International PASSPORT is a six-day program and is a 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, immigration, and logistical challenges of a new setting while helping you establish a strong community.

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.

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 Friday, August 23. Our first orientation program will begin on the morning of Saturday, August 24. If necessary, someone from Calvin can 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 to Grand Rapids if you fly into Chicago or Detroit. 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 23. If you arrive before August 23, 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.

Checking In

Upon arrival follow the road signs to the residence halls. Make your way to the front lobby of the hall where you'll check in and receive:

  • A resource packet
  • A room assignment (if staying on campus)
  • A personalized schedule


For Students:

You will move into your permanent dorm room upon your arrival on August 23. Please note that housing is NOT available before August 23.

For Parents:

We do not provide housing for accompanying family members. See our Parents and Family International PASSPORT page for more information.


All meals are served in Knollcrest Dining Hall and require your International PASSPORT name tag for entrance. Meals begin at breakfast on Friday, August 23 and contintue through Thursday, August 29.

Dates & Schedule


Saturday, August 24–Thursday, August 29.

International PASSPORT begins with breakfast at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 24. We suggest students plan to arrive on campus on Friday, August 23 to avoid any issues when orientation starts the next day. Please do not plan to arrive before August 23. Housing is NOT available before August 23.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to attend International PASSPORT?

Students with citizenship outside of the U.S. or Canada and are 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 you are American/Canadian and identify strongly with non-American culture, the International PASSPORT 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 the American culture and would like the opportunity to meet other students like you, then PASSPORT III might be good choice. There is an evening where you can meet with other "third culture students," and then meet all the new international students.

How do I register?

Register online using your Applicant Status page.

How much does International PASSPORT cost?

There is an additional $200 fee for students attending International PASSPORT compared to regular PASSPORT.

When should I arrive?

We ask that you please plan to arrive on campus on Friday, August 23. This is when you will move into your permanent residence. There are several important orientation sessions scheduled for the next day, such as setting up your banking. This will give you plenty of time to get settled in before PASSPORT begins.

We ask that you do not arrive before Friday, August 23, as there will NOT be housing available before this time. Also, please do not arrive after 8 a.m. on Saturday.

If you do want to arrive early, you will need to make your own arrangements for accommodations.

During PASSPORT, meals will be provided in the Dining Hall or by outside vendors.

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.

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 at or (616) 526-6120.

Can my parents or siblings 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. We have parent programs on August 24, but they are very casual to get to know other parents. However, none of the parent programs are mandatory, and thus many parents come and go as their schedule allows.

For siblings, there are no specific events designed for them, so keep that in mind.

Please do remember, 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?

We would love for parents to stay in the Prince Conference Center during their time at Calvin, as we do not make housing accommodations for them. The rate for parents is $89 per night and reservations are welcome.

Please call the Prince Conference Center (they are open 24 hours), and let them know you are coming for International PASSPORT as 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 can be limited.

When do events for PASSPORT end, and when do classes begin?

International PASSPORT ends on Thursday, August 29 at 5 p.m.

Classes begin on Tuesday, September 3.

If you would like to shop, there will be an opportunity on Saturday, August 24 for students and parents to visit a local grocery and home essentials store where you can find supplies for your dorm and classes.

What should I bring?

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

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

What will I do during International PASSPORT?

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

How 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 Center for Student Success will create your fall semester schedule.

If you wish to audition for a music group, please complete the music auditions portion on the registration form, and we will schedule an audition for you!

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
Phone: 616-526-7121



Register online using your Applicant Status page.

If you need to make changes to your orientation registration, please contact Esther Kwak.


A $485 orientation fee will be charged to your student account in early September. This fee covers costs associated with orientation—the majority of it covers meals.