March 23, 2023 | Matt Kucinski

A girl in a lab coat smiles while holding a pair of track shoes in front of her.

As a young girl growing up in Pickering, Ontario, Catie Kramer remembers getting the question: what do you want to be when you grow up? For her, the answer was easy then, and it’s easy now: a doctor.

There are many paths and places to prepare to become a doctor. Kramer knows this well. Look no further than her mailbox. Dozens of colleges and universities made their pitch. But Kramer was not solely focused on the “finish line,” she was interested in the journey to get there.

“It was a tough decision to make,” said Kramer of the process. “It was a stressful experience, but in the end, I made the right decision. It was a happy stressful.”

Converging paths

For Kramer, one destination stood out, one community seemed to provide her a path where her other goals, running cross country and track and growing in her Christian faith, would not compete with, but rather complement her career pursuit.

“At Calvin, you are a student-athlete, not an athlete-student,” said Kramer, a first-year student double-majoring in kinesiology and biochemistry and minoring in French. “The DIII experience allows you to be really good at your sport, good at school, and to make deep meaningful relationships.”

For Kramer, she found this to be true, from day one.

Finding community

“First day here at Calvin I met a girl who was on the team with me. She’s still my best friend, and one of my closest friends I’ve had in my entire life,” said Kramer.

For Kramer, who is nearly six hours from Pickering with no friends from her hometown coming to Calvin with her, the community she experienced was exactly what she needed.

“The community is awesome, such a wide variety of people, different countries, studying different things, different backgrounds, easy to find your group, your people you fit with. The community aspect is amazing,” said Kramer.

Growing in faith together

And it’s a community unlike any other Kramer had been part of before. She went to a public high school and never had close friends who were religious.

“Coming to Calvin it is awesome to have a close group of friends who I do sports with, do school with, go to church with, pray with, do devotions with,” said Kramer. “I’ve never had a good support system of people my age committed to their faith. It’s so easy to access ways to grow in your faith, almost hard not to when you come here.”

Access to opportunities

And it’s not hard to find opportunities as well, even as a first-year student.

“Another big reason for me coming to Calvin is the Phage program,” said Kramer. “It’s so unique to get research experience as a freshman. None of my friends who went to other schools have had the opportunity to do research as a freshman. I think that’s what’s cool about being at a smaller private school, the opportunities you get that you won’t have at big publics.”

For Kramer, Calvin, and the city of Grand Rapids, has just felt like home.

“I really like the location. I think it’s kind of perfect,” said Kramer. “It’s an enclosed campus, so you know that you are on the campus, but then you can step off and into the city. You are 10-15 minutes away from downtown, about 50 minutes away from the beach, it’s kind of a perfect location. It’s within easy striking distance to everything you would need.”

More info

Whether you are an American citizen living abroad or a citizen of another country (including Canada), our international admissions team is eager to provide you with information and resources that will help you with the admissions process and your transition to the U.S. and to Calvin.

Contact us

Phone: (616) 526-6106

Toll free: (800) 688-0122

Fax: (616) 526-6777


Upcoming events

Get your questions answered during one of our upcoming webinars. See the full calendar of admissions events, and register for the event(s) you plan to virtually attend.

March 23 - International Admitted Student Webinar

March 30 - International Admitted Student Webinar

April 6 - International Admitted Student Webinar

April 13 - International Admitted Student Webinar

April 18 - Final College Decisions & Your Questions Answered Webinar

April 20 - International Admitted Student Webinar

April 27 - International Admitted Student Webinar

May 4 - International Admitted Student Webinar

May 11 - International Admitted Student Webinar

May 18 - International Admitted Student Webinar

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