FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

What is campus life like?

What can I expect the experience to be like during the COVID-19 pandemic?

For up to date information please visit the following links for Student FAQs regarding COVID-19, the university’s main COVID-19 information page, and the state of Hawai’i Safe Travel Program for all COVID related travel restrictions.

What are the requirements for being accepted into the A Semester in Hawaiʻi (ASH) program?

All applicants must meet the entrance requirements of the University of Hawai‘i, complete the additional ASH application form and submit two letters of recommendation (see the apply page for details).

What are the application deadlines?

Unless otherwise noted application deadlines are the same as for undergraduate admissions. Check the admissions website here! Since enrollment and on-campus housing are limited, we recommend that students apply as early as possible. Admissions are on a rolling acceptance, so those who apply early have an advantage.

Please note, there are priority and final deadlines for each academic semester (fall and spring admission).

What are ASH’s responsibilities and what are my responsibilities as an applicant?

A Semester in Hawai’i (ASH) is a program intended to facilitate undergraduate students attending the University of Hawai’i Manoa for a single semester as transfer students. When it comes to navigating the process of enrollment and arrival on the island the ASH staff is here to help, but there are many aspects of the student experience that ASH does not have control over.

Questions or concerns regarding the following issues should be directed to the following departments: UH system application (admissions), Registration for courses (registrar), Housing (student housing services), Financial support (financial aid services), and university fees (the cashier’s office). 

How much does it cost to participate in the ASH program?

Students must pay non-resident tuition and fees, housing, meals, transportation and incidental expenses. A semester at the University of Hawaiʻi typically costs less than resident tuition at a comparable mainland institution. There is no extra charge for being in the ASH program.

Who pays/who do I pay for tuition and other expenses as an ASH student?

As transfer students ASH students will be held responsible for all fees associated with attending UH unless specified otherwise in an agreement between UH and the student’s home institution. In the absence of a third party billing agreement tuition, housing, meals, and all other/incidental costs are the responsibility of the student and not the ASH program.

Ask your financial aid/advisor/study abroad office at your home institution if there is an active third party billing agreement between your home institution and UH Manoa’s ASH program. If the answer is yes, please contact us at semester@hawaii.edu and we will coordinate with our cashier’s office to fulfill our end of the agreement.  

Is financial aid available?

Please check the UH Financial Aid Office and complete the free FAFSA form to apply for financial aid. In addition check with your home college financial aid office to see if your current financial aid can be applied toward UH expenses.

Most ASH students receive some form of financial aid including federal grants, although ASH does not offer scholarships or tuition waivers to our students. 

Can foreign students apply to the ASH program?

Foreign students are not prohibited from the program, but there are special considerations for foreign students who wish to come to the University of Hawai‘i under the ASH program, and alternative programs (such as Manoa International Exchange) may be more appropriate. Foreign ASH students are enrolled as classified students and must complete the UH International Admissions Process.

What’s the difference between ASH and WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange)?

This is a common source of confusion. The key differences are:

1. WUE isn’t really a program, it’s a status that you have as a student. 
2. WUE is meant for students who might be staying at UH for longer than one semester. ASH, on the other hand, is meant for students who only intend to stay at UH for one semester and go back to their home institution. Because the intention of WUE qualifying students is different from ASH students the tuition break for WUE eligible students does not transfer to ASH students.   

There’s no penalty if you leave after one semester as a WUE student, but the idea behind WUE is that you’re trying it out for a semester to see if you want to continue at UH for your undergraduate career. The key difference here is really between you and your home institution: your school should know whether or not you are planning on coming back so that they can determine how to treat your status there. Most ASH students are on a single semester leave of absence from their home institutions, but each school is different, so consult your home institution advisors! 

What is my academic standing while attending UH?

Students are admitted and matriculated as unclassified temporary transfer students (unless applying through the international admissions process). The UH Admission Office requires complete transcripts for all college courses taken previously. If you are interested in continuing at UH for more than one semester you do not need to re-apply, your status can be changed to a full-time student.

Will course credits transfer to my home institution?

How UH credit applies to your institution’s specific requirements depends on your college regulations. Check with your home college advisor or registrar in advance to plan how academic work taken at UH will apply toward major and graduation requirements.

