Pacific Islander Student Center (PISC)

News and Events

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

Effective June 12, 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) no longer requires air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the US to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. However, non-US citizens traveling to the US by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Only limited exceptions apply. Click here for more information.

Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, International Student Services recommends that students carefully consider travel plans. If you have any questions about traveling to the US, consult with the ISS Director or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's information for travel website.

COFA Residents in Hawaiʻi Can Apply for Medicaid

COFA islander health care Hawaiʻi is now accepting Medicaid applications from residents who are citizens of Palau, the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia. Medicaid is a federal public health insurance program for low-income people. Contact Kuʻu Makuakane-Salavea at (808) 348-4410 (or or Rachelle at (808) 896-5051 to apply. View more information.

"Real IDs"

Starting May 3, 2023, everyone will need to present a Real ID-compliant license/ID or another acceptable form of identification (like a passport) to board a domestic flight and to access U.S. federal facilities. How do you know if your driver's license or state ID card is Real ID-complaint? If it is Real-ID compliant, there will be a star in the top right corner like those pictured below:

Gold Star Drivers license and state identification cards with stars on them

You do not need a Real ID-complaint ID unless you want to board an airplane using a driver's license or state ID card. If you have a valid (unexpired) passport, you can use a passport to board a plane. But if you want or need to get a REAL ID-complaint ID such as a driver's license or state ID card, Compact of Free Association (COFA) citizens need to have a valid, unexpired passport and an I-94. An I-94 is a record of your arrival date into the United States. Access and print a copy of your I-94. Please be aware that I-94 records are only available online for 5 years. If you cannot access your I-94 form online because your most recent arrival date into the U.S. was longer than 5 years ago, you have to file Form I-102 with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to obtain a duplicate copy. The fee for the Form I-102 is currently $455 and may be subject to change.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Welcome with map of the world

Welcome & Check-in for New International Students

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
8:00 am at the Student Services Center Room 201

Welcome to UH Hilo! All new international students are required to check-in at this short meeting. Breakfast will be provided. Immediately following the meeting, we will take you to get a TB test and any other required vaccinations you may need and get a UH ID card before the campus-wide orientation program begins. Bring your passport (and cash or card if you need to get a TB test and/or other vaccinations).

welcome in many languages

New International Student Orientation Meeting

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
3:00 pm online on Zoom

All new international students are required to attend this online meeting on Zoom to learn about important information such as visa regulations, health insurance, important dates and deadlines, and upcoming events and activities. Check your UH email for the Zoom link and passcode.

students eating at a party

Welcome Party for International Students

Friday, August 26, 2022
5:30-8:30 pm at the Student Life Center swimming pool

All international students are invited to this welcome party at the Student Life Center swimming pool. Free food, prizes, and games, including volleyball and basketball! Bring your UH ID card.

students with welcome signs in Pacific languages

Open House for Pacific Islander Students

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Pacific Islander Student Center (Campus Center Room 307)
Time to be announced

All Pacific Islander students are invited to come to this "open house" at the Pacific Islander Student Center, your "home away from home" at UH Hilo. Learn about services, programs and resources (including free printing!) at the Center and meet the staff. Island-style BBQ throughout the day!

Lunch and learn:  eat, meet, discover

Lunch & Learn

Friday, September 2, 2022
12:00-1:00 pm at the Student Services Center Room 201

Come get some free lunch while learning about important topics and resources on campus, such as free tutoring, staying healthy, and dating and relationships in the US.

man teaching a student how to make a lei

Ku'u Lei Hilo

Thursday, September 8, 2022
4:00-6:00 pm at the Campus Center Room 301

Join us for an introduction to the Hawaiian language and other activities to introduce you to Native Hawaiian culture. Check your UH email for details and to sign up. Space is limited.

people on a rock wall by the ocean

Community Service Trip at Hale O Lono

Saturday, September 10, 2022
Time to be announced

Give back to the local community while learning about Native Hawaiian stewardship of the land and ocean. Help restore a Native Hawaiian fishpond in beautiful Keaukaha in Hilo. Check your UH email for details and to sign up. Space is limited.


International Speaker Series

Thursday, September 15, 2022
5:00-6:00 pm online on Zoom

Featuring Dr. John Burns of the UH Hilo Marine Science Department and students Sofia Ferreira of Paraguay and Chloe Molou of Vanuatu, who will discuss the exciting research they are conducting on coral reef ecology and data visualization. Co-sponsored by the United Nations Association-Hawai'i Island Chapter.

volunteers at an aid station at the triathlon

Volunteer Trip to Kona

Saturday, October 8, 2022
Time to be announced

Join us for a trip to Kona to volunteer at the famous Ironman Triathlon World Championships! Check your UH email for details and to sign up. Space is limited.


International Speaker Series: Climate Change & Why the Bioeconomy Matters

Thursday, November 17, 2022
5:00-6:00 pm online on Zoom

Featuring Peter Matlock who works with UH Hilo to develop tropical bioeconomy projects and education and with the Joint BioEnergy Institute on programs to advance high-performance renewable aviation fuels. His presentation will review evidence for climate change, a brief description of the bioeconomy and why it is fundamental to addressing climate change issues, and describe some of the challenges in mitigating climate change effects.

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.