Finances and Logistics

Basic information

Off-Campus Programs Student Handbook


Program fees

The price of each semester program is based on the total costs of the semester divided by the total number of students who participate. As a result, the final price of any program is not fully established until the final group studying off-campus has been identified (after academic registration for the following semester – early/mid November for spring semester programs and late April/early May for fall semester programs). As soon as the final price of each program is established the OCP office will send this information directly to all accepted students.

In order for you to have some price information related to the program you might be considering, the OCP office will provide a price range for the program. The college attempts to keep the off-campus program price comparable to the price of tuition, room and board (based on a 21 meal plan) plus round trip airfare for the given semester program. If the cost of the semester is less than the tuition, room and board cost of the same semester at Calvin, you will pay Calvin’s tuition and room and board cost. If the cost of an off-campus semester is greater than the tuition, room, and board, cost for the same semester at Calvin, you will pay the actual cost of the program. Additional information can be found here.

The price of the program typically covers the following costs:

  • Tuition, room & board;
  • Transportation to and from international locations (from Grand Rapids);
  • Selected excursions throughout the semester;
  • Visa costs;
  • Travel insurance (this insurance is a major medical supplemental health insurance policy that also provides financial assistance for medical or political evacuations if needed, this insurance does NOT pay for expenses if the student decides not to participate in the program).


A $500 deposit must be submitted to Financial Services within two weeks of your notification of acceptance into the program to secure your place in the semester program. The remainder of your program costs will be billed according to the same schedule and procedures as on-campus payments. This deposit is nonrefundable unless Calvin cancels the program.

If you desire to take more than 17 credits you will be billed for these overload credits (as per on-campus policy).

Any financial balance from previous semesters must be paid before you are officially accepted into any off-campus program. If special considerations need to be made, please contact the off-campus programs office (Don DeGraaf) or Financial Services (Rana Huisman).

Financial aid

All your financial aid (Calvin and non-Calvin) will be applied to the costs of one of Calvin semester programs. Students who wish to participate in a Non-Calvin Off-Campus Program should check with the Off-Campus Programs Office to see how their financial aid will apply. Additional information on financial aid can be found at:

The OCP office also encourages you to explore other potential scholarships that you may be eligible. Additional information on potential scholarship from Calvin and other sources can be found on the scholarship page of the OCP website.

Guest students participating in a Calvin off-campus programs receive no financial aid from Calvin. They should consult with their own institution to see if their home institution will continue their financial aid package for the time they are away.

Work study: No employment is available to students while on off-campus programs (especially those in foreign locations). You travel overseas on a student visa or with the understanding that you are temporary guests, which specifically prevents you from seeking employment or earning money while you are in the country.


Once the college begins to commit funds on your behalf (e.g.. airfare, lodging, etc), you are responsible for these costs. If for any reason, you need to drop out of a semester program, please let us know as soon as possible. Calvin will do its best to recoup as many costs as possible but you are responsible for any costs we are unable to recoup.

Budgeting and personal spending

The amount students spend above what they pay the college varies greatly according to the individual student and the cost of living in the host country. All necessities are covered with your program fee but students still find they want additional cash for souvenirs, eating out, and independent travel on free weekends and breaks.

Students studying in Europe will pay more for extra meals/snacks and independent travel than students studying in Ghana or Honduras. Returning students suggest that students will want about $750 to $1250 for their time away. You may be able to make it on less than these amounts if you are careful and restrict independent travel plans.


You are responsible for purchasing your own books and supplies while studying off-campus. Your program director should inform you about the books and educational equipment needed for the classes he or she is teaching. Some supplies must be purchased prior to departure, while others will have to be purchased on location. Additional books and supplies might be needed for classes taken at partnering institutions. These books and supplies will need to be purchased once at your host location.


Educational excursions are a part of all Calvin Off-Campus programs. The costs of these excursions are included in the overall program cost of the semester. You are responsible for extra expenses such as souvenirs and additional food and drink. If you do additional traveling during your free time, you are responsible for all costs of this personal travel.



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