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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.

New International Students

If you have been accepted to UH Hilo for the Spring 2017 semester, click here for a list of important dates and things you need to do.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Hilo to Tanzania: A Hilo Girl's Journey

Hilo Tanzania

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
2:00-3:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Learn about the impact of the Peace Corps experience through the eyes of recently returned voluntee in Tanzana,, Kanoe Ho from Hilo.

Health Insurance Information Session for Pacific Islander Students

Friday, September 9, 2016
4:00 pm at the Campus Center Room 307
(Pacific Islander Student Center)

Come learn about options for students from the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau to sign up for low-cost health insurance. New students from the Compact of Free Association nations can sign up no later than 60 days after they arrive in the U.S. Other students from the Compact of Free Association nations are welcome to attend as well. The session will be immediately followed by a welcome gathering for new Pacific Islander students.

Host Family Reception

UH Hilo Host Family Program Reception

Friday, September 9, 2016
6:00-7:30 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201
(click here for a map of campus)

Come meet your host family! Pupus will be served.

Lava Flow Hike

lava flow

Saturday, September 10, 2016
4:00-10:00 pm

Join the International Student Association on a hike to see the lava flow! Sign up and pay the $10 non-refundable fee at the International Student Services office in Room E-202 in the Student Services Center. You must have a valid UH student ID to sign up. Space is limited to the 1st 26 international students who sign up and pay the $10 fee. We will keep a waiting list in case more than 26 students sign up. Click here for more information about viewing the lava and links to updates about the volcano.

"Mixed Plate" Dinner

mixed platehawaiian

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
5:30-8:00 pm at the Campus Center Room 301

Are you interested in learning about Hawaiian and local cultures, values and history? New 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. Space is limited to the first 25 new international students who sign up. Free! Check your UH email for a link to the online sign-up form. If you sign up after the first 25 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

Thursday, September 15, 2016
4:00-5:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Students on F-1 visa: If you are planning on graduating in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017, come to this workshop to learn about your option to work in the US after graduation. We will discuss OPT (Optional Practical Training), which allows international students on F-1 visas to work in the US after graduation for one year so that you can gain experience in your field of study. In addition, an attorney who specializes in immigration law may also be present to discuss the H1-B visa (commonly referred to as a "work visa"). Even if you are not planning on graduating this in 2016-2017, you are welcome to come to the workshop so that you are aware of your future options.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, September 15, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

"Climate Change: It's Getting Hot In Here"

Speaker: Dr. Ryan Perroy, UH Hilo Geography Department

Less Talk, More Listen: Conflict Resolution Workshop

Friday, October 14, 2016
5:00-7:00 pm
at the Campus Center Room 301

Come and learn some powerful and effective active-listening techniques to become a better communicator at home, in the workplace, and in the community. You will learn practical tools, including summarizing for understanding and asking appropriate questions, and historic conflict resolution practices used in various cultures. Free! Click here to sign up.

Dolphin Quest Trip

dolphin quest

Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time to be announced

Join the International Student Association (ISA) for an encounter with dolphins! Feel the thrill of a lifetime as you touch and feed a dolphin. Swim with dolphins in a shallow, waist-deep lagoon on the property of the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel (about 90 minutes from Hilo). The day will include learning about ocean ecosystems in Hawaiʻi. You will also be allowed to spend some time snorkeling in the Hilton lagoon. Click here for more details about Dolphin Quest. Cost: $30 (cash only, no refunds). (The regular cost is about $200, so this is a huge discount!) Space is limited to 36 students. Sign up at the International Student Services office in Room E-202 in the Student Services Center.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, October 20, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

Genderism Made Them "Disabled"

Speaker: Dr. Yoshiko Okuama, Professor of Japanese Studies, UH Hilo Languages Department

Some 7,000-10,000 Japanese are estimated to identify strongly and persistently with the gender opposite to their biological one (Taniguichi, 2013). Japan is a society that has little or no tolerance for individuals with gender identity disorder (GID), a questionable term still used in the medical model of disability. (In the United States, gender dysphoria replaced GID in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DMS-5, in 2013.) In a country where doctors who specialize in GID are few and far between, the members of this minority group are said to be 40% more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation than their non-GID counterparts. With the gender-inclusive facilities debate and the Orlando nightclub shooting still fresh in our minds, I will look at the hot topic of genderism – a belief that there are only two genders – from a cross-cultural perspective. In this talk, the plight of Japanese people with GID will be examined using manga characters with GID and discussing the media representation of the sexual minority. My goal is to start an open conversation about gender fluidity.

