International Student Services & Intercultural Education

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International Education

The University of Hawaiʻi: 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 Guide to the States for an online, interactive resource to help international students navigate the international student process. Use this step-by-step guide to learn about the process of studying in the United States. Topics include what to consider if you want to study in the United States, how to apply for a visa to enter the United States, how to maintain your status while in the U.S., guidelines for traveling back home, and working in the U.S.

Exchange Students with flags representing their countries.

New International Students

If you have been accepted to UH Hilo for the Fall 2016 semester, click here for a list of important things you need to do.

Orientation for New International Students


Tuesday, August 16, 2016
8:30 am at the University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 100
(see a map of campus)

All new international students are required to attend this orientation meeting. Bring your passport. If you are a student on an F-1 visa, also bring your I-20 Form and proof of health insurance. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Important: The dorms on campus will open for new international students on Monday, August 15. Plan on arriving in Hilo on August 15. More information about airport shuttles will be posted soon.

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 2015-2016:

  • Flag of Palau Akuila Smau (Palau) - President
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Bill Yang (Federated States of Micronesia) - Vice President
  • Flag of the People's Republic of China Xiaoting Liu (China) - Treasurer
  • Flag of East Timor Josefina Pereira (Timor-Leste) - Secretary
  • Flag of Palau Felicia Andrew (Palau) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Denita Robert (Federated States of Micronesia) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Czech Repbulic Bianca Novotna (Czech Republic) - Social Media Coodinator
  • Flag of East Timor Helio Miguel Oliveira de Aruajo (Timor-Leste) - Event Coordinator
  • Flag of Papua New Guinea Joshua Parep (Papua New Guinea) - Event Coordinator

isa officers

Waipio Valley
International Students at Waipio Valley

Follow ISA on Facebook , Twitter & Instagram (@uhhisa)!

Nandar's Story

Mya Yee Nandar
Mya Yee Nandar

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. Nandar was also interviewed on BBC's One Square Mile.


About the Director

Jim MellonJim 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. won the 10-mile Maui channel swim from Lanai to Maui, 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.