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, the 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. These events are optional.
- Available Workshop Slides
- Tips for Living in Hawaii - Fall 2021
- Employment Options for J1 Students & J2 Dependents - Fall 2021
The in-person Welcome is currently not offered due to the ongoing COVID-19 conditions that limit large gatherings.
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 2022 (January 3-7)
NOTE: Sessions and dates/times may be added, changed, or removed at any time. Not all sessions may be available. Check the Welcome Week Schedule for up-to-date information.
PRESENTION and OPEN ADVISING = sessions with a speaker who will provide helpful information
SPECIAL INTEREST = sessions open for attendees to share their own information with each other
|Presentation: Tips for Living in Hawai'i||Learn about where to shop, how to save money, local secrets, and many other things you should know to live in Hawai'i.|
|Open Advising||An ISS staff member will be available to answer any questions that you may have as you settle in and start the semester. This is open to all students, so if your problem is more complex, you may be referred to a separate appointment to discuss.|
|Special Interest: Foodies||For anyone who loves to eat and wants to find out more information on the best places to go in Hawaii.|
|Special Interest: Shoppers||Do you like shopping? Are there places in Hawaii with good bargains? For groceries, furniture, etc. Come find someone who loves shopping as much as you.|
|Special Interest: Surfers||Surf's up! Share your tips on surf spots, where to rent or purchase gear, etc.|
|Special Interest: Hikers||Do you know of any good places to hike, or ready to explore new trails? Find someone to join you.|
|Special Interest: Fitness Freaks||Do you like playing sports or exercising? Looking for someone to join you? Maybe you can organize a game, or find a workout partner.|
|Special Interest: Hula/Dancers||Do you have an interest in hula or other dance form? Are you experienced, a beginner, or someone who wants to try but doesn't know where to start? Come share your knowledge with others.|
|Special Interest: Roommates||Are you looking for a roommate to share an apartment or house? Come here to see if there are others interested in sharing a place.|
|Special Interest: Beach Bums||Explore the island's beaches with a friend or two. Connect with someone who likes to find a perfect beach spot to spend the day.|
|Special Interest: Country Crowd||Interested in meeting someone else from your home country? Zoom break-out rooms will be available for country-specific interest groups. After signing up, keep checking the list to see if more of your countrymen are attending.|
Welcome Week ScheduleUpdated: 12/03/2021
All sessions will be conducted via Zoom.
PRESENTATION and OPEN ADVISING sessions: sign up here.
SPECIAL INTEREST sessions: sign up here.
You will need your UH username and password. Zoom access information will be provided on the forms.
|Monday (1/03)||Tuesday (1/04)||Wednesday (1/05)||Thursday (1/06)||Friday (1/07)|
|Special Interest: Foodies|
|Special Interest: Surfers|
|Special Interest: Fitness Freaks|
|Special Interest: Roommates|
|Presentation: Tips for Living in Hawai'i
|Special Interest: Shoppers|
|Special Interest: Hikers|
|Special Interest: Hula/Dancers|
|Special Interest: Beach Bums|
|Special Interest: Country Crowd