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

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 US. Topics include what to consider if you want to study in the US, how to apply for a visa to enter the US, how to maintain your status while in the US, guidelines for traveling back home, and working in the US.

Connect Virtually

Not on campus and need to connect with International Student Services? Easily schedule an appointment online here. Contact the Director at 808-932-7467 or email mellon at to set up a virtual meeting. You can also make an appointment to connect virtually with the Director using STAR Balance (look for UH Hilo International Services under "Specialized Student Services") or by sending an email

Upcoming Events & Activities

mushroom cloud from nuclear bomb over pacific atoll

In Exile

Wednesday, March 27, 2024
3:00-4:00 pm at UCB Room 100

"In Exile" is a short film that explores the US nuclear legacy in the Pacific through the lens of members of the Marshallese community in Springdale, Arkansas who gather each year to commemorate the bombing of Bikini Atoll in 1946. Join director Nathan Fitch and co-producer Angela Edward and the Marshallese Iakwe Club for this film screening and discussion.

hula dancers

Merrie Monarch Festival Ho'ike Performances

Wednesday, April 3, 2024
5:00-11:00 pm

Join us to watch the free performances at the Ho'ike night of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival at the Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium. The Ho'ike night is an exhibition of hula and dances from around the Pacific. Tickets are not required, but the festival organizers are requesting a voluntary donation at the door to benefit Maui wildfire victims. Space is limited. Check your UH email to sign up.

two students in caps and gowns with lei

Pau Hana! Graduates Recognition and End-of-the-Semester Dinner

Thursday, May 2, 2024
5:00-7:00 pm at the Pacific Islander Student Center (Campus Center 307)

Take a break before final exams and celebrate the end of the semester as we recognize students who are graduating this semester. Free food!

whale in the ocean

Whale Watching Trip

Date & Time To Be Announced

Take a boat trip in Hilo Bay to see the humpback whales! More details coming soon.

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 (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.

ISA Officers for 2023-2024:

  • Ginate Mahuru (Papua New Guinea) - President
  • Leoshina Kariha (Papua New Guinea) - Vice President
  • Natsumi Takeda (Japan) - Secretary
  • Mio Kamioka (Papua New Guinea/Japan) - Social Media Coordinator
  • Hema Asiata (American Samoa) - Member-at-Large
  • Rasi Fa'amausili (American Samoa) - Member-at-Large


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

About the Director

man smiling with lei

Jim Mellon has been the Director of International Student Services 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.