Policies Regarding Off-Campus International Independent Studies During Interim

With the increasing number of students wanting to complete independent studies, off-campus (international) during interim, the following policies have bee developed to help faculty guide this process. 

  1. No off-campus, independent-study during interim will be approved to countries with U.S. State Department Travel Alerts or Warnings. 

  2. No off-campus, independent study during interim will be approved to a country where a faculty led class has already been approved (with the exception of the student receiving a letter of support from the faculty leading the existing class).
  3. No off-campus, independent study during interim will be approved for students traveling as tourists. Independent studies must include a strong academic component. This includes, but is not limited to, the following components:
    1. A Calvin faculty sponsor
    2. A well thought out learning contract that includes:
      1. Learning goals for the experience
      2. An explanation on how learning goals will be accomplished.
      3. A listing of assignments describing how the instructor will know that learning has taken place.
    3. Someone (individual or organization) who can serve as a cultural interpreter for the student – orienting and helping the student understand the culture where he or she will be studying. This would require a letter of support from the organization or individual who will serve as the student’s cultural interpreter. The faculty member and off-campus director would have to approve the student’s cultural interpreter. This individual or organization will also serve as the on-site emergency contact for the students. Students must submit this emergency contact info with their independent study form.
  4. Students are responsible for completing an on-line application (through the Calvin OCP page). This application includes waivers, medical information, as well as emergency contact information. Students are also responsible for making all their own travel arrangements and paying for all costs associated with their off-campus interim. Students are not eligible for any interim scholarships or grants (including the Student Life Travel grant) if they are completing an independent study, off-campus during interim.

  5. Students must get the approval of the Calvin faculty member supervising the independent study, the department chair of the sponsoring department, and the Director of Off-Campus Programs at Calvin. In addition, the student must complete the necessary paperwork (including waivers) with the Off-Campus Program Office prior to leaving on any off-campus, independent study during interim. 

The student must be away from Calvin for the entire interim.