International Student Services & Intercultural Education
The University of Hawaii: A Global University
The International Student Services & Intercultural Education (ISS & IE) program has two primary missions. The first is to assist international students with clarifying and attaining their academic and personal goals while complying with the regulations pertaining to their immigration status. ISS & IE serves as an interface between UH Hilo and international students in order to facilitate communication, understanding and appreciation between them. The second mission is to facilitate and assist all students at UH Hilo, regardless of national origin, with developing intercultural competence. Ultimately, the goals of international education are to advance learning and scholarship and to increase intercultural awareness, understanding and competency in our increasingly global community.
Information about applying for admission to UH Hilo can be found on the Admissions website.
Check out Study in the States for information and resources for prospective and current international students, including information on applying for a visa to enter the United States, getting ready to go, arriving in the U.S., maintaining your status, and working in the U.S.
New Students for Spring 2014
Arrival in Hilo: Plan on arriving in Hilo on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. The residence halls will open for new international students on January 7. Orientation for international students will begin on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. Check back for more detailed information.
Transportation from the Hilo Airport: We will provide free shuttle service from the Hilo airport to the UH Hilo campus and surrounding apartments on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Please let us know when your flight arrives in Hilo by submitting this online shuttle reservation form. If you submit the online reservation form, we will be at the airport to pick you up on January 7. Make sure you fly in to the Hilo airport (ITO), not the Kona airport (KOA). (The Kona airport is 2 hours away from Hilo.)
Required Meeting for New International Students: All new international students are required to attend the following meeting before Orientation:
- Wednesday, January 8, 2014
- 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
- Campus Center Room 301 (click here for a map of campus)
Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please bring your passport, I-20 form (for students on F-1 visas) or DS-2019 form (for students on J-1 visas), and proof of health insurance (for students on F-1 or J-1 visas).
Staff will present information about immigration regulations, life at UH Hilo, health issues, social activities and more. You will meet with other new international students and learn how to make a successful transition to your college life here.
Things To Do: Follow this list of important things to do now.
Upcoming Events & Activities
Pacific Islander Student Orientation
Monday, Janaruy 13, 2014
Campus Center Room 307 (Pacific Islander Student Center)
New Pacific Islanders students are invited to attend this orientation meeting. Learn about UH Hilo's Pacific Islander Student Center, meet new people, and find out about opportunities!
Submarine Trip in Kona
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Leave at 9:00 am, return to campus around 6:00 pm
Meet at the UH Hilo Student Life Center
"Totally safe and totally cool!" The water surrounding Kona is full of beautiful sea life and hidden treasures to explore. Experience the magic of our Atlantis Kona submarine tour and create lifetime memories as you explore our majestic coastal waters off the Kailua-Kona. Join the International Student Association and the Outdoor Adventure Program on this fun trip. You will also have some time to walk around Kailua-Kona town. Sign up at the Student Life Center Outdoor Adventure office. Space is limited. Cost: $30.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Leave at 9:00 am, return to campus around 3:00 pm
Meet at the UH Hilo Student Life Center
Experience the hearbeat of a volcanic landscape! Join the International Student Association and the Outdoor Adventure Program on a tour of Volcanoes National Park. Walk through a lava tube, gaze at the smoke coming from the volcanic crater, check out the museum, and lots of other sites.
International Nights 2014
Friday & Saturday, February 7 & 8, 2014
UH Hilo Performing Arts Center
Visit the International Nights website for more information.
Working in the U.S. After Graduation Workshop
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Campus Center Room 306
Come to this workshop to learn about your options for working in the U.S. after graduation. This includes OPT (Optional Practical Training), which allows you to remain in and work in the U.S. after you graduate for one year so that you can gain experience in your field of study. Mr. Newton Chu, an attorney who specializes in immigration law, will also be present to discuss the H1-B visa (commonly referred to as a "work visa"). Students who are graduating in May can apply for OPT starting on February 17.
