The University of Hawaiʻi has cancelled all inbound and outbound international student exchange programs for the 2020 fall semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacted programs are those administered by the UH Mānoa International Exchange (MIX) office and the Center for Global Education and Exchange at UH Hilo. The UH Mānoa Study Abroad programs have been delayed, or will be offered online, or deferred to spring 2021.
Program administrators say the difficult decision was made in the interest of protecting the health and welfare of UH students and employees and those at UH partner universities. The threat of COVID-19 has led to increased travel and immigration restrictions and fewer in-person classes and housing options because of social-distancing measures. The pandemic has had a serious impact on student exchange programs nationally and internationally, and this UH decision is consistent with actions taken across the country and around the world.
“This is a disappointment to all of us, but it became necessary to make this decision now in order to give our students and those planning to visit us enough time to make alternate plans for the fall and subsequent terms,” said UH President David Lassner. “Exchange programs provide amazing opportunities for our students to experience the world, including Hawaiʻi residents who may have never left the islands. Students from other places also enrich the UH campus experience for all, and we remain fully committed to robust exchange programs once circumstances improve.”