Якщо ви примусово виїхали з України (є біженцями з України), деяка з наданої нами інформації не застосовується до вас. Наразі ми працюємо над оновленням інформації.

If you have fled from Ukraine, some of our information does not apply to you. We are currently working on an update.

Every child in Germany has the right and the obligation to go to school. This applies to the children of refugees and to children without papers, as well. There is no charge for going to school.

Many careers require additional education. You can get this at a college or university after you graduate from high school. Alternatively, you can learn a job through an apprenticeship (Ausbildung).


How does the school system in Hamburg work?

In Hamburg, children over the age of 6 go to a Grundschule (primary school). After 4 years, pupils change to a secondary school (weiterführende Schule): a Gymnasium or a Stadtteilschule. In a Stadtteilschule, students take the “Abitur” (A levels: entrance qualification for higher education) after 9 years. At a Gymnasium, students take this exam after 8 years. In both secondary schools (weiterführende Schulen), pupils can obtain the “ersten allgemeinbildenden Schulabschluss” (general education school leaving certificate) after the 9th grade, and the “mittleren Schulabschluss” (intermediate school leaving certificate, qualification for an apprenticeship) after the 10th grade.

Note for Ukrainian refugees: Even if your child continues to take advantage of online programmes at their home school, they are obliged to go to school in Hamburg.

What kind of school class will my child be in?

At the schools, children who cannot speak German yet generally attend international classes („Internationale Vorbereitungsklassen“ or „Basisklassen“) first. Here they receive specialised teaching and take German lessons.

The transition from an international preparatory class (internationale Vorbereitungsklasse, IVK) to a regular German school class depends on the child’s performance level, but takes place after 12 months in the IVK at the latest. The decisive factors are the child’s German language skills and learning level in the individual subjects. You can find out the learning level through learning development discussions and performance records. If a child transfers to a regular German class, this should be a class at the same school, unless the school has no more capacity. You can find detailed information on transferring to a mainstream class here (German): https://www.hamburg.de/contentblob/8892486/6c7a8e36691f67188e649f38e045566e/data/broschuere-uebergang-1).pdf.

You can find more information in German and English here: https://welcome.hamburg.de/schule/7041194/sprachkenntnisse/, https://www.hamburg.com/welcome/living/school/11864938/language-skills/

How and at which school will my child get placed?

In order for your child to be put into the right class, please seek advice first:

You can find a manual on the school system in Hamburg here (German and English): https://www.hamburg.com/contentblob/11701412/cc3437464ee3026c60bd33d18dfa2bd7/data/understanding-school-in-hamburg.pdf

You can find a Russian and Ukrainian version here:

https://www.hamburg.de/contentblob/3971992/2e272c3313c02e116c07d1e02fce5140/data/elternratgeber-russisch-16-05.pdf (Russisch)

https://www.hamburg.de/contentblob/16351546/0272009ed7146a01d58b0399219976d5/data/elternratgeber-ukrainisch.pdf (Ukrainian)

Further information on schools in Hamburg:



You can find a podcast with the latest information on schools for parents in Hamburg here (German, English, Arabic, Farsi, Kurmanji): www.li.hamburg.de/skm/podcasts

You can get help with school registration and further advice here:

If your children need a computer, laptop or accessories, you can receive support for this. You can find further information here: https://we-inform.de/portal/en/financial-support/

Special learning opportunities for Ukrainian refugees

You can download Ukrainian textbooks free of charge from the following website: https://shkola.in.ua/pidruchnyky/.

The Bücherhallen Hamburg (libraries in Hamburg; see also https://we-inform.de/portal/en/recreation/) also allow children and adolescents to borrow books with a free loan card. As an adult, you can also ask the staff whether you can obtain a loan card at a reduced price or free of charge. Further access to Ukrainian (e-)media (books, audio guides, learning materials) can be found on the following website of the bookshops in Ukrainian: https://www.buecherhallen.de/blog-artikel/angebote-der-buecherhallen-hamburg-fuer-ukrainer.html.

Can my child get extra help with learning? (Nachhilfe (tutoring))

If your child has difficulties following the lessons at school, they can take additional private tutoring in one or more subjects.

This means that, in addition to lessons at school, they will receive tutoring from professional or private tutors, either alone or in small groups, so that they receive better support.

