To participate in a Calvin off-campus semester program, you must have sophomore status, a minimum GPA 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. In general, for Spring programs, applications are due by October 1 of the preceding year, and for Fall programs, they are due the Friday before Spring Break. Please check the information for your specific semester program since deadlines can vary.  Applications for the Spring Washington DC Semester are due in the spring prior to participation in the program but may be accepted through mid-September if space allows.

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 University 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 University Horizons site. Please read the following before you proceed.

How do I get started?

After you click on the Calvin University 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.

What materials should I prepare to complete the application process?
  • 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 click Save.
  • 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 university.  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.
  • Program Expectations: Please read this document which outlines the expectations you are responsible to accept and follow during the off-campus semester. Then check to acknowledge you have read the expectations.
  • Insurance verification:  You will need to provide Calvin with information about your health insurance provider and that you do have health coverage while abroad.  
  • References:  You should identify two references for semester programs.  Fill in the name, phone number and email address of your references and click "Save" at the bottom. Remember that it is standard practice to ask your references for permission  before you list their name.
  • Course Selection Sheet: Information and link to the form can be found here or on the application. Save and continue after you download it.
  • Interview: Indicate times that are best for you to have an interview with the Director of the program. The Save and Continue.
  • Review and Save: Review your application and click save at the bottom if all is ok.
  • Submit Application: After completing and saving all parts of the first step of the Application, you should see a button to "Submit Application" in part 2 which you should do so it can be reviewed by OCP and Student Life.  After you submit, your application status on the Homepage will change from Incomplete to Pending which will signal our office to check it and move it forward if eligible.

After the first part of your application is reviewed and selections have been made to the program, you will receive an e-mail from either our office or the Program Director instructing you to complete the forms in Post-Acceptance, Step 3 of your application.

  • Intro to Post-Acceptance: Please read this and check that you have signed it.
  • 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). Please check the box for Broene Counseling Center if you give your permission for the director to contact your counselor and fill in any other names or agencies that may be contacted. Below that, please indicate how much you will authorize and finish by checking or filling in the box as necessary.
  • Accommodation Request Form:  Use this form to request academic or housing accommodations.
  • Emergency contact information:  You will need to provide the names, phone numbers and emails of two emergency contacts
  • Passport Information: If you are going on a program outside of the U.S. you need to complete the Passport Information section with information about your passport including the number, the place of issue, expiration date, and a scan (of the page with your photo). If you don't have one yet, please complete this as soon as you do and before you leave!

Who should I ask to be a reference for me?

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. Foreign language semesters should list one of their foreign language professors for one of the references.

What about the interview?

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.

What happens after I complete the first part of the application process?

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 as soon as possible.