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Frequently Asked Questions

About Seminars at Calvin:

What are the scholarly goals of Seminars at Calvin?

Seminars at Calvin seeks to promote a strong Christian voice in the academy by

  • Addressing issues of current debate,
  • Engaging them with deep Christian commitment, and
  • Promoting first-order scholarship

What are the costs to participate in a summer seminar?

Each seminar is slightly different. A detailed letter will be sent to the applicant once they are accepted, prior to confirming acceptance. There are no registration fees to participate in any of the summer seminars and no tuition costs.

Funding for travel to and from Grand Rapids is generally not covered. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses unless specifically told otherwise. The nearest airport is Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR), located just a few minutes' drive from Calvin's campus.

In general, the following are provided to you free of charge: all course materials including books and readers; lodging in on campus apartments, also available to your spouse and children (subject to space restrictions); shuttle van between the airport and Calvin's campus on arrival and departure days (available only during specific windows of time); welcome picnic for you and your family members who join you; morning breaks and lunchs for participant only; weekday activities for family members (some activities may require a modest fee).

Participants are also granted access to Calvin’s Hekman Library and the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex during their stay. Adult family members may also receive access.

 

About the application process:

Who may apply?

Seminars at Calvin does not discriminate with regard to age, race, color, national origin, religious affiliation, gender or disability in any of its educational programs or activities. Each seminar has different requirements and qualifications. Select the topic of interest to view specific details.

What is the cost to apply?

There is no cost to apply to a seminar.

Can I apply to more than one seminar?

Yes, it is permitted. We do not recommend it for research seminars. Selections for these seminars are made according to the relevance of your research to the topic of the seminar and we do not anticipate equal eligibility in multiple seminars. If you are accepted to participate in more than one seminar, you will be asked to make a choice regarding event participation. Each participant may attend one seminar per summer.

Individuals applying for any of the Summer Seminars are ineligible to apply for the Communitas program.

What is a CV?

A CV, or curriculum vitae, is similar to a resumé. This document should include your training and education, work experience, publications, any awards or honors that you have received, and any relevant or significant activities such as board memberships and volunteering. The following website gives further information on what a CV is with a sample: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/cvsamples/a/blsamplecv.htm

I submitted my application over 10 days ago. Why haven't I received a confirmation?

We will only send an email confirmation upon receipt of all your application components. It may be that we have not received all the pieces we need. If you are sure that you have submitted all the required components, it may be that an email has been blocked on your end or ours. The good intentions of SPAM blocking devices sometimes inadvertently block good emails as well. Please call us to find out if your application has been received. Seminars @ Calvin cannot be held responsible for blocked emails.

When will I find out if I am accepted?

The application deadline for each seminar is listed on its information page. After the deadline, all of the applications will be sent on to the directors for review and selection. We will respond to you via email regarding your applicant status as soon as we are able, generally in mid March.

Can I find out why I wasn't accepted into an event?

Due to the number of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to individual applicants regarding the decisions that are made.

I missed the deadline for the Seminars-when will the application process begin for next year’s Seminars?

More information, including the application process, for 2015 Seminars will be posted in the fall of 2015.

 

Planning your stay at Calvin

What is the typical schedule?

Most seminars meet only in the mornings, usually from 9am-noon, with the occasional afternoon session. Ultimately, however, the schedule is determined by the director, depending on his or her goals and the length of the seminar. Week-long seminars tend to include more in-class time than two- or three-week seminars. Evenings are typically free so that participants can make full use of Calvin’s Hekman Library.

Where will I be living and what is included?

Participants (and their families, when applicable) are typically lodged in the family-friendly Knollcrest East courtyard apartments on Calvin's campus at no cost to the participant. The apartments are partially furnished with beds, dressers, desks & chairs, and dining table & chairs, and basic kitchen utensils. We provide basic kitchen items such as cutlery, plates and cups, and a selection of pots and pans, and we can provide some other kitchen items such as crock pots, blenders, and bakeware upon request. You are also free to bring your own items for use. We also provide basic linens (sheets, pillow, blanket, and towel) but many participants find they prefer to bring their own.

You can find out more about the Knollcrest East apartments here. Please note that the linked website is intended for Calvin students, so some information will not apply to summer seminar participants.

Are meals provided?

Participants and family members are generally responsible for their own meals during the Seminar. Seminars at Calvin provides a welcome picnic on the first day of each seminar, and all participants and their family members are welcome to attend at no cost. Additionally, we provide weekday lunches and morning breaks for participants only; family members are not included.

Each apartment has a full kitchen for participants to prepare their meals, and we offer transportation to and from a local grocery store at least once a week.

What can my family do while I am in the seminar sessions?

Spouses and children are welcome to participate in our Children’s Activity Program. Our Children’s Activity Coordinator works hard to plan activities that will be of interest to your children based on information collected from the participants. Accompanied by a parent or guardian, your child(ren) ages 3-12 will be able to participate in group games, crafts, field trips (which will be of little or no cost), and much more! Special teen activities may also be scheduled based on attendance.

 

About international guests:

I am not a U.S. citizen. Do I need a visa to participate in the seminar? Will you issue me a letter of invitation?

Iit is ultimately the responsibility of accepted applicants to determine which visa is needed for participation in the seminar, and what the process is in their specific situation. It is highly recommended that all non-U.S. citizens contact the Seminars office as soon as they receive notification of their acceptance, so that they can talk through any questions that they may have. Participants are ultimately responsible to obtain the necessary paperwork and appointments and to pay any necessary fees.

All accepted applicants will receive an email of confirmation, stipulating the arrangements that will be made for them should they confirm their acceptance in the event. Hard copies of this letter will be sent upon request. This letter can function as a letter of invitation for the purposes of applying for a visa.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I still receive an honorarium? Will I need to pay U.S. taxes?

Some seminars include honoraria for participants; however, these must be dispensed in compliance with federal and campus regulations. In general, participants must prove that they are eligible to work in the U.S. and they must have a U.S. tax identification number (usually Social Security number). Typically this means that participants must apply for a specific visa and (if they do not already have a U.S. tax identification number) and apply for a U.S. Social Security Number upon their arrival into the U.S., which can take several weeks to process. However the process will be different for each individual depending on their citizenship, residence, and travel history. It is highly recommended that non-U.S. participants contact the Seminars office as soon as they receive notification of their acceptance, so that they can talk through any questions that they may have.

All stipends are taxable income. Non-U.S. citizens should expect that up to 30% of their stipend may be withheld in taxes. In some cases funds may be returned to the participant if they file a U.S. tax form at the end of the year. In some instances this amount may also be waived in accordance with tax treaties between the U.S. and the participant's home country.

 

If you are still not able to find an answer to your question, please contact us at seminars@calvin.edu.