ISS Welcome Events

NOTICE: The Spring 2021 Visa Clearance, Welcome Week and Orientation will be conducted completely online. There will be no "in-person" check-in or activities. To ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff, ISS will be following federal, state, local and university Covid-19 guidelines for social distancing and remote operations during this period.

Welcome Message to International Students Spring 2021

Dr. R. Anderson Sutton
Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Exchange Programs

Aloha and Welcome, to all our international students joining us for Spring 2021! We are so pleased that you will be part of our community as we embark on what will surely be a semester of new experiences and challenges that none of us would have imagined 12 months ago. We have been devoting careful thought and effort to planning for the coming months and will be doing everything we can, in the face of this pandemic, to make your University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa experience a safe and rewarding one academically, culturally, and socially. Some of you may be reading this message in your home country, others already here in Honolulu or elsewhere in the United States. Some of you may be considering whether to defer your start until August 2021, or to enroll for online classes this spring from your home country. To all of you, please know that UHM remains firmly committed to serving students from around the world. We continue our long tradition of valuing the role of international students in making our university a truly global one, where cultural exchange goes hand-in-hand with academic learning.

When I came here to study in the 1970s from the east coast (Pennsylvania), attracted by UHM’s broad offerings in Asian Studies, I soon found that my “education” went past the classroom and the library to invaluable interactions and friendships with international students. We all have so much to learn from each other, now as much as ever. In the face of ongoing uncertainties around international travel and increasing international tensions, it is all the more urgent that we continue to engage internationally and it is this conviction that underlies the core mission of our Office of International and Exchange Programs.

We hope that things beyond our control will improve soon. Meanwhile, though, we will do all the things that we can to welcome you and make your UHM experience stimulating and transformative—and safe and fun! E komo mai.

ISS Welcome Events

The ISS Orientation consists of (1) Visa Clearance, (2) Welcome Week Activities, and (3)The Welcome Orientation. Visa Clearance is required for all new students. The Welcome and Welcome Week Activities are optional, but you are highly encouraged to participate and get the chance to meet other international students and the ISS staff before school starts.

Visa Clearance, required of all new international students, introduces you to the general rules of your visa status and verifies your immigration documents upon arrival in the U.S. All new incoming students must complete Visa Clearance. Most of Visa Clearance can be completed online (before you even arrive in Hawai'i).

If you do not complete Visa Clearance, your record will have a registration hold from ISS that takes effect on the first day of the semester. This hold prevents you from adding and dropping classes.

Go to the page on Visa Clearance and follow the steps to complete it.

Due to COVID-19, our spring 2021 Welcome Week activities have been moved to a virtual format.

During the week prior to the start of the semester, ISS provides workshops on specific topics that may be valuable to new students. Also, the morning Coffee Socials are opportunities to relax and have some coffee or tea before the start of the day, perhaps meet other students. These events are optional and do not require sign-up.

The ISS will not hold its in-person Welcome Orientation for spring 2021 due to health concerns with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Welcome Orientation ("The Welcome") is a full afternoon introducing you to International Student Services staff, student resources, cultural and safety issues, clubs and activities, and most of all, other students. The day ends with a reception of food and other refreshments. Here you may meet new students like yourself and make new friends from all over the world.

The Welcome Week Spring 2021 (January 4-8)

Welcome Week Schedule

Updated: 12/03/2020

All sessions will be conducted via Zoom. Sign up for the sessions using this RSVP form. You will need your UH username and password. Zoom access information will be provided on the form.
 Monday (1/4)Tuesday (1/5)Wednesday (1/6)Thursday (1/7)Friday (1/8)
Virtual Coffee Social:
Open meeting with an ISS Advisor to answer questions on immigration and adjustment.
9:00 - 10:00 am
F-1 Employment
9:00 - 10:00 am
Virtual Coffee Social:
Open meeting with an ISS Advisor to answer questions on immigration and adjustment.
9:00 - 10:00 am
Tips for Living in Hawaii
9:00 - 10:00 am
Virtual Coffee Social:
Open meeting with an ISS Advisor to answer questions on immigration and adjustment.
9:00 - 10:00 am
Virtual Coffee Social:
Meet ISS Interns (current students) to get insider information on adjusting to life in Hawaii.
1:30 - 2:30 pm
Virtual Coffee Social:
Meet ISS Interns (current students) to get insider information on adjusting to life in Hawaii.
1:30 - 2:30 pm