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Semester Programs: New Mexico Semester

Program Benefits and Rewards for First Year Students

  • Students can earn up to 14 hours of college credit in small classes that are experientially based and that satisfy requirements of Calvin’s core curriculum. 
  • Program offers an alternative path to start college, offering first year students an opportunity to explore new places and cultures, meet new friends, while delving into the concepts of vocation, leadership, and service. 
  • Upon completion of the semester, first year students can return to Calvin, where a number of initiatives are in place to help them integrate back on campus OR students can explore numerous possibilities to complete a Gap semester before returning to Calvin the following Fall.  Taking a gap year is common practice in Europe.  Rather than going straight to college, students take a year off to immerse themselves in other places, explore specific interests, or volunteer to help others.  This trend is growing in the United States as well; yet the pressure to begin one’s college studies is ever present.  The New Mexico Semester offers first year students an opportunity to do both – start college while at the same time creating some space to reflect and think about future vocational directions. 
  • For students interested in the possibility of a gap semester in the spring (after the New Mexico Semester), please contact Calvin’s Off-Campus Programs Office to discuss various options available to you. 
  • Program excursions (related to courses) are planned almost every week-end to such places as:  Grand Canyon, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Bisti Badlands, El Morro, Zuni, and Sky City.