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 September 22, 2014.
  5. Pay the required deposit for the specific travel course by September 22, 2014.

Deposit and Registration

Once you have completed your application form, make the required non-refundable deposit with the Business Office no later than September 22, 2014 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 September 22-26, 2014.  Steps to insure you are ready to register for travel courses on time (Steps 1 through 4 below should be completed prior to September 22). 

  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 September 22, 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 September 22 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, September 22
Juniors (56 to 86 credit hours): Tuesday, September 23
Sophomores (24 to 55 credit hours): Wednesday, September 24
Freshmen (fewer than 24 credit hours): Thursday, September 25

Registration for Interim travel courses will be shut off on Friday, September 26 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 September 22, 2014)
  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 Trip Proposals for Interim 2015

Australia: Nature and Nurture

Neal McNabb & James Hampton
Travel down under to Australia! We will visit several exciting destinations throughout the country and focus on natural wildlife, aboriginal culture, and the convict origins of the country. Starting in Sydney, we will tour the famous Sydney Opera House, explore The Rocks, and travel to the beautiful Blue Mountains. Next, we will travel to Tasmania where we will visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, take an Eco-Cruise to Bruny Island, and tour the Port Arthur Convict Settlement. Finally, we will visit Cairns where we will go snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef and stay overnight in the Daintree Rainforest. Students should plan to bring additional money for meals and souvenirs.
Estimated Cost: $5900

Spanish Immersion: Ecuador

Steve Mills & Calle Friesen
Spanish 490 is an immersion course required for the major and counts as an elective for the minor. We will spend three weeks in Ecuador, staying with a host family and taking classes in the morning. In the afternoon and weekends we will visit historically and culturally important sites, volunteer in the community, and engage the people and culture on a personal level. We will experience the food, the sites, the amazon rain forest or the beach while learning Spanish in the Ecuadorian summer.
Estimated Cost: $3000

Panama Canal Transit Cruise

Ashley Farmer Hanson and Julie Finnern
Come experience the multiple perspectives of tourism - the tourist, the businesses, the government, and the local host communities. Who really benefits and who pays? As we cruise from Los Angeles to Miami, we will seek out the stories of those who are often not heard including voices of: 1) various members of the host communities, 2) those who built the Panama Canal, and 3) our cruise ship staff. While visiting ports such as Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, and Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; and, Ochos Rios, Jamaica, we will experience local culture beyond what can be seen from the cruise ship railing by partnering with established local organizations. Prepare to be challenged as we question tourism's positive and negative impacts on people, culture, and nature. Travel dates are expected to be January 4-19 some extra money for misc. personal expenses is suggested.
Estimated Cost: $3500

Japan: Art, Culture, History, and Society

Mark Walker and Yuriko Togashi
Travel Dates: Jan. 5-22
Travel to Japan to explore the beauty and majesty of old and new Japan including several World heritage sites designated by UNESCO. You will visit art and historic museums, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, castle that hundreds of years old, beautiful Japanese Zen gardens, Akihabara electric town, broadcast company, police and fire department, and K-12 schools. You may even experience Zen medication, tea ceremony, and martial arts demonstration. Finally you may have the opportunity to experience Japanese home life through staying with Japanese host family. Cost covers all transportation, lodging, group activities, and some meals.
Cost: $3500

Europe: Art and Culture

Matthew Packer & Wind Goodfriend
Approx. travel dates Dec. 30, 2014 - Jan. 21, 2015
Voyage to Venice, wonder in London, and dip into the Mediterranean Sea. For January 2015, travel Europe and discover the rich heritage in art, culture, and lifestyle of its cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Rome, Florence, and Paris. We'll also visit a German concentration camp and walk the ancient streets of Pompeii. See seven countries for the price of one. Travelers should be prepared for a full international schedule. Academic requirements include giving a pre-trip presentation, keeping a travel journal, and writing a reflection paper at the end of the trip.
Estimated Cost:$4500

Dare to Share: Service and Sun in the Dominican Republic

Ellen Holmgren & Robbie Ludy
Rather than only tour and see sights, this interim offering provides an opportunity to experience the Dominican Republic by developing global perspectives through personal experience. Service opportunities are integrated with hands-on activities allowing you authentic cultural exchange. The first half of this two week trip focuses on service work giving you the opportunity to work directly with local people (likely children). The second half shifts to an emphasis on cultural activities as you explore various parts of the country and engage in a variety of events designed to discover the wonders of the Dominican Republic. Events to includewhale watching in Samana, a trip to the Jarabacoa Waterfalls, the Amber Museum, the Fortazela Ozama and touring caves with indigenous drawings. The trip may even include a cable car ride to the highest plain in the Dominican Republic.
Estimated Cost: $3200

