Policies Regarding Off-Campus International Independent Studies During Interim

With the increasing number of students wanting to complete independent studies as an international off-campus interim, the following policies have been developed to help faculty guide this process.  

No off-campus, independent-study during interim will be approved to countries with U.S. State Department Travel Alerts or Warnings (with the exception of interims connected with Mission to Heal, a medical missions organization).  

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).  

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:  

A Calvin faculty sponsor

A well thought out learning contract that includes:  

Learning goals for the experience

An explanation on how learning goals will be accomplished.

A listing of assignments describing how the instructor will know that learning has taken place.  

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.  

Students are 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.

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.  

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