International Student Services

International Student Services

International Education

The University of Hawai╩╗i: A Global University

International Student Services (ISS) supports international students with achieving their academic and personal goals while complying with the 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 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.

Students holding flags representing their countires

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.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Health Insurance Enrollment for Pacific Islanders

health insurance

Saturday, November 9, 2019
9:00 am-3:00 pm at UCB 2nd floor

Students from the Compact of Free Association nations and American Samoa are eligible to apply for health insurance subsidized by the State of Hawai╩╗i. Bring your passport, address, phone number, birthdate, I-94, US social security card/number, and proof of income (if you work, such as a paycheck stub/receipt). Get your I-94. If you do not yet have a US social security number, bring a completed social security application form (PDF), your passport, and a copy of your I-94 to the Social Security Administration office located at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo (open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-2:30 pm, except Wednesdays when the office closes at 11:30 am).

International Topics Speaker Series

International Speaker Series

The Potential of 'Oiwi Agriculture Under Climate Change
Thursday, November 21, 2019
5:00-6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Presentation by Dr. Natalie Kurashima, Integrated Resources Manager at Kamehameha Schools, about identifying spacial shifts of agricultural systems under climate change and determining resilient areas for protection and restoration. She will highlight the large role indigenous agriculture can play in producing food, while supporting biodiversity and indigenous well-being in Hawaii under intense land use and climate changes.

Buddy Program Meeting

Group of students

Friday, December 6, 2019
4:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Group meeting for international students and their buddies before the semester ends. Light refreshments will be provided.

Health Insurance Enrollment for Pacific Islanders

health insurance

Saturday, December 7, 2019
9:00 am-3:00 pm at UCB 2nd floor

Students from the Compact of Free Association nations and American Samoa are eligible to apply for health insurance subsidized by the State of Hawai╩╗i. Bring your passport, address, phone number, birthdate, I-94, US social security card/number, and proof of income (if you work, such as a paycheck stub/receipt). Get your I-94. If you do not yet have a US social security number, bring a completed social security application form (PDF), your passport, and a copy of your I-94 to the Social Security Administration office located at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo (open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-2:30 pm, except Wednesdays when the office closes at 11:30 am).

Orientation for New International Students

Welcome international students

Thursday, January 9, 2020
8:00 am at the Student Services Center Room W-201

All new international students must attend the required meeting for new international students. 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 is no fee required to participate in this special meeting.

Working in the U.S. After Graduation

Work in the USA

Thursday, February 6, 2020
4:00-5:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

If you are planning on graduating in December (or 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").

International Nights 2020

Samoan dancers

Friday & Saturday, February 21 & 22, 2020
7:30 pm at the UH Hilo 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

Friday, March 6, 2020

Check back for more information!

Zip Line Adventure

person zip lining

Date To Be Announced

Zip Line Adventure near Hilo! Take your need for speed to new heights on this thrilling zip line 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 Hawai╩╗i Island at more than 2,400 feet in length! Ride the only all side-by-side dual-track zip line in Hawai╩╗i. Cost: $50 (cash only, non-refundable). Space is limited to 30 students. Sign up at the International Student Services office in Room E-202 in the Student Services Center.

Waipi'o Valley Trip during Spring Break

Waipio valley

Tentative Date: Monday, March 16, 2020

Join the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on a trip to Waipi'o Valley! Hike into the valley, work in a taro patch, and learn about Waipi'o Valley. Space is limited.

Merrie Monarch Festival Ho'ike Night

men dancing hula

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
4:00 - 11:00 pm

On Wednesday evening during the Merrie Monarch Festival week, there is an exhibition night of hula and folk dance from around the Pacific. The performances are free to the public, no tickets required. The International Student Association will provide transportation to the Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium for international students who want to attend. Space is limited.


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 2019-2020:

  • Mirei Sugita (Japan) - President
  • Amanda-Rose Bagadouwe (Nauru) - Vice President
  • Sinarleen Peres (Kosrae, FSM) - Secretary
  • Darla Raymond (Pohnpei, FSM) - Treasurer
  • Akaraporn Phongsuwan (Thailand) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Masasinge Hideos (Palau) - Social Media Coordinator

Officers

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

Nandar's Story

Mya Yee Nandar

Mya Yee Nandar, a UH Hilo student from Burma (Myanmar), was interviewed on BBC's One Square Mile .

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.