India: Exploring Buddhism & Social Justice in India

Swasti Bhattarcharyya & Miyuki Vamadevan Arimoto
Travel Dates: Jan. 5-22, 2015
This travel course provides you with an opportunity not only to see and experience the wonders of India, but also to get to know some of her people. We will explore various sites related to the birth and development of Buddhism, see the beautiful, engineering wonder of the Taj Mahal, find and watch tigers in their natural habitat. We are staying in an ashram and in the guest house on the grounds of the Tibetan monastery. During this time, we will have multiple opportunities to personally engage: 1) people who worked with Gandhi, and 2) people who live in the Tibetan community in exile. These interactions will enrich your understanding of social justice, Buddhism, and your place in the world.
Estimated Cost: $4500

Domestic Trips Interim 2015

Devising Democracy: Performing Rights

On Campus Jan. 5-16 & Minneapolis, Minn. Jan. 17-24, 2015
Bethany Larson & Andrea Frantz
Art, writing, political science, debate, acting, design, history, civic engagement and social activism are all essential to this course. By investigating performance and democracy, students will research the ideas that inform the Bill of Rights and will use that knowledge to devise an original, collaborative production through the use of "devised theatre." Focusing on the current debates surrounding our nation's founding documents, and utilizing improvisation, writing, and theatrical design, students will transform intellectual concepts into embodied depictions for the stage. The course will include a full week in Minneapolis, MN at the Region V American College Theatre Festival where students will participate in workshops, attend performances, and perform in the Devised Theatre showcase. The final event of the course will be full performances of the devised piece for the University Theatre season in Anderson Auditorium February 11-14, 2015.
Estimated Cost: $650

Field Experiences in Sports Marketing & Management (MRKT 353-1-3)

Joni Anderson & Scott Anderson
Travel Dates: Jan. 8-22, 2015
If you are interested in a career in sports business or if you are just interested in hanging out with sports executives in a warm climate, this is the trip for you. Field Experiences in Sports Marketing and Management is dedicated to giving you a real-world perspective toward working and making a living in this exciting industry. The experts we meet with act as mentors by answering your questions and offering their insights as you work to develop your own career strategy. Not only will you visit with executives at some of the nation's top sports teams, you will also visit a leading sport equipment manufacturer, a television network broadcaster, and other sport-related businesses.

The course consists of two plus weeks in Phoenix, AZ visiting with marketing and management professionals at major sports organizations such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix Coyotes; the TPC Scottsdale (Phoenix Open); and the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Students will conduct preliminary research pertaining to sports marketing, sports management, recreation, and hospitality in the Phoenix metro area. They will write pre-interview questions, maintain a journal of their experience, complete a reflection paper upon completion of the trip, and write thank-you notes to the executives with whom they meet. Course Prerequisite: MRKT 306, MGMT 306 or Permission of Instructor.
Estimated Cost: $1750

2015 Storytelling with Walt Disney by Land and Sea
Disneyland & Walt Disney World Business & Media January Interim

Jerry Johnson & Henry Hardt
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. Specifically, the course will start at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, then move across the country to Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World and extends to the Disney Cruise Line. Course fee includes plane tickets, hotel in Anaheim and Orlando, Disney cruise, ground transportation in California and Florida, and theme park admissions at 6 different parks. The travel course will be 17-18 days (based on availability). Students are personally responsible for meals, personal items, and transportation to/from the Omaha airport. The trip will be from January 05 to January 20, 2015
Estimated Cost: $3750.

May/June 2015 Travel Trips

Eastern South Africa

Rick Lampe, Mark Kirkholm & Melinda Coogan
The seventh trip to eastern South Africa will occur during May and June, 2015. 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.
Estimated Cost: $5900 includes 1 credit-hour of summer tuition

Iceland and Norway - "Viking Quest"

Tim McDaniel & Wind Goodfriend
Travel Dates: May 24 - June 2, 2015
You've seen Vikings portrayed in movies, and you might even have some Viking blood running through your own veins! Come with us to explore the rich and complicated history of Viking culture and conquest as we spend time in Iceland and Norway. We'll visit Vikings history museums, important landmarks, and explore the geography of each country via boat, train, and bus.
Estimated Cost: $4664 includes 1 credit-hour of summer tuition.

Domestic Travel May/June 2015

New Orleans
Justice for All? Race, Class, and Culture in the Big Easy

Jennifer McNabb & Neal McNabb
The first week of this course will be spent participating in various service learning projects with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, while learning about the roles of race, class, and justice in New Orleans. We'll spend some time touring Eden House, a non-profit facility serving survivors of human trafficking and prostitution, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, and several other organizations dedicated to justice in Louisiana. Furthermore, the rich diversity of New Orleans can be clearly seen in its history, language, food, music, and people. Join us as we also explore the French Quarter, take a tour of the Oak Alley plantation, speed through the swamps on an air boat, take a stroll down Bourbon Street, dine on local cuisine of gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets, and treat our ears to the sounds of live jazz. Course fee includes transportation to, from, and around New Orleans, lodging, most meals, admission/tickets for all group activities, and overnight stays in both Memphis and St. Louis. Students will need additional money for a week's worth of lunches, souvenirs, and any "free time" activities in which they participate (estimated $300). This trip will take place in May/June 2015 and will be limited to 8 students. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Estimated Cost: $2200