SIS: Fundraising campaign for international students in need

Our international students are particularly hard hit by the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Many of them have lost the part-time jobs they needed to earn a living, while social distancing rules have transformed more than just their social lives.

German students are often entitled to BAföG and social benefits from the state. But for many international students, the costs of rent, health insurance, semester fees, public service broadcasting fees and teaching materials are now becoming an insurmountable obstacle to continuing their studies. The fundraising campaign for international students in need, otherwise known as SIS, aims to offer quick and non-bureaucratic help to those affected. It was instituted by the Rector of Leipzig University, Professor Beate A. Schücking, together with the association and the rectors of the three other large publicly funded higher education institutions in Leipzig.

Sebastian Gemkow, Saxon State Minister for Science, alumnus of Leipzig University and committed resident and politician of the city of Leipzig, is the patron of the fundraising campaign.

Photo: privat

“International students and academics have traditionally not only been a boon to research and teaching; for centuries, they have also contributed to an outward-looking, vibrant and diverse city of Leipzig, helping shape the cultural and intellectual life of the city. And we don’t want this to change! This is why I am happy to support the fundraising campaign initiated by my alma mater for international students in need.”

Sebastian Gemkow

Photo: Swen Reichold

“It is important that Leipzig and Leipzig University remain international and diverse during, after and despite the coronavirus. This is our common goal. It is my great hope that we can provide international students with the help they need!”

Beate Schücking

Photo: Tom Schulze

“Leipzig University of Applied Sciences is participating in the fundraising campaign because we believe that this group of students should not be forgotten, especially now. More than 800 international students from 66 countries are enrolled at our university. With the diversity of nations and cultures, they enrich life on campus as well as our city and the regional companies, which many of them work for alongside their studies.”

Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Mark Mietzner

To get the ball rolling, the association Universitätsstiftung Leipzig e.V. is donating 10,000 euros to the campaign.

Please help us!

  • By making a symbolic donation of 500 euros, you can sponsor a young person from abroad to help them continue their studies and stay in Leipzig.
  • Every donation counts! Partial sponsorships (250, 100, 50, 10 euros, or other amounts) are also welcome.

You can donate here.

Application for financial assistance for foreign students

Application form


  1. Information about the selection process
    Together with its partners, the association will conduct a transparent application and allocation procedure to decide how to distribute the donations to international students in need.
  2. Who will receive support?
    Support is available for international students who have got into financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis and are no longer able to cover their costs unaided. Generally speaking, individuals can receive up to 500 euros.
  3. How do I apply?
    The application form explains what documents you will need to submit.
  4. Where do I submit my application?
    Please submit the application form together with the listed documents as a PDF file to the institution responsible for you.
  5. Why is this support open to international students only?
    International students are particularly affected by the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Most international students face financial difficulties anyway. This situation can worsen dramatically if they lose their source of income or if they suddenly have to pay unexpected costs. Many of them are now socially isolated, receive no support from their home countries and are not entitled to BAföG.


Current donation total: 57.337 euros

Press release "40,000 Euros Raised"

So far, the initiative has sponsored 115 international students, we transferred 51.510 euros to the students. They come from Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile,Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, US and Vietnam.

The recipients of the funding are students at Leipzig University, Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK), the Academy of Music and Theatre (HMT) and HfTL. Their fields of study include african studies, american studies, arabic studies, architecture, art history, biology, biotechnology, dentistry, digital humanities, economy, education, environmental engineering, european studies, german studies, german as foreign language, global studies, industrial engineering, information and communication technology, international management, islamic studies, law, mechanical engineering, music, philosophy, pharmacy, physics, piano, political science, romance studies, singing, sport science, theater studies, veterinary medicine.

(Last updated:January, 12, 2021)

What the sponsors say:

“I have long felt closely connected to the cultural centre and student city of Leipzig, especially to its highly respected university. I see the promotion of academia and education, culture and international understanding as an investment in the future. The fundraising campaign unites these goals, so I am very happy to be involved.” Dr Arend Oetker, Managing Partner of Dr. Arend Oetker Holding and Honorary Member of the “Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.”, former member of Leipzig University’s 2009 Anniversary Advisory Board

“Our association has been successfully supporting young people from Leipzig and abroad for many years. We are very happy to support the SIS campaign, because we feel very strongly about integrating these young people into our society.”
Professor Johannes Seeger, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Chairman of the Lions Club association “Leipziger Ring e.V.”

What the recipients say:

“Thank you so much for your support! Please know that this support is very helpful for me during this time. Now that half of the semester is already over and many exams are on the horizon, I can worry less about money and concentrate better on my studies and preparing for the exams. I truly appreciate every contribution in this difficult situation.”

“I am very happy to live in a country that cares about its international students. I would like to thank you for processing my application so quickly and for having already transferred the money to me. It means my costs are covered for this month, letting me concentrate better on my studies. Since many students are currently unemployed, any amount is helpful.”

“This is the greatest gift for me and for all the students for whom each cent is very important to continue their studies and get a decent education. Thank you and your association for such important help. I hope many more students will be given this happiness.”