Skip to content

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

New International Student Orientation Meeting

Welcome international students

Wednesday, January 3, 2018
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Student Services Center Room W-201

All international students are required to attend this meeting. Bring your passport (and, if you are a student on an F-1 visa, also bring your I-20 Form and proof of health insurance). At the orientation meeting, you will learn about important information, such as registration for classes, placement tests, adjusting to life at UH Hilo and on the Big Island, cultural differences, and much more. You will begin to make life-long friends! You will also get your UH ID card, TB test, and a tour of campus. There will also be opportunities to go shopping. There is no fee required to participate in this special orientation meeting for international students. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

International Speaker Series

international speaker series

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Cyber-Security Issues
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Featuring Dr. Shawon S. M. Rahman of the UH Hilo Computer Science Department. Free.

Mixed Plate Dinner

Mixed plate

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
5:30 pm - 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. Free, but space is limited!

Hirasakana Oyogu: Ukulele Japanese Songs

Japanese ukulele musician Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:30-8:00 pm at UCB Room 115

Applying for a Federal Job: Tips & Guidelines

Applying for a federal job

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
1:30-2:30 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Have you ever considered applying for a job with the US federal government? There are a variety of positions across agencies at diverse as NASA, Department of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of State. Whatever your interests and aptitude, you are likely to find something in the federal government that speaks to you. Come learn about the advantages of a government job and get tips and suggestions for landing the job of your dreams.

Pathways to Permanent Residency

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
3:00-4:30 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Learn about ways to obtain permanent residency (a "green card") in the U.S. This workshop will be presented by Kamana Mathur, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Community Relations Office.

Workshop: Working in the U.S. After Graduation

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
4:00 - 5:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

If you are planning on graduating in May or August, 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").

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.

International Women's Day

International women's day

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Recognize and celebrate the achievements of women around the world! More information coming soon!

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.

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.


Return to top

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
  • Annjennette William (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Irie Taguchi (Japan) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Bertha Marie Lotte (FSM) - Volunteer Coordinator
10 ISA students pose with ISA Director Jim Mellon
ISA Officers 2016-2017

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

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top