/ Alumni and Family Engagement

Traveler Resources

Travel is an adventure of the mind, body and spirit. Traveling overseas is an exhilarating experience — it should also be a safe and healthy one. Below are frequently asked questions as well as health, flight booking and safety information.


What is Hope’s Global Travel Program, anyway?

Hope’s Global Travel Program is an opportunity to travel with a group and focus on continued learning and stretching your horizons while traveling abroad. Hope’s programs are led by faculty with an interest in the travel destination and who work to specifically design a thoughtful travel experience with the assistance of local tour operators. Our group travel partner is Witte Travel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They will provide a detailed itinerary, documentation on policies and procedures, and a registration process for each tour.

Do I have to be a Hope graduate, parent of a Hope student or HASP member to participate in the Global Travel Program?

Our programs are open to any interested participants who appreciate learning for the joy of it while traveling to fascinating places around the world. We first promote to the greater Hope College and HASP community, but all are welcome. We take registrations online on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is the age range of travelers?

Travelers range in age from mature teenagers through late retirement. Shared interest in the themes and destinations of specific programs create common bonds.

What are the physical demands of Global Travel Programs?

Unless specifically stated, programs are not designed as “high-adventure travel,” but you should be healthy and fit to successfully participate. Transportation between cities is generally by private coach. Other movement is usually on foot or with public transportation. Generally, participants should be capable of walking three to four miles per day, climbing over uneven terrain, using stairs without handrails, and climbing in and out of a variety of transportation vehicles. Activity level varies by program. Travelers should be prepared for some long days of traveling, dealing with highs and lows that can occur when experiencing a different culture or being part of a group for several hours per day. If you have any questions about the physical demands from a specific program, please contact the Global Travel Program coordinator, Amanda Root at 616.395.6887 or roota@hope.edu.

What is typically included in the program fee?
  • Airfare from group departure location (adjustments can be made for other itineraries)
  • Seminars and discussions by the program leader and guest lecturers
  • All accommodations
  • Breakfast daily and several other group meals
  • Entrance fees and group tours
  • Ground transportation 
  • Gratuities to group drivers and tour guides
  • Group bios and community building prior to departure
  • A hardcover photo book after the tour
What is not included in the program fee?

Participants are individually responsible for all expenses not specifically in the program fee. Examples of such expenses include, passport and visa fees, recommended immunizations and vaccinations. See individual tour itinerary documentation for more detail.

Is travel insurance included in the program fee?

See individual tour itinerary documentation for travel insurance information.

What happens if I have to cancel my participation after I register?

A payment and refund schedule is posted for each program, clearly outlining the due dates of payments and the amount of any refund. With most programs, after the final payment due date no refunds can be made.

Are we required to attend all lectures, events and take tests?
Every program has an educational theme and we emphasize learning for the joy of it. Discussions, group visits to museums, historic sites, art galleries and national parks enhance the exposure and learning of a specific program’s theme. There are no required assignments, attendance or tests. Program leaders provide resource lists and answer questions in advance for those who want to become more familiar with the culture and history of their destination.
Will I have time to pursue my own interests?
On every program, we strive to have some free time or unstructured time to allow you to explore your interests, pursue new experiences and savor some of the nuances of different cultures and places. Schedules vary by program, so be sure to look closely at the itinerary posted.
Is the entire program fee used for the trip?
The Global Travel Program is designed to have a small portion of each fee donated for Hope College student study abroad scholarships. One goal of the Global Travel Program is to create opportunities for students with financial needs to be able to experience study abroad as part of their Hope College experience.