All students wishing to register for a BVU travel course must:

  1. Read all the information contained in this document.
  2. Print the Travel Course Application Form from the Registrar’s Web Page.
  3. Complete the Travel Course Application Form, obtaining signatures of the academic advisor and Associate Dean of Students (Thomas “Dale” Scully) on the application form.
  4. Submit the application form to the Associate Dean’s Office (DE107D) by Sept. 21, 2015.
  5. Pay the required deposit for the specific travel course by Sept. 21, 2015.

Deposit and Registration

Once you have completed your application form, make the required non-refundable deposit with the Business Office no later than Sept. 21, 2015 so that you can register for the course during your specified registration time. If you think you may need a loan to assist you in covering the cost of the travel course, please consult with the Office of Financial Assistance no later than early September or the loan will likely not be processed in time for registration. All students will have a "deposit hold" until the deposit has been paid.  This hold is released once the deposit has been paid.  Consult the information posted below for the correct amount.

It is important to understand that deposits are non-refundable and, at any time following your registration into the course, you will be responsible for all unrecoverable payments made on your behalf for the course. If a course is canceled due to low enrollment, or if a student is not able to register due to the enrollment limit being reached for a course, deposits will be refunded to students.

Once the deposit has been made and registration completed, the balance of the course fees must be paid according to the payment schedule established for the specific course.  Each travel course specifies a non-refundable deposit, as well as the payment schedule for payment of balances; students are responsible for paying close attention to the dates listed for the travel course they select. 

Note: All international, Dean’s Fellows, and Honor’s stipends as well as any other institutional funding apply to the final payment for the course.

Registration for Interim Travel Courses is scheduled Sept. 21-25, 2015.  Steps to insure you are ready to register for travel courses on time (Steps 1 through 4 below should be completed prior to Sept. 21). 

  1. Make sure you are current on all financial obligations with the University: If you have any outstanding financial obligations to the university, they must be met prior to registering for Interim and/or Spring. Prior to Sept. 21, contact the Business Office to verify that your account is current.

  2. All transcripts from other institutions, including your final high school transcript must be recorded with the University: Transcripts from any college level work (AP, CLEP or 2 or other 4 year institutions) must have been received directly from the other institution by the Registrar’s Office prior to Sept. 21 for you to be cleared to register for any travel course (or any other Interim or spring coursework). Until all transcripts are received (including your final high school transcript), you will not be allowed to register for a travel course.

  3. Travel course deposit must be paid. The appropriate deposit for the travel course for which you wish to register must be paid before you are cleared to register.

  4. You will need to get permission from your academic advisor to register.  Your travel course faculty sponsor will need to notify your academic advisor that you will be traveling.  Once you have been cleared for registration, you'll need to go to BEAVERNet to register. 

Steps to register for travel courses

Once your deposit is paid, you have checked that your records (transcripts, finances, etc.) are such that you are able to register, and you have input your access code for the course you wish to enroll in, go to Campus Connect and register according to the registration schedule. Campus Connect will open at 8:15 a.m. each day for registration according to the following schedule based on the number of credits you currently have earned.

Seniors (87 or more credit hours) and Honor Students: Monday, Sept. 21
Juniors (56 to 86 credit hours): Tuesday, Sept. 22
Sophomores (24 to 55 credit hours): Wednesday, Sept. 23
Freshmen (fewer than 24 credit hours): Thursday, Sept.  24

Registration for Interim travel courses will be shut off on Friday, Sept. 25 at noon. At this time, decisions will be made to determine if any travel courses need to be canceled or rescheduled due to low enrollments. 

Locations and Costs of Travel Courses

Buena Vista University is committed to offering students opportunities for a global perspective recognizing that global distinctions may be experienced throughout the United States as well as across the world. Regardless of location, Interim travel courses create opportunities whereby students engage cultural, historical, economic, geographical, and/or aesthetic experiences through which they are able to promote personal growth, enhance cultural sensitivity, and expand their world views.

