Helping Third Culture Kids and Their Families Belong

When growing up with multiple cultural influences, the seemingly simple question—Where are you from?—becomes complicated. If your passport country is the United States, but you have never lived there, do you feel American? Or, if your passport is from the United States but you’ve lived most of your life in Thailand, do you feel Thai? …

Cushioning Culture Shock Through International Family Orientation

As someone who has lived and worked in countries outside of the U.S., I have firsthand knowledge of what culture shock can feel like. It’s difficult to understand unless you’ve experienced it. Culture shock is defined as “the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life …

International Connections – Expanding Worldviews and Creating Lifelong Memories

When I think of International Family Orientation (IFO), my face lights up. I have the joy of meeting people from all over the world and helping them set their child up for success in America. This unique orientation eases the transition for the families of third culture kids (TCKs) — those who assume a mixed …

International Family Orientation and Hockey Connections

An idea hatched by parents from Sweden during an orientation outing scored big with the Flying Dutchmen’s hockey team, resulting in an international trip and several national championships. Parents Krister and Christina Werner of Sweden joined many other families during Hope’s International Family Orientation (IFO)—a program that addresses the special needs of third culture and …

International Family Orientation | New Connections for Hope College Students and Families

A casual boat ride on Lake Michigan during International Family Orientation stirred up a tidal wave of connections for Hope College students. Dann and Que-Lan Engels, who have close ties as Hope parents, extended hospitality to international families during orientation by inviting them for a ride on their boat to explore Lake Macatawa and take …

International Family Orientation | Honduras Connections

Families from Honduras who met during Hope’s International Family Orientation (IFO) have turned into some of the most prolific recruiters. Before classes begin each fall, Hope offers IFO, a unique program for families of third culture kids and international students to support them while their freshmen get settled on campus. “They are sending their students …

Meet the Schoonover Family

It’s hard to believe that Spring Semester 2024 is almost in the books! As members of the Family Advisory Council, we wanted to share a quick note. Our youngest, Kristian, is finishing his freshman year while our oldest, Erik, graduated in 2021 and is finishing a PhD. in geology. Erik just married a fellow alum, …

Meet the Brininstool Family

When orange and blue are best for YOU! We are Mark and Jennifer Brininstool, and we reside in Grand Haven, Michigan with our three daughters (Kennedy, Brooke & Parker). Kennedy is a sophomore majoring in business and accounting. We are members of the Hope College Family Advisory Council and have enjoyed our interactions with fellow …

When You’re a Hope Parent and a Hope Staff Member

Jen Ryden, Jill Nelson, and Cindy Kleinheksel have a few things in common. Notably, they all serve Hope students through Campus Ministries and they all have daughters who are first-year Hope students. I asked if I could sit down with them and learn a little more about what it’s like to be both a Hope …

Happy Valentine’s Day, Hope Families!

To all of our Hope families, you may not hear it nearly enough, but your students love and appreciate you in a major way. Read on for a few love notes from Hope College students. “I love that my family comes to my events at Hope so that they can see what I’m involved in!” …