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Checklist for Applying to a Calvin Off-Campus Semester Program


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.


Give yourself plenty of time before the program application deadline. The application process is all online, but it takes time for final approval since approvals are required 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. does 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.


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 by first clicking on the "Apply For" button on the far right.  The software will guide you through the application process.


The application process includes the following components:

  • Demographic Information (this will fill in automatically in your profile):  Name, email, phone, major, year in school, etc. 
  • Academic GPA check:  For interims you will need to have at least a 2.0 GPA to be automatically approved to study off-campus.  If your GPA is below 2.0 you will be able to appeal to the Off-Campus Programs Office.
  • Program Selection - this is the program you are applying to - make sure you answer the questions.
  • Student Conduct Record:  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 you are 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 and check to acknowledge that you have read and consent to its terms. Click "Review and Save" to move on.
  • Essay questions: Please answer these questions completely, the semester director will use your answers to get to know you a bit better as they make decisions related to your participation in the off-campus semester.
  • Insurance verification:  You will need to provide Calvin with information about your health insurance provider and that you do have health coverage while abroad. 
  • 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 Instructor 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 Instructor 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Recommendation Request:  Click on Item 2, "Recommendation Request." You will be asked to identify one reference for interim programs.  Fill in the name and email address of this reference and click "Save Application" at the bottom. Remember that it is standard practice to ask your recommender for permission for a recommendation before you list their name.
  • Course Selection Sheet: Information and link to the form can be found here.
  • Submit Application: After completing and saving all parts of the first step of the Application and entering your information for Recommendation Requests, you should see a button in Step 3 to "Submit Application" which you should do soit will be reviewed by OCP and Student Life.


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. 


You should indicate times when you are available for an interview in the application.  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, you can contact the Director of the program to find out about their time frame. 


Make sure all aspects of your application have been completed and wait. 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.  After you receive your acceptance email, you will receive your terms and conditions sheet which must be signed for complete acceptance into the program.  Please read this document carefully before you sign and return to the Off-Campus Programs Office.  You will also need to complete the post-acceptance portion of your application whch will include passport information for programs outside of the US.