How to Apply

Learn how to apply to HELP! Below are the instructions in English.
If you don’t understand, you can also scroll down to apply in your language.

HELP plans to return to in-person classes for our upcoming Fall 1 2020 term (August 24-October 16, 2020). Details about the course schedule & format, safety procedures, and special enrollment policies are listed on our Fall 1 2020 Moving Forward page.



To be a student at HELP, you must:

  • Be 17 years old or older
  • Be a high school graduate
  • Be at any level of English from beginning to advanced


Visa Requirements

HELP international students who want to study full time (more than 16 hours/week) must have an F-1 student visa.  HELP is authorized to issue the I-20 form required to apply for a student visa. Students who enter the U.S. on a B-2 (tourist) visa or WT status (visa waiver) may NOT study full time at HELP, but may be eligible for part-time study (16 hours or less) incidental to visiting in Hawaii. You can read more about it on our Visa Guidelines page or email us at with any questions about this.

* Permanent residents, U.S. citizens, and part-time students (16 hours or less per week) do not need an I-20.


Upcoming Application Deadlines

Dates and application deadlines for upcoming terms
Term Term Dates Application Deadline
Fall I 2020 August 24 – October 16, 2020 August 14, 2020
Fall II 2020 October 26 – December 18, 2020 September 26, 2020

*Application deadlines are one month before the start of studies.
For more upcoming term dates, please go to Term Schedule.


Application Checklist

All F-1 students who want to study at HELP must send:

1. Completed and Signed HELP Application Form (PDF)


2. Application Fee: $125

The application fee is a one-time, non-refundable fee.

  • International Payments – Bank wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, and more:
    • All international payments are accepted via Flywire.
    • Go to: HELP Flywire Portal and follow the steps to initiate and make payment via Flywire to University of Hawaii – Hawaii English Language Program (HELP)
  • Credit Cards (USD$) – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or JCB
  • Credit Cards (USD$) – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or JCB
    • Credit card payments can be made in-person at the HELP Front Office during business hours.
    • For credit card payment by fax or mail, complete Credit Card Authorization form (PDF) and send to HELP.
  • Checks – All checks are to be made out to the University of Hawaii
  • Money Order – To be made payable to the University of Hawaii
  • Wire Transfer – Please contact us for information.

If you have any questions about payment, please contact us. 


 3. Copy of passport

Please send a clear photocopy of your passport biographical page.


 4.  Bank Statement and Statement of Financial Responsibility (if applicable)

All international students who are to be issued a form I-20 must provide an official bank statement proving adequate funds for the amount of intended study.  Adequate funds for tuition and living are estimated to be $5000 per 8-week term. If the bank statement is not in the student’s name, the student must also submit a Statement of Financial Responsibility (PDF) signed by the account holder to guarantee financial support.


5.  Completed Health Clearance Form

The State of Hawaii requires that students meet certain health requirements before attending postsecondary educational institutions. All students must meet the following health requirements:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) Clearance
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) immunizations – 2 doses
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis (TDAP) immunization – 1 dose
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) immunizations – 2 doses

Please download our Health Clearance Form (PDF) for more details and have a doctor complete page 2.


6.  Proof of Medical Insurance

HELP students are required to have adequate health insurance for each term you are enrolled.  Insurance coverage must be equivalent to or better than UH-sponsored insurance, with the following Minimum Levels of Coverage:

  • Minimum coverage period: the entire length of your intended stay in the U.S. as a student.
  • Comprehensive medical coverage = at least $100,000 US per accident/illness
  • Inpatient/Outpatient medical (including mental health) coverage at no less than 75% usual/customary charge (UCC)
  • Repatriation coverage = at least $25,000 US
  • Medical evacuation coverage to home country = at least $50,000 US
  • No more than $500 US deductible per accident or illness
  • Waiting period for pre-existing conditions no longer than 6 months

Go to University Health Services Manoa for more details.

HELP Students also have the option of purchasing Geoblue International Student Health Insurance from our program to fulfill their Medical Insurance requirement.  It is one of the most affordable plans for international students and is highly recommended.  The cost as of August 1, 2019 is $160 per month or $320 for two months (1 HELP 8-week term). If you would like to enroll in this plan, please contact the HELP Office for a registration form.


7.  Full payment of tuition and fees

Upon acceptance, you will receive an invoice for tuition & fees.

 *#5-7 are not required for the initial application process, but are due before orientation day.  Please see Tuition & Fees for tuition due dates.


8.  Verification of Enrollment form
(*Only for students transferring from another U.S. School)

Please submit the Verification of Enrollment Form (PDF) to the school you are currently attending.  Please also send us a copy of your current F-1 student visa and I-20 with your application.


9.  Please send all application materials to:
 Hawaii English Language Program (HELP)
1395 Lower Campus Road, MC 13-1
Honolulu, HI 96822


We also accept applications by email.  If you would like to send your application electronically, please send your scanned documents to . For any payments by credit card authorization, please send the credit card authorization form by mail or fax (808-956-5100) only.

Upon receipt of your completed application, you will receive an email from us once your I-20 is processed. After receiving the email, you should receive your I-20 within 2-3 weeks. 


Receiving your I-20

We will mail your I-20 via US Postal Service Airmail to the address indicated on your application at no charge.  Regular USPS airmail generally takes 2-3 weeks to reach its destination.  A tracking number is NOT provided for USPS Airmail.

For students who would like more secure delivery, we also offer DHL Express Mail delivery services for a charge of $45*. Express Mail takes 5-7 business days and a tracking number will be provided.  If you would like us to mail out your I-20 through Express Mail, please indicate it on your application and/or send us a request by email as well as payment for the service. We recommend Express Mail to applicants applying close to or after our application deadline.
*Additional costs may apply for delivery to rural areas. We will contact you regarding the additional costs before sending your package if your address is considered a rural area.


After receiving your I-20

Upon receipt of your I-20, you will need to pay the $350 SEVIS (immigration database) fee online at  Then you will need to make an appointment at the American Embassy/Consulate for a Student Visa interview.  Go to Visa Information for more information on applying for an F-1 visa and tips for the interview.


Prior to Leaving Home

Check the following to see if you have the most essential things ready for traveling.

  • Admission letter from HELP and I-20 form.
  • Valid passport, valid student visa, proof of SEVIS fee payment (I-901 form).
  • Reservation for flight to Honolulu.
  • Recommended arrival is at least 1–2 days prior to the start of classes.
  • Reservation for housing—see section below on housing.
  • Reservation for airport pick-up –included if you have reserved housing through our Accommodations Service.


Housing Information

We know that where you live is of utmost importance to ensure you enjoy your time in Hawaii at HELP. Our accommodations program will make sure that your experience is a great one. Our large selection of accommodations choices includes home stay, dormitory, apartments and hotels. Go to Housing and Accommodations page for more details on housing options.