Lava Walk Trip: See Lava at Your Fingertips!
Date & Time To Be Announced - Check back for more details
Join the International Student Association for a trip to view lava! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see lava up close with an experienced and knowledgeable guide. You will be able to be just a few feet away from the lava—an experience that few people ever get! The trip includes a 1 1/2 hour hike starting in Kalapana and ending where the lava is flowing. You should be willing and able to walk 1 ½ hours over some rough terrain to and from the lava flow. Experienced tour guides will walk with you to and through the Lava Flow. The guides are more than just a guide: they are local, born and raised in Hawaii, and will share stories, folklore and more along the way, providing a walking tour of the lava flow that is beyond your expectations. Cost: To be determined. Bring: Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (no slippers!); long pants; water; flashlight; camera; hat; snacks. Check back for information on how to sign up.
Global Lens Film Series
Tuesday nights, January 28, February 25, March 18 & April 22, 2014
Location To Be Announced
The Global Lens film series is intended to promote intercultural understanding through film and to expose audiences to new voices from relatively unfamiliar parts of the world. The series will provide a platform for exceptional storytelling and open windows into the diverse world in which we live. The powerful, authentic narratives in the films can foster trust and respect between disparate cultures and mitigate the negative impacts of cultural prejudice, misunderstanding, and misperception.
Films to be shown includeBelvedere (Bosnia & Herzegovina), I Am From Titov Veles (Macedonia), Masquerades (Algeria), and Nada+ (Cuba). Check back for more details.
International Student Association (ISA)
ISA is a student club for international students and their friends. The club's motto is "Unite, Serve, Educate." The club organizes trips, social events and service opportunities throughout the year, as well as UH Hilo's annual International Nights. Visit the ISA website for more information.
ISA Officers for 2013-2014:
- Yvonne Johnny (Federated States of Micronesia) - President
- Mya Yee Nandar (Burma) - Vice President
- Imelda Carlos (Timor-Leste) - Secretary
- Nellie Kati (Papua New Guinea) - Treasurer
- Quang Tan ("Charlie") Huynh (Vietnam) - Webmaster
- Angelo Menezes Guterres Aparicio (Timor-Leste) - Public Relations
- Hitomi Kitade (Japan) - Membership Coordinator
- Anna-Belle Nena (Federated States of Micronesia) -Volunteer Coordinator
- Renee David (Federated States of Micronesia) - Volunteer Coordinator
- Aya Shimada (Japan) -Orientation Coordinator
- Palau – Ngelekel Palau
- Marshall Islands – Marshallese Iakwe Club
- Waab (Yapese) Student Organization
- Kosrae – Kosrae Hilo Organization
- Pohnpei – Pohnpei Kaselelia Club
- Chuuk – Chuukese Student Organization
As a part of this program, the rate of tuition charged to incoming Pacific Islander students will increase from 100% of resident tuition to 150% of resident tuition in Fall 2007. For more information, please view the attached links.
Some of the many student organizations on campus include the following:
For contact information, visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/campuscenter/riso/con
Check out this fascinating story (A Journey of 7,000 Miles Began With a Single Snake) by Mya Yee Nandar, a UH Hilo student from Burma (Myanmar), featured in the International Student Voice magazine. Also check out her two-part story Like Crabs in a Basket.
About the Director
Jim Mellon has been the Director of International Student Services & Intercultural Education since 2011. Jim earned his bachelor's degree from Duke University and master's degree from the University of Hawaiʻ at Manoa, where he was immersed in intercultural programs as a grantee with the East-West Center. He previously served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at UH Hilo.
Goals: Facilitate the success of international students and promote the development of intercultural competence among all students with an emphasis on social justice.
Did You Know? He swam 28.5 miles around New York City and won the 10-mile Maui channel swim from Lanai to Maui in 1998, competed in the Ironman Triathlon World Championships four times, and lived and worked on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia as a volunteer teacher for three years.