If your child needs help with learning, first enquire about free tutoring services at your child’s school. Many schools offer free tutoring by older students, for example.


  • You can register online for a free tutor via the initiative Studenten bilden Schüler (undergraduates educate students). Lessons take place digitally or on site.
  • You can register via this e-mail address: hamburg@studenten-bilden-schueler.de
  • You can find further information here: https://studenten-bilden-schueler.de/standorte/hamburg
  • The Kids Welcome association (Kids Welcome) advises parents on questions relating to school (German/Arabic/Farsi/Dari) and arranges tutors for the child. Tutoring and homework help is also offered in several accommodation centres and centrally in the association’s own rooms (Thursday, 5 – 7 pm): Kids Welcome, Turnerstraße 7, 20357 Hamburg, info@kids-welcome.org
Recognition of your school certificates

In order to go to a Stadtteilschule or a Gymnasium, you must have your school certificates recognised. In order to attend a higher education institution, you need to have your school leaving certificate recognised.

  • Schulinformationszentrum (SIZ) (school information centre): Hamburger Straße 125a, schulinformationszentrum@bsb.hamburg.de, +49 40 428 99 22 11 (Tuesday 2 pm – 4 pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10 am – 12 pm (noon)), www.hamburg.de/bsb/siz
  • Diakonisches Werk Hamburg: Zentrale Anlaufstelle Anerkennung (ZAA)
  • If you are looking to begin your studies, it is best to contact your preferred higher education institution directly.
Higher Education

Certain careers in Germany require higher education – becoming a teacher or lawyer, for example. The prerequisite for higher education is usually the highest school leaving certificate possible in a country (in Germany, for example, the Abitur). You can usually apply to higher education programmes in January and July.

Another prerequisite for studying is a language level of C1 in German.

You can find information on studying in Germany here: https://www.study-in-germany.de/fluechtlinge/

An overview of the application process:

  1. Application to a university
    Studying in Hamburg
    There are more than 20 universities in Hamburg (www.metropolregion.hamburg.de/hochschulen/272070/hochschulen-hamburg/). The three largest are the Universität Hamburg (University of Hamburg) (UHH, www.uni-hamburg.de), the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences) (HAW, www.haw-hamburg.de) and the Technische Universität Hamburg (Hamburg University of Technology) (TUHH, www.tuhh.de)
  1. Recognition of university entrance qualifications

Tip: In case you do not have any of your certificates, you can prove your qualification in an examination. This happens at the institution where you would like to study (for example at the University of Hamburg, https://www.uni-hamburg.de/campuscenter/bewerbung/international/plausibilitaetspruefung.html).

  1. Proof of German language skills
    Universities in Germany require a German language level of C1.
  • A test can determine if your language level is sufficient to study in German (for example, the TestDaF, TELC).
  • You can apply for financial support for preparatory language courses. Get advice on this from “Bildungsberatung CJD” (see below).
  • You can find more information on how to learn German here: https://we-inform.de/portal/en/learning-german/
Help and support for applying to a university in Hamburg

Bildungsberatung CJD
Advice for people interested in studying (on topics like recognition, planning your time at university, financial support and preparing for your studies through additional education and language courses)
Further information in German: www.cjd-hamburg.de/angebote/bildungsberatung-garantiefonds-hochschule/
Further information in English, Arabic, Farsi and Russian: https://bildungsberatung-gfh.de/wde/ueber-uns/informationen.php

Advice in German, English and Russian. You are welcome to bring an interpreter. Please make an appointment:

Advisory centres for refugees at the universities

  • #UHHhilft – Studienorientierung für Geflüchtete: The University of Hamburg offers an orientation programme specifically for refugees: uhhhilft@uni-hamburg.de, +49 40 42838 4547 (Monday to Thursday 10 am – 12 pm (noon)), Zoom: Meeting-ID: 981 6496 4227, password: 615237 (Monday to Thursday 1 pm – 4 pm), www.uni-hamburg.de/uhhhilft.html

Special information and offers for Ukrainian refugees:

  1. Programmes offered by the University of Hamburg (UHH)

The UHH orientation programme (#UHHhilft) is also open to Ukrainian refugees. There are English FAQs in which questions by Ukrainian refugees about the UHH assistance programme are answered: https://www.uni-hamburg.de/en/uhhhilft-ukraine/faq.html

As a Ukrainian citizen, you can also apply for a free library card from the Hamburg State and University Library. The only requirement is that you present Ukrainian identity documents: Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, Carl von Ossietzky, Von-Melle-Park 3 (Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), e-mail: auskunft@sub-hamburg.de.