Regardless of the destination of the travel course, Buena Vista University’s travel courses create opportunities whereby students experience other cultures first-hand. In so doing, in addition to specific destination learning outcomes, students will be able to:

  • Actively engage diverse communities, developing greater intercultural knowledge
  • Demonstrate greater intercultural competency appropriate to new settings and diverse communities
  • Develop greater understanding of the role of the world citizen and responsibilities world citizens share for their common global future.

Because of the institution’s commitment to assisting our students to experience global perspectives, the institution underwrites students’ costs to the greatest extent possible. You will see the total cost per person charge listed for each travel course, the cost to students (reflecting the amount underwritten by the university for that course), followed by the payment schedule for each course. Be sure to read all the information provided for each course.

Program costs for travel courses are the most accurate estimates possible. These costs are subject to change due to the rate of inflation and/or unexpected rises in costs. Occasionally courses may be canceled at the close of the registration period (late September/beginning of October) if enrollment is not sufficient. Similarly, if necessary, students may be given an option of increasing the amount they pay if unfavorable exchange rates are realized after the planning stages are complete. In such instances, all students must sign their agreement to the increased costs or adjustments in the experiences will occur to meet the original cost charged to students.

Academic Status

Travel course applicants are expected to be in good academic standing with the university. Students on academic or disciplinary probation will not be allowed to register for international and/or domestic travel courses.

Dates for Travel Courses

Travel courses generally consist of a minimum of 15 days of travel instruction within the Interim calendar. Faculty have the discretion to arrange travel for a longer period of time; courses may occasionally leave prior to the official beginning of the Interim session. Some courses may have on-campus time as well as off-campus travel time. Many courses require preparatory work the semester prior to the travel experience. Students are expected to complete all components associated with the travel course. Failure to attend the preparatory sessions may result in a student being removed from the travel course. If such removal is necessary, the student bears the costs to the institution of his/her removal for failure to comply with course requirements. Travel to South Africa typically occurs in May and June immediately following graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to fully understand the travel schedule requirements for the course in which s/he enrolls.

Unexpected Withdrawals and/or Terminations from Travel Courses

Students may experience need for unexpected medical or bereavement withdrawals from travel courses. In such documented cases, students will receive a refund of all recoverable funds; because of the need to commit funds months prior to travel, it may not be possible to refund funds in some cases. The student must provide the Associate Dean’s Office with appropriate documentation (doctor’s statement verifying the student is medically unable to participate in the course, appropriate documentation related to bereavement issue, etc.) along with the refund request.

If a student is terminated from a travel course any time after registration in the course as a result of disciplinary or behavioral problems, fees will be assessed as necessary and will vary depending on the course and date of termination. No refunds will be made and no credit will be awarded to students who are terminated from a travel course as a result of disciplinary or behavioral problems. If disciplinary or behavioral problems occur while a travel course in underway, the student will be sent home at his/her expense. Additional fees may be assessed in such instances as necessary.

Students are expected to travel to and from destinations with the BVU group as outlined by the faculty leaders and complete all required elements of the travel course for which they are enrolled. Failure to do either likely results in the student failing the course and may suffer additional penalties.

Campus Meal Plans

Students enrolled in BVU 2015 travel courses will automatically receive a meal stipend based on their specific meal plan for the required time away from campus.  No application for these meal stipends is needed with travel courses.   

Documents Required for International Travel Courses


Travel course participants must possess a valid U.S. Passport. If you already have a passport, check to see when it expires. Passports may be acquired with the required fee (usually approximately $135) at any county Recorder’s Office or online at the U.S. State Department’s website.  Passports can take 8 weeks or longer to be processed. Plan ahead accordingly. See individual travel course descriptions or faculty leading said travel course for information on passport requirements for the course.


Certain countries will require an entry visa. Participants will be advised on visa application and picture requirements by travel course faculty sponsors.


Certain inoculations may be recommended or required for particular travel courses. Specific information on inoculations and where/when to obtain them will be given to participants from the travel course faculty sponsors as soon as the information is available.

