"How Can I Found the Course of Study That Suits Me?"
The Academic Orientation Year at Salem Kolleg

Abitur in hand, but what now?

After passing their final exams, many high school graduates don't know how to decide which course of study will be the right choice. This and other challenging questions will be dealt with at Salem Kolleg in a one-year orientation course of study and careers counseling. Guided by the triad motto "Experience. Understand. Decide" the program is organized in trimesters, during which recent graduates receive intensive support and preparation for their future academic and professional paths.


Studium Generale

Young academics nearing completion of their doctoral programs teach introductory courses at Salem Kolleg in the fields of natural science, social science and humanities while providing  participants insights into interdisciplinary methods of study. From medicine to economics to sociology, chemistry, modern media & marketing - the spectrum is quite wide and offers the ideal chance to discover one's personal strengths and aptitudes. In additional to courses within the Kolleg, participants can attend first semester courses at the University of Konstanz and University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz.


Outdoor Leadership Training, Character Development and a Research Field Trip

In additional to preparing for academic study participants will also have the opportunity to gather valuable practical experience.  Hence a core element of the program is Outdoor Leadership Training. Equally important is the focus on developing character within a close community and strengthening the particular talents and qualifications of each individual. This is made possible through a unique and multi-faceted choice of activities, ranging from theater, choir, language courses, social outreach services, and a research field trip as part of the academic project "Social Reality in Europe".


The goal of the academic orientation year at Salem Kolleg is very clear. Each participant should discover and develop his or her personal talents and abilities - as a sound basis for making the right decision about the future course of life. In order to enable as many high school graduates as possible to attend Salem Kolleg, scholarships are also offered.

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What Our Kolleg Graduates Say:

"My year at the Kolleg has been one of the best experiences in my whole life." (Björn)


At Salem Kolleg "one is soon forced to leave one's own comfort zone, and every day brings a new personal challenge." (Marion)


"Thanks to the different courses, projects and presentations of different study programs, I realized how many fields I had never really been aware of. At the end of the year I left with a whole lot of new experiences." (Franka)


"After completing the orientation year I am glad to say that I have not only been able to find the right course of study, but also developed myself personally - two goals that I had set for myself while at Salem Kolleg." (Anna)


Concept of Salem Kolleg is Based on Three Pillars


Participants in the program gain experience as members of a special and close community as well as by becoming socially involved.  Outdoor education, leadership training, development of key competencies, independent organization of self-chosen projects and a diversified program of sports help to foster and strength strong personalities.


Outdoor Education
which follows the precepts of Kurt Hahn and Schule Schloss Salem. Intensive encounters with nature, outdoor leadership training and team building contribute to an attitude of  appreciation and mindfulness toward one's self and our natural environment.


Leadership Training
Goal-oriented leadership means setting, following and achieving goals and targets together with others. The result is a strengthening of individual responsibility and self-efficacy.


Developing Key Compentencies
such as emergency first aid, responsible action in crises, rhetorical skills and successful communication, problem analysis, etc.


Independent Project Organization
is practiced, for example, within the framework project "Social Reality in Europe."

Diversified Sports Program
which includes team sports such as hockey, sailing, soccer and volleyball.


Young academics offer introductory seminars in natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities and act as mentors to the Kolleg's participants:


  • Offering guidance in the use of interdisciplinary methods such as experimental research, statistical analysis, text interpretation or the application of law to concrete cases.
  • Assistance with competing a final paper on an academic topic
  • Fostering academic skills need for university studies
  • Encouragement of creative learning in the arts (music, theater, film, etc.)


A complete series of counseling opportunities and coaching sessions enables participants to make viable decisions -- for themselves and also for others.


  • Intensive careers counseling with experiences counselors
  • Career development and assessment workshops
  • Decision-making training programs for academic and professional fields
  • INSIGHTS MDI®-Diagnostic Tools for Potential Analysis which facilitate holistic insight into personal behavior, interests, attitudes and values and result in an understanding of one's own potential
  • Application coaching (creating a portfolio, interviewing skills, business etiquette)
  • Cooperative relations with top-ranking universities (e.g., University of Konstanz)


Salem Kolleg

Kurt-Hahn-Straße 1
88662 Überlingen
Telefon: +49 7553 919615

"I am so happy I took this year for myself before going off to University.", Isabel