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University of Hawaii Hilo

Program Overview 

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Culture: Ecology and marine-focused, supportive
Neighborhood: Suburban, beachside
Housing: Off-campus apartment
English level: Intermediate - advanced 

The University of Hawaii Hilo (UHH, UH Hilo) offers SAF Scholars amazing opportunities to explore one of the most beautiful areas of Hawaii. Hilo is the largest of all of Hawaii’s islands, and is home to one of the most unique cultures in the world.

The eponymously named city is home to the world’s only tsunami museum. More than 43,000 people live on the island, and its average temperature of 84 degrees makes living there a great experience. Along with these sites and attractions, the island offers a great wildlife culture, including a zoo, coral reefs, gardens and parks.

Students have the option to study any degree for which they meet the prerequisites, and Hawaii Hilo offers some of the most unique degrees in one of the most unique areas of the world. Marine Science, Aquaculture, and Hawaiian Studies being some of the most distinctive majors offered.

Student Profile

Right-fit SAF Scholars should want to be immersed in learning all about the culture of Hawaii, while simultaneously advancing their skills in the following colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Forestry, College of Agriculture, and Natural Resource Management, College of Pharmacy, College of Continuing Education, College of Business and Economics, and College of Hawaiian Language.
SAF Scholars who l ove warm weather, beaches, and studying in a unique culture and environment should also consider UHH.

Other Programs at University

Concurrent and Progression

Other Comparable Programs

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (August - December)
Spring (January - May)
Hawaii Community College
Spring Quarter + Summer Quarter + Fall Semester (March – December)
Spring Quarter + Summer Quarter + Fall Semester + Winter Quarter (March – March)

Progression or Concurrent Notes

  • Scholars who study in any Spring, Summer, or Winter Quarter term must study at Hawaii Community College***
  • A progression from Summer Language to Fall Academic requires completion of the 080 level courses. By Director discretion an iBT of at least 61, IELTS of 5.5, or PBT 500 can be accepted.
  • A progression from Fall Language to Spring Academic requires completion of all advanced level courses at ELI.
  • SAF Scholars who have a 61 iBT will be able to take select academic courses alongside English courses.

Program Strengths

Students are allowed many different options for length of study at University of Hawaii, Hilo

# of Credits (per term)

Students are allowed many different options for length of study at University of Hawaii, Hilo

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

Scholars may register online prior to arrival. 

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Students must meet pre-requisites. These may be waived if students are able to provide a description of a home university course that matches a pre-requisite course description.

Graduate Courses

UHH does not offer graduate courses. 


Housing Type

Off-campus apartment 



Type of Room

Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

UHH on the largest island of Hawaii offers students the opportunity to explore and also enjoy the beautiful weather that Hilo has to offer. Beaches are only minutes away as are national parks and unique museums and gardens only available on the islands of Hawaii. SAF Scholar are welcome to volunteer at Mauna Kea mountain while learning about stars, astronomy and Native Hawaiian history.

Life on Campus

UH Hilo offers opportunities for students to become members or leaders of clubs. SAF Scholars may also get involved in student government through the UH Hilo Student Association (UHHSA), organize student activities through the Student Activities Council, or provide service to the community through Campus and Community Services. These clubs and organizations are not only fun, but enable students to learn new things, meet people and develop leadership skills.

Last Updated: 1/9/19