I have questions about…
How long are exchanges?
Most MIX partner universities have semester or yearlong exchanges; some also offer summer programs. MIX Summer programs vary in length, from as short as 2 weeks to as long as 10 weeks.
Can students in any major go on MIX?
There are options for students in all academic areas. Most MIX partner universities are open to students in all majors; however, a few are restricted to certain majors (e.g., Business majors only or Dance majors only).
How do I choose a Partner University?
In your online MIX application, you will be asked to list your top five partner universities, ranked in order of preference. You will ultimately be nominated to a partner university that is a good overall fit for you, once all factors have been considered (academic interests, language skills, GPA, strength of application, space available at the partner university, the balance of inbound vs. outbound exchange students, etc.). Please be flexible about your nomination – you are not guaranteed your first choice.
What courses will I take while I’m abroad?
It depends on which partner university you attend, but usually you will take a variety of electives, language courses, and courses towards your major. Sometimes, a specific curriculum is offered for exchange students (e.g., language and culture classes for foreigners). At some partner universities, you may have to select from the courses that are taught in English. If you have adequate language skills, you may take regular university classes taught in the local language. Many partner universities open all of their courses to exchange students, while others have restrictions in certain academic areas.
Where will I live?
Most partner universities offer dormitories or other types of student housing. Some universities have a homestay option, or provide recommendations for off-campus apartments. If you have extended family members near your overseas university, you may arrange to live with them and commute to class. You are responsible for paying all your housing costs.
What’s the difference between MIX and the UHM Study Abroad Center?
Both MIX and UHMSAC provide excellent opportunities for UH Manoa students to study abroad. Courses from both MIX and UHMSAC can be used towards completing your degree, with approval from academic advisors. You are encouraged to explore both MIX and UHMSAC when considering your options for going abroad. Be sure to visit the UHMSAC website. The key differences between MIX and UHMSAC are:
What’s the difference between MIX and National Student Exchange (NSE)?
MIX is for student exchanges to universities in countries outside of the U.S.
National Student Exchange (NSE) is for student exchange to universities within the U.S. (e.g., in California, New York, Colorado). However, NSE also has a few exchange partners outside of the U.S. mainland (e.g., in Canada, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands). For more information on NSE, contact Ms. Rayna Tagalicod (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, office: QLC 406B) or visit their website.
Who runs MIX?
MIX is run by two full-time professional staff members: The Director of MIX and the Outbound Exchange Specialist who advises outbound UHM students going on exchange to our partner universities. There are also several MIX Peer Advisors Interns as well as team of student volunteers who help out at MIX. All other programs within the Office of International and Exchange Programs (OIEP) are overseen by Dr. Andy Sutton, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Programs (Dr. Sutton is also the Dean of the School for Pacific and Asian Studies). MIX is also supported by faculty from many of UHM’s Colleges, Schools, and Centers.
Do I need to speak another language? Are there classes taught in English?
At many MIX partner universities, exchange students may take classes taught in English, and do not have to have any foreign language skills to participate. At other partner universities, students are requested to have some background in the country’s language (for example, one year of Japanese) prior to participating. At a few partner universities, students take regular university courses taught in the host country’s language, and must already have advanced proficiency in that language in order to participate.
What is the GPA requirement?
The preferred GPA requirement is 3.0. However, if your GPA is at least 2.5, we will consider your application but you will have to be flexible about your placement. The higher your GPA, the more options you will have.
Can FRESHMEN go on exchange?
Students who enter UHM as freshmen can participate in MIX as early as the summer after their freshman year. To go abroad for a semester, new freshmen should complete at least two semesters at UHM and reach sophomore standing in credits before going on exchange. Juniors and seniors are welcome to go abroad on MIX, and should work with their academic advisors to incorporate courses taken abroad into their academic plans.
Can TRANSFER STUDENTS go on exchange?
Students must complete at least one semester at UH Manoa, preferably more than one, before participating in an exchange program, as many MIX partners have their own internal admission requirements that require students to have studied at UH Manoa for a certain number of semesters before they are eligible to participate in their exchange program. If you have any questions about your eligibility for a specific MIX partner university, please contact email@example.com before you apply. In your email to MIX please provide copies of transcripts from all past and/or current institutions. Please note that students can apply to MIX before completing the minimum number of semesters, however, participation in a program will depend on whether the minimum number of semesters completed at UHM has been sufficiently met.
