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Of the 18 students in the original 19th century Hawaiian Youths Abroad program, 5 studied in Italy, more than any other country. Following in their footsteps, the 2nd annual Hawaiian Youths Abroad program slated for July 2019 will travel to London, England first and then to several cities in Italy.

We will be recruiting currently enrolled University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students across different disciplines and finalizing our cohort by late Spring 2019. The program will include at least three weeks of study and research in Honolulu before departing for Europe for an additional two weeks. The program will involve two 3-credit courses (6 credits total) and a 2 week Faculty Sponsored Study Tour.

Program Eligibility

  • Full-time enrollment at UH Mānoa in Spring 2019 and Fall 2019, either as a classified undergraduate or graduate student in good standing, with at least a 2.5 cumulative G.P.A.
  • Demonstrated interest, commitment and promise in Hawaiian research and community issues
  • Priority to students who have participated in previous NHSS programming, as this is considered an NHSS capstone experience

Program Coursework

The Summer 2019 program will include two courses that students will enroll in:

EDEA 460E: Topics in Emergent Paradigms of Leadership (Nalani Balutski) – 3 credits

ES 410: Race, Class & the Law (Willy Kauai) – 3 credits

Program Itinerary (Draft & Subject to Change!)

June 17: Courses start at Mānoa
June 24 – July 2: Research break (heavy readings & research assignments)
July 3: Courses resume at Mānoa
July 17: Departure for London
July 25: Departure for Italy
August 3: Program Ends in Italy, Return to Honolulu
August 14: Program Hōʻike in Honolulu

Draft Program Costs/Budget

Airfare: $2,500
Lodging: $1,800
Ground Transportation: $500
Tuition: $0 (covered by NHSS)
Meals: $1,360
Activities/Excursions: $200
Study Abroad Fees: $101
International Travel Health Insurance: $17
Other: $250

For more information, contact program lead, Nalani Balutski at

Demographic Information

Financial Aid & Funding

Essay Questions

  1. In geographer and historian David Chang’s 2016 book, The World and All the Things Upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration, he argues that:

    “Spurred by this same belief that the world was a wide-open place to seek and understand, Native Hawaiians engaged in an intense process of global exploration in the century after foreigners appeared in Hawaii in 1778. Some sailed to distant lands, as Pele had done. Others explored the world without leaving home, by engaging with foreign people; poring over, translating, and writing books about far-off countries; and in many other ways embracing world exploration. But why did Kānaka turn to exploring the globe so quickly and enthusiastically? In part, they did this because the Hawaiian exploration of the world did not truly begin with Cook’s arrival. Kānaka already had a long history of exploring the earth and reflecting upon it.

    Exploration is the motive power that brought the ancestors of the Kānaka Maoli to the archipelago from islands far to the south. Exploration is embedded in the sacred stories that explain the creation and working of the world to Kānaka Maoli. Exploration is retold in the songs and stories that explain the ocean around them and the many lands beyond the horizon. Those same stories and songs, and the Hawaiian language, reveal that prior to the arrival of Haole (Westerners) in 1778, Kānaka already had a deep and broad knowledge of the world, particularly of the ocean that was their home. At the very least three hundred thousand people, but more likely seven hundred thousand and perhaps as many as a million, inhabited eight islands stretching from Hawaiʻi to Niʻihau, practicing intensive agriculture and aquaculture, fishing the waters around them, and supporting an elaborate political and religious structure. Although they lived far from other lands and had been out of direct contact with places beyond the Hawaiian Islands for three centuries or more, the outside world was not unknown to them. Rather, Kānaka understood the world in ways that centered their own perspective and encouraged them to look out from that perspective with confidence to seek still greater knowledge. A heritage of exploration favored a drive toward exploration.”

    David Chang, The World and All the Things Upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration, p. 2-3

  2. In April 1891, Joseph Nawahī delivered the following speech at a Hawaiian Kingdom Board of Health visit to Kalaupapa:

    “I now give you the aloha which the nation has entrusted (sic) me to impart to you. We have come to soothe, if possible, your sorrows. Our beloved Queen is before you this day. She deeply grieves your afflictions. Your sorrows are hers, and your joys are hers, for a Queen is powerless without a people to rule over. Therefore let us unite in upholding her throne, for there are yet hopes for your tears. Her Majesty feels your sorrows, and will endeavor to struggle for hopes of your recovery. Responsibilities yet rest on your shoulders, through your offsprings, of replenishing the land with people….There are now 1,175 lepers here, only ten of them being foreigners. This cannot but recall pity in the hearts of the nation. It is the duty of the Government to send Hawaiian youths abroad to be educated in medicine. This is the only way left us for saving our race. There is not a single Hawaiian who will dare cheat his own race; for this reason I strongly urge the immediate sending of Hawaiian boys abroad in order to avoid our downward path to destruction. Dr. Matthew Makalua, a true Hawaiian, is at present in England, studying medical sciences. One is not sufficient, send several more. Therefore let us hope till our desires are fulfilled, but in the meanwhile, we must abide by the laws of our land. But just as I have said, there is but one alternative left us for saving our country, and that to have Hawaiian youths educated abroad.”

  3. This program is very research-intensive, with a strong focus on Hawaiian leadership development and commitment.

  4. In his book No Mākou ka Mana: Liberating the Nation, Kamana Beamer argues:

    “Hawaiian aliʻi had adopted a diplomatic strategy with the world. This strategy allowed them to modify their traditional forms of governance and institutions while maintaining a distinctly Hawaiian identity. Aliʻi of the nineteenth century used laws, constitutional governments, and maps as a means of governing the Hawaiian Kingdoms aboriginal and nonaboriginal population. By doing so, the Hawaiian Kingdom government was able to achieve recognition as an independent and sovereign state by the major colonial powers of the time, including Britain, France, and the United States.

    On November 28, 1843, France and Britain, even while they were actively administering colonial governments in the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas, formally recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and coequal sovereign state. How was it that a seemingly small island chain in the Pacific, run by an aboriginal monarch, was admitted to the community of nation-states by countries that often viewed indigenous populations as having few or no claims to land, property, and political independence?”


Program requirements include:

  • Full-time degree-seeking student (either undergraduate or graduate status) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in good standing in Fall 2019

  • Commitment to graduate from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Fall 2019 or later

  • A passport with an expiration date of at least August 2020 or later

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