International Student Services & Intercultural Education
The University of Hawaii: 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 in the States for information and resources for prospective and current international students, including information on applying for a visa to enter the United States, getting ready to go, arriving in the U.S., maintaining your status, and working in the U.S.
Airport Pick Up in Hilo on August 19
All new international students coming to UH Hilo for the Fall 2013 semester should plan on arriving in Hilo on Monday, August 19, 2013. International students may move into the residence halls (dormitories) on Monday, August 19. (The Space Assignment Letter from the UH Hilo Housing Office says that students can move in on Tuesday, August 20, but international students are allowed and expected to move in on Monday, August 19.)
Please let us know when you will arrive at the Hilo airport on August 19, and we will be there to pick you up and take you to campus (or nearby apartments). This service is free. Sign up online here.
Keep in mind that you should fly in to the Hilo (ITO) airport, which is only a few miles away from campus. If you fly in to Honolulu (HNL), you will need to get a connecting flight to Hilo (about a 45-minute flight from the Honolulu airport).
Important Information for New International Students
Click here to find out about important information for new international students, including registering for classes, paying for tuition and fees, things to bring, preparing for your arrival in Hilo, orientation, placement testing, housing, transportation, health requirements, visa information, working on campus, banking, and helpful websites. Also visit our website for new international students.
Orientation for New International Students
All new international students are required to attend an orientation session on Tuesday, August 20. Check back soon for more detailed information about orientation.
Check out this fascinating story by Mya Yee Nandar, a UH Hilo student from Burma (Myanmar), published in the International Student Voice magazine.
Upcoming Events & Activities
FSM Consulate General of Hawaii Meeting
Saturday, June 15, 2013
University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 127
All FSM students and citizens are welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting with a visiting delegation from the Federated States of Micronesia Consulate General of Hawaii Office. The purpose of the visit is to reach out to FSM citizens living in the Hilo area to inform them of developments with their home government and in the U.S., especially with regard to immigration. They would also like to hear citizens’ views on how the Consulate General’s office can better assist them. In addition, staff members will assist citizens who need to renew or replace FSM passports or get documents notarized. Passport applications and other forms are available on the FSM Embassy website.
The delegation will include Consul General Kandhi A. Elieisar; Foreign Service Officers Robin Fritz and Henry Shrew; and Administrative Office Angie Saimon. The delegation will also be visiting Kona on Friday, June 15.
International Nights 2014
Click here for information about International Nights 2014, scheduled for Friday, Feburary 7 and Saturday, Feburary 8, 2014 at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.
Check back for information about events and activities scheduled for the Fall 2013 semester.
International Student Association Activities
- International Student Association - Click here for a brochure and membership form.
- International Student Association (ISA) Officers for 2013-2014:
- Yvonne Johnny (Federated States of Micronesia) - President
- Mya Yee Nandar (Burma) - Vice President
- Imelda Carlos (Timor-Leste) - Secretary
- Nellie Kati (Papua New Guinea) - Treasurer
- Quang Tan ("Charlie") Huynh (Vietnam) - Webmaster
- Angelo Menezes Guterres Aparicio (Timor-Leste) - Public Relations
- Hitomi Kitade (Japan) - Membership Coordinator
- Anna-Belle Nena (Federated States of Micronesia) -Volunteer Coordinator
- Renee David (Federated States of Micronesia) - Volunteer Coordinator
- Aya Shimada (Japan) -Orientation Coordinator
- Global Ambassadors Program
- Hunger Banquet - check out Ke Kalahea's coverage of the event held in October 2012
Information for All International Students
Orientation and Workshops
We hold an orientation for new international students at the beginning of each semester. The orientation is specifically designed to give international students the information they need for a successful beginning at UH Hilo. The orientation is required for new and transfer international students.
The International Student Services Office provides workshops to help students with two complex issues: employment and taxes. We offer an Employment after Graduation workshop for students with F-1 visas. We offer tax workshops for both F-1 and Pacific students.
You are welcome to come to the office without an appointment, especially if you just have a quick question. We have someone to answer your questions during most hours of the week. However, we cannot always be available and if you want to make sure the International Student Advisor will be available when you come in, please make an appointment ahead of time.