Documents required for all Travel Courses

In addition to appropriate passports, visa, and inoculations for international travelers, all students traveling with a BVU travel course must provide which may be found on the Registrar’s Web Page:

  1. Completed application form (turned into the Associate Dean of Faculty’s office by Sept. 21, 2015)
  2. Completed medical information form (required for International courses and highly recommended for domestic travel courses) (turned in to the travel course faculty leader)
  3. Off-campus Study Contract (turned in to the travel course faculty leader)

Travel Courses 2016

January 2016



Spend January of next year touring the most famous and beautiful spots in Europe -- see EIGHT countries for the price of one! Locations are Amsterdam, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Rome, Vatican City, Pompeii, Florence, Paris, and London. Just some of the sites include castles, museums, a concentration camp, the Eiffel Tower, and Stonehenge! Cost:$4900

Wind Goodfriend and Annamaria Elsden

December 28- January 18

INTM 222

French Polynesia                                                              

Tahiti, Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti and other islands that make up French Polynesia will be our classroom as we explore environmental issues, culture and law enforcement structures of these islands. We’ll live in a home where the back yard is the most beautiful, peaceful lagoon, and learn about the culture, life, and go behind the scenes in this French influenced police system. Estimated cost: $4,900 for 2½ weeks (17 days) limited to maximum of 10 students.

Swasti Bhattacharyya and Stephanie Hays

January 7-23



A Spanish immersion experience in Spain. We will be studying at a local language school where students will learn language and culture. Students will stay with families in the region who will provide lodging and food, giving them an opportunity to experience life and culture off of the beaten tourist path. In the afternoons and on the weekends we will visit historically and culturally important sites to understand the history and changes throughout time in Spain. The estimated cost is $3500, and this includes three credits toward the Spanish major/minor, plus two meals a day as part of the homestay.

Steven Mills and Brittany Garling

January 1 – January 22.


Romania: Making a difference in children’s lives         

Travel to Barlad, Romania for 3 weeks including 10 volunteering days. We will work with infants and toddlers with special needs in the St. Nicholas Children's Hospital. We will partner with Global Volunteers, a private, non-profit (501C-3) tax-exempt organization, from Minneapolis/St. Paul, and partner with other volunteers worldwide. After volunteering and over the weekend, we will explore historic and cultural cites such as the “Bran Castle” and “Peles Castle” in Transylvania and Bucharest. Estimated total cost is $4,700.

Miyuki Vamadevan Arimoto and Peter Johnson

December 30-January 21


A Forgiveness Journey through the Dominican Republic and Haiti                                                                                                        

During our two weeks together, we will look at forgiveness from both the psychological and theological perspective through volunteering, readings, personal reflections, and intentional group discussion. As we volunteer alongside locals in Haiti and the Dominican Republic we will study and analyze the two very different cultures and countries that reside on the same island. This is an opportunity for us to explore forgiveness through the eyes, words and perceptions of individuals who have struggled to come to terms with self and others in light of their sometimes painful history. Join us on this journey of hope, healing and forgiveness through serving others. Estimated trip cost $3,500. Student Limit: 10

Ashley Farmer-Hanson and Ken Meissner

January 3rd – January 18th. (January 3- 9 Haiti and the 9th – 18 Dominican Republic)


Disney: 2016 Storytelling with Walt Disney by Land and Sea/Walt Disney World, Universal Studios & Disney Cruise Business & Media January Interim                                 

The Business & Media Interim travel course examines the business and communication strategies of effective storytelling, and shares how “Walt Disney’s Way” can be used in any field of study or career. Our storytelling journey begins in Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida and extends to the Disney Dream on the Disney Cruise Line. The group will spend 17 exciting days learning about Walt Disney and how he created a whole new art form designing a new business of storytelling. The students will personally cruise with internationally known Disney historian and author of over 8 books regarding Disney and animation, Jim Korkis on the Disney Dream to the Bahamas. The Estimated cost is $2,750. Enrollment limit of 8 students.

