Begin main content

International Orientation

International Orientation is a program designed especially for you and your adult family members. It takes place just 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.

Register now

More information

  • Cost
    • A $200 fee will be charged to your student account. This is in addition to the $250 orientation fee. This covers all costs for that student associated with orientation at Calvin.
    • Adult family members can attend the one-day program designed for families at no additional cost.
    • Housing accommodations for family members is not available.
  • What to expect

    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!

    Participate in

    • Campus worship and group activities
    • Excursions to Lake Michigan, shopping destinations, and downtown Grand Rapids

    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

    Hear from

    • Calvin’s president
    • Faculty
  • Before you arrive

    2023 information pending.

  • Dates & Schedule


    2023 dates pending.

  • 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.

    How do I register?

    Confirm your registration on your New Student Portal.

    When should I arrive?

    Details pending!

    How do I get to Calvin?

    If you are arriving at the airport (Gerald R. Ford International), train station, or bus station in Grand Rapids (only), Calvin 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. Those who applied after May 1 will receive notice during summer. For questions, please contact the Housing Office at or (616) 526-6120.

    Can my parents or siblings attend International Orientation?

    Yes, they are welcome to accompany you! Parents 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.

    Where will my parents stay?

    Parents are invited to stay in the Prince Conference Center during their time at Calvin as we do not make housing accommodations for them. There is a special lodging rate for parents. To arrange parent lodging, 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.

    When do orientation events end, and when do classes begin?

    International Orientation ends on August 23.

    Welcome Week begins on Thursday, August 24 and goes through Sunday, August 27, 2023.

    Can I send a package of my belongings before arriving on campus?

    Yes you can. Even if you don’t know your residence hall assignment, you can send packages to Calvin, and we will forward it to your dorm address. Address packages as follows:

    (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 22 for students and parents to visit a local grocery and home essentials store where you can find supplies for your dorm and classes.

    How can I pay my tuition fees?

    Please look for an email from the financial services office with more information about paying tuition. International payments go through Flywire. See the Billing and Payment page.

    Who can I contact if I have more questions?

    Esther Kwak

    Program Coordinator of International Student Development
    Phone: (616) 526-7121


The latest sights & sounds | #calvinuniversity