Faculty Reflections


Marina Karides, UHM Department of Geography and Environment (Fall 2022 in Florence, Italy)

Serving as an RD was a remarkable opportunity for my new research in natural wines. While I was able to visit the natural wine venues in Florence, attend a natural wine fair outside of Parma, and visit vineyards throughout Italy, I benefited most by developing strong connections with a few winemakers and wine sellers in Florence and Venice. I also have the opportunity to visit Paris and Southern France and meet natural wine sellers. As stated above I also gained from the course and the connection with Mr. Dario Parent, who along with teaching wine marketing is a well regarded enologist in Tuscany. The ethnographic knowledge gained in Italy’s wine-making permitted the development of research in Italy, where I hope to return in Fall 2024 but it also allowed me to develop a well-grounded interview guide for actors in the natural wine industry in general. I have been able to successfully use this guide for my sabbatical research in the “winelands” of Western Cape South Africa in Spring 2023.

There is little doubt of the transformative nature of study abroad. I can certainly point to the students and my new relationships to Italy and to each other. However, the projects the students developed throughout the semester demonstrate best how real interaction with a different environment holds a potency that the internet and virtual reality will never accomplish. For example, students in GEO 325 came to understand the migration in Italy from their research but also the evidence of the crises in Italy. They were able to consider the causes and realize that conditions in Italy and the US can be similar. They also developed a comparative perspective regarding environmental concerns over water and forests. Students in the “fashion class” also gained a historical perspective of Italian fashion that was shaped in part by the flooding of Florence in the 1960s. They could see the impacts of what they were reading.

Therefore for all of us, what is transformative about studying abroad and dwelling in another place long enough, is how we come to comprehend the world at large and our own humanity.

Kathryn Hoffmann, UHM Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas (Spring 2023 in Paris, France)

Two families lived near each other and were friends, students said they were very happy with their family situations. Some of them lived in gorgeous homes in well-to-do neighborhoods, were included on family excursions, ate well, were taken on a trip to a château, to the homes of family relatives outside of Paris, had fellow students invited to their homes for dinner, etc.

It was among my favorite semesters in a teaching career now spanning 49 years. We worked around problems when they arose and students continued to learn and experience. The 41 students from around the world (including a French student from the Paris region who had never visited Paris museums before), included museums in France, England, Belgium, Spain, Austria and other countries on their trips. Some sent me photos during winter break and weekend trips to show me what they had found. Students submitted some of the most-developed and well-written experiential learning projects I have ever received. As a final note, one of the Fall 2021 students also sent me an update to his own experiential learning project from 2021; although he had received an A+, he was still expanding it nearly 2 years later!

George Wang, UHM School of Cinematic Arts (Summer 2023 in Paris, France)

Professionally this program broadened the scope of my knowledge of French cinema and its history. In preparation for my new Fall 2023 course ACM382 Authors: French Auteurs, I visited La Cinémathèque française and several local video/bookstores for materials and resources. I brought back from Paris about 20 Blu-ray discs of classic films which are new resources for my courses. In my 2nd week teaching ACM382 French Auteurs, the first French cinema course my department ever offered, I feel very confident and was able to cite supplemental knowledge about French cinema that I learned during this Study Abroad assignment.

The courses offered at IÉSEG’s Summer Academy provided students with opportunities to study business and management courses with a global approach at one of the best business schools in France. Feedbacks from our students at the end-of-term luncheon attended by UHM students and IÉSEG staff were positive, affirming that the program met the objectives and exceeded their expectations. Many noted the exceptional quality of the faculty and course offered, as well as the new friendships and networks they established with the 200+ fellow IÉSEG students from all over the world. In a short month, participating students at the Study Abroad Paris summer program were able to learn, practice and expand their academic horizons. They obtained valuable insight and knowledge and built an international network of friends and professors, all the while discovering Paris, immersing themselves in the host country and had a wonderful time experiencing the French way of life. At the on-site luncheon which takes place the day before graduation ceremony, our students were predominantly positive and satisfied with their learning and experiential outcomes in Paris. All of them received passing grades while the majority earned A grades. In addition to the well-conceived and organized IESEG Summer Academy program and its hardworking administrative team, and the UHM SAC team’s impeccable support, the strength of this program also lies with our students who stayed well-focused on their studies while being able to fully immerse themselves in a foreign culture they were not familiar with. I believe this was a transformative experience for many of them and they will always remember their summer in Paris in 2023 thanks to the Study Abroad opportunity.

