Intern in Hawai'i

Intern "abroad" in the beautiful and diverse archipelago of Hawaii! Experience the unique Hawaiian culture, explore the amazing natural environment, and gain exceptional experience through a customized internship.

Unique programs - The Intern in Hawaii program is designed for college-aged students and recent graduates who want exposure to a new culture (albeit in the U.S.) and allow them to gain exceptional practical experience while also exploring the amazing Hawaiian islands. CISabroad has been running programs in Hawaii for U.S. students for about a decade, so we know the islands from volcano crater to seafloor!

Exceptional support - With an internship in Hawaii, you will be assisted and supported by our mainland-based staff before you leave for Hawaii and then taken care of the moment you step off the plane by our Hawaii-based staff. We'll make sure all your ducks are in a row before you go, then ensure you have the time of your life while you're there, while also leaving breathing room for you to grow and experience things on your own.

Commitment to the environment - We understand your traveling to Hawaii may initially have a negative impact on the environment, but we'll offset that through our environmental partnerships. You can also do your part with our help to make up for more than your own carbon footprint: we'll provide you with a Green Travel Guide and tips for being eco-friendly as well as volunteer opportunities for while you're in Hawaii. Beach clean-up projects don't seem like such a terrible way to spend an afternoon while giving back... 

The Intern in Hawaii program is designed for college students and young professionals hoping to gain exceptional work experience, get a glimpse into a unique culture of the U.S., and live in paradise. Hawaii’s location as the most isolated island in the world has resulted in a unique culture comprised of traditions from numerous ethnic groups (Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Korean, etc). In addition, the Hawaiian Islands are as diverse as their inhabitants, ranging from urban areas to sprawling lava fields, impressive peaks, and some of the best beaches and marine habitats in the world. 

Orientation is held in Honolulu, where most interns will complete their internships, but some will live on other parts of Oahu. On your own time, you will have the opportunity to explore all the islands have to offer, such as hiking to Manoa Falls, exploring the Diamond Head Crater, or visiting Waimea Bay. 

Great location - You really can't go wrong in Hawaii. Beautiful beaches, great waves, hikeable mountains as well as people from all over the world. You can expect a great opportunity to meet the locals and find plenty of social and adventure activities.

Wide variety of placements available - Want to teach in a classroom? Interested in rehabilitating both domestic and wild animals? Looking for experience in cultivation and nursery care of Hawaii’s unique and exotic plants in a botanical garden?  Take your pick and build your resume while in Hawaii!

360° Networking Toolkit - You will receive business cards, resume/interview coaching, and an internship completion certificate. You’ll also gain access to a seminar series on topics such as developing and maximizing a LinkedIn account, interview expectations, adding the experience to your resume, and more! Jump-start your career with the CISabroad global network!

If you've always wanted to work or volunteer in Hawaii or just gain experience in the profession of your dreams, check out all the Intern in Hawaii program has to offer. While the internship program allows participants to be rather independent, we want you to get the most out of your time in the islands so before interning in Hawaii, you'll get an orientation to the islands and the culture. The following are some highlights of the program:

  • Welcome orientation
  • Engage in socially and environmentally conscious internships
  • Opportunity to advocate for the environment and local community while immersed in an unfamiliar culture and landscape
  • Cultural Activities
  • Work throughout the year on an 8, or 12 week internship!
  • High level placements where you can get real hands on experience and improve your resume
  • Many exploration opportunities, including snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, hiking Manoa Falls, and visiting ancient Hawaiian fishponds 
  • Placements available in different locations around the island
  • Strong onsite support with orientation and many cultural activities included throughout the program
  • Housing for most internships in Waikiki, a short walk to the beach
  • Rural and urban placements available


There will be an orientation during the first 2 days onsite that will help get you ready to maximize your time onsite. This includes cultural information, health and safety, and fun activities too. 

As the program begins, there will be other excursion opportunities as well. Examples of past day trips include: visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center, rainforest hikes, reef snorkeling, surfing, fishing, boating, and etrying local food. 

Intern in Hawaii is a great program for students looking to really give back to the local community where you can participate in numerous socially and environmentally conscious internships in Hawaii.  

Internships are available in the following fields*:

  • Education
  • Community Development
  • NGO Management
  • Marine Bio
  • Conservation

Don't see your field? Contact an advisor and we'll be happy to help find the best internship for you!

*Placements in the fields above are not guaranteed due to the changing needs of the local businesses/organizations and applicant qualifications. We always try to make the best match for you!

