Kollegiatin des Orientierungsjahres lesend in der Bibliothek des Campus Haerlen

Welcome at Salem Kolleg

The General Studies course that kick-starts your path at a university in a German speaking country.

Salem Kolleg is a non-profit educational establishment situated on the northern shore of Lake Constance in Germany. We have developed a unique gap year that offers orientation after school and aims to support and prepare school graduates on their way to college or university.

Since there are so many study programmes and job opportunities for young adults it is hardly surprising that many are overwhelmed. In today’s global world one does not only have to think about what to study but where to study as well. Our orientation program addresses German students as well as international students from all over the world. Going abroad might raise many questions: “How does the educational system work? Which university is the right fit for me? Will they accept my school qualification? What are my prospects afterwards?” All of these questions can be answered during our orientation year. Salem Kolleg has developed a unique concept which – with good reason – carries the motto: "Experience. Understand. Decide". Based on the experiential education of Kurt Hahn, we offer an orientation year with Studium Generale, leadership training and outdoor education, which combines academic education, personality development and career orientation, so that the time after graduation is as productive as it is fun.

The links above provide further important information regarding our concept, the campus and the application. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail or telephone, we will be happy to answer any questions!

“I also came to Salem Kolleg to find out whether I like it in Germany or not. I might not have yet decided on a specific university, but I do know I want to study here now.”
Eine Dozentin im Unterrichtsraum mit zwei Kollegiaten im Vordergrund

Studium Generale

Throughout the year, students can choose from a variety of different seminars and courses held by well-trained and dedicated young lecturers who are experts in their field and provide insights into the humanities, social and natural sciences. Additional to the courses held on campus, students are encouraged to attend first-year seminars and lectures at the University of Konstanz and the Konstanz College of Applied Sciences (HTWG). The university courses provide further insights into academic and study life and can be credited for later studies. As part of the year-round "Social Reality in Europe" project, the students conduct a research trip to a chosen location in small groups and deal thoroughly with various social and political topics. Afterwards, the groups are asked to write an academic paper, supervised by mentors and lecturers.

Claudia Groot im Gespräch mit Kollegiaten in der Bibliothek

Orientation Program

During the year, various workshops are held concerned with study choice and career orientation. In dialogue with the workshop leaders the students identify their individual skills, interests, and values. Claudia Groot, managing director of Salem Kolleg and experienced study advisor, conducts intensive one-on-one interviews with each student personally. In addition, seminars are held to prepare students for assessment centres and applications. In combination with the insights into various fields of research, the orientation program of Salem Kolleg offers the best conditions for a successful choice of study and career.

Eine Outdoor-Gruppe posiert auf dem Gipfel eines Berges mit Berglandschaft im Hintergrund

Outdoor Education

An important part of the college year is the outdoor education, which challenges the students, pushing them to their limits and at the same time showing them what they can achieve with good preparation and ambition. Within the outdoor education, leadership training takes place, which enables the students to take the lead individually and teaches them which qualities are necessary to do so. The outdoor education consists of three different excursions which build on each other in their degree of difficulty:  the first is a one-night trip outside and the second takes place in winter and asks the students to build an igloo and walk on snowshoes. The last excursion is a ten-day hiking and camping trip that challenges the students and once accomplished, shows them, what they are able to achieve with good preparation and stamina. On top of the excursion students are encouraged to manage a personal challenge like accomplishing the sailing licence, biking around Lake Constance or swimming across the lake in Überlingen.

Kollegiat beim Hürdenlauf auf dem Sportplatz Härlen

Creativity and Sports

Of course, in addition to the orientation programs, seminars and outdoor education, there is also free time that can be used for sports or creative activities. Salem Kolleg offers a wide range of sports: football, hockey, basketball and volleyball, athletics, gymnastics, bouldering and weightlifting. In addition, Salem Kolleg has access to the nearby harbour of Schule Schloss Salem where students can learn to sail and windsurf and go on canoe tours. As well as the sports offered there are many opportunities to be creative: every year a joint theatre project takes place lead by a professional director. All students are encouraged to participate in some way and thus get to know the creative cooperation.

The Campus

Salem Kolleg is attached to the "Härlen" campus of Schule Schloss Salem. Students live together in modern houses of eight, each equipped with four twin rooms, two bathrooms, a shared living space and a kitchen. Each row of houses has its own mentor who lives on campus and can be contacted at any time. The courses and workshops take place in modern, bright and spacious seminar rooms, which allow both working at the blackboard and intermedia teaching. In addition, there is a large library where books can be borrowed and work can be done. A balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the cafeteria and can be eaten either there or on the terrace in summer. There is also a fairtrade café, which is supervised by the students and sells snacks and coffee. Within walking distance, a large supermarket can be accessed to meet further personal needs.

The campus also has numerous rooms and places for leisure activities. In addition to several well-equipped music rooms, there is a large auditorium with a stage and full lighting equipment where the annual theatre production takes place. Various sports pitches offer the possibility to play football, hockey, basket- and volleyball. In addition, there is a running track, a bar area, a high jump mat, as well as a weight room with full body equipment, a boulder wall and a gymnasium. The private harbour, which is within walking distance, can be used to learn sailing or windsurfing or to go on a canoe trip.