Students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are learning to live in a country they’ve never been to after taking an entire year away from their families to study in the United States.
University of Hawaii officials said the school’s International Students Association has decided to waive the first year of the two-year program to accommodate the students’ transition.
It said it will pay for the tuition, living expenses, and books, and will also cover room and board, as well as travel expenses for the two months they spend away from home.
“The University of Hawaiʻi Manoa University is committed to supporting our students and providing the best possible experience for them,” said university spokesman Jeff Ruggiero.
“The international student experience is the most valuable experience that our university has to offer.”UHMH is not alone in allowing international students to live at home.
As of March, there were 3,921 international students living at UHMH, up from 1,872 in 2016, according to a report released by the University.
The university said the two new students were among the approximately 300 international students enrolled last year.
In a statement, the university said its students were welcomed back in February and that “we will work with our students to help them adapt to their new environment and to meet their academic and professional needs.”
Students are allowed to move to the U.S. without a visa, but many come to the university for work or study, said Karen Noguchi, a senior at UHMW.
Some students have worked at the university’s food service operations, including a waiter and a chef.
“I think it’s going to be really beneficial for our students,” she said.
“It’s going be a good change for them to go back to their home country.”