You may be able to receive undergraduate academic credit for your internship through CISabroad’s partnership with Plymouth State University or through your school. 

Option 1: Credit through CISabroad
Through our partnership with Plymouth State University, you can earn between 3-12 credits in the fields listed below. Note: the field is listed, the Plymouth State University course number that will appear on your transcript, as well as the range of credits available. Contact an advisor to see if the the following fields are available in your study abroad location. 

Course Name/
Credits Applicable Fields for Transfer Credit
Art History AH 4880 3-6 Museum Studies, Curation
Anthropology AN4610 3-12  
Business  BU 4600 3-12  Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Finance, International 
Communications and Media Studies
CM 3950 3-6  Advertising, Communication, Film and Television, Journalism, Public Relations.

students must have taken "Intro to Media and Cultural Studies" and "Intro to Communication"
Criminal Justice CJ 4580 3-6  Criminology, Law, Political Science
Dance DN 4410 3-12      
English  EN 4950 3-12 English and Literature 
only offered as pass/fail. 
Environmental Planning  EPL 3960 3-6  Environmental Science and Sustainable Development
Geography GE 3960 3-6
Graphic Design
AG 4900 3-6  only offered to students with senior status (students must have completed the equivalent of 90 credits).
History HI 4000 3-6       
Music  MU 4410 3-12      
Philosophy  HI 4000     
Political Science PO 4010 3-12  
Social Sciences SO 3910 3-6 Psychology, Political Science.
Sociology SO 4601 3-12  
Theater  TH 4410 3-12      
Tourism Management  TMP 4000 3-12  Eco-tourism, Hospitality, Tourism, Recreational Management.

To receive credit from CISabroad through Plymouth State University, interns must have completed a minimum of 60 hours (approximately 2 full years) of college or university credit before going on the program and be majoring or minoring in one of the fields listed above.

GPA 2.5 

There is an $800 fee for interns who wish to receive credit from Plymouth State University. There is no price difference for 3, 6, 9, or 12 credits.

How is credit given?
Credit will be assessed and given based on the successful completion of a variety of assignments. Assignments include an essays, journals, and evaluations and will be assessed based on the grading rubric.

  • Minimum 3 page pre-departure paper based on intern’s goals for the program
  • Directed, reflective internship journal completed by intern during the program (four entries)
  • Mid-term Online Evaluation completed by intern
  • Evaluation completed by internship supervisor
  • 8-10 page reflective essay on overall learning experience

Credit is given in letter grade format (A,B,C,D,F) in a specific academic discipline. The amount of credit is awarded based on the number of hours interned: 120 hours = 3 credits, 240 hours = 6 credits, 360 hours = 9 credits, 480 hours = 12 credits. Interns will receive a transcript 6-10 weeks after the program ends stating the grade and the number of credits earned. The number of hours that can be completed depends on type of internship and location.

Plymouth State University, CISabroad’s accrediting partner, is a NEASC accredited institution with over 20 years of experience awarding internship credit both domestically and internationally. Plymouth State University has been nationally recognized for its commitment to the environment and for innovative programs that are making an impact both regionally and globally.

Option 2: Credit through your university

Many students are able to arrange for credit through their home universities. Contact your study abroad office, academic advisor, or career services to see if this option is available at your school!

We’ve tried to make the internship application process as smooth and simple as possible to ensure a quality experience for you. Follow the steps below to a fantastic internship abroad!

Step 1: Complete the CISabroad Online Internship Application to begin the application process. After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms.

Step 2: Pay the $200 application deposit and have your pre-acceptance interview with a member of our staff. This is NOT an extra fee, but a deposit applied towards your total program fee.

Step 3: Complete all application pieces in your portal. After being introduced to your Program Coordinator, your Program Coordinator will add program-specific application pieces to your portal. (Please note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program-specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

Step 4: After all of your materials have been received at CISabroad, you will have a Skype interview with the internship coordinator based in Thailand. They will learn more about your skills,  interests, and ideal internship so they determine which placement may be the best match.

Step 5: Wait for your acceptance decision!

Step 6: Submit the $500 internship deposit. This is NOT an extra fee, but a deposit applied towards your total program fee.

Step 7: As your internship departure date approaches you will receive  confirmation of your placement, pre-departure materials, and complete an online pre-departure orientation .

Step 8: Off you go and the fun begins. You’ll be greeted at the airport by a local staff member and begin your Thailand adventure!

