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English & Environmental Studies Short-term Program

Program Description

VulcanologyUH Hilo's two week English & Environmental Studies program is an opportunity for students from all over the world to experience Hawaii's unique natural environment while gaining valuable English skills at the same time.

Participants will attend 45 hours of intensive English classes each morning which prepare students for the content and vocabulary included in the lectures and experiential learning activities in the afternoon. These activities are led by UH Hilo professors and other experts in their fields.

Marine ScienceTopics will include marine science, sustainable agriculture, astronomy, volcanology and eco-business. Students will do research on a topic of their choice and present their research as a culminating project. Students will receive certificates of completion at the ending ceremony. UH Hilo students will join the students on the experiential learning activities to encourage further practice of English and understanding of American culture.


Mauna Kea ObservatoryThe Big Island of Hawaii is unique in that it has 10 of the 13 climate zones, an active volcano, tropical rainforest and a 4,000 meter mountain. This living laboratory gives us amazing opportunities to study many aspects of environmental science in one location. The native Hawaiians treasured their relationship to the land, and we welcome you to experience all that the island has to teach us.


Basic Program Information


University of Hawaii at Hilo, located on the Big Island of Hawaii



On-campus dorms, within easy walking distance to classes



24 students maximum; 12 students minimum





Cost Includes

Housing in brand new dorms with suite style units, Hale Alahonua

Transportation within the Big Island

English classes by Instructors with advanced degrees

Guest lecturers

2 meals every day, typically breakfast and lunch


Ending Ceremony with Certificates of Completion

Membership to Student Life Center

All entry fees to National Parks

UH Hilo student assistants to help facilitate English use and cultural exchange

Students will have access to the library, computer labs and other university resources

Flight to Hilo is NOT included.



The short-term program is open to any non-native speaker of English who is currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate university program.


Language Requirement

Students will gain the most from this program if they have at least a 500/61 TOEFL score. Students with lower levels of English proficiency can register, but should be aware that some lectures will be challenging.


Contact Information

Chiharu Howell

Laurel Luth



Sample Program Schedule


February 21

Airport pickup, Check in to dorms, Orientation & Welcome potluck at Instructor's home


February 22

Hiking Trip to Akaka Falls or Waipio Valley


February 23

Intensive English class, Campus tour, Tour of Hilo, Free Evening


February 24

Intensive English class, Experiential Learning in Marine Science with Dr. Takabayashi & graduate students


February 25

Intensive English class, Farmer's Market, Experiential Learning in Marine Science with easy snorkeling


February 26
Intensive English class, UH Hilo Farm tour & lecture


February 27

Intensive English class, Imiloa Astronomy Center, Lecture in Astronomy, Star gazing at Mauna Kea


February 28

Trip to Kona


March 1

Trip to Kona


March 2

Intensive English class, Hilo Coffee Mill, Lecture on Volcanology by Darcy Bevens, Introduction to Research Project


March 3

Intensive English class, Experiential Learning in Volcanology at Volcanoes National Park


March 4

Intensive English class, Panel Presentation on Eco-business, Experiential Learning at KTA


March 5
Intensive English class, Final preparation for research projects


March 6

Research Presentations, Closing Ceremony & Certificates


March 7

Check out of dorms, Program concludes


A flier in Japanese.

A flier in English.

Early Arrivals: Coming Soon! For participants who would like to arrive earlier or stay later than the program dates, we will provide suggestions on accommodations.

Packing List: Coming Soon! List of items to pack to be ready for every activity.