Adjusting to a new culture and being away from home for an extended period is a difficult transition for anyone. It means facing many new challenges and learning about a community which may be very different from your own. Each person responds differently to these changes. If you have a question about life in this new culture, or if you want to talk about a problem or concern, please come to see us. We are here to help.
Through the International Student Association, we sponsor many activities which provide opportunities for you to meet other students and visit places of interest on the Big Island. Joining these activities is a great way to help make the adjustment to your new life at UH Hilo.
You may find that a personal problem is interfering with your ability to study or to eat and sleep. You should feel comfortable about explaining your problem to the International Student Advisor; anything you say will be confidential. We can assist you in getting help from other professional staff at UH Hilo, if that seems appropriate to you.
While the International Student Services staff do not provide specific academic advising related to your major, we can answer questions about academic policies and procedures, and about your rights and responsibilities as a student at UH Hilo. Your academic advisor can answer questions about selecting courses and meeting degree requirements.
The International Student Services Office receives requests from people in the Hilo community and from other students to contact students from specific countries. Under US law UH Hilo is allowed to release the following bits of information about a student because they are considered “Directory Information”:
- Local address
- Local telephone number
- Dates of attendance
- Educational level
- Degrees and awards received
- Campus-issued e-mail address
If you do not want any or all of this information released when there is such a request, go to the Records Office window and complete a “Request to Keep Directory Information Confidential” form. Also available here.
All international students are required to have a tuberculosis (TB) test at UH Hilo, even if you have already had a test at home. The Student Health Office in Campus Center, room 212, will provide these tests during orientation week. Phone 974-7636 for further information.
Information for New and Transfer Students
Information for Students From Palau, FSM & Marshall Islands
New and Transfer students from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands are invited to attend a welcome reception. At this reception you will meet other students and be briefed on important information for you.
Information for Fall 2010's reception:Sat, August 21 at Carlsmith Pavilion (4-mile Beach).The International Student Services Office has copies of your home state or country scholarship applications. It is our responsibility to verify that the information on your application is correct by signing and sealing it. We are also able to send and receive Faxes for you that are related to your scholarships or US federal financial aid. For the most updated requirements and information about these scholarships please visit the scholarship's web site.
Your immigration status if you are from the Republic of Palau is CFA/PAL (Compact of Free Association with Palau); if you are from Federated States of Micronesia, CFA/FSM (Compact of Free Association with FSM); if you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, CFA/MIS (Compact of Free Association with the Marshall Islands).
When traveling to the US by plane, the flight attendants on board will distribute CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms and Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record for immigration, before you land at your initial point-of-entry in the U.S. Complete these forms on the aircraft and submit them to the appropriate CBP Officer upon your arrival, remember to write your name exactly as it appears on your passport. If you do not understand a form, ask the flight attendant for assistance. Click here for detailed instructions on filling out a I-
Students from Palau, FSM, and RMI are, by virtue of immigration status, permitted to work on or off-campus. However, students from Palau must obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), done by completing the form I-765 and mailing it along with a photocopy of your passport to the INS office in Laguna Niguel, California. There is no fee for this process. Application forms and instructions are available from the International Student Office.
Students from FSM and the Marshall Islands who are in CFA/FSM and CFA/MIS immigration status respectively, are no longer required to obtain the EAD in order to work in the US. According to the amended Compacts of Free Association with the US, you merely need to show your employer your passport and I-94, the small white card stapled in your passport.
- Palau – Ngelekel Palau
- Marshall Islands – Marshallese Iakwe Club
- Waab (Yapese) Student Organization
- Kosrae – Kosrae Hilo Organization
- Pohnpei – Pohnpei Kaselelia Club
- Chuuk – Chuukese Student Organization
If you intend to reside in Hawaii, you are eligible for Med-Quest. Applications are available from the International Student Offic
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/contacts.
About the Director
Jim Mellon began serving as the Director of International Student Services & Intercultural Education in 2011. Having previously worked as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at UH Hilo, he is very familiar with the University and its students. Jim earned his bachelor's degree from Duke University and master's degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he was immersed in intercultural learning and programs as a grantee with the East-West Center.
Goals: Facilitate the success of international students, as well as 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 once 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.