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For specific information related to your program or area of interest

Including how to apply, please visit the following pages:

Undergraduate Programs Information

Major or minor in Asian Studies.

Graduate Programs Information

Including: Master of Arts in Asian Studies, Master’s in Asian International Affairs, and Graduate Certificates in Asian Studies.

Student Testimonials

Christina Geisse

The Asian Studies Program was incredible because most professors were undertaking their own research, passionate about their subject of study, and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with students. It felt fresh and profound at the same time. Inspiring! 

Christina Geisse
Kim Sluchansky

I was able to delve deep and focus on the areas of Asian Studies that truly interested me, and therefore gained a much more thorough and developed understanding of my fields of interest, which are applicable to my current career path. Also, the professors are extremely helpful and want their students to succeed. They were very supportive both while I was at UH and after I graduated.

National Scholarships & Fellowships

Discover more ways to fund your education and research with external scholarships and fellowships.

Before getting into the details, be aware that most of these scholarships are for after you have achieved an undergraduate degree, if you are a U.S. citizen, and if you have a desire to work with the U.S. government in some capacity. Not all scholarships are this way, so make sure to read the description and eligibility sections well. The search function (Ctrl + F) is your friend to find relevant information for your interests. Links are available so that you may check the official website for the most current information available.

For those without U.S. citizenship here is a list of scholarships and fellowships from Immigrants Rising.

Language & Culture

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

For students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad to learn critical languages important to national security. Preference is given to military veterans. After the program, Gilman scholars are eligible for 12 months of noncompetitive eligibility hiring status within the federal government.

Eligibility

Must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant, for undergraduate study or intern abroad program.

Benefits

Up to $5,000.

Boren Scholarship

Government sponsored for the development of culturally and linguistically literate scholars and government officials for the betterment of national security and international relations.

Eligibility

Earning an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. at an accredited body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or are earning a graduate degree or applying to a graduate degree. The award will only go to those who have been accepted into their program by the start of the fellowship.

Languages by Region

  • East Asia: Cantonese, Gan, Japanese, Korean, Uighur
  • South Asia: Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi, Sinhala, Tamil, Urdu
  • Southeast & Pacific Asia: Indonesia, Javanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Malay, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese
  • West & Central Asia: Kazakh, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Persian, Tajik, Turkmen, Turkish, Uzbek

Preferred Countries to go to for Language Study

Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

Languages taught by UH faculty that are available for major, minor, or certificate accreditation for reference: Chinese, Filipino, Hindi, Ilokano, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Russian.

More programs are available, but these are most relevant to the programs we have at UH Manoa.

Applicant Advisor

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)

Created to support language study and intercultural competency for languages deemed critical to national security. It is a study abroad program that runs during the summer.

Available Languages

Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu. Check website for current availability and language requirements, some require at least 2 years of college-level language study.

Eligibility

U.S. citizen or national, enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level, must be at least 18 years old, only one application to CLS per year (no applying for multiple languages), limited to 2 total participations in the CLS program.

Benefits

Travel to and from CLS program site, visa application fees, language instruction, room, board, program-sponsored travel, entrance fees for program activities, Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) language assessment, U.S. academic credit through Bryn Mawr College.

Fulbright

The Fulbright is a fellowship which funds students, researchers, and scholars. Students apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Faculty apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program. The UH Mānoa campus deadline usually falls in Early- to Mid-September. UH Mānoa campus interviews are conducted in Mid- to Late-September. Final Application Deadline is in Mid- to Late-October. Applicants will receive notification if they passed in late January to early February of the next year.

Eligibility

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals at the time of application (permanent residents are not eligible), dual citizens are not usually eligible for their country of citizenship, must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent before the start of grant, sufficient language proficiency is required, check the program for more specific requirements.

Benefits

Accident & Sickness Health Benefits, 24/7 support line for urgent and non-urgent situations, 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government, stipend, housing support.

Suggested Timeline

Conduct literature review of interesting topics for open study/research proposals (Spring, year prior to grant period, same year as application period), contact affiliate professor or university to establish relationship and essentially contract research (Summer, year prior to grant period, same year as application period), submit application after revisions and working with university advisors (Fall, year prior to grant period, same year as application period), first results announced (January, same year as grant period begins), interviews conducted (March, same year as grant period begins), final results announced (Summer, same year as grant period begins).

For other countries, additional facts, and up to date information

Visit the official Fulbright Program website at us.fulbrightonline.org Information on the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship is also available on their website for those who are interested in a Broadcasting or Media and Journalism avenue for their research project. The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program is available for those who are pre-doctoral students among other groups of prospective U.S. educators. Find more about the UH Manoa process at this website.

Undergraduate Advisor

  • Dr. Betsy Gilliland
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Second Language Studies
  • Email: egillila@hawaii.edu | Office: Moore 403

Graduate Advisor

  • Kristen Connors
  • Fellowships, Scholarships, and Professional Development Coordinator
  • Email: connorsk@hawaii.edu | Office: Spalding 359 (by appointment)

Faculty Advisor

  • William Chapman
  • Professor, American Studies
  • Email: wchapman@hawaii.edu | Office: Moore 308 (by appointment)

Library of Congress Kluge

The Kluge Center encourages humanistic and social science research that makes use of the Library’s large and varied collections. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research is particularly welcome in the Kluge Fellowship program. The fellowship is open to scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and professional fields such as architecture or law.

