/ Campus Health

Travel Information

All college-sponsored international travel is suspended until at least April 13. All non-essential college-sponsored domestic travel is suspended until at least April 13.

Student Travel Programs

Hope College Group Travel Programs

Hope's Risk and Responsibility Team has been monitoring and assessing inbound and outbound programs at Hope, including May and June terms and immersion programs, in an ongoing manner.

May, June and Summer Travel Programs

The college is canceling all summer trips. This decision was not easy, but it was driven by a clear priority: the health, safety and wellness of our students. As the outbreak of COVID-19 spreads, conditions across the globe pose increased risks. Regions are placing restrictions and even bans on travel, movement is increasingly limited, and health care systems are being stretched beyond capacity.

  • Academic credit: With the cancellation of the international and domestic academic programs, it will be necessary to develop replacement classes, including replacements for senior seminars. Hope’s registrar, Carol DeJong, and her team are in the process of determining what needs must be met and, accordingly, what kinds of classes might work best. The Registrar’s Office will be in touch.

  • Reimbursement: It is Hope's policy that, for trips that are canceled by the college, you will be reimbursed for the cost of your flight and other travel arrangements specific to the program. If you personally purchased your airline ticket, please pursue a refund (partial or full) from the airline first; any remaining costs related to the flight will be covered by Hope. If you paid the college to purchase the airline ticket, we will reimburse your account. (Other out-of-pocket expenses for travel arrangements will not be covered by the college.) To submit your reimbursement claim, you will need to provide a copy of your original ticket and documentation of how much the airline is refunding. If you receive a credit voucher for future travel, this amount is not refundable. Please contact Kevin Kraay, business manager, at kraay@hope.edu or 616.395.7814 if you have any questions.

  • Registration: Our offices are working on canceling your registration for your May-June-Summer off-campus program. Tuition and program fees will be a credit to your student account; credits resulting from this process will first be applied to any other charges on your account. Your deposit will not be forfeited. Over-payments will automatically be refunded in mid-May. You may be receiving credits for Spring 2020 room and board, and we will appreciate your patience in order to process one single refund.
Off-Campus Study Programs

The Center for Global Engagement team is working very closely with off-campus program providers to support students studying off campus this semester, particularly in areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Unlike typical travelers, students are supported on the ground at their various study sites by program providers, including professional staff and faculty who provide information, assistance and guidance when necessary. Because conditions are different for each region, recommended action will vary from program to program.

Hope College staff are in communication with both program leaders who are leading group travel and with students who are currently studying abroad.

Hope's Off-Campus Study Program Cancellation Protocol

All college-sponsored international travel and non-essential domestic travel, including outbound off-campus study programs, is suspended until at least April 13.

For an inbound program, the college will work with the program provider and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health to make decisions about next steps.

Bringing Off-Campus Study Students Back Early

It is a standing policy for the Risk and Responsibility Team to invite or require a student to return early from an off-campus program only if our in-country program providers recommend or mandate that action. Unlike typical travelers, students are supported on the ground at their various study sites by program providers, including professional staff and faculty who provide information, assistance and guidance when necessary. 

Because conditions are different for each region, recommended action will vary from program to program. While some programs in South Korea, China and Italy have been cancelled, most remain running in other countries. Currently, some program providers are giving students the option to return home and complete their coursework remotely, but this is only for programs in regions directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Flight Reimbursement for Canceled Plans

Hope College Group Travel Programs

If the college cancels your travel program, you will be reimbursed for the cost of your flight and other travel arrangements specific to the program. If a partial or full refund from the airline is possible, please pursue the refund first. Any remaining out-of-pocket expenses for travel arrangements will not be covered by the college. The process for submitting a reimbursement claim is in development. 

Off-Campus Study Programs

The Risk and Responsibility Team invites or requires a student to return early from an off-campus program (e.g., study abroad) only if our in-country program providers recommend or mandate that action. (For additional information see the "Bringing Students Back Early" section above.) If you are studying off campus and your program provider is offering the option of returning home from a region affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the college will assist with costs related to changing your flight arrangements.

Employee Travel Plans

College-Sponsored Travel

Please note this new travel restriction for Hope employees: All college-sponsored international travel is suspended until at least April 13. All non-essential college-sponsored domestic travel is suspended until at least April 13. This includes new travel as well as currently booked trips scheduled to occur before April 13. Essential travel is defined as travel that is absolutely necessary to fulfill the current priorities of the college, can only be completed by the traveler’s physical presence, and does not introduce significant potential for an unacceptable health hazard. The details for any domestic travel being considered prior to April 13 should be emailed to campushealth@hope.edu for approval.

These restrictions do not apply to personal travel. However, you are strongly encouraged to anticipate potential travel issues that could include delays and require self-quarantine upon return. Be aware that, as the outbreak develops, Hope’s travel restrictions may change. The Steering Committee plans to revisit the issue of travel frequently, so watch for updates in Campus Health emails.

Changing Your Travel Plans

If you're registered for a conference and need to cancel, you will not lose the professional development funds that have been spent on registration fees, flights, hotels, etc. The college will reimburse your pro dev funds to the respective college account; a process for requesting reimbursement is in development.

If your position requires frequent travel: Please connect directly with your supervisor to discuss your options.

Personal Travel

If you are planning personal travel, please be aware of the evolving conditions and be attentive to the possibility of being unable to return to the country due to new quarantines. Before you travel, it may be helpful to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of State travel advisory websites. Be aware that, as the outbreak develops, Hope’s travel restrictions may change.

Though it is not required, employees are encouraged to add personal travel plans to the online Off-Campus Travel Information Form as well; this will allow us to support you in the event that your return to West Michigan is at risk.