University of Hawaii at Hilo Catalog 2013–2014

International Student Services & Intercultural Education

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Jim Mellon, Director
Student Services Building

Tel: (808) 932-7467; Fax: (808) 932-7471

UH Hilo is a multicultural campus with international students from approximately 35 countries throughout the world, primarily from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The International Student Services & Intercultural Education program serves as an interface between international students, UH Hilo and the surrounding community in order to facilitate communication, understanding and appreciation among them. Ultimately, the goals of international education are to advance learning and scholarship and to increase intercultural awareness, understanding and competency in a global community. 

Services for international students include:

  • Orientation for new international students to facilitate their transition to the U.S. and UH Hilo academic and social environments
  • Advising on immigration regulations and matters, including employment on- and off-campus and after graduation
  • Official certification of immigration documents
  • Programs and activities that promote the adjustment and integration of international students into the campus and local communities
  • Providing information about scholarships, financial aid and loans and administering the UH Hilo International Student Scholarship program
  • Assistance with understanding and complying with the University’s academic and other policies and procedures
  • Advising on academic, financial and personal matters
  • Informing the campus and larger communities about the unique needs and contributions of international students and bringing an international perspective to a wide variety of campus programs and services
  • Serving as a resource and liaison between international students and campus and community members and organizations
  • Advocating for international students and international education

International and domestic students have the opportunity to participate in the International Student Association, which sponsors campus-wide activities - such as International Nights - that are aimed at increasing intercultural learning, awareness and understanding. The International Student Association also organizes off-campus excursions to the mountains, beaches, and sea - activities that allow students to learn about the unique physical and cultural treasures of Hawaiʻi Island.

The International Student Services & Intercultural Education program also coordinates a Global Ambassadors program, in which international students promote intercultural learning by making presentations about their home countries and cultures at schools, community organizations, and on campus, as well as contribute their knowledge and skills at various events and activities through volunteer service. UH Hilo welcomes the rich contribution make to its campus and the community by students from other countries.

In addition to services for international students, the International Student Services & Intercultural Education program engages students from all cultural, ethnic, national, and geographic backgrounds in programs and activities that facilitate and promote intercultural learning. The Intercultural Education program at UH Hilo aims to develop intercultural competence, an ethic of global citizenship, and a commitment to social justice in both local and global contexts among UH Hilo students. As one of the most ethnically diverse universities and areas in the U.S., UH Hilo provides rich opportunities for students to develop intercultural competence and apply those skills, attitudes, knowledge and abilities to enhance intercultural interactions and relations. Intercultural learning programs and activities bring together domestic and international students to reflect on and understand their own cultures and values and those of their neighbors at home and afar. Students explore differences on many levels and the cultural dimensions and power dynamics of interactions between and among individuals, organizations and political entities; search for and provide avenues to effective relations across cultures and differences; expand worldviews and analyze interconnections between global and local systems; and build the capacity to effectively participate and interact in intercultural contexts and situations within local communities, national borders, and around the world.