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 Off Campus Study Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Program



Classes, Credits and Registration

Billing and Financial Aid


Choosing a Program

  • How do I choose a program?

Whether you’ve decided you’re definitely going off-campus or are still thinking about it, it’s best to come into the International Education Office to explore your options. There are over 200 off-campus options for Hope students in over 60 countries on 6 continents. You can review program brochures, videos, books and other resources to help you narrow down your search. You can also check out the International Programs page or the Domestic Programs page for a full list of Hope’s official off-campus opportunities. To help you focus your search, look for programs that specialize in your major. If you are a language student, consider lesser-known areas for a more unique study abroad experience. As always, when making academic decisions, be sure to discuss your options with your advisor.

Are you considering off-campus study during the spring semester? Click here.


  • Do I have to speak a second language?

No. Some programs in non-English-speaking countries offer courses in English. These programs offer at least an introduction to the region’s language; most offer a semester-long language course that can count toward the language component of Hope’s general education requirement. Of course, there are study options in English-speaking places like England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.


  • Am I still considered a Hope College student while off-campus?

Yes. Your Hope College student status is maintained as long as you are enrolled in an official Hope program. You keep your Hope College email account and access to KnowHope and VanWylen Library.



  • How does the application process work?

Studying off-campus requires two applications:

1) The Off-Campus Study application to apply for permission to study off-campus is available in the International Education Office. When your complete Off-Campus Study application (including essays, unofficial transcript and two recommendations) is received by the International Education Office, our staff will circulate the application to the Off-Campus Programs Committee made up of two faculty members, the Registar, Dean of Students, and Director of International Education for their approval. If you are approved for off-campus study, you will be notified of your approval.

2) After your approval, you must complete a program application which can be picked up in the International Education Office or downloaded from your program’s website. Complete the application and submit ALL required parts to the International Education Office and we will forward it to your program. Your program will notify you directly of your acceptance.

For more information about applications and deadlines, click here.

  • When are the application deadlines?

Fall Semester / Academic Year:
Off-Campus Study Applications – February 21
Program applications accepted – March 1*

Spring Semester:
Off-Campus Study Applications – October 1
Program applications – October 15*

*NOTE: Some programs may have earlier deadlines. Be sure to know what the program application deadline is and submit your materials to our office prior to it.


  • I have been approved by Hope College to study off-campus. What happens next?

You must complete a program application. Each program has a different application and required parts. Pick up an application in the International Education Office or download it from your program’s website. You may also submit an online Application. Once you have all parts of the application (including essays, an official transcript, recommendations, application fee, etc.), bring it back to the International Education Office. BE SURE TO BRING ALL PARTS OF YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION OFFICE. Your recommendations and official transcript may be sent directly to us. But please do not have any part of your application sent directly to your program. We will complete the study abroad advisor section and forward your complete application to your program.


  • I have my program acceptance. Now what?

You must be responsible for your own education. It is critically important that you read every last detail of the material your program sends you and respond when asked. Failure to do so may mean that you will miss important deadlines concerning deposits, courses, housing, visas, etc.



  • Will I have an orientation?

Yes. There is a mandatory on-campus orientation during the semester before your off-campus study. You will receive more information about date, time and location after your program application has been processed. You must attend this Saturday morning orientation or you risk your off-campus approval being revoked.

Your program will also provide you with an on-site orientation once you arrive. You will receive more detailed information from your program about its orientation once you have been accepted.


  • Do I need a visa for my program?

Your program can advise you about visa requirements. It is imperative that you read all the material your program sends you. If you have questions about visa requirements, contact your program.


  • Can the Hope College Health Clinic complete my program’s required health forms?

The Health Clinic can fill out your physical form. Complete the Study Abroad Physicalsform and submit it to the Hope Health Clinic. But be aware that your HopeHealth insurance will not cover the cost of the physical; payment is expected up front. Cindy Sabo at the Health Clinic (x7585) is available to answer any questions or to recommend a travel medicine specialist who can advise you about immunizations and precautionary measures that may be required for certain African, Asian and South American countries.


Classes, Credits and Registration

  • Why do I still need to register for my semester off-campus?

As you are considered a Hope College student while off-campus, you need to register your off-campus program with the Registrar’s Office. You will need a registration form signed by your advisor with the program listed as the only class. Come to the International Education Office to get your program’s code and then take your registration form to the Registrar’s Office. You cannot register for your off-campus program online.


  • How do I register for my classes that I will take off-campus?

Your program will let you know if you need to register for classes before departing or if registration is done while on location. Many programs with language requirements require a placement test, taken on-site, before students register for courses. Be sure to look at the program’s website or brochure to see what kinds of courses are offered so you can discuss your options with your advisor before leaving.


  • How do I register for my classes next semester at Hope?