Can GRADUATE STUDENTS go on exchange?
Graduate students are welcome to go on exchange at many, but not all, MIX partner universities. Careful academic planning is necessary for graduate students, and it is important to communicate with your faculty advisor and the MIX staff well in advance. Some MIX partner universities allow graduate exchange students to take graduate level courses taught in the host country’s language, if the student is already proficient in that language; a few offer graduate level courses taught in English.
Graduate students who go on international exchange should communicate with their faculty advisors to discuss using courses taken abroad towards degree requirements.
Can I go abroad twice?
With careful academic and financial planning, you may be able to go on exchange multiple times. It is common to go on a summer exchange, and then later go abroad again on a semester or yearlong exchange. If you want to go abroad multiple times, be sure to make a plan with your academic advisors so that you stay on track towards graduation.
Can I do back-to-back programs in two different places?
Participation in back-to-back exchanges in two different MIX locations is not recommended. In some cases, it is not possible. Many partner universities have conflicting academic calendars, and you might have trouble getting a student visa for the second location if you are already overseas. If you are interested in multiple exchanges, please meet with a MIX staff member to discuss it well in advance.
Can I go on MIX right before I graduate?
You may not participate in MIX during your last semester or summer before graduation, unless permission has been given for graduation in absentia by the appropriate college or school dean. This is due to the UHM Residency Requirement, which states that a degree candidate must be registered and in attendance during the semester (or summer session) he or she completes the requirements for his or her degree.
If you are granted an exception to the Residency Requirement by your college or school dean, you will have several factors to carefully consider:
You must take care to meet with your academic advisors to have your MIX courses pre-approved, and to ensure that you will be able to complete your remaining degree requirements from abroad. If you are not diligent in this manner, you run the risk of having to return to UHM for another semester or summer in order to complete any remaining requirements needed for graduation.
Also keep in mind that it takes time for MIX courses to transfer back to UHM. Upon completion of a semester (or summer) abroad, the partner university must first send your official transcript to MIX. Then, the courses must be manually entered into your academic record. These processes may take up to four months after the end of your term abroad. Only after your MIX courses are transferred in may your record be processed for official graduation. If you wish to be admitted to a law, medical, or graduate program directly after completing your last semester of undergraduate studies, this timeline might not be feasible for you.
Can I go on MIX after I graduate?
MIX semester and yearlong exchanges are only for current/continuing students. See Information for Returnees for ideas on how to teach, intern, or volunteer abroad after you graduate.
However, one exception is for you to go on a MIX Summer Program right after you graduate. MIX Summer Programs categorized as ‘Independent’ may be options for you. Please talk to the MIX staff to discuss before you apply.
The MIX Application
How do I apply to MIX?
The MIX application process is simple! Follow this link to access the application and guidelines: MIX Online Application.
How long does it take to complete the Online MIX application?
It should take about 20 minutes to complete the MIX Online Application.
One thing you will need to do to prepare is decide on the top 5 MIX Partner Universities that interest you. In your MIX Online Application, you will have to list those universities in order of your preference.
Can my top 5 partner universities be in different countries?
Yes! Students often choose partner universities based on their majors. For example, a business student’s first choice might be Germany, and their second choice Singapore. A TIM student might choose universities in Canada, Thailand, Fiji, Australia, and Hong Kong!
What happens after I apply to MIX?
Within a few weeks after the MIX deadline passes, you will receive an email from MIX stating your Nomination & Next Steps.
I received my nomination. What happens next?
Once you have been nominated, you have to complete the partner university’s application process for exchange students.
Each university has a different application process – some have online applications, while others require you to send documents in the mail. Some universities require letters of recommendation, while others do not. Many universities require official transcripts, ID photographs, health forms, and other paperwork.
Your Nomination & Next Steps email from MIX will contain detailed instructions of your overseas university’s application process, and the date by which you must complete it. Please follow instructions carefully, and submit your partner university application on time!
Is MIX competitive? What are my chances of getting in?
MIX aims to accommodate every eligible student who wants to go on exchange. We encourage you to apply!
Because some partner universities are impacted, you might not get nominated to the partner university listed as your first choice. However, if you are flexible, we will be able to send you abroad to a university that makes sense for you.
