Hope College prides itself on being a campus with a global focus. Just recently was Going Global Week, hosted by the Center for Global Engagement. The week held a number of events to provide information about other cultures and the opportunity to engage therein – everything from an International Food Fair to a photo contest from time abroad. Whether the week is designated for “going global” or not, though, students at Hope are perpetually taught how to take on the perspectives of others. Liberal arts classes, multicultural worship in chapel, immersion trips, and opportunities like study abroad make this possible. I personally haven’t studied abroad during my time at Hope, though I’ve been playing with the idea of a May term in the future. I have, however, been a firsthand witness to friends that study abroad and come back transformed. Hope makes it easy to “go global,” and they walk with you through the process.

my friend Maia studied abroad this past summer in Germany, and traveled around Europe as well. (photo courtesy of Maia Travis)

Many of my friends, as second year students, are just now going abroad or planning to do so during junior year. Even when their trip was more than a year out, the Off-Campus Study office was able to support them. One friend isn’t planning to go abroad until next spring, but has been meeting pretty regularly with the office since our freshman year. She comes back from the meetings raving, always feeling more comfortable and confident in the next steps she needs to take towards her time off-campus.

Tuition and Financial Aid

One perk about studying off-campus during a semester at Hope is the cost-effectiveness. Typically, cost is similar to the regular tuition price of a semester at Hope and your eligible financial aid transfers for one semester abroad. Beyond this similar pricing, there’s a number of scholarships that students can apply for. Hope wants to make study off-campus possible for all students that are interested. Students can do internships abroad, take courses specific to their major, or finish up gen-eds.

The beautiful thing about studying abroad at Hope is that there’s really something for everyone. The off-campus website details more than three hundred program opportunities that students can take part in whether for a semester, a full year, or a summer term. Both the Off-Campus Study office and students’ academic advisors are more than willing to walk alongside students and help them discern a path amidst this myriad of options.

New Perspectives

I’m in a senior level Spanish class, and on the first day of the semester my professor asked: “Who just got back from studying abroad?” About two thirds of the class raised their hand – a showcase of just how normal it is to spend time abroad at Hope. At least once a week in Spanish class discussions, my classmates incorporate their experiences into class conversation. It’s easy to see that these students have been shaped and stretched by their experiences abroad, and their experiences are able to affect us as a class, too.

In chapel, chaplains often say that college is a “conversation” of minds and perspectives. Off-campus study and the opportunity to “go global,” is an enrichment of that conversation. As such, it’s something that Hope wants to make possible for as many students as they can.

Published by Audrey Wells

Class of 2026 Hometown: Portage, MI Majors: Communications & Spanish Minor: Social Witness Ministry & Global Health

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