International Student Services

International Student Services

International Education

The University of Hawaiʻi: A Global University

The core mission of International Student Services (ISS) is to facilitate the academic success and personal development, growth, and transformation of international students as they pursue their educational and career goals. ISS provides a holistic approach and array of services designed to assist international students with clarifying and achieving their academic, career, and personal goals while complying with regulations pertaining to their immigration status. ISS serves as an interface between UH Hilo and international students to facilitate communication, understanding and appreciation between international students and the UH Hilo community. ISS also aims to facilitate and assist all students at UH Hilo, regardless of national origin, with developing intercultural awareness, understanding, and competency in our increasingly global community. In addition, ISS advocates for and supports efforts for advancing internationalization on campus.

Information about applying for admission to UH Hilo can be found on the Admissions website.

Students from different countries holding flags

Know Before You Go: Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, International Student Services recommends that students carefully consider travel plans. Effective November 8, 2021, all people traveling to the U.S. from outside of the U.S. must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (done no more than 3 days before you travel) before you board a flight to the U.S. (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19). If you are traveling to the U.S. on a direct flight to Hawaii and if you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii. However, if you are traveling to the U.S. on a non-direct flight to Hawaii, you must get a Covid-19 test from a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner to bypass Hawaii’s 10-day quarantine rule. Before traveling, consult with the ISS Director and the Safe Travels Hawaiʻi and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's information for travel websites. Another resource to consult is the National Association of Foreign Student Administrators.

Travelers coming from American Samoa, FSM, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Marianas, and Palau are eligible for the Vaccine Exemption Program and do not need to get a pre-travel Covid-19 test if they have been fully vaccinated prior to traveling to Hawaii.

direct international travel to Hawaii

non-direct international and domestic travel to Hawaii

New International Students

If you have been accepted to UH Hilo, view a list of important dates and things you need to do. Also check out Study Guide to the States for an online, interactive resource to help international students navigate through 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.

Connect Virtually

Not on campus and need to connect with International Student Services? Contact the Director at 808-932-7467 or email mellon at hawaii.edu to set up a virtual meeting.

Upcoming Events & Activities

purple ribbon and domestic violence awareness month

Communities in Crisis

Friday, October 8, 2021
11:00 am-1:00 pm via Zoom

A panel discussion on addressing domestic violence through an indigenous lens. Register here.

bright red sky above a volcanic crater

Volcano Trip

Friday, October 8, 2021
5:30-9:00 pm

Kilauea is erupting again, so join this trip with the International Student Association to see the spectacular night sky! Space is limited. Check your UH email for the link to sign up.

the ocean connects us all - image of an ocean

Celebrating Indigenous People's Day: Pena a Kena

Thursday, October 14, 2021
5:30-7:00 pm online

Celebrate and learn about Indigenous Peopleʻs Day by joining this "paint and sip" event hosted by Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center. The subject of the painting will be an ocean scene as the entity that connects us, more than separates us. Click here to sign up for this online event.

purple ribbon and domestic violence awareness month

Exploring Pilina: Connection through Aloha 'Aina

Friday, October 15, 2021
11:00 am-1:00 pm online via Zoom

A discussion about the power and control wheel reconstructed for Samoan communities, led by Matapuna Levenson, Program Manager with the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative. Register here.

photo of Cynthia Tai, champion for social justice award, Project Expedite Justice

From The Big Island to The Hague: A Journey to Becoming a Champion for Global Social Justice

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
5:30-6:30 pm online via Zoom

Join this session to learn about Cynthia Tai's journey from working as a prosecutor on the Big Island to working at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands and founding Project Expedite Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to justice to survivors of mass atrocities in some of the world’s most marginalized populations in conflict or post-conflict areas. This event is held in observance of United Nations Day and International Conflict Resolution Day. Sponsored by International Student Services and the Political Science Department. Free and open to the public. Click here to register for this event.

flags with the caption of international speaker series

International Speaker Series

Thursday, October 21, 2021
5:00-6:00 pm on Zoom

Agritourism in Hawaiʻi: Opportunities and Challenges, Hawaiʻi Island. Presentation by Angela Faanunu, Assistant Professor at UH Hilo. Angela will share her research on exploring alternative and more sustainable tourism strategies to conventional mass tourism. Click here to join the session (passcode 234567).

three young women holding a sign that says break the silence, end the violence

Exploring Pilina: Connection through Culture

Friday, October 29, 2021
11:00 am-1:00 pm online via Zoom

A discussion about the power and control wheel reconstructed for Micronesian communities, led by Matapuna Levenson, Program Manager with the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative. Register here.

The food basket:  Hawaii's food bank{.center}

Community Service Activity with the Food Basket

Thursday, November 11, 2021
8:30 am-2:30 pm (lunch provided)

Give back to and serve the local community by doing some volunteer work at the Food Basket! Check your UH email for details, including signing up.

people restoring a fishpond

Hawaiian Fishpond Community Service Activity

Saturday, November 13, 2021
8:15 am-12:00 pm

Provide service to the local community by helping to restore a Native Hawaiian fishpond. Have fun while learning about indigenous stewardship of the 'aina. Check your UH email for details and to sign up.