If your GPA is below a 2.5, you are ineligible for MIX and will have to improve your GPA before you can apply. If your GPA is above 2.5 but still below 3.0, only certain partner universities will be open to you. As such, you will have to be flexible about your nomination.
Are letters of recommendation required?
Yes. MIX requires one letter of recommendation to be submitted in addition to the MIX Online Application. An interview may also be required in some cases.
Keep in mind that after your Nomination & Next Steps, you may have to submit additional letters of recommendation with your partner university secondary application. Some overseas partner universities require letters of recommendation, while others do not.
Will I get credit for the courses I take abroad?
You will receive transfer credit (not UH credit) for the courses you take overseas on MIX. In order not to delay your graduation, you should take classes that are the equivalent of courses you need to take here at UHM (see your academic advisor to discuss using courses from abroad towards your major or minor).
To receive transfer credit for a three-credit course, be sure the course is considered a three-credit (or equivalent) course at the overseas university. (A three-credit class should meet for 45-48 class hours.). It is important that you save all of your course syllabi. You will need to submit copies of syllabi to MIX so that the UHM Office of Admissions and/or UHM faculty can confirm the appropriate course equivalencies.
Can I use MIX courses towards my major or minor?
Your academic advisor (or faculty advisor for graduate students) can approve MIX courses to count towards your major or minor requirements. Download the MIX Learning Agreement to get started.
Can I use MIX courses towards my General Education Requirements?
It is normally possible to complete your Diversification requirements abroad on MIX. Typically, you need to complete your Focus and Foundations requirements here at UHM. In some cases, it may be possible to complete some Foundations requirements abroad, although this is difficult.
How do I register for my courses?
There are two steps to registration. First, you need to register for a MIX Placeholder Course in your MyUH portal. The MIX staff will email you with a course code and CRN at registration time.
When you arrive at the overseas partner university, you will register for the courses you will take there. Some partner universities have a pre-registration process that you will complete a month or two before you go abroad.
What is a MIX Placeholder Course?
A MIX Placeholder course is what you register for in the MyUH portal so that you are a full-time, tuition-paying UHM student while you are on international exchange.
When you return from overseas, your courses will transfer in from overseas and you will see them in your MyUH Transfer Report. At that time, the MIX Placeholder Course will be removed from your transcript.
How many credits can I transfer in from MIX?
Full-time UHM tuition is the same for undergraduates taking 12-19 credits. Even though you are registered for a 12-credit MIX Placeholder Course in MyUH, you may transfer back up to 19 credits per semester from your overseas university.
Graduate students: full-time enrollment is 8-16 credits.
Can I take UHM online courses while I’m on exchange?
Yes, you may register for a UH online course credits while abroad on MIX. It is recommended that you take no more than one online UHM course per semester while you are abroad, so that you have time to focus on your classes at the partner university, and to engage in cultural and social activities outside of the classroom.
When should I start planning for international exchange?
It is never too early to start planning for international exchange! You are welcome to make an appointment to stop by QLC 206 and talk with MIX staff during our Advising Hours. We are happy to help you explore your options and answer your questions. You are also encouraged to talk to your academic advisors early on, so that a semester or year abroad can be incorporated into your academic plan. If MIX Advising Hours are not convenient for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a different appointment time.
Please refer to the FAQ for Financial Aid and Planning tab which is in our Financial Aid & Scholarships page.
Is there a Pre-Departure Orientation?
Yes – all outbound exchange students attend a MIX Pre-Departure Orientation the semester before they go abroad. At orientation, we will cover important pre-departure information to make sure everyone is on track to go abroad. After that, a panel of MIX Returnees will share their advice with you on a variety of important topics. At the end of the orientation, you will get to mingle with other students going abroad, based on geographic region.
What other pre-departure tasks are there?
There are some required Pre-Departure Forms, which you can access at Pre-Departure Information.
On that page, you will also find details about course registration, health insurance, academic planning, and financial aid.
Do I need a passport?
Yes; all students need valid passports to go on exchange. Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the end of your term abroad. Apply for or renew your passport at the Campus Center, or visit travel.state.gov/passport.
If you will be using a passport from a county other than the U.S., or if you have passports from two different countries, please consult with the MIX staff regarding your travel plans.
Do I need a visa?
Entry requirements for each country are different; students who are U.S. citizens can check on the State Department website to find out if you need a visa for your MIX country.
Country-specific visa information can also be found on each MIX Partner University overview.
