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What are Living Learning Communities (LLC)?

A living learning community is where first year students with a shared interest live together in one of our residence halls. They take a shared class together and have an amazing outside-of-the-classroom experience focused around that particular theme or interest. These communities are all designed to support the academic success of our students, help students make friends, and ultimately graduate and become a successful member of the global community. The Living Learning Community program is an outstanding way in which the University of Hawai'i at Hilo is supporting the success of our newest students.

What are the benefits of joining an LLC?

campusResearch shows that students who get involved in living learning communities are more likely to:

  • Stay in college
  • Earn a higher GPA
  • Experience a greater degree of satisfaction with their overall college experience

Your experience will be shaped by the community you choose, making your first year at UH Hilo memorable. In your community, you will be surrounded by students who are passionate about your interests, making it easy to make friends fast.

What communities are offered?

There are 6 Living Learning Communities being offered this upcoming year:

  • Business
  • Creative Arts
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Hawaiian Culture & Language
  • Health & Wellness
  • Natural Science


Business studentsIn the Business community, you’ll learn about business careers, what career fields you are best suited for given your personal traits and skills, and have the opportunity to network with local business leaders and alumni in both on and off-campus settings. You’ll also discover that your fellow residents aren’t just some of the best friends you’ll make at UH Hilo—they’re campus leaders and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, innovators, and community leaders. The Business community is a diverse community of both motivated first-year business students, as well as any other UH Hilo freshmen interested in business.

Creative Arts

artist at workThe Creative Arts community is for students who are passionate about things like design, film, theater, photography, music, dance, and painting. Although you may not be an Art major, you will be part of a small and welcoming community that shares your artistic/creative interests. This community will be a great opportunity to connect with other students in a safe and friendly environment. The Creative Arts community will include activities designed to encourage and support creative interactions among students with a wide variety of majors and interests.

Environmental Sustainability

Ag classThe Environmental Sustainability community focuses on sustainable living as a core experience of living and learning at UH Hilo. The Sustainability Living Learning Community is designed for freshmen from any major interested in the environment and sustainable living. Students in the Community are provided with theoretical and practical approaches to sustainability by integrating unique academic and field experiences based on course material with their living environment. Students will have the opportunity to learn from one another and community members by engaging in experiences and discussions related to organic food, global warming, renewable energy, food to table, and local and global sustainability issues.

Hawaiian Language & Culture

HonaunauThe Hawaiian Language and Culture community is for first year students who have a shared interest in learning and participating in various cultural practices. This community offers an opportunity for interested students to navigate their first year at UH Hilo while building a strong cultural foundation and connecting with others who have similar passions in this area. Participants will be able to further their use of Hawaiian language outside of the classroom through engaging activities tailored toward their interests.

Health & Wellness

healthThe Health & Wellness community is ideal for students who share a love of healthy living, outdoors, sports and recreation. It is open to all, regardless of athletic background. This community offers first year students an opportunity to pursue a wellness-focused lifestyle with others who share their passion for balancing nutrition, exercise, and activities. Living and learning with fellow first year students in an environment that promotes wellness in all aspects–physical, emotional, intellectual, and social. This community is open to students in all prospective majors.

Natural Science

science studentsThe Natural Science community is a specially designed experience for first year students who are interested in the science fields. Although naturally attractive to students with majors in the sciences, this community is open to all with an enthusiasm for the subject. Students participating in this community will have the opportunity to actively observe, experience, and participate in the scientific process. They will share courses with other community members, fostering the formation of friendships and the building of an academic support network.

How do I sign up?

When you fill out your Housing application to sign up to live on campus, simply indicate which community you're interested in being a part of.

Before the first week in January

If you apply for Housing prior to the first week in January, you'll need to complete a paper application. You can contact the University Housing office to request a paper application.

After the first week in January

If you apply for Housing after the first week of January, you'll complete the online application. You can find the online Housing Application on the University Housing website.

I have questions... Who can I contact?

If you have any questions, please contact:

Jake Picus, Associate Director for New Student Programs

Phone: (808) 932-7384