If you wish to study abroad in Germany, then you may have to sign up for a prep course called a "Studienkolleg" before you can enroll at a university. The minimum schooling requirements in Germany are substantially different from those in the United States. For instance, the number of years you have studied or attended school, the contents of education covered in your academic years and several other factors need to be in adherence to what colleges and universities in Germany would want. Hence, you must consider signing up for Studienkolleg before you can study abroad in Germany.
What is Studienkolleg?
Studienkolleg is like a prep school. You would be prepared to meet the criteria of German colleges and universities by teachers who are known as bridge builders and in that sense Studienkolleg is the bridge from your home country and its academic culture to study abroad in Germany where the culture and the contents of education can be quite different.
Why should you study at Studienkolleg?
Just to give you a few reasons, Studienkolleg will get you accustomed with academic German, which is essential if you want to grasp what is being taught at a college or university. You would get accustomed with the terminologies or jargon used while imparting education, the basic knowledge and various methods employed by professors and lecturers and the social competences that are necessary to adapt to a new culture among others.
Where would you study?
Depending on where you would study abroad in Germany, you can opt for Studienkolleg facilities in Berlin, Munchen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Konstanz, Coburg, Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt, Kassel, Marburg, Greifswald, Wismar, Hannover, Bochum, Mettingen, Mainz, Kaiserslautern, Saarbrucken, Dresden, Glauchau, Leipzig, Zittau, Halle, Kothen, Kiel and Nordhausen. Importantly, though, you don't have to enroll at the university in the same city where you go to Studienkolleg.
What can you study?
At a Studienkolleg, you could study the M-course which is for medical, biological and pharmaceutical degrees, the T-course which is for mathematical, science or technical degrees, W-course which is for business, economics and social science degrees, G-course which is for humanity degrees or German studies or S-course for language degrees. There are other specialized courses as well, such as the TI-course for technical and engineering degrees, WW-course for economics and business degrees, GD-course for design and art degrees and SW-course for social science degrees. Not all locations offer the same courses, so be sure to check before you go.
How much does it cost?
State-run (public) Studienkollege don't charge any tuition fees. Private Studienkollege, such as the ones located in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, do charge tuition fees. You also need to account for health insurance, books or study materials and cost of living. But those you know if you already have a plan to study abroad in Germany.