College of Social Sciences, UH Mānoa
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo

Global Capstone

Studying abroad exposes students to different cultures, promoting a broader understanding of the world. The immersive nature of an international experience enables students to gain understanding and develop skills to successfully live and lead in a diverse and interdependent world. These experiences and skills ultimately help students be more competitive and marketable along their academic and career journeys.

In Summer 2017, Mānoa Academy began offering a summer abroad opportunity to provide a global gateway experience for students who were continuing their enrollment at UH Mānoa as first-year students. The summer experiences advance the Mānoa Academy’s effort to create transformational learning experiences that promote a passion for learning, leadership and global engagement.

Students enroll in SOCS 180/POLS 160, Introduction to International and Global Studies. This 3-credit course introduces undergraduate students to the major political, social, economic, cultural, technological and historical dimensions of globalization, with special attention paid to impacts on Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region. The course meets a General Education requirement in the Foundations – Global and Multicultural Perspectives category.

Students also participate in classes at UH Mānoa prior to traveling abroad to engage in coursework that generally includes training in language and protocols that enable them to meaningfully engage in the cultural exchange. Participating students must complete all components of the course and follow the same travel itinerary as the rest of the group to receive course credit. Although Mānoa Academy students receive priority in the application review process, all high school seniors who intend to enroll at UH Mānoa in the Fall semester following graduation are eligible to apply.

Past participants have come from a diverse array of schools, including:

  • Hālau Kū Māna, Oʻahu
  • James Campbell High School, Oʻahu
  • Kalaheo High School, Oʻahu
  • Kalani High School, Oʻahu
  • Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Oʻahu
  • Kamehameha Schools Maui
  • Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M. Kamakau, Oʻahu
  • La Pietra Hawaiʻi School for Girls, Oʻahu
  • Lahainaluna High School, Maui
  • Mid-Pacific Institute, Oʻahu
  • Mililani High School, Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi High School
  • Pacific Horizons, American Samoa
  • President Theodore Roosevelt High School, Oʻahu

This experience requires a separate application from the UH Mānoa application. All prospective participants must complete an application regardless if they are current Academy students. The application is generally available on the Mānoa Academy website by early February.


Although the Academy does its best to minimize costs for participants, UH Mānoa tuition and fees apply to this course. Participants are also responsible for any incidental costs.

All participants must have a valid passport at the time of travel booking. A first-time adult passport is estimated to cost $135. A visa may be required depending on the location of the abroad experience.

There is no cost associated with the application for the study abroad experience.


Applications must be submitted by March 1.

If admitted, other deadlines will apply. Participants must have their passports ready by mid-April. Passport processing averages 6-8 weeks. Passports must have at least 3 months of remaining validity and blank visa pages.

Through Mānoa Academy: Beijing (2018), students delved into the theme of health and aging, and received boot-camp training in conversational Mandarin prior to departure. Students toured historic and cultural sites on Oʻahu to gain fresh perspectives on China’s connections with Hawaiʻi, and met some of Hawaiʻi’s most prominent leaders with strong ties to China. In Beijing, students explored topics of health and aging, resilience and sustainability, social systems for health and community, and globalization. Students also explored cultural and historical landmarks including the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square, and deepened their appreciation for Chinese culture through special activities including calligraphy and tai chi.

In Summer 2019, Mānoa Academy: Aotearoa challenged students to explore the following question: How do Māori and Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa live their own dynamic cultural traditions – including political, social and economic institutions – in order to thrive in the face of present ecological and political challenges? Participants prepared for their huakaʻi (journey) by learning about histories and contemporary issues related to the central theme of sustainable, Indigenous futures. They also practiced Hawaiian cultural protocols that allowed them to respectfully enter onto Māori territory and engage with their hosts in meaningful ways. During their stay in New Zealand, students celebrated the opening of Matariki, met with local community leaders, and participated in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference, which brought together over 1,000 Indigenous Studies scholars from across the world.

For questions about the Global Capstone program, please contact:

Jaret KC Leong

Jaret KC Leong

Director of Mānoa Academy and Academic Pathways

Saunders Hall 312

(808) 956-3687