International Student Services & Intercultural 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.
Upcoming Events & Activities
New International Student Orientation
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
8:30 am at UCB (University Classroom Building) Room 100 (click here for a map of campus)
All new international students must attend a required orientation meeting on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Bring your passport and if you are a student on an F-1 visa, also bring proof of health insurance.
Plan on arriving in Hilo on Monday, August 17, 2015. Fly in to the Hilo airport (ITO), not the Kona (KOA) airport (which is 2 hours away). We will be at the Hilo airport to pick you up on Monday, August 17 if you submit the online airport shuttle form.
IMPORTANT: New international students may move in to the residence halls on campus on Monday, August 17. If you received an email from the UH Hilo Housing Office indicating that you cannot move in until Tuesday, August 18, that is not correct. Please plan on arriving in Hilo on Monday, August 17. You will be able to move in to your residence hall on August 17.
Meet Your Buddy
Thursday, August 27, 2015
4:00 pm, Student Services Center Room W-201
If you are a new international student and you signed up to have a U.S. buddy, come to this gathering to meet your buddy! Refreshments will be served.
Friday, August 28, 2015
4:00 pm, Student Life Center Swimming Pool
All new and returning international students are invited to our annual Welcome Party! Food, fun, games and prizes!
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Leave from the Student Life Center at 7:30 am
An unforgettable 45-minute journey aboard an Atlantis 48-passenger submarine, as featured in National Geographic television specials, where guests explore a 25-acre natural coral reef and its marine inhabitants! A new adventure awaits you at depths up to 100 feet! Enjoy the view in air-conditioned comfort and safety. 30 spaces reserved for international students. Sign up for international students starts on Friday, August 21 at 8:00 am at the Student Life Center Outdoor Edventure Office. Cost: $25 (cash only). Space is limited! Click here for more information about the submarine trip and a short video.
Mixed Plate: Dinner & Hawaiian Culture
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
5:30-8:00 pm, Campus Center Room 301
Are you interested in learning about Hawaiian and local cultures, values and history? 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. Free! Space is limited. If you sign up after the first 20 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 Workshop
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
4:00 pm, Student Services Center Room W-201
Designed for international students on F-1 visas who are planning on graduating from UH Hilo in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016, this workshop will provide information about "OPT" (Optional Practical Training). OPT allows you to work in the U.S. after you graduate for one year so that you can gain experience in your field of study. The workshop will explain what OPT is, how to apply for it, deadlines, etc. 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").
Global Ambassadors Meeting & Training
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (Tentative date)
3:00 pm, Student Services Center Room W-201
We will discuss the details of the Global Ambassadors program, provide training, and begin to schedule visits to schools.
Meet Your Host Family
Friday, September 18, 2015 (Tentative date: Event may be held on Friday, September 25)
5:30 pm, Student Services Center Room W-201
If you signed up for a host family, come to this gathering to meet your new family! Refreshments will be served.
Volcano Night Tour
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Meet at the Student Life Center - Time to be announced
Join the International Student Association and the Outdoor Edventure Program on a night tour at Volcanoes National Park. See the glow of lava as the summit crater, Halemaumau, continues to grow and send up voluptuous clouds of steam. See a subterranean pond of lava spilling out onto the crater floor. More information will be posted soon. Click here for current conditions at the park and to see videos.
Global Lens International Film Festival
Monday-Thursday, October 19-22, 2015 (Tentative dates)
Time & Venue to be announced
Expose. Engage. Inspire.
Featuring award-winning films on human rights issues in parts of the world with which many are unfamiliar: Myanmar (Burma), West Papua, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. UH Hilo students from these nations will introduce each film and discuss their perspectives on the issues exposed in the films.
International Nights 2016
Friday, February 19 & Saturday, February 20, 2016
UH Hilo Performing Arts Center
Visit the International Nights website for more information.
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:
- Akuila Smau (Palau) - President
- Bill Yang (Federated States of Micronesia) - Vice President
- Xiaoting Liu (China) - Treasurer
- Josefina Pereira (Timor-Leste) - Secretary
- Felicia Andrew (Palau) - Volunteer Coordinator
- Denita Robert (Federated States of Micronesia) - Volunteer Coordinator
- Bianca Novotna (Czech Republic) - Social Media Coodinator
- Helio Miguel Oliveira de Aruajo (Timor-Leste) - Event Coordinator
- Joshua Parep (Papua New Guinea) - Event 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
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 ofPohnpei in Micronesia as a volunteer teacher for three years.