Eligibility

Scholars who have received a terminal advanced degree within the past seven years in the humanities, social sciences, or in a professional field such as architecture or law are eligible. Applicants may be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals. Upon selection, and in accordance with relevant visa regulations, foreign nationals will be assisted in obtaining the appropriate visa.

Benefits

Fellowships are tenable for periods from four to eleven months at a stipend of $5,000 per month for residential research at the Library of Congress. The Kluge Center reserves the right to offer fewer months than originally requested. Fellows may be given residence at any time during the 18-month window after the fellowship letter is received. Stipends will be paid monthly by the Library of Congress by means of electronic transfer to a U.S. bank account.

Library of Congress Junior Fellows

The Library of Congress Junior Fellows Program is an annual summer internship program that enables undergraduate and graduate students to experience the integrated analog and digital collections and services of the world’s largest, all-inclusive library. Working under the direction of Library curators and specialists in various divisions, fellows explore digital initiatives and increase access to the institution’s unparalleled collections and resources. Fellows are exposed to a broad spectrum of library work: copyright, preservation, reference, access, and information technology. In the past, summer fellows have identified hundreds of historical, literary, artistic, cinematic and musical gems representing the Library’s rich cultural, creative and intellectual assets. No previous experience is necessary, but fellowships are competitive and special skills or knowledge are usually desired. Selections are based on academic achievement, reference calls, and an interview with a selection official.

Eligibility

Undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled and/or graduating within six months before June of the summer of application.

Benefits

Onsite 2023 : $15.60 per hour for 10 weeks. Rates are subject to variations based on federal cost of living adjustments. Remote 2023: $15.60 – $16.41 per hour. Rates are subject to variations based on federal cost of living adjustments and differences in locality pay area rates.

Payne Fellowship

The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Payne Fellowship, which provides up to $104,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, is a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizens;
  • 18 to 55 years of age
  • seeking admission to enter graduate school in Fall of application year for a two-year program at a U.S. university
  • have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application

Benefits

The award includes up to $24,000 per year toward tuition and mandatory fees for completion of a two-year master’s degree at a U.S. institution; a $18,000 stipend for each academic year for room, board, books and other education-related expenses; and up to $10,000 per year in stipend, housing, transportation, and related expenses for summer placements (see below).  At the conclusion of two years of study, the Payne Fellow is expected to obtain a degree in international development or another area of relevance to the work of the USAID Foreign Service at a U.S. graduate or professional school approved by the Payne Program.  Fellows who successfully complete the Payne Program and USAID Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Specific Countries

Schwarzman Scholars (China)

Year-long master’s program in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, attend lectures, travel around the region, and develop a deeper understanding of China. Highly competitive international application. Prospective scholars demonstrate academic excellence, exceptional results in their field and outstanding leadership qualities.

Eligibility

Must have an undergraduate degree, must be 18-28 years of age, must be proficient in the English language.

Benefits

Interview expenses, tuition, fees, room and board, travel to and from Beijing at the beginning and end of the academic year, in-country study tours, required course books and supplies, a Lenovo laptop, health insurance, and a personal stipend.

Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program

Teach English in Japan.

Fall Application Period. Applications usually due around early November.

Eligibility

Must be a U.S. citizen, have a bachelor’s degree, healthy.

English Program in Korea (EPIK)

Teach English professionally at an Elementary, Middle or High School in South Korea. EPIK is likely to place teachers in metropolitan areas and requires a B.A. degree and some kind of 100 hour teaching accreditation (TEFL/TESOL/CELTA) if the degree is not related to education.

Eligibility

Must be a citizen of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, U.K. or the U.S.A., have a Bachelor’s degree, be mentally and physically healthy, have good command of the English language.

Benefits

Pay scale based on length of time working with program, educational background, 300,000 Korean Won (KRW) settlement allowance (~$250), accommodations (minus utilities and maintenance fees), one month salary severance pay, entrance allowance, contract completion bonus, renewal bonus, medical insurance, EPIK Orientation.

Global Korea Scholarship

The Korean government’s National Institute for International Education (NIIED) sponsors international students with the opportunity to conduct advanced studies in undergraduate & graduate programs at high educational institution in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in order to promote international exchanges in education and mutual friendship between countries. The scholarship is specifically for the starting and completion of a degree program. Due to the assumption that undergraduate students are already enrolled at UH Manoa, undergraduate program information will not be available on this page, but it is still accessible on the official website.

Grantees are required to take Korean language training courses for 1 year at a language institution located on-campus of the domestic (Korean) universities unless they have achieved a language fluency score higher than level 5 in the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). Students who have a high proficiency are awarded a special benefit of 100,000KRW.

Eligibility

Both applicant and parents must not hold Korean citizenship, must be citizens of their country of origin, adequate health (mental, physical) to stay in foreign country for extended period of time, Under 40 years old at the date of entrance for Graduate students, must hold a B.A. or M.A. degree from a non-Korean university by the date of arrival, possesses a grade point average (GPA) above 80% from the last educational institution attended.

