International Family Welcome Week

Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 9:00am

These special events and activities are planned with your family in mind. Some take place during student-only orientation activities and others involve your whole family.

AUGUST 16–25, 2019


  • Student and Family Arrival and Registration – Students and families arrive in Holland. Hope will coordinate shuttle service to campus from Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) or the Padnos Transportation Center, where Amtrak trains run daily from Chicago’s Union Station. We’ll also help families transfer to Holland-area hotels.


On campus session day

  • Opening Reception with Families and Students
  • Family Orientation Session I – The Office of Development will share important campus info, and review the welcome guide and the week’s activities.
  • Campus Tour and Lunch with Students – Join the students and the rest of the international community for lunch in Phelps Dining Hall.
  • Family Orientation Session II – Meet with the Director and International Student Advisor to learn about Hope’s global community.
  • Free Time to set up student banking, telephone or technology
  • Welcome Dinner - Families and students will have an opportunity to meet Hope’s leadership, enjoy a nice meal and take a family photo.


Holland (transportation provided)

Students leave for the Explore Michigan trip — bus leaves at 8:30 a.m.

  • Holland Farmers Market – With more than 75 vendors selling flowers, pastries, fresh fruits and vegetables. Cooking classes are offered.
  • Lunch in Holland
  • Holland State Park – Walk the pier and walkway along the harbor channel and see beautiful views of sailboats and the Big Red lighthouse. Great picture opportunity.
  • Captain Sundae – After the beach, we will cool off at one of the most popular ice cream shops in Holland.


Saugatuck (transportation provided)

  • Lunch in Saugatuck – Sit and relax while you enjoy lunch by the water
  • Crane’s U-Pick Farm – Pick fresh fruit in season — peaches, apples and blueberries
  • Crane’s Pie Pantry – Enjoy homemade fresh fruit pies that are still made the old-fashioned way from family recipes passed down through the generations
  • Shopping Downtown Saugatuck – A quaint little town on the shore of Lake Michigan with 30 art galleries, trendy boutiques and shops.
  • Sunset Cruise on Lake Michigan – Sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful Michigan sunset from the boat. Light dinner served.


Chicago — all day event (transportation provided)

  • Navy Pier – 3,300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan encompasses more than 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops and attractions. Ride the Centennial Ferris Wheel — an iconic part of the Chicago skyline and a treasured piece of cultural history. Soaring to heights of nearly 200 feet, the ferris wheel offers visitors unparalleled, 360-degree views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.
  • Lunch at Park Grill Restaurant – Have lunch with the group and visit with Hope alumni that live in Chicago.
  • Millennium Park – 25 acres of beautiful landscape, architecture and public arts
  • Shopping on Magnificent Mile — Best shopping in downtown Chicago from apparel, cosmetics, accessories and fine jewelry.
  • Dinner at Giordano's – Enjoy Chicago’s famous stuffed deep dish pizza while visiting with some Hope alumni that live in Chicago.


Grand Rapids (transportation provided)

  • Banking, Telephone and Technology Time/Free Time - Time with students (9–10 a.m.) to set up bank accounts, purchase phones and other services.
  • Family Orientation Session III – Listen to Hope international and third culture kids (TCK) students share their Hope experience and answer your questions
  • Family Lunch with Students – Don't miss this lunch! Your students arrive back on campus from their trip up north and you will be the first to talk and learn about their adventure. Hosted by the staff of Fried Center for Global Engagement.
  • Family Orientation Session IV – Meet key staff from Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), Career Development, Academic Success, Business Services, and Campus Safety.
  • Whitecaps Baseball Game with Students – Join the students to experience American baseball and food in a fun family environment.


On campus session day

  • Windmill Islands Garden Tour – Windmill Island Gardens is home to 250-year old working de Zwaan windmill, transported from the Netherlands. Enjoy music from the antique Dutch street organ or ride the antique carousel from the Netherlands.
  • Lunch on Campus – Join Hope alumni and friends of the college for lunch.
  • Family Activity - Memory Maker – Write letter(s) to your student and we will deliver them after you depart for home.
  • Faculty Panel Discussion – You will have an opportunity to hear from faculty members in your student's area of study and ask questions about academic life at Hope
  • Meet & Greet Faculty Reception – Meet several faculty members and enjoy light refreshments.


Saugatuck (transportation provided)

  • Saugatuck Dune Ride – 35-minute scenic dune ride over Lake Michigan sand dunes.
  • Lunch Provided
  • International Orientation Wrap-up Session with Students – Join us for a recap of the week and see highlights of your students beginning time at Hope with a video capturing the week’s best moments.
  • Family Picnic at Kollen Park with Students  Students will join the families for a picnic dinner and games at one of Holland’s beautiful park on the water.

Friday, August 23, and Saturday, August 24, 2019

During the next three days, you will join the 2019 Hope College Orientation for all student families planned by Hope’s Student Life and Orientation Teams. Orientation is coordinated by the Student Life Office and the schedule can be found here.


  • Lunch at Big E’s Grill
  • Convocation
  • Time for photos and goodbyes
Event Type

Campus-Life, Fried Center for Global Engagement, International Students

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