Calvin University 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, France, Peru, and Washington, DC. Students may participate in non-Calvin programs as well. The level of Calvin financial aid varies by the program category. See below for details.
In order to participate in an off-campus program, a student must have at least sophomore standing, a clean student conduct record, and a specified minimum GPA. Calvin semester programs require 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 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 is 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.
Calvin Off-Campus Programs
These programs have been developed by and are implemented through Calvin. Applicants should have completed at least one year of course work with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Selection of participants is normally based on the appropriateness of the study to the applicant’s academic program, class level, GPA, interviews and recommendations.
Other Off-Campus Programs
Beyond offering its own off-campus programs, Calvin also supports students who find outside programs that they think better meet their needs. Financial aid funded from sources outside of Calvin will not change if a student attends a non-Calvin program. The amount of Calvin financial aid will vary, depending on the program. Non-Calvin programs are grouped into the following categories: Calvin Partnered programs, Calvin Exchange programs, and Non-Calvin programs.
All students who are planning to study off-campus for any semester program must complete a preliminary application form in the Horizons Application program online.
Credits from 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 program). 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 to fulfill specific requirements in certain majors. 100% of Calvin-funded financial aid may be applied in addition to all outside financial aid. The cost of some of these semester programs may exceed the cost of attending Calvin. Calvin Partnered Programs are:
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. 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, Dr. Dave Warners.
Central College in Vienna: German language study in Austria. Experience two countries, Germany and Austria, in one program. An intensive German-language program at the Goethe Institute in Germany is followed by continued language and culture study in Vienna.
Chicago Semester. See An urban program grounded in Christian faith with an emphasis on internships.
Japan Center for Michigan Universities. Students may choose to spend fall, spring, 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 exchange programs that allow an equal number of students to be exchanged between two institutions. As one Calvin student goes to an overseas institution, a student from that institution attends Calvin. Exchanges have often been set up for students in specific majors. Students pay Calvin tuition to Calvin and are responsible for other costs such as room and board, transportation, and immunizations. These programs are open to students in all majors.
- Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Open to all majors.
- Handong University in Pohang, Korea. Open to all majors.
- Northwestern College (Iowa) Programs in Oman and Romania.
Calvin Supported Programs
Calvin recognizes that some programs offered by other institutions might fit better with a student’s interests and major/minor. The cost for non-Calvin off-campus semester programs depends on the price set by the host institution. Students will pay at least Calvin semester tuition. If the price of the program is more than Calvin tuition, the student will be charged the host institution tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to understand all program costs. Other costs may include housing, food, local transportation, student fees, etc. Transportation to and from the program site is the student’s financial responsibility.
Calvin can only support a limited number of students studying with non-Calvin programs. All Federal and State financial aid can be used for a non-Calvin program. Students may apply to have 50% of their Calvin financial aid used for their program cost. This request is part of the Horizons non-Calvin program application. Normally, 5-10 students are granted this permission each year. These applications will be reviewed starting April 1. Note: the April 1 deadline is the same for both fall and spring semester programs.
Students whose application for Calvin financial aid is not granted may still participate in that program and apply all outside financial aid to the cost. The student is responsible for paying Calvin tuition and program fees and all additional program costs. Credit for these programs will be considered 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.