2. Programmes offered by the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (University of Applied Sciences, HAW)

The Arbeitsstelle Migration der HAW (HAW Migration Office) also offers various support programmes for students and academics who have fled from Ukraine.

The services for Ukrainian students include weekly online information events in English. The events are on study orientation, study financing and study applications, a preparatory course that enables students to start their studies (even before they have the required language certificate) as well as various counselling and psychological support programmes. Ukrainian students are also accepted onto the English masters programmes “Biomedical Engineering”, “Process Engineering”, “Renewable Energy Systems” and “Pharmaceutical Biotechnology”. Interested parties can send an email to lectures-ukraine(@)haw-hamburg.de. Further information can be found here: https://www.haw-hamburg.de/detail/news/news/show/offer-to-host-teachers-and-students-at-our-faculty-in-hamburg/

The Fakultät Life Sciences (faculty of life sciences) at HAW offers Ukrainian scientists the opportunity for teaching assignments. Interested parties can send an e-mail to lectures-ukraine(@)haw-hamburg.de. Further information can be found here: https://www.haw-hamburg.de/detail/news/news/show/offer-to-host-teachers-and-students-at-our-faculty-in-hamburg/.

You can find further information on the overall programme offered by HAW here: https://www.haw-hamburg.de/hochschule/solidaritaet-mit-der-ukraine/ (German, English).

3. Offers of the Technische Universität Hamburg (Hamburg University of Technology, TUHH):

The following presentation provides information of applying for a place at TUHH in English: https://www.tuhh.de/t3resources/welcome/Docs/Application_Bsc_Studies_Ua.pdf

All support services offered by the TUHH for Ukrainian refugees, including various counselling services, can be found on the following website: https://www.tuhh.de/tuhh/en/international/incoming-international-students/support-for-students-scientists-from-ukraine/support-services-by-tuhh.

In particular, there are free preparatory courses for studying at the TUHH. For further information on the mathematics preparation course, please contact Dr Prashant Batra: by telephone on +49 40 42878 34 78 (Thursdays 1 – 3 pm3), or by email batra@tuhh.de. In addition, a programme of subject-specific German preparatory courses is being developed. For further information, please contact Kathrin Heuking: kathrin.heuking@tuhh.de.

As a visiting student, you can also take part in TUHH events free of charge. Simply contact the STUDIS department at study@tuhh.de.

4. Provisional admission to art degree programmes at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (University of Fine Arts, HFBK)

Students of fine arts who have fled from Ukraine (including refugees without Ukrainian citizenship!) can be provisionally admitted to the Bachelor’s or Master’s programme at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK), but the costs must be borne idependently. You can find the application form here: https://www.hfbk-hamburg.de/de/aktuelles/ukrainische-kunststudierende-willkommen/außerordentliche-aufnahme-ukrainischer-kunststudierender/. If you have any questions, please contact ukraine@hfbk.hamburg.de. Further information in English can be found at: https://hfbk-hamburg.de/en/aktuelles/ukrainische-kunststudierende-willkommen/

5. Programmes offered by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD)

The Nationiale Akademische Kontaktstelle Ukraine (National Academic Contact Point Ukraine) offers an overview of the German higher education and research system in Ukrainian and presents various offers of assistance in the academic field (German/English/Ukrainian): https://www.daad-ukraine.org/de/.

Apprenticeship (Ausbildung)

An apprenticeship (Ausbildung) is an alternative to studying at a university which means you learn a profession or trade. An Abitur is not required. In two to three years, you will learn a trade such as baker, nurse or salesperson through a combination of school and work. The required language level depends on the people responsible for your training.

In order to find out if you are interested in a specific apprenticeship (Ausbildung), an internship (Praktikum) can be helpful.