APIASF AANAPISI Scholarship Application

Deadline to apply: October 31, 2016

UH Hilo students of Asian American and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity who are US citizens, nationals or permanent residents or FSM, Marshall Islands or Palauan citizens are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The scholarship is for the Spring 2017 ($2,500) and there are multi-year scholarships of up to $5,000 as well.
Click here or more information and to apply online.

Zipline Through Paradise

zip line

Saturday, November 12, 2016
Leave campus at 8:45 am, return around 2:00 pm

Join the International Student Association for a Zip Line Adventure near Hilo. Take your need for speed to new heights on this thrilling zipline adventure. Covering nearly two miles of gorgeous tropical river gorges, you will view multiple different waterfalls while soaring over 160 feet above them. The certified staff will guide you over one of the longest lines on Hawaii Island at more than 2,400 feet in length! Ride the only all side-by-side dual-track zipline on Hawaii. Cost: $50 (cash only, no refunds). (The regular cost is $179, so this is a huge discount!) Space is limited to 30 students. Sign up at the International Student Services office in Room E-202 in the Student Services Center.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, November 17, 2016
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

Managing Food Waste by Vermicomposting

Speaker: Dr. Norman Arancon. UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resources

APIASF General Scholarship Application

Deadline to apply: January 11, 2017

UH Hilo undergraduate students of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander ethnicity who are US citizens, nationals or permanent residents or FSM, Marshall Islands or Palauan citizens are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The scholarship is for the 2017-2018 academic year and range from one-time awards of $2,500 to multo-year awards of up to $20,000. Click here for more information and to apply online.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, January 19, 2017
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

Antimicrobial Resistance: A Global Threat

Speaker: Dr. Louis Ltief, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

Resistance to antibiotics is an alarming increasing threat to mankind in the 21st Century. Over-utilization of current antibiotics combined with the lack of development of new ones could lead to emergence of bugs resistant to all known antibiotics. An effective mean to combat this potential crisis is the development of antimicrobial stewardship programs coordinated on a global scale.

International Nights

Samoa at UH Hilo International Nights 2016

Friday & Saturday, February 10 & 11, 2017
7:30 pm at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center
(see a map of campus)

Check back for more information.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, February 16, 2017
7:00-8:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 301

"Food and Cultural Geography"

Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Besio, UH Hilo Geography Department

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, March 16, 2017
7:00-8:00 pm at Hale'olelo (College of Hawaiian Language Building)

Indigenous Wellbeing Through Education

Speaker: Dr. Keiki Kawai'ae'a, UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani

International Student Association (ISA)

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 International Student Association website for more information.

ISA Officers for 2016-2017:

  • Flag of Papua New GuineaJoshua Parep (Papua New Guinea) - President
  • Flag of Palau Felicia Andrew (Palau) - Vice President
  • Flag of Japan Misaki Hirayama (Japan) - Treasurer
  • Flag of East Timor Josefina Pereira (Timor-Leste) - Secretary
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Axel Defngin (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Bertha Lotte (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Marshall Islands Rudy Milne (Marshall Islands) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Taeliza Perez (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Flag of the Marshall Islands Risa Kabua Myazoe (Marshall Islands) - Social Media Coodinator

 

ISA Officers 2015-2016 pictured below

isa officers

Waipio Valley
International Students at Waipio Valley

Follow ISA on Facebook , Twitter & Instagram (@uhhisa)!

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.

Did You Know? He swam 28.5 miles around New York City, 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.