International Family Welcome Week

Hope College is pleased to welcome the families of new international students and U.S. citizens living outside the United States.

It’s a privilege to host you and introduce you to the people who will support and mentor your student in the important years ahead. By the end of the International Family Orientation, you’ll have a new group of friends — at the college and around the world.

These special events and activities are planned with your family in mind. Some take place during students’ orientation activities and others involve your whole family. Since your son/daughter will participate in the required International & TCK Pre-Orientation and spend the weekend of August 19–21 traveling in Northern Michigan on the “Explore Michigan” program, led by the Fried Center for Global Engagement, families are entertained in West Michigan and Chicago as described below.

Parents, as you plan your visit to Holland, please remember:

2017 Schedule

Wednesday and Thursday, August 16–17

Arrival and Housing

Students and families arrive in Holland. Hope will coordinate shuttle service to campus from Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) or the Padnos Transportation Center, where Amtrak trains run daily from Chicago’s Union Station. We’ll also help families transfer to Holland-area hotels.

Friday, August 18

Orientation Meetings – All Day

Students and families participate in orientation activities led by the Fried Center for Global Engagement. In the evening, families and students will be hosted for a special welcome dinner.

Saturday, August 19

Exploring Holland and Lake Michigan

Families will be our guests for lunch and an afternoon visit to various cultural and historic attractions in Holland, followed by a dinner and boat cruise on Lake Michigan.

Sunday, August 20


Get ready for a full day of fun in Chicago! We’ll travel by train and experience the amazing Chicago Air and Water Show, have meals at Chicago restaurants, shop the world-famous Michigan Avenue and take a boat cruise on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Monday, August 21

West Michigan Magic

West Michigan is a well-known American vacation destination. We’ll start with lunch and shopping in nearby Saugatuck, see a blueberry farm and visit beautiful Oval Beach on Lake Michigan.

Tuesday, August 22

Orientation and More Exploring

Parents will attend meetings led by the Fried Center for Global Engagement, attend a family lunch and, in the afternoon, meet several faculty members participating on a faculty panel. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the academic life at Hope.

Wednesday, August 23

More Grand Rapids, More Lake Michigan

Families will experience another fun day in Grand Rapids, including lunch and one or two museums, followed by an evening baseball game.

Thursday, August 24

Exploring the dunes of west michigan

After an exciting dune buggy ride and lunch in Saugatuck, we’ll return mid-afternoon and join students for a picnic sponsored by the Fried Center for Global Engagement at beautiful Tunnel Park.  

Friday, August 25

New Student Orientation

All FIRST Year students arrive on campus

Throughout the day all other new students arrive and begin moving into their rooms. International students continue their orientation program in the morning and then transition to the activities planned for all students. Families have free time in the morning, then also transition to activities planned for all families.

Saturday, August 26

Full orientation program for all first time students and families.

Sunday, August 27

Morning worship and convocation program.