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Two flight attendants
(Photo credit: JAA)

The University of Hawaiʻi—West Oʻahu and Japan Aviation College Hokkaido (JAA) recently signed an agreement that allows Japanese students to seamlessly transfer and earn their bachelor’s degree in Hawaiʻi. This is the first in what is hoped to be many international partnerships for the Kapolei campus.

“We look forward to bringing JAA students to our campus to enhance their education with an Indigenous-grounded curriculum in our top-notch business program,” UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham said. “This valuable partnership will provide our own students with the chance to interact with an international community to expand their global knowledge and understanding.”

Japan Aviation College Hokkaido plane
(Photo credit: JAA)

Students who complete an associate degree at JAA are guaranteed acceptance with sophomore standing to UH West Oʻahu in business administration with a concentration in hospitality and tourism, management or marketing. The JAA students will have to meet international transfer student requirements, including passing an approved English proficiency exam.

The partnership promotes international education, cultural exchange and collaboration in areas of common interest and benefit to both institutions. Starting in 2025, qualifying JAA students will come to UH West Oʻahu for an in-person experience that will expose them to Indigenous culture, place-based learning and a robust academic curriculum within the Business Administration program.

“Japan and Hawaiʻi have a deep historical and cultural relationship,” JAA Chancellor Tadahiro Umezawa said. “In international resorts and commercial areas, there are opportunities for Japanese students to learn. This is extremely meaningful, and I hope that it will have a positive impact on the future of students.”

JAA’s International Aviation Business Department aims to train cabin attendants and ground staff who can succeed in the world with international knowledge and culture. Students study languages and Japanese culture to establish the foundation of understanding international cultural differences, learn etiquette and manners through practical manner training classes, and gain a high sense of hospitality.

By Leila Wai Shimokawa

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