Adolescents who are between 16 and 18 old and do not have sufficient language skills for an apprenticeship (Ausbildung), can take part in a preparatory course program (Ausbildungsvorbereitung):

Hamburger Institut für Berufliche Bildung, informationszentrum@hibb.hamburg.de,  + 49 40 42863 4236 (Monday and Tuesday 9 am – 5 pm, Wednesday 9 am – 1 pm, Thursday 10 am – 6 pm, Friday 9 am – 1 pm), www.hibb.hamburg.de/bildungsangebote/berufsvorbereitung/berufsvorbereitungsschule/bildungsangebote-fuer-migrantinnen-und-migranten/

More information on an apprenticeship (Ausbildung) and a potential right to stay due to this (in German, English, Arabic, Farsi, Sorani and Tigrinya): www.hamburg.de/yourchance/

You can also find additional information on an apprenticeship (Ausbildung), on internships (Praktikum) and work here: www.we-inform.de/portal/en/work/

Recognition of job qualifications

If you have completed your studies, an apprenticeship (Ausbildung) or a comparable course, you can also get these recognised. Get advice on this from the following institutions:

  • Diakonisches Werk Hamburg: Zentrale Anlaufstelle Anerkennung (ZAA), advice in German, English, Arabic, Farsi, Russian, if needed interpreters for further languages are available. Please make an appointment:
  • Advice regarding recognition specifically for Arabic and African women:


You can find further information on advice on recognition here: www.diakonie-hamburg.de/de/visitenkarte/zaa/So-helfen-wir-Ihnen


Information on whether, how and where you can have your qualification recognised can be found in various languages, including Ukrainian, on the website of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training: Information portal “Anerkennung in Deutschalnd”.

Additional information for Ukrainian refugees:

On the following flyer on the topic of professional recognition of the Hamburg funding programme “Integration through Qualification” (IQ) of the social welfare authority you will find all information on the topic of recognition of educational documents in Hamburg in Ukrainian: https://welcome.hamburg.de/contentblob/16337980/cf1738bf745e0f24c4abe9440266c5fd/data/flyer-anerkennung-zaa-ukr.pdf

Further education (Weiterbildung)

If you have already started or completed your studies in your home country, further education can give you additional qualifications for your job search.

Sometimes your job qualification is different than the German qualification although it has a similar name. When you get your qualification recognised it might be evaluated as ‘partly equal’ (“teilweise gleichwertig”). Then, you can participate in a course for adaptation of your qualification (Anpassungsqualifizierung). Afterwards, your qualification is recognised as equal to a German qualification.

Here you can find courses for adaptation of your qualification (Anpassungsqualifizierung) for craftsmanship, the trade and services sector, for physiotherapists, educators and teachers:


You can find an overview on courses in Hamburg here:

You can get advice on further education here (in German):

Financing your studies and scholarships

Financing your studies

You can find general information on financing your studies here: www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de/studienfinanzierung

Information for refugees: www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de/internationales/studierende-aus-dem-ausland#c9345

Advice on financing your studies for refugees:

Studierendenwerk Hamburg, Beratungszentrum Soziales & Internationales – BeSI, Grindelallee 9, 3. OG, consultation currently via phone and email: besi@studierendenwerk-hamburg.de, +49 40 41902 155 (Monday 12 pm (noon) – 3 pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 am – 12 pm (noon), Wednesday 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm)

Scholarship (Stipendium) 

You need to apply to be able to receive a scholarship. It allows you to (partly) finance your studies or further education.

You can find information on scholarships here: www.stipendiumplus.de/startseite.html

Here you can find a database: www.stipendienlotse.de, also explained in easy language: www.stipendienlotse.de/leichte_sprache.php

The organization ApplicAid helps you find a mentor who supports you with the application for a specific scholarship: www.applicaid.org/mentee

Further offers for Ukrainian refugees and funding programmes for Ukrainian scientists

Financial support for refugee Ukrainian students

As a Ukrainian refugee, you can also apply for financial support for students (e.g. BAföG). You can find more information here: https://www.bafög.de/bafoeg/de/das-bafoeg-alle-infos-auf-einen-blick/hinweise-fuer-gefluechtete-aus-der-ukraine.html (Deutsch).

