welcome Day 2021 by Dico Baskoro

2. Iceland: Lín

3. Sweden: CSN

4. Norway: Lånekassen

5. The Netherlands: DUO

Student living benefits

Budget-friendly food, accommodation assistance, access to workshops and creative spaces, and more! StudierendenWERK gives our BA and MA students access to a wide range of extra living benefits and cultural opportunities.

Catalyst Berlin student access to StudierendenWERK university services and benefits in Berlin, Germany