International and Domestic Travel Courses



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

  1. Read all the information contained in this document.
  2. Complete the Travel Course Application Form
  3. Pay the required deposit for the specific travel course prior to registration.

Deposit and Registration

Once you have completed your application form, make the required non-refundable deposit with the Business Office. 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 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 will begin on May 15, 2019.

  1. Make sure you are current on all financial obligations with the University.
  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 for you to be cleared to register for any travel course. 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.

Steps to register for travel courses

Once your deposit is paid and you have checked that your records (transcripts, finances, etc.) you will be enrolled in the selected course.

Registration for Interim travel courses will be shut off on October 1st 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 2019 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 website:

  1. Completed application form (turned into the Associate Dean of Faculty’s office by Sept. 21, 2018)
  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 2020

INTM207 New Zealand / Aotearoa

Course Leaders: Matthew Packer & James Hampton

This two-week travel course through New Zealand in January 2020 will examine the academic themes of New Zealand culture, politics, and nature. Included as part of the prep course and the trip itself are the topics of the Kiwi response to globalization, progressive politics, Maori culture and race relations, tourism, post-earthquake urban design, and the film and creative arts industries. Scientific themes include the endemic forest, bird, and marine life, as well as ecological sustainability, geology, and hi-tech innovation. Agricultural science and business innovation maybe also be included. In-country transportation includes vans, boats, domestic flights, and your own two feet, as we explore one of the most beautiful and interesting places on earth.

  • Estimated Total Cost: $4800
  • $500 Due at/before registration (non-refundable)
  • $2000 October 1
  • $2300 (balance) November 1

INTM201 Communication and Culture in China

Course Leaders: Mary Donato and Leslie Haas

This experience will begin in Beijing where our travelers will visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall of China. Next, we will fly to Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors and artifacts from the Han and Tang Dynasties. Our next flight will be to Shanghai. In Shanghai highlights include a visit to the World Financial Center, the Jade Buda Temple, the Yu Yuan Garden, and a local university. Our last flight will be to Hong Kong where we will visit Repulse Bay, Aberdeen, Stanley Market and Lantau Island. Additional excursions include, but are not limited to, a rickshaw tour, a Kung Fu show, an acrobatics show, and a tea ceremony. Trip fundraising opportunities will be explored and supported during Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2019.

  • Estimated Total Cost: $4850
  • $500 Due at/before registration (non-refundable)
  • $2175 October 15
  • $2175 (balance) December 1

Harry Potter’s Great Britain: Psychology and Digital Media

Course Leaders: Dr. Wind Goodfriend & Dr. Andrea Frantz

This Jterm trip combines the academic areas of media messages and the psychology of mysticism and magic as students are invited to explore and analyze both the literature and films from the Harry Potter series. A 1-credit Fall course will accompany a Jterm travel course to England and Scotland. The proposed experiences on the trip connect with either the movies, references in the books, or J.K. Rowling’s process as she created the series. Students will tour sites that inspired characters and events, as well as movie sets and locations. Students will be required to produce both visual and verbal works that reflect their understanding of culture, creativity, and the curious mind.

  • Estimated Total Cost: $4600
  • $500 Due at/before registration (non-refundable)
  • $4100 (balance) September 1

INTM215 Disney Cruise

Course Leaders: Jerry Johnson and Beth Blankers

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. The group will spend 12 exciting days learning how Walt Disney created a new art form by designing a new business of storytelling. The course starts in Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World and extend to the Disney Cruise Line. Specifically, the course will explore Walt Disney World from financial, marketing, and storytelling perspectives. To plus the trip, the group will also spend 4 days on the Disney Cruise Line when they experience the extension of the Walt Disney brand internationally on the Disney Dream. Students will go “backstage” to see how theme parks and the cruise line really work as well as visit with Disney cast members, artists, historians and authors in storytelling, marketing, media and public relations.

As appropriate, students will maintain a photo journal during the trip, analyzing what they encountered regarding images and sound of the “good show” or business aspects of the site visits. Students will be required to take a still or video camera to capture images depicting 8 key storytelling strategies. Upon return to campus, the students will prepare a slide show report analyzing the effectiveness of the storytelling model of Walt Disney. Each part of the trip takes us on a journey into the media management of pop culture and the contemporary concept of “image, self-branding and storytelling”.

Course fee includes plane tickets, resorts, Disney cruise, ground transportation in Florida, and theme park admissions at 4 different theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs and a Disney Resort waterpark. The travel course will be 14 days (based on availability). Students are personally responsible for meals (all meals are included on the cruise) and personal items. The trip will be from January 07 to January 20, 2020. There is an enrollment limit of 8 students.

  • Estimated Total Cost $3800
  • $500 Due at/before Registration (nonrefundable)
  • $1,650 due November 1, 2019
  • $1,650 (balance) December 1, 2019

Phoenix, AZ – Sport Marketing Trip

Course Leaders: David Hodge and Trevor Berneking

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.

  • Estimated Total Cost $2300
  • $1000 Due at/before Registration (nonrefundable)
  • $700 due November 1, 2019
  • $600 (balance) December 2, 2019

INTM211 Costa Rica

Course Leaders: Steven Mills and Brittany Garling

Travel to the tropics with us in January! It will be warm, green, and we will even try and get to the beach! In January 2020, we will be traveling to Costa Rica where you can learn Spanish in the morning and experience the tropical country in the afternoon. It does not matter what level you are; you will be studying at a local language school and stay with families in the region who will provide lodging and food. This is an excellent opportunity to be a part of the life and culture off the beaten tourist path. In the afternoons and on the weekends we will visit historically and culturally important sites to experience the Central America firsthand. The estimated cost is $3800, and this includes three credits toward the Spanish major/minor, plus two meals a day as part of the homestay.

  • Estimated Total Cost $3800
  • $1500 Due at/before Registration (nonrefundable)
  • $1500 due November 1
  • $800 (balance) due December 1