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.

Christmas Parade

christmaschristmas parade

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Meet at 4:00 pm, return to campus around 8:00 pm

Join the International Student Association in the County of Hawaii's annual Christmas parade in downtown Hilo! Wear your traditional clothes if you would like. ISA t-shirts will be provided to students who participate. Take a break from your studies and get in the holiday spirit!

Suicide Prevention Training

Monday, November 30, 2015
6:00-8:00 pm at the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) across from the Old Gym

In collaboration with Baptist Collegiate Ministries & InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, all international students are invited to attend a suicide prevention training offered by the UH Hilo Student Health & Wellness program. Learn about counseling resources and how to help connect people to them. Dinner will be served at 6:00, and the training will be from 6:30 to 8:00.

Global Ambassadors Certificate Ceremony

Global Ambassadors

Friday, December 4, 2015
4:00-5:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

All Global Ambassadors are invited to attend this end-of-the-year gathering to receive their certificates. Light refreshments will be served.

Orientation for New International Students


Wednesday, January 6, 2016
University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 100 - Time to be announced

All new international students are required to attend this orientation meeting. Bring your passport (and, 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. Click here for a map of campus.

International Nights 2016

UH Hilo International Nights

Friday, February 19 & Saturday, February 20, 2016

UH Hilo Performing Arts Center

Visit the International Nights website for more information.

International Speaker Series

international speaker seriesglobal voices

3rd Thursday of each month

September 17, October 15, November 19, January 21, February 18, March 17 & April 21
7:00 pm, Campus Center Room 301

In collaboration with the United Nations Association - Hawaii Chapter, this series of free talks with feature a faculty or community member discussing a topic of international relevance or concern.

September 17: "From Nuclear Exodus to Cultural Reawakening: Revitalizing Wave Navigation and Voyaging in the Marshall Islands" - Joseph Genz, Anthropology Dept.

October 15: "How Countries Respond Differently to Telescopes on their Mountain Peaks" - Marianne Takamiya, Physics & Astronomy Dept.

November 19: "U.S. Presidency and Foreign Policy" - Todd Belt, Political Science Dept.

January 21: "International Conflict Resolution" - Su-Mi Lee, Political Science Dept.

February 18: "Filipino Migrant Workers and Cosmopolitanism" - Celia Bardwell-Jones, Philosophy Dept.

March 17: "Can Social Entrepreneurship Address Challenges at the Base of the Global Development Pyriad?" - Dr. Jerry Calton, College of Business & Economics

April 21: "Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture" - Dr. Cam Muir, Biology Dept.

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

Waipio Valley
International Students at Waipio Valley

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.

Likes: Competing in open water swimming races and triathlons, traveling, music by Dave Matthews Band, books by David Sedaris, movies by Jim Jarmusch, comedians Kristen Wiig & Chelsea Handler.

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.