Please note that if you are still studying digitally at your university in Ukraine or are only enrolled as a guest or exchange student at a Hamburg university, you cannot apply for BAföG. However, you may be able to apply for Arbeitslosengeld II (unemployment benefit II)/Grundsicherung (basic income support). You can find more information here: https://we-inform.de/portal/de/finanzielle-unterstuetzung/.

The Studierendenwerk Hamburg (Student Union Hamburg) has set up an emergency fund “Beihilfe Ukraine” (Ais Ukraine) and awards aid payments to students affected by the war in Ukraine (both refugee students and students who have previously studied in Hamburg but whose financial support has been cancelled due to the war). The aid can be applied for at the Beratungszentrum Soziales und Internationales (Counselling Centre for Social and International Affairs – BeSI) and should be paid as a one-off payment or for a limited period of two months. The extent to which the receipt of other state benefits (e.g. BAföG) will be offset against the payment will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Please make an appointment on site, by telephone or by video conference at BeSI: Grindelallee 9, 3rd floor, +49 40 419 02 155 (Monday 12 – 3 pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 am – 12 pm, Wednesday 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm). Further information can be found at https://www.stwhh.de/internationales/studierende-aus-dem-ausland#c21910.

The Nationale Akademische Kontaktstelle Ukraine (National Academic Contact Point Ukraine) offers research and study scholarships for Ukrainian students and academics. Apply here: https://www.daad-ukraine.org/uk/propozitsiyi-finansovoyi-pidtrimki/stipendialna-baza-danih-daad/stipendien-datenbank-uk/

Integration of Ukrainian researchers and research scholarships in Hamburg

The Hamburg universites and the Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung, Gleichstellung und Bezirke (Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research, Equalities and Districts, BWFGB) have established a science bridge for Ukrainian researchers who have already completed their doctorates, the so-called Hamburg Programme for Scholars at Risk. The aim of the programme is the professional integration of at-risk researchers or cultural and artistic professionals into a working group or department at the university under the host mentorship of an academic supervisor.

The programme awards research grants for 1-12 months to at-risk doctoral researchers from Ukraine at Hamburg’s state-funded universities (including UHH, HAW, TUH). For this purpose, 2,000 euros per month will be paid to the scientists. Further information on the programme and the application process can be found under the following link (German, English):



Research opportunities for Ukrainian scientists via Baltic partner universities
The Baltic University Programme (BUP) of HAW also offers assistance to researchers through the Baltic Science Bridge programme. The programme will try to establish contact between you, as a Ukrainian scientist, and a Baltic university so that you can continue your scientific work there.

Contact the secretariat of the BUP at ukraine-science-bridge@Is.haw-hamburg.de. Address: HAW Hamburg, Ulmenliet 20.

Further information can be found here: https://www.haw-hamburg.de/en/university/newsroom/news-details/news/news/show/support-ukrainian-scientists-abroad/.

Nationwide initiatives for research scholarships

The Nationale Akademische Kontaktstelle Ukraine (National Academic Contact Point Ukraine) offers research and study scholarships for Ukrainian students and academics. You can apply here: https://www.daad-ukraine.org/uk/propozitsiyi-finansovoyi-pidtrimki/stipendialna-baza-danih-daad/stipendien-datenbank-uk/

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) supports refugees who have been outside their home country for less than 3 years by facilitating participation in research projects and applications to the Walter-Benjamin-Programm. This programme enables refugee researchers to independently implement their own Post-Doc-Forschungsvorhaben (post-doctoral research project) in Germany. Successful applicants are offered employment at a research institute. The funding also includes a general material cost allowance of 250 euros per month, as well as subsidies for any increased publication costs. The funding period is up to 2 years. The funding guidelines can be found here: https://www.dfg.de/formulare/55_06/55_06_en.pdf.

You can find an overview of the contact persons in the various departments here:  https://www.dfg.de/en/dfg_profile/head_office/structure/programme_contacts/index.jsp.

The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Environmental Foundation) awards fellowships to Ukrainian citizens. The OE Fellowship (OE Fellowship) includes monthly payments of 1,250 euros, various insurance benefits, German language courses and participation in seminars and events. Prerequisites are a good to very good university degree and good knowledge of English and/or German. Further information can be found here: https://www.dbu.de/3045.html

Last Updated: 01.01.2023