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Mānoa Academy: Aotearoa - Summer 2019

Mānoa Academy: Aotearoa offers students the opportunity to complete a UH General Education Core requirement while learning through cultural exchange in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The course introduces global political issues through Indigenous lenses. Cultural experiences and exchange ground students in Hawai‘i and Aotearoa, revealing the deep ancestral connections between our islands and peoples.

The application submission period is now over.


The first week of the program (June 10 -14) will be held on the UH Mānoa campus, where students will prepare for their study abroad experience by learning about Māori history and contemporary political issues related to creating sustainable Indigenous futures. Students will be trained in Hawaiian cultural protocols that will allow them to respectfully enter onto Māori territory and engage in meaningful cultural exchange.

Students will then spend two weeks (June 22 – July 7) in Aotearoa/New Zealand, mainly in Auckland and in Waikato/Tainui territory. They will stay at marae (meeting grounds), celebrate the opening of Matariki, meet local community leaders, and participate in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference, which brings together over 1,000 Indigenous Studies scholars from countries throughout the world.

Students who complete all elements of the program will earn three introductory-level University of Hawai‘i credits, which apply to both general education requirements and the Political Science major. The program will be led by Professor Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, who will be assisted by advanced undergraduate student leaders.


POLS 160, Introduction to International and Global Studies, is a 3-credit course that introduces undergraduate students to the major political, social, economic, cultural, technological, and historical dimensions of globalization. Special attention will be paid to globalization processes that have impacted Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region. This course meets a General Education requirement in the Foundations-Global and Multicultural Perspectives category, Group B.

How to Apply

Mānoa Academy: Aotearoa is designed for incoming UH Mānoa first year students (either freshman or first-time transfers), particularly Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders or those with significant commitments to those communities. All current Mānoa Academy students, rising high school seniors applying to Mānoa Academy, and current high school seniors who intend to enroll at UH Mānoa are eligible to apply.

Applications are no longer being accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a passport?

Yes, all students are required to have a valid, original signed U.S. passport. Please allow ample time to apply for a passport. Passport processing averages 6-8 weeks. A first-time adult passport is estimated to cost $135. Passports must have at least 3 months of remaining validity and blank visa pages.

2. Do I need a visa?

No, U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to travel to New Zealand for tourist trips of three months or less.

3. What is the activity level on the trip?

Tours and excursions may require walking, hiking and hands-on work on the land. Participants should be prepared for outdoor, winter conditions and expect to engage in moderate to strenuous walking, including across hilly terrain. We will discuss what to bring at the orientation and preparatory classes.

4. Where will we be staying?

Participants should be prepared to sleep marae-style, in large, open communal halls. These options help keep lodging costs down and provide a more authentic cultural experience.

5. What is the estimated cost?

Through generous grants from our program partners, we have been able to significantly defray travel costs to students. Students will pay regular UHM summer tuition & fees for a 3-credit course, but most travel expenses are covered by our sponsors. Participants should estimate spending approximately $1700 for tuition, passport fees, meals and incidental costs.

6. What is Mānoa Academy?

Mānoa Academy (MA) is a dual credit program open to rising juniors and seniors in high school and is administered through the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM). Academy participants must meet UHM admissions criteria and are provisionally accepted into the university. The deadline for Summer/Fall 2019 admission to the Academy is March 1, 2019.

7. Who do I contact if I have questions about the Aotearoa experience?

You can email

Partners and Sponsors

Mānoa Academy: Aotearoa is a collaboration between the Mānoa Academy and Nā Ko‘oko‘o Native Hawaiian Leadership Programs, and is supported by Hawaiian Airlines, the UHM College of Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science, in partnership with the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

Hawaiian Airlines