Must students take specific courses while in the ASH program?

Students are free to enroll in any course offered at UH for which they meet the prerequisites. However, students are encouraged to take at least one course unique to Hawaii, Asia, or the Pacific.

How will I register for courses and what is my ID number?

Students may register for courses online at the UH registration website My UH (http://www.hawaii.edu/myuh/manoa). You can determine your registration day and time at this website. The current UH course catalog is also online. Your ID number is assigned when you receive the letter of acceptance from the UH Office of Admissions.

How do I make sure I get the classes I want?

While the ASH program can never promise you that you will definitely get into all the classes you want, here are a few useful tips:

1. Make a list of your preferred classes, with some backups. 
2. Check with your home institution advisor whether or not the credits for those courses will be transferred back to your home institution.
3. Once you have a list of classes your advisor has agreed to, reach out to the profs for those classes and let them know you are an ASH student and ask if they would kindly save you a seat, since it might take you a little longer to register for the class because you are a transfer student and the registrar has to clear your prerequisites based on courses from another school. Profs are not required to save you a seat but many will be understanding.
4. Contact the registrar and let them know that you want to follow up and make sure your courses from your home institution meet the prerequisites for the classes you are trying to register for.

Can I live on-campus?

*** Important Housing Update beginning Spring 2023***:

In previous years, a variable number of dorm rooms were set aside each semester for ASH students. However beginning spring 2023, due to increased demand of on-campus housing, we unfortunately cannot secure any holds for on-campus housing for ASH students. Please be prepared to find alternative housing accommodations off-campus in the case you are ineligible/not granted an in-campus housing accommodation.

We highly encourage ASH students to still apply for on-campus housing as there may be vacant spots in the coming months. Please contact the UH Student Housing for applications, deadlines, descriptions of dorms and apartments, and costs, and indicate in your application that you are an ASH student.

What health forms are required?

Students must submit the state-required health clearance forms before they can register for courses at UH. Required health documents are listed at the UH Health Services website linked here.  

Is ASH offered every semester?

ASH is offered during fall and spring semesters. It is not offered during the summer or winter interim sessions. 

Can I stay at UH for an additional semester or summer session?

Although ASH is designed as a one-semester program, students may stay for an additional semester or summer session. Coming to UH Manoa through the ASH program is also an excellent option for students interested in transferring to UH full-time who are looking to visit in order to help make their decision. If this applies to you, please consider that once you have been accepted to the ASH program you do not need to reapply to be accepted to UH Manoa as a full-time student for the remainder of your undergraduate career!

What clothes will I need in Hawai‘i?

Hawai‘i enjoys near-perfect weather year-around. Typical daytime temperatures range from the mid 70s to the mid 80s. Consistent trade winds provide a cooling breeze. Water temperature year-round is about 78-80 degrees. Pack light weight clothing as you would for warm weather on the mainland, but bring a jacket or warm sweater for cool evenings and for high elevation hikes. More formal attire may be desired for special occasions, but it is rarely required in Hawaii.

How will I get around the island?

Honolulu’s bus service is one of the city’s outstanding advantages. Buses stop at most historic sites, the business district, shopping malls, Waikiki, and even travel around the island. For bus route and scheduling information, call (808) 848-5555, 5:30am to 10:00pm, or visit The Bus. Students may rent cars on weekends or purchase or rent mopeds.

How do I get from the airport to the UH campus?

The easiest way to get from the airport is by shuttle van or taxicab, both of which are located in the baggage claim area.

Luggage is not allowed on city buses, but if you arrive with a carry-on bag, the bus is another option. Bus stops are located on the second floor of the airport.

Where is the Manoa campus?

Our 320-acre main University of Hawai‘i campus is situated in lush Manoa Valley, a quiet residential neighborhood only minutes away from Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. Within a short walking distance, you’ll find supermarkets, coffee shops, drug stores, copy centers, lei and flower shops, bookstores, small boutiques, and a variety of restaurants from routine fast-food to those featuring regional cuisine.

Is the University of Hawai‘i accredited?

The University of Hawai‘i is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.