Most often, if you will be on a semester or yearlong exchange, you will need to apply for either a student visa or a residence permit. Typically, students going on a summer exchange can travel with a tourist visa. However, requirements for each country are different. The most comprehensive and up to date visa information can be found at the Consulate General or Embassy website for the country where you will study.
What exactly is a visa?
A visa is an official stamp or document affixed within your passport that has been issued by a foreign government granting permission for entry into the country for a specific purpose.
Typically, you can apply for a visa at the Consulate or Embassy of the country where you will be studying. Some countries have consulates here in Honolulu, while others do not (in which case you may need to apply for your visa through the mail, or in rare cases, visit a consulate in another state such as California). To apply for a visa, you typically need to submit your valid passport, your official acceptance letter to the overseas university, plus other required forms and documents (each country has different requirements). Oftentimes, there is visa application fee. Americans traveling abroad can visit Travel.State.Gov to read more about getting a visa to another country. Citizens from other countries can look on the destination country’s consulate website to see if they need a visa.
Where can I get passport photos?
If you need passport photos for your visa or residence permit, you can get two photos for $5 at the Campus Center Ticket, Information, and ID Office.
When should I buy my plane ticket?
Start browsing airfare early, but don’t buy your ticket until you have program dates and arrival instructions from the partner university. You are responsible for arranging your own airfare, and should decide what works best for you. It may be helpful to talk with Returnees or other students going abroad to get tips about good deals.
While I'm Abroad
Where will I live while I’m abroad on MIX?
Most exchange students live in dormitories or other types of student housing. Some universities have a homestay option, or recommendations for off-campus apartments. You may be asked to fill out a housing form, or even put down a housing deposit, before your exchange program starts. Browse MIX Partner Universities to view housing options at each location.
Will there be an orientation when I arrive?
Yes; every MIX partner university holds an orientation or welcome program for international students. Orientations vary from a few hours to a few days, depending on the university.
Are there any field trips or cultural activities for exchange students?
Most MIX partner universities offer optional field trips, cultural activities, and social events for international students. Many also have buddy programs, student mentors, or language exchange partners that can help you to make friends and get involved.
When do I register for my next semester’s courses?
While you are abroad, you will need to register in MyUH for courses for your next term back at UHM. Check your MyUH portal, and don’t be late! Remember that registration times are listed in your portal in Hawaiian Standard Time.
Summer Registration: late March
Fall Registration: mid April
Spring Registration: mid-November
If you are going to be on MIX for two semesters, the MIX staff will email you another CRN for the MIX Placeholder Course prior to your second semester abroad.
After I Return
How long does it take for my courses to transfer to UHM?
It can take up to four months after the end of your program for the courses you took on exchange to transfer back to UHM. First, the partner university has to produce your official transcript, and send it to MIX. Then, MIX will attach the syllabi you provided to your transcript, and send it to Admissions. The Admissions staff will manually enter the courses you took abroad into your Transfer Report on your MyUH portal.
If you do not provide syllabi to MIX in a timely manner, the transfer process may be delayed. Please email syllabi to email@example.com before the end of your exchange to avoid delays. That way, when your transcript arrives, it can be forwarded with your syllabi immediately to Admissions.
How can I meet international students at UHM?
If you want to meet exchange students studying at UHM, please come to one of our “MIXer” events. We will be announcing these via our Facebook page and through email.
You may also want to become a MIX Volunteer in order to help with social activities for exchange students. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in becoming a MIX Volunteer!
Where can I find info for MIX Returnees?
Find lots of helpful information about academic, financial, and re-integration topics on at Returnee Information. You will also find lots of resources for ways to travel abroad after graduation to teach, intern, or volunteer.
How can I stay involved with MIX after I return?
Every summer and semester, the MIX staff recruit, train and support students for the MIX Peer Advisor Internship. These students will assist with MIX outreach projects, event coordination, peer advising, and social media tasks, dedicating 10-20 hours per week towards their Internship responsibilities. MIX Peer Advisors gain a wealth of pre-professional experience and valuable transferrable skills, and get to help other students by engaging in a variety of meaningful and rewarding projects. All interns will be paid a set hourly rate for their work.
If you are interested in applying to the MIX Peer Advisor Internship or simply volunteering for some of our outreach activities or events, please complete the MIX Volunteer & Peer Advisor Form or contact a MIX staff member to discuss.