Calvin College provides semester-length programs for students who wish to study in the context of another culture or would benefit from a program that cannot be offered on campus. Calvin offers semester programs, directed by members of the Calvin faculty, in Britain, Hungary, China, Honduras (2), Ghana, Spain (2), France, Peru, and Washington, DC. Students may participate in non-Calvin programs as well. However, the level of Calvin financial aid varies by the program category. See below for details.
A student’s eligibility and anticipated course credits are determined by a preliminary application that must be approved prior to application to a particular program. Calvin-sponsored programs require at least sophomore standing and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5. (Off-campus interims require at least sophomore standing and a minimum GPA of 2.0.) The requirements for admission to non-Calvin programs vary, as indicated in the program descriptions below.
Courses taught by Calvin instructors, or instructors hired by Calvin, will be given letter grades that calculate into the student’s GPA. These courses will be specific registered courses, usually starting with ST (e.g., STGH for the Semester in Ghana program). Courses taught at host universities will be treated as transfer credit (e.g., the Chicago Semester); these grades will be noted on the Calvin transcript, but will not calculate into the student’s GPA.
Further information and preliminary application forms are available in the off-campus programs office or on the department website.
Students studying off-campus are required to carry a course load of at least 12 semester hours.
These programs have been developed by and are implemented through Calvin. Applicants should normally have completed at least one year of college studies with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Selection of participants is normally based on the appropriateness of the study to the applicant’s college program, class level, GPA, interviews and recommendations.
Beyond offering a wide variety of its own off-campus programs, Calvin also supports students who find other programs that they think better meet their needs. This support includes both administrative and financial support (e.g., Calvin financial aid). The amount of Calvin financial support (department scholarships, Knollcrest grant, etc.) varies, depending on the program chosen. Financial aid funded by sources outside of Calvin will not change if a student attends a non-Calvin program. Non-Calvin programs are grouped into the following categories: Calvin Partnered programs, Calvin Exchange programs, Calvin Supported programs, and Independent Studies.
All students who are planning to study off-campus for any semester program must complete a preliminary application form through the Off-Campus Programs Office.
In terms of GPA calculations, all credits on non-Calvin semester programs are treated as transfer credits; the grades, although recorded, are not calculated in the student’s GPA (with the exception of the Chicago Semester). However, grades must be at least a C for credit to be granted.
Calvin Partnered Programs
These programs are offered through organizations that partner with Calvin, and they have been identified for students to fulfill specific requirements in certain majors. 100% of Calvin-funded financial aid will be applied, meaning that full financial aid is granted for these partner programs. It is important to note that the cost of some semester program may exceed the cost of attending Calvin. Calvin Partnered Programs are:
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. As one of several sustaining partners, Calvin offers undergraduate off-campus environmental science courses (ASI) through the Au Sable Institute during January (Interim) and the summer. More information is available on the Au Sable website. Questions should be directed to Calvin’s faculty representative to Au Sable, Dr. Dave Warners.
Central College in Vienna: German language study in Austria. Experience two countries, Germany and Austria, in one program. First an intensive German-language program at the Goethe Institute in Germany followed by continued language and culture study in Vienna.
Chicago Semester. See Calvin Partnered Program: Chicago Semester (CSP) .
Japan Center for Michigan Universities. Students may choose to spend fall semester, spring semester, or summer semester at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, near Kyoto. Courses are offered in both Japanese language and Japanese culture. In addition, students take two other courses related to Japan. The course offerings vary each semester, but include topics such as Japanese Economic Practices, Environmental Issues in Japan, and Japanese International Relations. Students may either live in the dormitory or stay with a Japanese family for the entire semester, or live in the dorm but stay with a Japanese family on some weekends. See L. Herzberg, Germanic and Asian Languages Department, for further details.
Calvin Exchange Programs
Calvin has also established a number of exchange programs with other institutions. These programs have been set to allow equal number of students to be exchanged between two institutions. As one Calvin student goes to an overseas institution, a student from this institution attends Calvin. Exchanges have often been set up for students in specific majors. Students pay Calvin tuition (to Calvin) and are also responsible for other costs such as room and board, transportation, and immunizations). Current exchange programs exist for the following institutions:
- Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Open to all majors.
- Handong University in Pohang, Korea. Open to all majors.
Calvin Supported Programs
Calvin recognizes the wide variety of quality programs that are offered by other organizations throughout the world that might fit better with a student’s interests and major/minor. While Calvin cannot support an unlimited number of students studying in these programs, students can apply for and receive a “slot” that allows them to take 50% of their Calvin financial aid along with 100% of financial aid funded by sources outside of Calvin to help finance their participation in these programs.
Although the number of slots may vary from year to year, typically there are between 10 to 20 slots offered each year. An application for one of these slots can be picked up from the Off-Campus Programs Office; deadlines for submitting these applications is late Spring for the entire upcoming academic year.
If a student’s application for a Calvin supported slot is not selected, they are still welcome to participate in that program. Although Calvin funded financial aid will not be available, 100% of financial aid from sources outside of Calvin would apply to the program. The student would be responsible for paying Calvin tuition as well as any additional program costs. The Off-Campus Programs office has brochures and other materials available for browsing by students interested in exploring this option. Credit for these programs will be considered as transfer credit.
CoursesChicago Semester ProgramJustice Studies in HondurasSpanish Studies in HondurasStudy in BritainStudy in ChinaStudy in FranceStudy in GhanaStudy in HungaryStudy in PeruStudy in SpainStudy in Washington, D.C.