the "General Requirements" and "Applying" sections. They're really rather comprehensive.
In general, a high school diploma is not considered equivalent to an Abitur; American
students will need proof that they're competent enough to skip the "gen eds," and go
straight into the major-focused track. This can be done with a significant number of AP
credits, a year or two of college, possibly high enough test scores. Each University
should also have a Studienkolleg attached to help you complete your gen eds or attain a
sufficient enough level of German, after you have been "accepted" on a provisional basis.
As alluded to above, the requirements to get accepted to a Uni are different from the
Visa requirements. For that, you need the money in your bank account (!). You
will be able to find specific info on the German Embassy's site.
Good luck! And if anyone has any other specific sites to share, please let me know.
This is such a common question these days, and I would love to expand our resources on
the GAI's webpage.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Director of Language Services
Tel: 651-222-2979 Fax: 651-222-6295
NOTE: GAI = German Academic Institute (I believe)
MORE Advice: The first stop for foreign students at most universities is the Akademisches
Auslandsamt or Internationales Buero. Google those together with the university name, you should land at the right place for information.
MORE on international opportunities from Eckhard Kuhn-Osius --German Department --Hunter College, CUNY:
There are some social service opportunities in Germany. One could look into a “Freiwilliges soziales Jahr” or “Freiwilliges oekologisches Jahr,” which would offer an official status of some sort -- (without needing to attend school).