Schule Schloss Salem is Germany's best-known boarding school. In 1920, it was founded by Kurt Hahn, who later also founded Outward Bound and the United World Colleges.
The School seeks to present young people with high academic and extra-curricular expectations and opportunities, and to imbue in them a lifelong sense of respect for the individual, responsibility to the community and an awareness of the importance of the democratic process in sustaining both.
Salem comprises four beautiful campuses, all within twenty minutes drive of one another on the northern arm of Lake Constance, near Germany's borders with Switzerland and Austria at the edge of the Alps. The School consists of three divisions on separate campuses for pupils of different ages. These are Hohenfels Castle (Lower School, approximately 70 pupils aged 10-12), Salem Castle (Middle School, approximately 260 pupils aged 13-16), and Salem International College (Spetzgart Castle and the Haerlen Campus, Upper School, approximately 300 students aged 16-19).
The academic program in years 5-7 is delivered in German. Intensive instruction in German as a foreign language is available for international pupils. Even pupils arriving at the school with no German are fluent within one school year. For international pupils already fluent in English there is an accelerated English program leading to the attainment of the British GCSE qualification.
From year 8 onward, Salem is fully bilingual and offers a dual curriculum. Students may either continue in the German system or enter the International Baccalaureate system (International Classes), in which the language of instruction is English. Approximately one third of the students in the upper years are in the IB system. A significant proportion is from an international background.
At Salem, involvement in extra-curricular activities and the life of the boarding community are emphasized as much as academic achievement. All students in the upper years must engage in at least one afternoon a week of community service. All students must also participate in a regular program of sports and/or outdoor pursuits. Participation in theatre, music and visual arts extra-curricular programs, while not mandatory, is strongly encouraged.
Approximately one-third of pupils receive financial aid, the award of which is based on both need and merit. Students are well prepared for tertiary studies, with almost all graduates eventually attending the most selective German and international universities.