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Update: Fall 2020 Inbound & Outbound Exchange Programs

Please see updates for incoming and outgoing exchange students, respectively, below.

Fall 2020 updates for prospective INCOMING exchange and visiting students to UH Manoa:

The University of Hawai’i confirmed today that it plans to resume in-person classes on all 10 campuses, including UH Manoa, beginning August 24, 2020, as scheduled, with measures in place in case further COVID-19 outbreak requires one or more campuses to return to fully online instruction. For full details, please see the message from UH President David Lassner below:


I cannot thank all of you enough for your commitment, collaboration and strength through these difficult times. No one is personally untouched by this crisis, yet you persevere with compassion. Our UH ‘ohana has risen to the challenge as our faculty continue to teach, our students continue to learn and our support staff continue to serve both and care for our campuses.

As challenging as it is right now, we must also plan for the future. There is still great uncertainty, but plans for the State are now taking shape and we have ourselves learned much over the last two months.

So I am happy to announce today that the University of Hawaiʻi plans to resume in-person classes on all 10 campuses beginning August 24, 2020, as scheduled.

We all realize that the fall will absolutely not be a return to business as usual. Rather, UH will deploy a COVID19-aware safe approach to providing high-quality education throughout the state for new and returning students at this very time when they and our State need higher education more than ever.

Planning is now beginning for the necessary changes across our UH campuses to support appropriate social distancing and hygienic practices based on the guidance available. While the fall semester is being planned to ensure safe instruction on campus, we are also preparing for greater use of online resources and some classes shifting to hybrid modes with a mix of on-campus and online instruction.

Plans for safe in-person instruction will include review of and any necessary physical reconfiguration of classrooms, labs, common areas and workspaces to support safe distances between people. Provisions and instructions will be provided to enable regular hand cleansing and hygiene. And UH will support protocols for testing, contact tracing and quarantine as needed, in collaboration with public health officials.

Student residence hall capacity will be available at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo for those students who need a place to live. Isolation and social distancing measures will be prepared consistent with applicable public health guidance.

UH also recognizes the uncertainty around local and global conditions in the fall. While planning for modified on-campus education, we will also thoroughly prepare for the possibility of a significant COVID-19 outbreak that may require one or more of our campuses to return to fully online instruction. These plans for high-quality online instruction will be informed by the experience and lessons learned from the abrupt transition to online instruction in spring 2020 experienced at UH and throughout the country.

The State of Hawaiʻi cannot thrive without its great public higher education system serving students and communities across our islands. Now, more than ever, the people of Hawaiʻi need the opportunity to affordably engage in higher education to advance their careers and their lives.

Thank you once again for your hard work, your patience, your resilience and your compassion for one another.

E mālama pono,
David Lassner
UH President

For more information, please go to UHNews.

It remains important to note, however, that U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide have yet to resume their regular visa services. Unfortunately, until these services resume, it may not be possible for students to apply for their visa to study in the United States. That being said, will continue to process applications for Fall 2020 exchange and visiting students until further notice and will send acceptance letters and immigration documents (DS-2019 documents for J-1 students; I-20 documents for F-1 students) as soon as they are ready. As soon as we hear any updates from our U.S. embassies and consulates, we will share this information with you. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Fall 2020 updates for prospective OUTGOING exchange students from UH Manoa:

As of today, the University of Hawaii at Manoa is still planning for Fall 2020 outbound exchange programs to run as planned. Thus, our office will continue to process applications for Fall 2020 programs until further notice. However, some of our programs have been impacted by partner universities cancelling their Fall 2020 exchange programs whereas other programs are being impacted by visa restrictions.

Many of you have expressed serious concerns and are wondering if you should still go abroad for the Fall semester given the current state of the coronavirus pandemic. Rest assured that UH Manoa is reviewing and monitoring the situation closely and will let you know of any changes. Still, if you feel strongly that you do not wish to go abroad for the Fall 2020 semester, or want to get ahead of the situation, you are welcome to defer your nomination to Spring 2021 or later. For more details about deferring your application, please contact us at  Please note that by deferring your application, you will be effectively withdrawing from the Fall 2020 exchange program.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates to all students and partners the moment we are provided with further information. Please stay safe and do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your Fall 2020 exchange.

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