Benefits

Airfare, Resettlement Allowance (200,000KRW), Living Allowance (900,000~1,000,000KRW), Medical Insurance (20,000KRW/month), Language Courses (800,000KRW per quarter), Tuition Fees (<5,000,000KRW/semester), Research Support (210,000-240,000KRW/semester), Printing Costs – Dissertation (500,000-800,000KRW), Completion Grant (100,000KRW),

Additional note

Check the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Honolulu’s notice board for more detailed information and specific requirements in February. Also make a checklist for both digital and physical form completion that considers the basic NIIED/Korean Government requirements AND the Consulate’s requirements!

Here is a previous example of the Application Guidelines for the GKS from 2021 and the FAQ document from the same year (2021).

Teach And Learn in Korea (TALK)

*UPDATE* The TaLK Program was cancelled in 2021 because of unforeseen complications from the pandemic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Korean Ministry of Education has plans to restart this program again. Please check their website for updates.

Educational scholarship to help those interested in teaching and in Korea to teach elementary schoolers English in rural areas of South Korea. Position dedicates 15 hours per week teaching after-school classes.

Eligibility

Must be a 3rd year or higher in a Bachelor’s program or have an associate’s degree. Must be a citizen of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, U.K., or the U.S.A. Overseas Koreans who are permanent residents of the aforementioned countries who have completed both primary and secondary education in that country are also eligible. Graduate students may apply, but priority is placed on current undergraduate students.

Benefits

1 year contract, 1,500,000 Korean won (KRW) stipend monthly (~$1,300), accommodation, two-week orientation, medical insurance, settlement allowance of 300,000 KRW, Flight allowance, government scholarship certificate of completion, exemption of duties.

Political Affairs

The Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program

Aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Highly competitive national program, it supports two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities. Must commit to five years of service after the program.

Eligibility

U.S. citizen, seeking admission to graduate school for a two-year program at a U.S. university in an area of relevance to Foreign Service, can be in the senior year of undergraduate studies, graduating in June, or can be college graduates; must have a GPA of 3.2/4.0 at the time of application.

Benefits

Up to $42,000 annually for tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees. Two internships one in Washington D.C working for members of Congress, the other overseas in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate with $10,000 of support per summer internship.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

Supports students who are passionate about public service to attend graduate school. Extremely competitive, the UH Manoa selects for 4 applicants to send to compete with over 800 others across the U.S. Ideal candidates demonstrate leadership, commitment to a career in public service, and a likelihood of success in graduate school.

Eligibility

US Citizens, US National residents of American Samoa, currently enrolled at a US-based accredited institution, final year of school, nominated by their institution or former institution if transferred, planning to attend graduate school in pursuit of a career in public service. Can consider domestic or international programs for their graduate education.

Benefits

Up to $30,000 for graduate school, preferred hiring with the federal government.

Applicant Advisor

  • Vernadette Gonzalez
  • Professor, American Studies; Director of the Honors Program
  • Email: vvg@hawaii.edu | Office: Sinclair Library – First Floor

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Program

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, it works to prepare outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers. Highly competitive national program, it supports two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities. Must commit to five years of service after the program.

Eligibility

U.S. citizen, GPA at least 3.2/4.0, seeking admission to a two-year, full-time, on-campus, master’s degree program at a U.S. based graduate institution.

Benefits

$42,000 annually for a two-year period for tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees.  This includes up to $24,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees and an academic year stipend of $18,000.

STEM

Department of Defense SMART Scholarship

Eligibility

Citizen of U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom, at least 18 years old, at least 1 year of degree funding prior to graduation, willing to accept post-graduation employment with the Department of Defense, GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale, technical undergraduate or graduate degree in STEM (specific list given on website.)

Benefits

Full Tuition, Annual Stipend, Book/Health allowances, Internships, and Guaranteed employment with the Department of Defense.

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

Work with NOAA, receive training in environmental and meteorological sciences. Academic assistance for 2 years of full time study, paid internship with NOAA during the summer.

Eligibility

U.S. citizen, must have at least two years left at university, GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, must be majored in discipline relevant to NOAA’s programs and mission (i.e. Oceanic, Environmental, Biological, Atmospheric Sciences, Engineering, Geography, Education, etc).

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG)

The program was created to help U.S. citizens to achieve doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines of relevance to the Department of Defense.

Eligibility

U.S. citizen or national, must have a bachelor’s degree, and are within the first two years of their graduate study for a traditional program in science or engineering.

Benefits

Monthly stipend around $3,400, health insurance, tuition and required fees (exluding room and board).

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)

Must have significant financial need. Please visit site for full details.

Eligibility

U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

Supports graduate degree for students in STEM.

Eligibility

U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident. No previous doctoral or terminal degree nor master’s or professional degree in any field. Seeking a Masters or Doctoral degrees in specific STEM fields, listed on website.

Benefits

5-year fellowship, 3-year annual stipend of $34,000 with $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees), professional development opportunities.

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