/ Center for Global Engagement

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 continues to impact all aspects of campus life, including off-campus study and the activities of the Center for Global Engagement.

The Center for Global Engagement and the Hope College Risk Management Team closely monitor the continued impact of COVID-19. In particular we review the travel and health alerts from the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization, as well as country specific travel restrictions and guidelines. We also work very closely with our program providers as they continuously review their program options and make decisions on the feasibility of successfully running their programs.

Please know that we are committed to the health and safety of our students as they study off-campus. We are committed and strongly believe in the tremendous impact that off-campus study has on a student’s academic and personal growth during college and we are happy to connect with you as you explore your many options abroad and consider the current state of affairs.

In light of these current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we have prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which we hope will be helpful to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

I really want to study off-campus. What should I do at this point?
Off campus study programs, both international and domestic, are currently being offered. We encourage you to complete both the Off-Campus Study Application found at travel.hope.edu and your program provider’s application found on their website. Please take careful note of your program's status by checking the program website for updates. Please note that the College reserves the right to suspend off-campus study if it is still deemed unsafe for you to study off-campus.
What will the college consider as they determine whether or not off-campus study programs will run?
In addition to reviewing official travel alerts offered by the Department of State, the CDC, and the WHO, we will consider the availability of flights to the host country and any possible travel restrictions in place in your host country, the ability for you to secure a timely passport and visa, the impact that the off-campus study program has on the host community and the availability of medical facilities in your region, and a careful review of housing options that will allow for possible isolation and quarantine.  These are a few of the things we will consider as we make a final decision.
Will vaccines for COVID-19 be required for off campus study programs?
Please check with the program provider to determine if you will be required to document proof of vaccination. Note that some countries are now requiring COVID-19 negative test and proof of vaccination for entry, so please do some careful research about your host country and talk to your program provider about their requirements.
What if I’m not 100% sure if I will be able to study off-campus in my host country?

If you think that there is a chance, based on pandemic trends in your host country, that you will not be able to study off-campus, we recommend that you register for on-campus classes.  Once your final decision has been made and you have decided to study off-campus, we will be able to change your registration to off-campus study.  Keep in mind that you will want to have a full understanding of your program provider’s cancellation and refund policies.

There are so many great programs to choose from… How can I know if they will be offered next semester due to COVID-19?

You are right!!  There are so many fantastic programs to choose from for your off-campus study semester and you can find all of them listed at travel.hope.edu.  Once you have narrowed down your options, we do recommend that you visit the program provider’s website (IES Abroad, TEAN, CIEE, SIT, etc) to confirm that the program will be running in the fall semester.  As you can imagine with the impact of the global pandemic, many providers have had to make adaptations to their program offerings.  If your program provider has suspended the program that you are interested in, contact the staff at the Center for Global Engagement and we will work with you to find a similar program and help you explore other options.

While I am hoping to study off-campus next semester, should I consider having a backup plan?
This is a great opportunity to talk with your academic advisor about your academic plan. They will be able to help you consider your full academic plan and develop options that can work for you. You are also welcome to talk to our Center’s staff about deferring to a later semester.
I’ve been accepted to an off-campus study program. When should I buy my plane ticket?
Given the continued uncertainty of the pandemic and travel, at this point we recommend waiting until you are confident that the program will not be suspended.  Carefully read all emails from the Center for Global Engagement and your program provider for updates and concerns.  
My major requires me to study off-campus. What if I am uncertain about fulfilling this requirement?
Please reach out to the chair of your major to explore whether or not another semester may be an option for you. You are also welcome to contact Amy Quincey, the Senior Director for Global Engagement, to explore your options and to talk through next steps. You can reach her at otis@hope.edu.
What about May/June Terms in 2022? Will they be offered?

The college will make the decision to offer or suspend all off campus May/June term classes in a timely fashion. And, just like the academic year and semester long programs, the college reviews travel alerts offered by the Department of State, the CDC and the WHO, as well as travel restrictions from host countries and global travel in general. The college also takes into account the impact off-campus study has on the host community, the availability of medical facilities in the region, and a careful review of housing options that will allow for isolation and quarantine if needed. These are just a few things the college considers when making these decisons. Please continue to check travel.hope.edu to confirm which May/June Term programs will be running in 2022.

Is the Center for Global Engagement open and can I meet with someone to talk about my options and/or concerns?
Yes! Our Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with part of our staff on campus, part of our staff remote. Many of our meetings will be virtual, so don’t hesitate to stop by or email us for an appointment.  
What is the best way to reach someone at the Center for Global Engagement?
The best way to reach us is via email at offcampusstudy@hope.edu, though you can also call our Center’s number at 616.395.7605 and we will gladly assist you. Connect with us over email to schedule individual meetings with our staff members. 
How can I learn more about the global impact of COVID-19? What resources should I keep an eye on?
Consider bookmarking the travel alert pages for the U.S. Department of State, the CDC, and the WHO. Also look up the embassy notifications in the country you are considering to study in.