International education week:  engaged, resilient, global

International Education Week Video Contest

Description of photo

November 15-19, 2021

Check out the cooking videos from around the world created by UH Hilo international students in celebration of International Education Week! Videos will be posted on the ISA Instagram account (@uhhisa) on November 15 & 16. Winners will be based on the number of likes and shares that each video gets by November 19.

flags with the caption of international speaker series

International Speaker Series

Thursday, November 18, 2021
5:00-6:00 pm on Zoom

Intercultural student teams: Learning to cooperatively define problems and present solutions.

Presentation by Kelly Moran, Lecturer at UH Hilo. Learn about one professor's efforts to bring students from around the world together to define a problem and collaboratively come up with solutions. Click here to join meeting (passcode: 452891).

Group of people restoring a rock wall by the ocean

Honokea Loko Community Service Activity

Saturday, November 20, 2021
8:30 am-12:00 pm at Richardson Ocean Park

Spend your morning providing service to the local community while getting an introduction to the historical significance of the Keaukaha area and engage in interactive learning activities. Check your UH email for more details.

young girl holding a sign that says "ignoring climate change is Pacific genocide"

High Tide, Don't Hide

Sunday, November 21, 2021
1:30 pm at the Palace Theater

As part of the Hawai'i International Film Festival, join this special screening of the film High Tide, Don't Hide. When a young indigenous women from Aotearoa points out their failure to include indigenous people in their movement--particularly, their inability to highlight that the indigenous community suffers more harshly from the effects of climate change--she sparks the attention of the white-led movement. Includes a live virtual discussion with the film’s directors, and a companion essay written by a local scholar will be available to read online.

Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving for International Students

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Pick up a free Thanksgiving meal, provided through the generosity of the Waiakea Lions Club and the International Student Association for UH Hilo international students! Experience a typical American Thanksgiving meal, including turkey and other side dishes. Check your UH email for more details.

two people playing volleyball

End-of-the-Semester Service Activity, Gathering & Sports Tournament

Saturday, December 4, 2021
10:00 am-6:00 pm
Ainaola Park (200 Ainaola Drive, close to campus)

Take a break before final exams and join the International Student Association for a fun day of community service at Richardson Ocean Park followed by informal games (volleyball and basketball) at Ainaola Park! A limited number of bentos will be available for those who sign up. LumiSight clearance required to attend. Check your UH email for more information and to sign up.

welcome international students

International Student Orientation

Thursday, January 6, 2022
Time and location to be announced

Meet new international students at this special orientation session for new international students! Learn about important things you need to know as your begin your journey at UH Hilo.

flags with the caption of international speaker series

International Speaker Series

Thursday, January 20, 2022
5:00-6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Decolonization through Language Revitalization. Presentation by Kotaro Yogi, graduate student in the UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language.

Work in the USA

Working in the U.S. After Graduation

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
4:00-5:00 pm, location to be announced

If you are planning on graduating in May, you are invited to come to a workshop to learn about your option to work in the U.S. after graduation. Learn OPT (Optional Practical Training) and H1-B visas ("work visas").

flags with the caption of international speaker series

International Speaker Series

Thursday, February 17, 2022
5:00-6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Pre-Clinical and Clinical Investigations of Anthelmintics for Lungworm Disease. Presentation by John Jacob, PhD Candidate in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UH Hilo.

Samoans dancing

International Nights

February 25 & 26, 2022 (tentative dates)
Date, time & location to be announced

More details will be forthcoming. Holding a live show in 2022 is dependent on State, County, and institutional COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. View more information.

4 women holding a banner that says international women's day

International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Time, and location to be announced

More details will be forthcoming.

flags with the caption of international speaker series

International Speaker Series

Thursday, March 10, 2022
5:00-6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

group of students at the top of Waipio valley

Waipi'o Valley Trip During Spring Break

Date, Time & Location To Be Announced

More details will be forthcoming.

Guy zip lining over a waterfall

Zip Line Adventure Trip

Date & Time To Be Announced

Zip line over waterfalls on the Hamakua Coast! More details will be forthcoming.

International Student Association

International Student Association (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 2021-2022:

  • Sinarleen Peres (FSM) - President/Treasurer
  • Maikani Andres (Palau) - Vice President
  • Marin Hirano (Japan) - Secretary
  • Chloe Molou (Vanuatu) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Marla Pretrick (FSM) - Social Media Coordinator

Officers

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

About the Director

James “Jim” P. Mellon

Executive Director, Global & Intercultural Education Programs; Director, International Student Services & Intercultural Education

+1 (808) 932-7467

mellon@hawaii.edu

+1 (808) 932-7471

Student Services Center, room E-204

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 Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 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 Lanaʻi to Mauʻi, 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.