Hawaiian Youths Abroad Program

Between 1880 and 1892, during King David Kalākaua’s reign, 18 Hawaiians participated in the “Hawaiian Youths Abroad” program in six different countries around the world: Italy, Scotland, England, China, Japan, and the United States.

“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.”

Joseph Nawahī, April 1891

The 17 men and 1 woman were personally selected by King Kalākaua himself “to become future leaders” of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Hawaiian youth studied engineering, medicine, art, music, military science and foreign languages for the purpose of bringing skills back to the service of their country.

After a 126 year hiatus, Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) restarted a version of the “Hawaiian Youths Abroad” program in Summer 2018. With plans for study tours in future years, the program retraced the path of our ancestors abroad to engage students in international educational experiences and training around the world in service to our lāhui and ea.

The program was a very intensive summer institute with strict requirements for participation and engagement with assignments and research kuleana. As such, this program is treated as an NHSS Program leadership capstone project, with priority given to past NHSS cohort students who have established a track record of commitment to NHSS program requirements.

Q. How can I participate?

We currently have no plans for the next round of Hawaiian Youths Abroad. Students who would like to participate contact program lead, Nalani Balutski.

Priority Considerations

  • Undergraduate UH Mānoa students that have at least one more semester before graduating
  • Past and current NHSS program students that have participated in one or more NHSS cohort programs (Summer Bridge, Institutes, ʻŌiwi Undergraduate Mentorship Program, Internship Program, etc.) and show promise for advancing into this leadership program.
  • Students interested in advanced graduate school and research engagement at UH Mānoa
  • Demonstrated record of interest and engagement with Hawaiian education and/or research, and student able to articulate the connection between their own research interest and the focus of this Hawaiian Youths Abroad program

For more information, contact program lead, Nalani Balutski.

This year, Summer 2018, we partnered with a faculty member from the College of Education, Dr. Eōmailani Kukahiko (Curriculum Studies) to offer a 9-credit summer institute focused on Hawaiian Kingdom aliʻi huakaʻi and diplomatic relationships in Europe. The institute also includes a separate Faculty Sponsored Study Tour with separate fees and costs that are listed below.

ITE 403B Seminar in Educational Inquiry: Service Learning (3 credits). WI (Writing Intensive) Designation
Instructor: Dr. Eōmailani Kukahiko

EDEA 460E Topics in Emergent Paradigms of Leadership (3 credits). E (Ethics) Designation
Instructor: Nalani Balutski

ES 410 Race, Class & the Law (3 credits). H (Hawaiian, Asian & Pacific Issues) Designation
Instructor: Dr. Willy Kauai


The 9-credit Hawaiian Kingdom Europe Aliʻi Huakaʻi and Diplomatic Relationships Summer Institute includes a Faculty Sponsored Study Tour to London and Paris (final schedule/itinerary below).

The program and class starts on June 18, 2018 in Honolulu and ends on July 24, 2018 in London. The tentative travel dates are: July 11 – 24, 2018. Students are expected to be at UH Mānoa on August 8 – 10 for a re-entry meeting and pāʻina/hōʻike, but the class formally ends on July 24. Thus, students can extend their trip after July 24.


June 18: Program Orientation

June 25: First Day of Class (daily for 4 hours)

June 26: Visit to Ānuenue

June 28: Visit to Hālau Kū Māna

July 2: Visit to Bishop Museum Archives w/ Karla Heath & Desoto Brown

July 3: Visit to Hawaiʻi State Archives

July 6: Pre-Departure Meeting with UH Mānoa Study Abroad

July 9: Student Presentations

July 11: Departure to Europe

July 13: Arrival in Paris, Visit to Eiffel Tower & Le Meurice

July 14: Louvre

July 15: Versailles

July 16: Train to London

July 17: Class @ University of Roehampton

July 18: Royal Archives @ Windsor Castle

July 19: British National Archives

July 20: British Museum Storehouse with Dr. Julie Adams

July 21: Matthew Makalua grave @ Hastings

July 22: Class @ University of Roehampton

July 23: British Library

July 24: Depart Home

August 6: Hōʻike Prep Day

August 7: Hōʻike: “Food & Fond Memories” & Research Presentation

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 traveled to London, England then to Turin and Naples, Italy.

The program involved two 3-credit courses (6 credits total) and a 2 week Faculty Sponsored Study Tour.

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

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

Program Itinerary

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