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Fall Welcome | International Orientation

International Orientation is a program designed especially for students who are not U.S. citizens, or are Americans who are living abroad, plus your adult family members. We offer this right before the school year begins so your transition to Calvin is as smooth as possible. We will deal with the cultural and logistical challenges of a new setting while helping you establish a strong community.

More information

  • A $200 fee will be charged to your student account for International Orientation in addition to the $250 orientation fee. The fees cover the cost of food, transportation, and programming provided throughout the time students are involved in the International Orientation and orientation experiences.
  • Adult family members may attend the one-day program designed for families at no additional cost.
  • We don't provide housing for family members, but please read the FAQ below for more information about on-campus lodging available.

Important Dates

  • August 20: Registration and Move-in to your dorm
  • August 21–24: International Orientation programming
  • August 24–27: All incoming students participate in Welcome Week

Three objectives

  • To introduce you to Calvin's purpose, people, and programs
  • To help ensure your smooth transition to the university
  • To prepare you academically for your years at Calvin

You and your family members will each have customized sessions, and you’ll attend a few sessions together. You'll hear from Calvin's president and faculty!

Tentative Student Schedule
Tentative Family Schedule

Learn about

  • Calvin’s core curriculum and your major
  • The cultural transition to American academic and social life
  • Setting up banking and managing finances
  • Living in the residence hall or off campus

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to attend International Orientation?

    Students with citizenship outside of the U.S. or Canada who are here on student visas must attend International Orientation. It is optional for permanent residents or U.S. or Canadian citizens who have lived abroad for much of their lives.

    If you are American/Canadian and identify strongly with another country's culture, then International Orientation is suggested for you. There are several workshops on culture adaptation and more help given for setting up for life here in the U.S.

    However, if you are American/Canadian and are quite comfortable with American culture and would like the opportunity to meet other students like you, then attending an on-campus or online orientation program might be good choice.

  • When should I arrive? How do I get to Calvin?

    International Orientation officially begins on Monday, Aug. 21, at 8 AM, and ends on Thursday, August 24.

    Welcome Week, which is required for all incoming students, begins on Thursday, August 24 and goes through Sunday, August 27, 2023.

    To start on time, we ask that all students travel and arrive at Calvin on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. Registration and Move-in to your dorm room will be open all day on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

    If you are arriving at the airport (Gerald R. Ford International), train station, or bus station in Grand Rapids (only), we will make arrangements to pick you up.

  • When do I find out who my roommate is?

    If you submitted your housing form before May 1, you will find out your roommate assignment in late June.

    If you applied after May 1, you will receive notice during the summer.

    For questions, please contact the Housing Office at or (616) 526-6120.

  • Can my family attend? Where will they stay?

    Yes, your family is warmly welcomed to accompany you! Parents/guardians follow their own schedule, which includes special workshops and presentations designed just for them. None of the parent programs are mandatory; many parents come and go as their schedule allows. There are no specific events designed for siblings.

    Parents are invited to stay in the Prince Conference Center; however we do not arrange accommodations for them. There is a special lodging rate for parents; please contact the Prince Conference Center and let them know you are coming for International Orientation as a family member of an incoming student.

    There are other lodging options available near campus with limited public transportation options, too. See our information about Grand Rapids to assist you as you make travel and lodging plans.

  • Can I send package(s)? Will there be time to shop?

    Yes! Even if you don’t know your residence hall assignment, send packages to Calvin and we will forward it to your dorm address. Please address your packages like this:

    (Your Name)
    3201 Burton Street SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49546
    United States of America

    If you would like to shop, there will be an opportunity on Monday, August 21 for students and parents to visit a local grocery and home essentials store where you can find supplies for your dorm and classes.

  • How do I pay my tuition fees?

    Please look for an email during the summer from the financial services office with more information about paying tuition.

    Note: International payments go through Flywire. You can get more information about this process on the financial services website and the billing and payment page.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Esther Kwak

Esther Kwak

Assistant Director, Center for Intercultural Student Development
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