Kathryn A Hoffman, UHM LLEA- French (Fall 2021 in Paris, France)

Having no classroom for those weekends proved to be a happy accident that let me teach the way that I teach best; with the visual culture that is such an important part of my classes not shown on a screen or reproduced in a packet, but experienced in person, with me. Students often get overwhelmed in museums, seeing so many things that they end up remembering and understanding little. They had all excitedly gone to the Louvre the first week they were there on their own as a group, but did not really know what they had seen. I took them back to the museum in class, and broke it down into discrete learning sections that we did together, and that they could understand in the context of the literary reading we did. Then, as we made our way towards the exit at the end of class, I watched them actually point out more paintings they thought I would like because they fit my lessons. I watched them grasp the mood of the Opera when they were in the Opera Garnier and their mouths dropped open at the opulence (we got to see a ballet rehearsal as well). There is no possible way to describe in words or show on a slide the overwhelming size of Versailles or create the effect of a gargoyle water spout on a church or the effect of a soaring arch on the viewer. There they had questions for me about things they noticed themselves in the architecture, art and stained glass; questions they would not have had were they sitting in chairs, more passively absorbing the presentation. Being on site, and using their own eyes, inspired curiosities. 

I watched them grasp surrealism, dada, and some very unfamiliar contemporary avant-garde art when we experienced it together and they each picked out works we could talk about in the context of the readings they did before class. Experiential learning turns the table on traditional learning. While the professor organizes certain aspects of any on-site class, the experience is highly learner-centered, letting learners contribute to and orient the lessons, take their own photographs of things that interest them, share their own discoveries with each other, and profoundly structure their own experience.

Having a WhatsApp group was effective. They were good at telling me when they were traveling and they often sent me photographs as well of things they thought I would like and also often to show me they were alive and well and having experiences. They photographed themselves on the train back from Versailles at midnight after the fireworks show so I knew they made it and were together. I sent them invitations and search hints when I was out for walks inviting them to go to the garden, find what I just found, photograph it, identify it, and put it in their journal. They did. I tried to turn Paris into a world that needed to be explored and learned about every day and where there was a reward for learning. The courses taught on site this semester in Paris were one of the great joys of my career.

Brian Szuster, UHM Department of Geography and Environment (Spring 2022 in Seville, Spain)

This was my first trip to Spain as Resident Director and the professional and personal benefits of the program were very positive. I am an experienced Resident Director given my previous appointments in Florence during 2012/2013 and Annecy in 2021, and I believe that I provided good support to our students. My research on tourism continues to develop, and I was able to make a number of very interesting comparisons between the management of American and Spain tourism sites. The heavy local usage of tourism sites in Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic was interesting, and I am now investigating opportunities to conduct a comparative study of crowding in French, Spanish, and American tourism and recreation areas. In general, it was a pleasure to make new friends with staff at ICS during my short stay as Resident Director and I’m looking forward to returning to Spain to conduct research.

Eve Millett, Manoa Advising Center (Summer 2022 in Angers, France)

Being the Resident Director provided me with an immense amount of professional and personal benefits. I wanted this role so that I could support students wanting to study abroad but also to see how the study abroad experience would influence students’ future plans at UH Manoa and post-graduation plans. In working with exploratory students, they often do not study abroad because they are so focused on trying to choose their major that they miss out on this experience. With the interaction I had with my students I saw first-hand how their study abroad experience was beginning to shape their plans once they return and after they graduate from UH Manoa. I hope this will be just the first of many times that I serve as a Resident Director for UH Manoa.

In speaking with my study abroad students once they returned they said that the study abroad program was very transformative for them. One said that it was “eye opening” and made them realize they wanted to study abroad next year while hoping to learn other languages. Overall I believe all the study abroad students were transformed by their experience. It was a transformative experience for me as well.

I learned that I had another skill set where I can lead students in these types of experiences. Pleasantly, I was also reminded that my level of French language fluency would allow me to work with French people or in France. Also, getting to work with these students was transformative, because I was able to create a little support group of these students that has continued as we have returned to campus. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and I hope to serve as a Resident Director again.

Scott Schimmel, UHM Department of Communications (Fall 2020 in Florence, Italy)

Spending 2 semesters working in Italy sounds like a dream come true. Of course, that is if you didn’t do so during a pandemic. I have never been a person to shy away from challenging situations since I find them opportunities for great personal growth. I jumped at the chance to serve as a resident director and am happy to say that it was an amazing experience of learning and productivity.

As a filmmaker many of my projects explore the lives of others and I have avoided opening myself up through a personal story. Given the restriction of movement during much of my time in Florence I was left with no other option but to turn the camera to myself. The result of this is an experiment in VR360 video titles Shadows in a City that Once Was. Through a series of photographs presented in a 360 degree virtual space combined with spoken word prose the film explores observations of Florence, a city I spent several years of my youth in, over many years of change. I am currently composing music for the film and have received very positive feedback from those that have seen it so far. This project really pushed me out of my comfort zone and is possibly the most creative film I have made. One of the greatest benefits of serving as a resident director was the opportunity to take classes at our partner institution. Among the classes that I took was a web design class during the spring semester. There I learned how to design websites with code and how to make them responsive to different devices. Learning this new skill has been extremely helpful since I am currently working on a collaborative project with a colleague in Art that exposes the experience of walking. We are presenting this project as a website and have struggled for a few years to make it work since we were relying on site builder options such as Wix that do not give you full control over the site design. Over the summer I was able to take what I learned and put together a solid prototype site and we now expect to have the project ready for public display and award consideration by the end of the year.

A few of the other benefits of being in Italy were reconnecting with old friends, polishing my out of practice Italian skills and strengthening my ability to persevere during challenging situations. My classes here at UH are restricted to majors so while there were some challenges, I was able to get most of them interested in the topics I was teaching.

The best strength of our partner institution is the attentiveness paid to students. Most faculty and staff at LdM were very supportive and wanted to see students succeed

Martha Crosby, UHM Department of Information & Computer Science (Spring 2021 in London, England)

LdM provided guidelines to assist faculty to operate within the UHM expectations in an overseas setting. I arrived in Florence a week prior to the arrival of the UHM study abroad students. My phone did not work at the airport but the kind people at the information desk let me call Patricia who was expecting me and told me where to find the taxis. She was at the apartment to meet me and give me a brief orientation. The apartment surpassed all expectations. It was close to the Arno River, many high-end shops and most importantly, the building where I held my classes. After catching up on the much-needed sleep from the long flight and adjusting to the 12-hour time difference, I began making my way around Florence with a map and mostly through trial and error. My apartment was very roomy and accommodated my groups of visitors. Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) is distributed through the old city and all the buildings are within walking distance. The semester passed quickly and my stay in Florence exceeded my expectations. Since faculty and staff were on site, I did not encounter any problems that were not quickly resolved.

Phoebe White, UHM Department of Architecture (Summer 2021 in Florence, Italy)

Due to COVID-19, students stayed in LdM provided apartments. The students commented extensively on how nicely furnished and spacious the apartments were, especially to many of the living conditions in Hawai’i. Many students had also never lived in walkable cities before, where groceries could be purchased on the walks to and from classes. Students took advantage of cooking many meals together and taking nightly strolls, which was an invaluable part of the program. 

Despite some COVID limitations, I organized excursions to the Villa de Medici in Fiesole, a Tuscan dinner at an excellent local restaurant, and other city-based walking experiences.

Judith M Wong, UHM Shidler College of Business (Fall 2019 in Florence, Italy)

I was very impressed with the organization and coordination of LDM. The insistence of having standardized syllabi including course objectives, academic requirements, learning objectives, rules of attendance and schedule makes it easy for students to understand what to expect for their class experience. The school is very strict in their attendance policy, which is laudatory for the study abroad setting where students are tempted to skip class for travel experiences. Their counseling staff is excellent. They keep very close watch on the academic performance of students and are quick to intervene before it is too late to change the outcome. They were accessible for me and for the students.

I believe that a prime purpose of my classes was to make students more culturally aware and I believe that we succeeded at that. Students were enthusiastic about learning in my class and actively participated in all class components. I believe I bonded well with the students and that they were able to talk openly with me.

My primary personal goal for this experience was to learn Italian. I had been on a self-study course for a year before going to Florence and happily was successful in my goal. I personally believe that studying and understanding the language of a people contributes heavily to understanding their history, philosophy, and culture. I am enriched by learning the language. I was also able to continue my study of art and architecture in the heart of the Renaissance. This was personally enriching. One of the classes I took, Palaces of Florence, also immersed me in the political and art history of Florence. This was more than expected for an introductory class and I am very glad to be introduced to the area.

Overall, this is the best organized and best run program I have had experience with. It is academically strenuous, well administered and broad enough to have something for almost any major that is interested in going. The staff, the organization, the UH team that support the program are all wonderful.

Kathy Ferguson, UHM Department of Political Science (Spring 2020 in London, England)

In addition to teaching two classes, I saw my role as helping students to understand both the demands of the British education system and the outlines of British politics and society. We talked a lot in class about how the American presidential system compares to the British parliamentary system, how the American and British systems of class and race and immigration compare, and how British imperial history affects contemporary politics and society. I also made a point of reading well-known British authors in both my classes, so that students had a bit of grounding that might carry over to other classes.

I was able to spend several weeks working at the Queen Mary University library and the British Library. Their archives contain manuscripts and out-of-print publications that I need for my research and cannot find anywhere else. I also attended an exhibition called “Lightboxes and Lettering” at the Bow Arts’ Nunnery Gallery on the history of letterpress printing in the East End of London. Their material is proving to be very helpful to the book I am writing on the role of printers in the anarchist movement. The curators of this exhibit generously shared several audio interviews they conducted with local printers, and this is a unique and rich source of data for me. I also joined the New Anarchist Research Group and presented my preliminary work at one of their monthly meetings. I had made plans to attend events with the Bristol Radical History Group and to take a two day workshop on letterpress printing with The Print Project in Shipley, UK. But those events were canceled due to the coronavirus. However, the contacts I have made have continued to be useful to me. I believe that I can finish my book this year.

Benito Quintana, UHM Department of Spanish (Spring 2020 in Seville, Spain)

As a resident director and teacher, my role in facilitating and meeting the goals of the program and the student’s learning outcomes consisted primarily of teaching two sections of upper division courses to UH Manoa students as well as other students attending ICS, serving as liaison between UH Manoa students, ICS, and study abroad center, providing support to cultural visits leaders, as well as other ancillary responsibilities and tasks.

Many aspects of these roles began well in advance and prior to the beginning of the program while still in Honolulu, as well as in Seville before the students arrived. Given the excellent organization of the study abroad center and ICS, many of the details and logistic components of the program were expertly handled allowing me to focus on more pressing issues, if they were to surface. 

There is no doubt that the study abroad program in Seville possesses many strengths and provides UH Manoa students and faculty with a great educational and life experience. The support personnel of UH Manoa and ICS in Seville provided invaluable assistance which allowed me to focus more fully on teaching and research tasks.

Overall this program is a highly recommended academic option that UH Manoa factory and students should participate in. The level of enrichment obtained during the time abroad is unparalleled and it is this kind of opportunity that can make UH Manoa a choice destination for students and faculty across the US and the world.

Jing Wu, UHM EALL- Chinese (Fall 2018 Shanghai, China)

I have not lived in Shanghai for almost a decade and although I came to visit my parents during summers for a week or so in the past few years. This time I have had enough time to revive my memory and update my knowledge about the city by walking around almost the entire city with our students and going through some daily routines or day-to-day business with most of them. Now, I can happily admit that I am a local expert! I know most of the city’s scenic spots, which bank is better for short-term study abroad students to set up a local bank account, where to find an authentic local dining place, etc. The “1st Week Survival Guides and Tips,” created by both students and I, with up-to-dated topics and information ranging from Airport Transportation, Accommodation and Fees, Placement Test, