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 Fall 2018 semester, view a list of important dates and things you need to do.

Upcoming Events & Activities

welcome

New International Student Orientation

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
8:00 - 11:00 am at the University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 100
(view a map of the UH Hilo campus for a map of the UH Hilo campus)

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 student welcome party

Welcome Party!

Friday, August 24, 2018
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the Student Life Center Swimming Pool

Food, fun, prizes! Free! All new and returning international students are welcome to attend this annual party! Bring your UH student ID card. No need to sign up--just come. Rain or shine.

International student buddies

Buddy Program "Meet & Greet"

Thursday, August 30, 2018 (tentative)
Student Services Center Room W-201, time to be announced

Meet your buddy! Enjoy free ice cream and snacks!

Lunch and learn

Friday, August 31, 2018 (tentative)
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Come get some lunch. Tentative topic: Dating and relationship in the US and understanding US laws about sexual violence and harassment. And an opportunity to ask questions you have about anything.

Submarine

Submarine Trip

Saturday, September 1, 2018
7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tour the exciting underwater world surrounding the Big Island in Kona! The water surrounding Kona is full of beautiful sea life and hidden treasures for you to explore. Sign up for international students starts on Thursday, August 16 at the Student Life Center. $30. Space is limited.

plate of local food

Mixed Plate Dinner

Thursday, September 6, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:30 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!

Lunch and learn

Friday, September 7, 2018 (tentative)
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Come get some lunch. Topics: How to find a job on campus, how to deal with homesickness, culture shock, staying healthy, and free resources on campus. And an opportunity to ask questions you have about anything!

Work in the USA

Working in the U.S. After Graduation

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 (tentative)
4:00 pm - 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").

Host family group photo

Host Family Reception

Friday, September 14, 2018 (tentative)
6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Meet your host family! Light pupu will be provided.

International Speaker Series

International Topics Speaker Series

Thursday, September 20, 2018
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Featuring Dr. Seungjoon Lee, UH Hilo Visiting Scholar.

Island soldier

"Island Soldier" Film Premier

Friday, September 28, 2018
UCB (University Classroom Building) Room 100, Time to be announced

Premier on the Big Island of the documentary film Island Solders, an official selection of many film festivals. The untold story of Micronesian soldiers fighting for their piece of the "American Dream" and the future of a small island nation. Discussion with filmmaker Nathan Fitch following the film. Click here to watch the movie trailer. Free and open to the public.

Smiling students

PacYES

Saturday, October 13, 2018 (tentative date)
Campus Center Plaza

Youth empowerment day for Pacific Islander students in the community.

International Speaker Series

International Topics Speaker Series

Thursday, October 18, 2018
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Rethinking Communication & Development in the Post-Globalization Era: An Intercultural Perspective
Featuring Dr. Yoshitaka Miike of the UH Hilo Communication Department. Dr. Miike will discuss the meanings of communication and development and some lessons learned from development communication and communication for social change. He will also introduce an Eastern philosophy of intercultural relations toward a sustainable global community.

It isn't enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn't enough to believe in it.  One must work at it.  Quote from Eleanor Roosevelt

Kakou: Let's Work it Out!

Friday, October 26, 2018
Campus Center Room 301

Workshop on conflict resolution skills in observance of International Conflict Resolution Day.

International Speaker Series

International Topics Speaker Series

Thursday, November 15, 2018
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Monitoring Indigenous Plant Diversity in a Residential Rainforest in Volcano

Featuring Dr. Emmet Judziewicz, Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

United Nations Day

United Nations Day

Friday, November 16, 2018 (tentative)
Library Lanai

Celebrate the amazing geographic and ethnic diversity represented at UH Hilo during United Nations Day! A Parade of Nations featuring students from around the globe will be featured. Educational displays from countries around the world, music and special performances! Free and open to the public.

International Speaker Series

International Topics Speaker Series

Thursday, January 17, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

International Speaker Series

International Topics Speaker Series

Thursday, February 21, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Featuring Dr. Sunyoung Kim, UH Hilo Psychology Department.

Samoan dancers

International Nights 2019

Friday, February 22 &
Saturday, February 23, 2019
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

Friday, March 8, 2019

Check back for more information!

International Speaker Series

International Topics Speaker Series

Thursday, March 28, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room W-201

Featuring Dr. Don Hemmes, Emeritus Professor of Biology, UH Hilo.


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 2018-2019:

  • Felicia Andrew (Palau) - President
  • Alik Jackson (Kosrae, FSM) - Vice President
  • Mirei Sugita (Japan) - Secretary
  • Bertha Marie Lotte (Kosrae, FSM) - Treasurer
  • Irie Taguchi (Japan) - Volunteer Coordinator
  • Lucy Maino (Papua New Guinea) - Social Media Coordinator

Officers

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