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? Scholarship and grants are awarded for everything from applying early to blogging about your intern abroad experience to taking photos of the fabulous scenery on a weekend excursion or volunteering with a local green organization!

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Hawaii is a dream destination for people all over the world! This unique internship opportunity lets you get all the experience and benefits of an internship abroad, while still staying in the United States. 

One of Hawaii’s main attractions is its year-round tropical climate. On your weekends, you can find yourself laying out on Hawaii’s world-famous beaches, snorkeling past colorful fish, exploring an incredibly biodiverse rainforest, hiking up active volcanoes, checking out any of Hawaii’s many diverse islands, or surfing through crystal blue waves! To help you easily get around the island, you can use the many buses, taxis, mopeds, motorcycles, bikes, car rentals, and the Hawaii Pacific Shuttle available to you.

The 1.2 million residents of Hawaii hail from all over and most are descended from Asians, Europeans, and Native Americans to create a unique melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and societies. You’ll love the laid-back and friendly atmosphere! The island of Oahu, which houses Hawaii’s capital Honolulu, is home to more than 80 percent of the state’s population. While living here, you’ll get to experience local celebrations like Whale Day, Taste of Honolulu, the Polynesian Festival, a hula competition at the Merrie Monarch Festival, the Hawaiian International Film Festival, Statehood Day, and the Coffee Festival. Your time in this paradise will seem almost too good to be true!

Housing varies slightly depending on your internship field and location. We have placements available in different locations around the Oahu island. These housing options will be in shared residences or apartment. The primary housing location is in Waikiki though, which is a student residence. Each shared room has two beds, a kitchnette and ensuite bathroom. 

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Intern in Hawaii can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for Summer Intern in Hawaii are due on April 1st (for Session 1) and May 1st (for Session 2). CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods. Program fees for the rolling Intern in Hawaii program are due 60 days BEFORE the first day of the month that your internship begins. If you have any questions about tuition deadlines, please contact an advisor at

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms, and you will have a pre-acceptance interview with an advisor from our Global Advising Center.


The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We do also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. Application deadlines can be found here.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

You do not need a passport or visa to study in Hawaii if you are a U.S. citizen.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. For the Intern in Hawaii program, the GPA requirement is 2.5.

6. What are my housing options? 

The Intern in Hawaii program offers different housing options depending on your internship placement location.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. Are the internships paid positions?

No, the internships are not paid positions, but they are an irreplaceable way to build your resume! If you are interested in receiving academic credit for your internship, you should contact your academic advisor or education abroad advisor to see if your university offers course credit for internships. 

9. What is the internship matching process?

We custom match each intern with the organization that best meets the interests, skills, and goals of the intern. To best accomplish this, all interns must go through the application process, which includes indicating their top two fields of interest. Interns will also interview with the CISabroad Program Coordinator and/or the On-Site matching team. Once the $500 internship deposit has been paid, the On-Site team will move forward to match the intern with an organization in his or her top two fields of interest.

10. What is the difference between an Intern Abroad and a Study Internship program?

The difference between an intern and a study intern with CISabroad is that a study internship allows you to take classes, earn credit, and participate in an internship in the same program! The intern program is solely focused on your professional experience and may or may not include credit.

11. Can I intern in my major?

Yes! It is possible to intern in your major. The process is highly individualized so that your placement is the best match! For the Intern in Hawaii program, check out our placement and credits page to see sample placements.

12. Why do I have to pay a $500 internship deposit?

The $500 internship deposit is an extremely important part of the matching process and is part of the program fees. It is not an extra fee. The deposit represents a commitment from you to participate in our internship program, which allows CISabroad to confidently contact organizations on your behalf in order to find the best match possible!   

Term: Summer 2017
Arrival Options May 6 | June 3 | July 1
Application Deadline January 15 | February 15 | March 15
Term: Fall 2017
Arrival Options September 2 | October 7
Application Deadline May 15 | June 15
Term: Summer 2017 Price: $5,990 - $7,990** more info
Term: Fall 2017 Price: $5,990 - $7,990** more info

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

8-week, 12-week, and 16-week options available

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  •     Internship placement and supervision
  •     Housing ( most placements in shared studio rooms)
  •     Medical and accident insurance
  •     Orientation in Honolulu
  •     Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  •     Financial aid counseling
  •     Assistance with travel arrangements
  •     Airport pickup service
  •     On-site support
  •     Digital Subscription to the New York Times

The accommodation portion of our program fee assumes self-catered, shared accommodations. Students choosing single accommodations or homestay options are subject to additional charges as described in the price breakdown.