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Ernst Reuter Scholarship


Freie Universität Berlin has maintained outstanding involvement in programs to exchange students from all over the world for many years. This commitment stems from the history behind the university’s founding, in which international support, particularly in the form of donations from universities in the United States, played a pivotal role. Freie Universität currently offers an extensive direct exchange program.

International Scholarship

With the Ernst Reuter scholarship, the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft supports international exchange activities, allowing students to spend one year studying at one of the university’s well-known partner universities, including support and supervision. Highly qualified students at foreign partner universities are also eligible to benefit from this type of scholarship. Graduate students who are preparing to complete their doctorates and planning to study at a foreign partner university are also eligible.

Prerequisites, Support and Supervision, Selection Process


Applicants for the Ernst Reuter scholarship program must be currently enrolled in upper-division courses (the Hauptstudium) at Freie Universität, have passed the interim examination (Zwischenexamen) with above-average grades in the regular period, have good foreign language skills, be able to present as detailed a study program as possible, and must have applied for a Freie Universität exchange program. Scholarships can also be awarded to graduate students who are preparing to complete their doctorates and need to study at a foreign partner university to do so. In these cases, candidates are also required to be working on a dissertation project that has been approved by the department.

Support and Supervision

Scholarships within the Ernst Reuter scholarship program are intended to enable highly qualified students at Freie Universität (outgoing students) to spend one year studying at one of the university’s well-known partner universities. Tuition and fees at these partner universities – which are generally substantial – and the costs of the student’s study abroad, which vary by country, are assumed by the partner university, with supplementary funding provided by the Ernst Reuter scholarship program. Scholarship recipients receive support and supervision from the partner universities while abroad, with a particular focus on academic advising. Ernst Reuter scholarships are also awarded to highly qualified students from foreign partner universities (incoming students), allowing them to spend a year studying at Freie Universität. Each recipient of an Ernst Reuter scholarship also receives a three-year membership in the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft at no charge. Foreign (incoming) scholarship recipients who are studying at Freie Universität and all former (outgoing) Ernst Reuter scholarship recipients form the family of Reuter program participants (Reuterianer), an affiliation that remains in place even after they have completed their studies. Reuter program participants are invited to attend special events at the university (talks, lectures, tours, alumni programs). Once a year, the president of the university and the board of directors of the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft organize a festive evening event for all Reuter program participants, featuring members of the latest generation of scholarship recipients, who introduce themselves and contribute to the theme of the event by making presentations or holding talks. The faculty liaison for the Ernst Reuter scholarship program, Professor Ekkehard König, will guarantee that scholarship recipients are included in the support and supervision provided for specific study projects.

The Selection Process

Candidates cannot apply for an Ernst Reuter scholarship themselves. Instead, each year the top tier of all applications submitted by Freie Universität students who are trying to secure scholarships under the various study abroad programs offered at the university receive the chance, following the normal selection process, to participate in a second critical competition to select the best of the best. Factors in this stage of the process include the student’s subject-specific interests and academic performance, the intended study project, and career prospects, along with other considerations, such as the candidate’s personality and level of preparation to study abroad. The chairman of the selection committee is the scholarship program’s sponsor, Mr. Edzard Reuter. The committee also includes the president of Freie Universität, one member of the board of directors of the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft, and two members of the Freie Universität faculty. The business of the selection committee is managed by a member of the International Office of Freie Universität. The committee issues its decisions from March to June of each year, based on the application documents submitted, the quality of the study program, and personal interviews with candidates; additional subject-specific expert opinions may be obtained in writing in some cases. For an overview (German) of students who previously received Ernst Reuter scholarships, please click here.

The Endowment Fund of the Ernst Reuter Scholarship Program

The Ernst Reuter Scholarship Program is made possible through the financial support of individuals, companies, and institutions that demonstrate exemplary commitment to supporting students at Freie Universität. To secure the long-term financial future of the Ernst Reuter Scholarship Program, the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft has established an endowment fund that pools all donations and endowments provided for the scholarship program. If you share these goals and would like to support the program by making a donation, please transfer funds to Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft der Freunde, Förderer und Ehemaligen der Freien Universität Berlin e.V. at the account listed below, with "Ernst-Reuter-Stipendienprogramm" listed as the intended purpose and your name and address shown on the form:

Berliner Sparkasse
Konto 600 00 535 07
BLZ 100 500 00

IBAN: DE53 1005 0000 6000 0535 07

Your donation will go toward the endowment fund for the Ernst Reuter Scholarship Program, in line with your stated wishes. The Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft is a recognized nonprofit organization. The Ernst Reuter Scholarship Program not only serves to support the “best of the best” during their studies, but is also intended to provide guidance and direction in recipients’ future lives. That means the excellence and international nature of Reuter program participants carries over into both academia and the wider society. The Ernst Reuter Scholarship Program also promotes personal commitment and dedication with an impact on society as a whole.

For further information on Ernst Reuter scholarships, please consult the office of the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft.