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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.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Orientation for New International Students

Welcome

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.

Welcome Party!

welcome party

Friday, August 26, 2016
6:00-8:30 pm at the Student Life Center Swimming Pool

Food, music, games, fun, prizes! All new and returning international students and ISA (International Student Association) members are welcome to attend this annual party! No need to sign up--just come. Rain or shine.

Hapuna Beach Trip

hapuna beach

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Meet at 8:00 am at the Student Life Center, return to campus around 4:00 pm

Join the International Student Association (ISA) and the Outdoor EdVenture Program for a trip to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! International students can sign up at the Student Life Center Outdoor EdVenture Program office starting Thursday, August 18. Cost: $5. Space is limited so sign up early.

Submarine Trip

atlantis submarine trip

Saturday, September 3, 2016
Meet at 6:30 am at the Student Life Center, return to campus around 4:00 pm

Join the International Student Association (ISA) and the Outdoor EdVenture Program for a trip to Kona and board a submarine to see underwater sea life! After the submarine trip, you will have some time to check out Kaloko-Honohokau National Historic Park. International students can sign up at the Student Life Center Outdoor EdVenture Program office starting Thursday, August 18. Cost: $30 non-refundable fee. Space is limited so sign up early.

Host Family Reception

UH Hilo Host Family Program Reception

Friday, September 9, 2016
6:00-7:30 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201
(click here for a map of campus)

Come meet your host family! Pupus will be served.

"Mixed Plate" Dinner

mixed platehawaiian

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
5:30-8:00 pm at the Campus Center Room 301

Are you interested in learning about Hawaiian and local cultures, values and history? New international students are invited to come to a casual "mixed plate" dinner featuring local food and the opportunity to learn about Hawaiian and cultures from Native Hawaiian students. Space is limited to the first 25 new international students who sign up. Free! Check your UH email for a link to the online sign-up form. If you sign up after the first 25 students, you will be put on a wait list and you will be informed if a space becomes available.

Working in the U.S. after Graduation

Thursday, September 15, 2016
4:00-5:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Students on F-1 visa: If you are planning on graduating in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017, come to this workshop to learn about your option to work in the US after graduation. We will discuss OPT (Optional Practical Training), which allows international students on F-1 visas to work in the US after graduation for one year so that you can gain experience in your field of study. In addition, an attorney who specializes in immigration law may also be present to discuss the H1-B visa (commonly referred to as a "work visa"). Even if you are not planning on graduating this in 2016-2017, you are welcome to come to the workshop so that you are aware of your future options.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, September 15, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

"Climate Change: It's Getting Hot In Here"

Speaker: Dr. Ryan Perroy, UH Hilo Geography Department

Dolphin Quest Trip

dolphin quest

Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time to be announced

Jon the International Student Association (ISA) for an encounter with dolphins! Feel the thrill of a lifetime as you touch and feed a dolphin. Swim with dolphins in a shallow, waist-deep lagoon on the property of the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel (about 90 minutes from Hilo). The day will include learning about ocean ecosystems in Hawaiʻi. You will also be allowed to spend some time snorkeling in the Hilton lagoon. Click here for more details about Dolphin Quest. Cost: $30 (cash only, no refunds). (The regular cost is about $200, so this is a huge discount!) Space is limited to 36 students. Check back later for details about how and when to sign up.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, October 20, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

Genderism Made Them "Disabled"

Speaker: Dr. Yoshiko Okuama, Professor of Japanese Studies, UH Hilo Languages Department

Some 7,000-10,000 Japanese are estimated to identify strongly and persistently with the gender opposite to their biological one (Taniguichi, 2013). Japan is a society that has little or no tolerance for individuals with gender identity disorder (GID), a questionable term still used in the medical model of disability. (In the United States, gender dysphoria replaced GID in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DMS-5, in 2013.) In a country where doctors who specialize in GID are few and far between, the members of this minority group are said to be 40% more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation than their non-GID counterparts. With the gender-inclusive facilities debate and the Orlando nightclub shooting still fresh in our minds, I will look at the hot topic of genderism – a belief that there are only two genders – from a cross-cultural perspective. In this talk, the plight of Japanese people with GID will be examined using manga characters with GID and discussing the media representation of the sexual minority. My goal is to start an open conversation about gender fluidity.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, November 17, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

Managing Food Waste by Vermicomposting

Speaker: Dr. Norman Arancon. UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resources

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, January 19, 2017
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

Antimicrobial Resistance: A Global Threat

Speaker: Dr. Louis Ltief, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

Resistance to antibiotics is an alarming increasing threat to mankind in the 21st Century. Over-utilization of current antibiotics combined with the lack of development of new ones could lead to emergence of bugs resistant to all known antibiotics. An effective mean to combat this potential crisis is the development of antimicrobial stewardship programs coordinated on a global scale.

International Nights

Samoa at UH Hilo International Nights 2016

Friday & Saturday, February 10 & 11, 2017
7:30 pm at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center
(see a map of campus)

Check back for more information.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, February 16, 2017
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

"Food and Cultural Geography"

Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Besio, UH Hilo Geography Department

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, March 16, 2017
7:00-8:00 pm at Hale'olelo (College of Hawaiian Language Building)

Indigenous Wellbeing Through Education

Speaker: Dr. Keiki Kawai'ae'a, UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani

International Student Association (ISA)

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 International Student Association website for more information.

ISA Officers for 2016-2017:

  • Flag of Papua New GuineaJoshua Parep (Papua New Guinea) - President
  • Flag of Palau Felicia Andrew (Palau) - Vice President
  • Flag of Japan Misaki Hirayama (Japan) - Treasurer
  • Flag of East Timor Josefina Pereira (Timor-Leste) - Secretary
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Axel Defngin (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Bertha Lotte (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Marshall Islands Rudy Milne (Marshall Islands) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Taeliza Perez (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Marshall Islands Risa Kabua Myazoe (Marshall Islands) - Social Media Coodinator

 

ISA Officers 2015-2016 pictured below

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.