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Checklist for Applying to a Calvin Off-Campus Semester Program

Eligibility

To participate in a Calvin off-campus semester program, you must have sophomore status, a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5, and you must complete the online application process.

Deadlines

Give yourself plenty of time before the program application deadline. Our current application process is all online, but it will still take several days to complete as you have to wait for approvals from various departments across campus.

Research Your Options

Stop by the Off-Campus Programs Office and find a program that fits your needs and interests.

Talk with your advisor and discuss your options.

Look at the Calvin Off Campus Programs website or search programs on our Calvin College Horizons site.

Make sure your passport is up-to-date (and will not expire any time in the next year), or apply for a passport. Obviously, our semester programs in Washington D.C. and New Mexico do not require you to have a passport.

Complete The Application  Process

You will apply for a semester program at the Calvin College Horizons site. Please read the following before you proceed.

HOW DO I GET STARTED? 

After you click on the Calvin College Horizons link, use your Calvin username and password to log in when prompted.  You can search the various programs Calvin offers and then apply for one or more programs.  The software will guide you through part one of the application process.

WHAT MATERIAL SHOULD I PREPARE TO COMPLETE PART ONE OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS? 

Part one of the application process includes the following components:

  • Demographic Information: (this will fill in automatically) Name, email, phone, major, year in school, etc. 
  • Academic GPA check:(this will fill in automatically)   For semester programs you will need to have at least a 2.5 GPA to be automatically approved to study off-campus.  If your GPA is below 2.5 you will be asked if you want to appeal directly to the Off-Campus Programs Office.
  • Student Life Approval:  This portion of the application asks if you have been disciplined by a member of the Student Life Division (a Dean or Resident Director) for an infraction of campus regulations and if yes to explain the circumstances).  If a student is not approved by student life, you can appeal directly to the Off-Campus Programs Office.
  • Program waiver:  The program waiver is an important document that outlines both the risk and responsibilities of both the student and the college.  Please read this document carefully. 
  • References:  You will be asked to identify two references for semester programs.  You will need names and email addresses of these references.
  • Course Selection Sheet: Consult with your advisor concerning the credits in the program you'd like to apply for and have him/her sign your Course Selection Sheet (bring a copy which you can download here). Make sure to talk about the courses you will take in the semester after you return from your program—you'll be gone during advising.  Get approval from the department chair for your major and/or minor if you would like any credits from the off-campus semester to be applied to your major or minor program by having him/her also sign the Course Selection Sheet. Bring the signed Course Selection Sheet to the Off-Campus Programs office. 

WHO SHOULD I ASK TO BE A REFERENCE FOR ME? 

Identify people who can speak to your character and academic abilities.  Teachers, pastors, employers, and mentors are good references;  you should avoid asking parents and extended family for references. 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I COMPLETE PART ONE OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS? 

You wait.  Typically it will take at least 48 hours for part one of your application to be approved so you can move on to part two of the application process.  You can move to part two before both references are complete.  We do encourage your references to complete the reference form by the time you complete part two of the application process.  Once part one of your application is approved you will receive an email prompting you to sign in and start working on part two of your application process. 

WHAT MATERIAL SHOULD I PREPARE TO COMPLETE PART TWO OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS? 

Part two of the application process includes the following components:

  • Essay questions:  Please answer these questions completely, the director of your semester program will use your answers to get to know you a bit better in preparation for your one-on-one interview. 
  • Health form:  The purpose of the health form is two fold.  The first reason is to make sure we are aware of any health issues that we may need to accommodate.  The second reason, is to initiate your contact with Calvin’s health services to make sure we prepare you to manage your physical health while off-campus.  If accepted into the program you will receive additional information related to any immunizations that you will need for the semester.  All information reported on this form is confidential and seen only by Calvin Health Services, the Director of your program, and (if needed) the Director of OCP. 
  • Mental health form: The purpose of this form is also two fold.  The first reason is to identify how we can best support you during your time off-campus.  The second reason is to assist you in managing your mental health while off-campus.  All information reported on this form is confidential and seen only by the Director of your program and (if needed) by Broene Counseling Center and the OCP office (note: no student employees will have access to this form).
  • Emergency contact information:  You will need to provide the names, phone numbers and emails of two emergency contacts. 
  • Insurance verification:  You will need to provide Calvin with information about your health insurance provider and that you do have health coverage while abroad. 
  • Acknowledgment of the student conduct code:  The purpose of this form is to remind students that Calvin’s student conduct code applies to you while you are away.  This form also asks you to commit to some simple behaviors designed to promote your safety while away. 

WHEN SHOULD I SET UP AN INTERVIEW? 

You can complete an interview at any point while you are completing part two of the application process.  You can contact the Director of the program or wait for the Director of the program to contact you about possible interview times.  If you have not heard from the Director within 2 or 3 days after completing part two of your application, you should contact the Director of the program immediately. 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I COMPLETE BOTH PART TWO OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND MY INTERVIEW? 

You wait again, while making sure all aspects of your application have been completed.  Your program director should tell you a date by which you should hear your status in the program.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact the Off-Campus Programs Office.  When you receive your acceptance email, you will also receive your terms and conditions sheet.  Please read this document carefully before you sign and return to the Off-Campus Programs Office.