International PASSPORT is a six-day program designed for you as a new international student, as well as your adult family members. It takes place just before the school year begins. International PASSPORT eases the transition to North American culture and introduces you to Calvin through activities and creative workshops.

More information

What to expect

Calvin’s orientation programs have three objectives

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

International PASSPORT is designed along two tracks—one for you and one for your family members. You’ll attend a few of the sessions together. Here’s a sampling.

Participate in

  • Academic advising and placement tests so you can plan your fall schedule
  • Campus worship and group activities
  • Trips to places such as Lake Michigan, a nearby mall, and downtown Grand Rapids

Learn about

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

Hear from

  • Calvin’s President
  • A panel of faculty members
Before you arrive
  1. Register yourself and your family members for the program on your Applicant Status page
  2. Pay your enrollment deposit, if you haven’t already
  3. Be sure you have received three confirmation emails from the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office:
    • Two weeks following your registration
    • One month prior to International PASSPORT
    • One week prior to International PASSPORT
  4. Fill out your travel arrival form if you need us to pick you up from the airport, bus station or train station.

Travel Plans

Please plan to arrive on Saturday, August 26. Our first orientation program will begin on Sunday morning, August 27. If necessary, someone from Calvin will pick you up from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport or Grand Rapids bus station.

Please note that you will need to find your own transportation from Chicago or Detroit to Grand Rapids. The most convenient way is by a connecting flight. It is not recommended to take a taxi, as it is very expensive.

We are sorry, but no on-campus housing is available prior to August 26. If you arrive before August 26, you will need to stay at the Prince Conference Center or other accommodations at an additional expense. Be sure to make reservations in advance. As soon as you know your travel plans, let us know by submitting the travel arrival form.


Upon arrival follow the road signs to the residence halls. You will check-in at the Knollcrest Circle. Make your way to the front lobby of the hall where you'll:

  • Check-in
  • Obtain a resource packet
  • Receive a room assignment if staying on campus
  • Receive a personalized schedule


For Students:

You will move into your permanent dorm room on August 26 (first day of International PASSPORT).

For Parents:

See our Parents and Family International PASSSPORT page for information.


All meals are served in Commons Dining Hall and require your International PASSPORT nametag for entrance. Meals begin at lunch on Saturday, August 26 and continue through Saturday, September 2.

Dates & Schedule


2017 Session: Sunday, August 27 - Thursday, August 31.

International PASSPORT officially begins with breakfast at 9:00 am on Sunday, August 27. We strongly suggest students plan to arrive on campus on Saturday, August 26 to avoid any hiccups when Orientation starts the next day. Please DO NOT plan to arrive before August 26. Housing is NOT available before August 26.


International PASSPORT schedule for parents and students

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to attend International PASSPORT?

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

If I am an American/Canadian who has lived abroad, how do I know whether I should attend PASSPORT III or International PASSPORT?

If you identify strongly with a non-American culture, then International PASSPORT is probably the right choice as there are several workshops on cultural adaption and more help given with setting up for life here in the U.S. However, if you are quite comfortable with the American culture and would just like an opportunity to meet with others like you, then PASSPORT III might be a good choice as there will be an evening where you can meet with other “third culture students” and then later, all the new international students.

How do I register?

Register online using your Applicant Status page.

How much does International PASSPORT cost?

It costs $425. Regular PASSPORT is $250 so there is an additional $175 for students attending International PASSPORT.

When should I arrive?

We strongly suggest that you plan to arrive on campus on Saturday, August 26, as there are several important pre-orientation activities scheduled for Sunday the next day-- a trip downtown, campus tours, and setting up your Banking. International PASSPORT officially begins with breakfast at 9:00am on Sunday, August 27. Please do not plan to arrive later than 2:00pm August 27 or before August 26. Housing is NOT available before August 26.

What if I want to arrive early?

International PASSPORT housing begins Saturday, August 26. If you arrive before Saturday, you must make your own arrangements for accommodations. Programs for International PASSPORT will begin on Sunday.

How do I get to Calvin?

If you are arriving at the Grand Rapids airport (Gerald R. Ford International), train station, or bus station, Calvin will make arrangements to pick you up. Any other city is too far for us to pick you up. You may want to look into connecting transportation. Please complete the travel arrival form. When you get to campus please come to the Knollcrest Circle for registration.

Where will I stay and eat?

Students will move and stay in their permanent dorm rooms throughout the orientation program. Meals will be provided in the Calvin Dining Hall or by outside vendors.

When do I find out who my roommate is?

If you submitted your housing form before May 1, you will find out your roommate in July. Those who applied after May 1 will receive notice in August. For questions, please contact the housing office, or (616) 526-6120.

When will I be able to move into my permanent residence?

You will move in the first day of International PASSPORT on Saturday, August 26.

Can my parents attend International PASSPORT?

Yes, they are certainly welcome to accompany you. Parents follow their own schedule, which includes special workshops and presentations designed just for them.

What about my younger siblings?

There are no events specifically designed for younger siblings. They may find parent sessions to be uninteresting and following around their older sibling may be awkward. This decision is left to the discretion of the parents. Please be aware only two family members are included in the orientation fee. There is an additional $50 fee for each additional family member.

Where will my parents stay?

Parents must find their own accommodations. We recommend that parents stay in the Prince Conference Center – a hotel owned and operated by Calvin College. The parent rate is $89 a night. If you would like to make a reservation and receive this rate, you need to call the PCC which is open 24 hours a day. Specify that you are coming for “International PASSPORT” and indicate that you are a family member of an incoming student.

There are also plenty of other lodging options available near the campus. However, if you find a place to stay outside of Calvin’s campus, please note that public transportation is very limited and you will need a car to get to and from campus.

When do events for parents officially end?

International PASSPORT ends on Thursday, August 31 at 5pm.

What should I bring?

Please take some time to review the "What to Bring" checklist.

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

Yes you can. Even if you don’t know your residence halls you can send packages to Calvin with just your name and mail services will forward it to your dorm address. (Your Name) 3201 Burton Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 United States of America

Will there be an opportunity to shop?

Yes, on Sunday, August 27, students and parents will visit a local grocery store where you can find supplies for your dorm and also the classroom.

What will I do during International PASSPORT?

A tentative schedule of planned events is available to you online.

When do I register for classes?

You will meet with an academic advisor who will assist you in reviewing a list of classes for the fall semester. After this meeting, the Academic Service's Office will create your fall semester schedule.

What if I want to audition for a music group?

Complete the music auditions portion on the registration form, and we will schedule an audition for you.

When do classes begin?

Tuesday, September 5.

How can I pay my tuition fees?

You can make payments in the Financial Services Office (Spoelhof Center) when you arrive on campus.Online payments can also be submitted.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Esther Kwak (Program Coordinator of International Student Development)

Email- Phone: 616-526-7121 (Esther Kwak)



Register online using your Applicant Status page.

If you need to make changes to your orientation registration, fill out the Orientation Changes webform.


A $425 orientation fee will be charged to your student account in early September. This fee covers costs associated with orientation, with the majority covering meals.