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International Student Services & Intercultural Education

International Education

The University of Hawai╩╗i: 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 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 2018 semester, view a list of important dates and things you need to do.

Upcoming Events & Activities

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Why Animals Matter
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Featuring Dr. Katherine Young of the UH Hilo Political Science Department. Free.

International Nights 2018

Samoan dancers

Friday & Saturday, February 23 & 24, 2018
7:30 pm at the Performing Arts Center

See the shows! See the world! UH Hilo's annual event showcasing performances from around the globe. Visit the International Nights webpage for more information.

Masters of the Currents Community Workshop

Masters of the Currents community workshop

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
5:30-7:00 pm at the Old Gym

Meet and engage with the "Masters of the Currents" touring company in a community workshop. The purpose is to offer the opportunity for participants, Micronesian and non-Micronesian, who have interest in this community to explore and engage with each other through theatre exercises: movement, story-telling and creative expression. These exercises can be applied to work and life in the hopes of moving toward teamwork, empathy, and cultural understanding.

International Women's Day

International women's day

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Recognize and celebrate the achievements of women around the world! Enter our contest to win a $25 Visa gift card! Share with us who inspires you!
1. Like the International Student Association Facebook page
2. Post and tag us OR Direct Message us a picture of a woman/women with a brief description of how they are important and inspire you. Be creative!
3. If you are on Instagram, follow the above rules for another entry (@uhhisa)
Winners will be randomly selected and must currently reside on the Big Island. Deadline to enter is Friday, March 9.

Masters of the Currents

Masters of the currents

Thursday, March 8, 2018
7:30 pm at the Performing Arts Center

Calling upon the shared histories of immigrants in Hawaii, Masters of the Currents serves as a creative bridge between new and old immigrant communities. Lead artists Ova Saopeng and Leilani Chan have created a performance project that uncovers the disconnections in the community, explores their underlying causes and opens an ongoing dialog that seeks sustained healing for a fractured community. They have been collecting stories from members of the Micronesian community through interviews, story circles and ensemble workshops. Community leaders, cultural bearers and educators across immigrant groups have come together to inform the Masters of the Currents theatre production. Tickets available at the Performing Arts Center Box Office. UH Hilo/HCC students: $12 advance purchase/$17 at the door.

Film Screening from Chile

veins of resistance

Friday, March 9, 2018
3:00 pm at UCB 100

Free film screening with filmmaker Joshua Tucker. Opening windows into three distinct Chilean social movements, this documentary brings you up close with the painstaking steps of social change. Walking through shanty towns in Chilean urban land occupations, you are confronted not only with the bitter realities of segregation and poverty but also with the dignity of humble people who have struggled for years for the right to their own homes.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, March 15, 2018
Good Health, Well Being
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Featuring Dr. Leng Chee Chang of the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. Free.

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International Student Association (ISA)

International Student Association

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 2017-2018:

  • Felicia Andrew (Palau) - President
  • Anna Mikkelsen (Denmark) - Vice President
  • Lucy Maino (Papua New Guinea) - Treasurer
  • Haruka Miura (Japan) - Secretary
  • Irie Taguchi (Japan) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Bertha Marie Lotte (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator


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

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Nandar's Story

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.

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About the Director

Jim Mellon, Ph.D.

Jim 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 Hawai╩╗i at M─ünoa, 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 Lana╩╗i to Mau╩╗i, 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.

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