Why Study Abroad

UH Hilo Home > Student Affairs > Center for Global Education and Exchange

UH Hilo encourages all undergraduate students to study abroad. Study abroad is a crucial part of a well-rounded undergraduate education.

The Big 3:

  • Academic Perspective
  • Personal Development
  • Career Enhancement

Become more mature and self-confident while learning the skills to succeed in an unfamiliar environment and enjoy adapting to new places.

Earn academic credit that will fulfill graduation requirements while experiencing a new environment.

Get an international experience beyond a superficial tourist experience.  Understand how culture  guides values and behaviors, and learn to respect different cultures.

Practice intercultural competencies that enhances career and social relationships

extra to resume which will make it more appealing to employers.

Enhance career opportunities with a second or third language which is invaluable to the future of the workforce.

Student Testimonials

Becky Zheng

Becky Zheng
Becky Zheng

Chung-Ang University, South Korea

Major: Business Administration: Marketing

"I have never been to a city that is so vibrant and alive! I grew up thinking that my world was so small because I lived in Hilo, but having this opportunity to go study abroad has really changed the way I see the world. I will definitely be studying abroad again because this is truly an experience of a lifetime!"



Allena Ikehara

Allena Ikehara

Seinan Gakuin University, Japan

Major: Japanese Studies

“For me it was like a dream, I never thought that I would be able to have the chance to travel to a foreign country. The time I spent in Japan is one I’ll never forget. I’ve made friends from all over the world and throughout this whole experience, I have learned so much about different cultures, lifestyles, values, and myself. I hope one day I’ll be able to return, see everyone again.”


Randall Yamaoka

Randall Yamaoka
Randall Yamaoka

Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan

Seoul Women's University, South Korea

Major: Japanese Studies & Linguistics

“Studying abroad has changed my life forever and expanded my global awareness. I was one of the lucky ones that had the opportunity to study abroad in two different countries. My first experience was a yearlong session at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, where I was able to immerse myself in my cultural heritage, meet people across the world and be fortunate enough to meet relatives for the first time. My second study abroad session was with the Bahrom International Program in South Korea. I engaged myself in a different Asian culture and visited many historical landmarks. Studying abroad will change your perspective of the world.”


Makamae Nāone

Makamae Nāone
Makamae Nāone

University of Waikato, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Major: Hawaiian Studies and Anthropology

"Tēnā rā tātou! Aloha nui kākou! Honestly, there is absolutely no way that I can explain the experience I had in Aotearoa in just 3 sentences. That 1 year at Waikato changed my life forever, it was way more than I had ever expected. I got to live my dream by immersing myself in the Māori culture and it was just the most epic experience. I can't even begin to explain the people that I have met and the connections I have made with my new "family" in Aotearoa! Its like I now live two lives, I have my family here in Hawaiʻi but I also have a huge loving family in Aotearoa! If there is one thing I could tell others who are thinking about studying abroad, I'd say, DO IT! Trust me, you will not regret it. Kia ora!"