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Mānoa Academy: Abroad

Study abroad opportunities expose students to different cultures, which promote a broader understanding of the world. The immersive nature of an international experience enables students to gain understanding and develop skills to successfully live and lead in a diverse and interdependent world. These experiences and skills ultimately help students be more competitive and marketable along their academic and career journeys.

In Summer 2017, Mānoa Academy began offering a summer abroad opportunity to provide a global gateway experience for students who were continuing their enrollment at UH Mānoa as first-year students. The summer experiences advance the Academy’s effort to create transformational learning experiences that promote a passion for learning, leadership, and global engagement.

Past Offerings

Students have enrolled in SOCS 180/POLS 160, Introduction to International and Global Studies. This 3-credit course introduces undergraduate students to the major political, social, economic, cultural, technological, and historical dimensions of globalization, with special attention paid to impacts on Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region. The course meets a General Education requirement in the Foundations – Global and Multicultural Perspectives category.

Students attend classes at UH Mānoa and engage in coursework before traveling abroad. These classes generally include training in language and protocols that enable them to meaningfully engage in the cultural exchange.

Through Mānoa Academy: Beijing (2018), students delved into the theme of health and aging, and received boot-camp training in conversational Mandarin prior to departure. Students toured historic and cultural sites on Oahu to gain fresh perspectives on China's connections with Hawaiʻi, and met some of Hawaii's most prominent leaders with strong ties to China. In Beijing, students explored topics of health and aging, resilience and sustainability, social systems for health and community, and globalization. Students also explored cultural and historical landmarks including the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, and Tiananmen Square, and deepened their appreciation for Chinese culture through special activities including calligraphy and tai chi.

In Summer 2019, Mānoa Academy: Aotearoa challenged students to explore the following question: How do Māori and Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa live their own dynamic cultural traditions - including political, social and economic institutions - in order to thrive in the face of present ecological and political challenges? Participants prepared for their huakaʻi (journey) by learning about histories and contemporary issues related to the central theme of sustainable, Indigenous futures. They also practiced Hawaiian cultural protocols that allowed them to respectfully enter onto Māori territory and engage with their hosts in meaningful ways. During their stay in New Zealand, students celebrated the opening of Matariki, met with local community leaders, and participated in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference, which brought together over 1,000 Indigenous Studies scholars from across the world.


Students must complete all components of the course and follow the same travel itinerary as the rest of the group to receive course credit.

Although Academy students receive priority in the application review process, all high school seniors who intend to enroll at UH Mānoa in the Fall semester following graduation are eligible to apply.

Participants have come from a diverse array of schools, including:

  • Hālau Kū Māna, Oahu
  • James Campbell High School, Oahu
  • Kalaheo High School, Oahu
  • Kalani High School, Oahu
  • Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Oahu
  • Kamehameha Schools Maui, Maui
  • Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M. Kamakau, Oahu
  • La Pietra Hawaiʻi School for Girls, Oahu
  • Lahainaluna High School, Maui
  • Mid-Pacific Institute, Oahu
  • Mililani High School, Oahu
  • Molokaʻi High School, Molokaʻi
  • Pacific Horizons, American Samoa
  • President Theodore Roosevelt High School, Oahu


This experience requires a separate application from the UH Mānoa application. All prospective participants must complete an application regardless if they are current Academy students. The application is generally available on the Mānoa Academy website by early February.


Although the Academy does its best to minimize costs for participants, UHM tuition and fees apply to this course. Participants are also responsible for any incidental costs.

All participants must have a valid passport at the time of travel booking. A first-time adult passport is estimated to cost $135. A visa may be required depending on the location of the abroad experience.

There is no cost associated with the application for the abroad experience.


Applications must be submitted by March 1.

If admitted, other deadlines will apply. Participants must have their passports ready by mid-April. Passport processing averages 6-8 weeks. Passports must have at least 3 months of remaining validity and blank visa pages.