Do you love traveling? Have you been itching to immerse yourself in a new culture or language? If so, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s study abroad programs might just be your perfect fit. UH Mānoa has different options for students who wish to study outside of UHM without having to transfer schools. Options include traveling to a different country with the UHM Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC), exchanging to a school on the mainland (NSE) or becoming an international student with the Mānoa International Exchange program (MIX).
UHM Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC):
The study abroad center has programs in 22 different locations in Europe, Asia and Australia. Students have the option to stay with a local family (homestay) or in the dorms offered by the home campuses depending on the location. Programs are sorted both by major and location, for those students who are interested in receiving major-specific credits while abroad. If you are a student majoring in creative media, the most applicable destinations are Florence, Italy and London, United Kingdom. Those who are interested in immersing themselves in foriegn language, this program would be ideal, as there are dozens of language-focused classes to choose from. For example, those desiring to expand their knowledge of the French language can choose to study for a semester in Paris. This said, however, students have the option to apply wherever they wish, despite their specific areas of study.
Instead of paying UH tuition, students pay a different, individual study abroad tuition fee. The cost varies by location, housing type and program duration, but averages at around $15,000 a semester. Financial aid and scholarships are available for students.
UHMSAC Important Dates/Information
The application deadline for trips during Summer 2020 is Feb. 17 and the deadline for trips during Fall 2020 is April 1. Students are recommended to have over a 3.0 GPA to apply, and need three letters of recommendation from academic instructors. More information about UHMSAC can be found at http://www.studyabroad.hawaii.edu/students/faqs/.
National Student Exchange (NSE):
The National Student Exchange offers programs in 170 locations, including US territories and some provinces in Canada. Any schools that participate in the NSE program can allow their students to apply to “exchange” their own university for a new one. Those studying at UH can apply to participate and have the choice to transfer temporarily to any of the listed locations for either a semester or a whole school year.
Rayna Tagalicod, the director of UH Mānoa’s NSE program said her favorite part of the NSE program is that it gives students the opportunity to have life-changing experiences. “From exploring a new area, living in a place different from home, experiencing life on a different campus, enrolling in different courses, and learning about themselves, students learn and grow academically and personally,” Tagalicod said. “Almost all are grateful for the experience and do not regret going on exchange.”
Tagalicod also elaborated on the cost of attendance; saying that each school has a different tuition rate. According to Tagalicod, most US exchange-eligible schools are cheaper than UHM. Students have the option to pay a “home” rate, where they pay their regular UH tuition fees while on exchange, or they can pay a “host” rate, where they pay whatever tuition the exchange school requests. For instance, those interested in exchanging to Queen’s College in New York (one of NSE’s most popular exchange locations), can choose between paying UH’s tuition (around $6,000 for in state and $17,000 for out of state) or paying the Queen’s College tuition, totaling at just over $3,000. Students can also use financial aid to help with the program payments.
NSE Important Dates/Information:
The priority application deadline for NSE is March 1, 2020 for students interested in exchanging schools for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.. Prospective exchange students can choose to apply after March 1, but those who submit beforehand have the best chance of getting accepted, and/or making it into their first-choice school. Applicants must be full time students and have a GPA of at least 2.5. Other information can be found at nse.org, or by making an appointment with Tagalicod.
Mānoa International Exchange (MIX):
Like both the NSE and UHMSAC programs, the Mānoa International Exchange (MIX) program allows students to immerse themselves in cultures unlike that of Hawaiʻi’s. MIX includes schools in 25 different countries and offers spring, summer, and fall semesters. The main difference however, is in the application process. Those wishing to participate in the Mānoa International Exchange can do so by applying online on the MIX website. Applicants must submit a list of their top five destinations, and the program coordinators nominate the location they feel would be the most adequate for that student. After being nominated, applicants must then apply individually to their chosen campus. For example, a business major might get nominated to study abroad at the Rennes School of Business (RBS), located in France. From there, they would have to apply to RBS as an exchange student and submit any application materials requested from that specific school.
Another important difference between MIX and the other study abroad programs is that any credits earned as an international student are counted as transfer credits. This means that any grades you get while participating in the Mānoa International Exchange program do not apply towards your UHM grade point average. Instead, they are compiled on a transfer report.
Students enrolled in the MIX program pay their regular UHM tuition price, regardless of their location. Similar to NSE and UHMSAC, the Mānoa International Exchange program also accepts financial aid and has several scholarship opportunities.
MIX Important Dates/Information:
The deadline for the MIX Spring 2021 application is May 1. Applicants are advised to have at least a 3.0 GPA and are required to have one academic letter of recommendation. Additional requirements may vary between each school, as some may request more personal and academic information from the applying students.