Jerry Johnson and Henry Hardt

Travel January 6 – 19


Naturally Nicaragua                                                         

Are you looking for an international interim travel course which will utilize your skills as you work directly with children, enhance your knowledge as well as your perception of Central America, and rejuvenate your spirit?  This course does all that and much more.  Travel to Nicaragua’s primary coffee producing area to work in an established program promoting literacy and life skills with children during the first half of this course.  Then explore the country to discover sweeping rainforests busy with wildlife, amazing beaches, active volcanoes, and misty, jaw-dropping vistas over one of the strangest and most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Nicaragua.   If you are looking for an amazing January experience the answer is “Naturally Nicaragua”.

Robbie Ludy and Bev Ahern Brown

$1000.00 down

January 8 - January 25



Bozeman, Montana Outdoor Recreation                         

Experience the mountains in Montana in an outdoor recreation course located just outside of Bozeman, Montana at Lion’s Ridge camp. This course will have three major themes: outdoor recreation, outdoor leadership, and spiritual and personal transformation. Students will learn a variety of outdoor skills including avalanche awareness, backcountry travel, winter camping and survival skills, skiing, ice climbing, orienteering, risk management, and planning and implementing events. The approximate cost for the trip will be around $1500-1700.

Lisa Mellmann and Trevor Berneking

Leave Jan 5th and return the 21st


New York City and Washington, D.C.: Business & Cultural Experiences                                                                           

New York and Washington are the respective economic and political capitals of the United States, and they offer a vast amount of enriching cultural and artistic experiences. This travel course will allow students to spend one week exploring and learning about each of these cities. The focus of the course will be on the business and cultural aspects of the city that support and complement the cities' primary functions as economic, political, and cultural hubs. $2,000.

Stan Ullerich, David Boelter

January 5-19



Chile: Global Fellows

In January 2015, the Global Fellows will travel to the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program (sponsored by the University of North Texas, the Universidad de Magellanes, and the Chilean Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity) in Cape Horn, Chile. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the research, education, and conservation activities of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. They will also learn how the Omora Ethnobotanical Park program integrates ecological science and environmental ethics for biocultural conservation in an interdisciplinary context. Following their trip to Chile, students will return to campus to promote globalism, environmental sustainability, and international awareness on our campus and to the wider community. $1,250.

Melinda Coogan and Matt Packer

For the Global Fellows Chile trip (Dec. 28, 2015 – Jan. 22, 2016):



South Africa May 2016                                                    

The seventh trip to eastern South Africa will occur during May and June, 2016. The trip will include exploring the Zulu culture, the history of the British and Dutch settling South Africa, and exploring Provincial Preserves as well as the world famous Kruger National Park and animals…animals…animals.$5,800.

Rick Lampe, Mark Kirkholm and Melinda Coogan

May 24- June 11


Slaínté! The Irish Experience May 2016—Ireland      

The Emerald Isle has long held an air of mystery and intrigue for travelers. From its stories of the ‘Wee Folk’ and Banshees to the magic of its music and dance, Ireland is truly the place to learn about storytelling in all of its forms. This trip welcomes storytellers of all kinds and will emphasize the importance of learning and sharing the real stories of the Irish culture. We will spend the first part of the Irish experience in a small, remote village meeting its people, learning the customs, and studying the history of the area. We will then explore the rest of the country from it’s breathtaking vistas to its bustling cities. This is a travel trip for people with a wide range of interests because all academic areas are dependent upon great storytelling.  

Andrea Frantz and Bethany Larson

May 25 to June 8.


0BVU 150

Culture of Olympics, World Relationships, and Communities

During our two weeks together, we will examine the culture of the Olympic Games and how it impacts world relationships. As we study these complex relationships and the community of Rio De Janeiro we will be exposed the positive aspects of the country and the individuals who are tucked back behind the scenes trying to make it by day-by-day. As we volunteer in local non-profit agencies we will see the areas in most need and the impact of hosting the Olympics can have on them. We will study and analyze the tourism industry, sports and the world stage that Brazil has been put on for hosting the games. This is an opportunity for us to see all angles and aspects of the Olympic Games that you cannot get from watching back home. Estimated trip cost $5,785. 8 students.

August 4-17th 2016

Ashley Farmer Hanson and Jeff Breese