You will register for your classes online, just like if you were on campus. You will be assigned a specific registration time. However, you do not need a PIN from your advisor. The Registrar's Office will contact you as registration time gets closer. If you are unable to get to a computer at your assigned registration time, They will register for you. They can also assist you in getting permission for restricted courses and will register you for those courses as you cannot do it online. You can email questions about this to


  • How do my credits transfer?

The credits you earn off-campus will transfer as Hope College credits and will appear on your transcript. You need to decide how you want your credits applied (i.e. as a general education requirement, major/minor credit or an elective). You must complete a credit transfer form that can be picked up in the Registrar’s Office. That form must be signed by the head of the department from which you would like to receive credit. If you want to receive major/minor credit, be sure to talk to the appropriate advisor to find equivalent courses. For general education courses, talk to the Registrar.


  • Will I get letter grades? Is my GPA affected?

Very few universities outside the United States have grading procedures like American universities. Your program will send an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office. The grades you earn while off-campus are converted into letter grades according to your program’s recommended scale. Those grades will appear on your transcript and are then figured into your overall GPA.


Billing and Financial Aid

  • How will I be billed?

Once you have registered for your off-campus program, as part of the college’s regular registration process conducted by the Registrar each fall and spring for the coming semester, you will receive a bill from Hope College Business Services. (See Why do I still need to register for my semester off-campus? for more information about registration.) If you and/or your family typically participate in the Budget Payment Plan and you have sent Business Services the enrollment form (an annual requirement), you will be billed on a monthly basis.

You may find this budget worksheet helpful as you determine the cost of the program.


  • What charges will be included on my bill?

Your tuition charges will reflect Hope College tuition rates for a full-time student, unless the program’s tuition is greater than Hope’s, in which case the program’s tuition will be charged. Your room and board charges will come directly from your program so they will not appear on your Hope College invoice.

You may be asking why the charges are assessed this way. First, the entire time you are studying off-campus, you are earning Hope College credit. Your Hope College transcript will note the name of the program in which you were enrolled, list the courses you took and the grades you earned. Second, Hope College allows students to take their financial aid package with them on off-campus programs to the point of exporting your tuition dollars directly to other programs and colleges. Hope’s financial aid packages are based on Hope College fees charged for attending Hope. Therefore to avoid recalculating and then readjusting each off-campus student’s financial aid package based on each program’s different cost, the College uses its published charges. Further, the practice of charging a college’s own tuition, room and/or board costs for off-campus programs is common among colleges similar to Hope.


  • When will I be billed?

The college will send you a bill for your semester off-campus just as it does all other college bills: early July for the fall semester and early December for the spring semester. If you are planning to study off-campus during the fall semester, you are still required to pay the $200 fall registration deposit. It will appear on your billing statement as a credit and be applied to your tuition charges for off-campus study. Remember you are a Hope College student while you are studying off-campus and so you must pay this returning student deposit.

Some additional items to note:

  • If you are studying off-campus for the entire academic year, you will be billed for each semester separately.
  • Additional expenses charged by your program (e.g. health insurance, housing deposits, airfare, optional travel, etc) are your responsibility and will not appear on your bill. Please be sure to review your program’s charges as detailed on the program's website to see what other costs are involved in your program.
  • If you pay your bill and later receive an adjusted bill, this is because Hope College did not have the current tuition rates for your program when Business Services mailed your bill to you. Should this be the case, it may be necessary to make an adjustment to your student account after the College received an actual invoice reflecting the tuition charge from your program.


  • Who pays the program deposit?

Once you have been admitted to your program, you will receive a letter of confirmation from the program sponsor, along with an acceptance package of material particular to your program. To confirm your place in the program, you will be requested to send a non-refundable deposit directly to the program. This is your responsibility. You will normally have a period of 2-3 weeks in which to send this deposit. That deposit money will then be credited toward other program charges.


  • If I receive financial aid, how will it be affected?

For more information about how your financial aid might be impacted, visit If you continue to have questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid.


  • If I receive an outside scholarship for off-campus study, how will it affect my other financial aid?

The Office of Financial Aid will review your aid package to determine if it will be necessary to adjust other aid in your package. If this is necessary, they will make every effort to first reduce your least desirable forms of aid (loans and employment).

If you are selected to receive such a scholarship, please contact the International Education Office and we will supply the Office of Financial Aid with documentation regarding the additional expenses related to your off-campus study. In doing so, it may be possible for you to retain your full aid package (along with your off-campus program scholarship). However, this is a decision made by the Office of Financial Aid and is contingent on the regulations and policies governing the aid you are receiving.


  • What if my parents have questions about the deposits and billing for my program?

Please inform your parents of how deposits and billing work for you program and be sure they know the amount of money to expect on a bill. If they have questions, they are welcome to contact the International Education Office or Business Services.



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