The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism for the State of Hawaiʻi launched a new program aimed at attracting and promoting international student exchange in Hawaiʻi.
The Study Hawaiʻi Ambassador Program kicked off July 20 with the first group of ambassadors from Yasuda Women’s University (YWU) in Hiroshima. The students completed a five-and-a-half month program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi English Language Program (HELP) and are heading back home. They, and students like them, will share their Hawaiʻi learning experiences with others, thus becoming ambassadors.
HELP Director Joel Weaver explains, “The 80 YWU student ambassadors being inducted today have lived in homestay situations with local families across the island since their arrival in February. They have studied in HELP’s regular academic English program for college success. HELP has provided them with customized classes on international business, tourism, and culture with a Hawaiʻi focus. Each of them has participated in HELP’s Service Learning Program, doing volunteer projects in the community each week. Those with adequate English skills have been eligible to participate in unpaid internships in a variety of local businesses connected to the visitor industry.”
“These young ladies are the perfect population to inaugurate the new Study Hawaiʻi Ambassador Program,” says Weaver. “Given the length of time they have been here, and the wide variety of positive community engagement experiences they have had, they are inspired to engage with their peers in Japan through social media to spread the word that Hawaiʻi is a safe, fun, and high-quality study destination.”
Visit the HELP website for additional information.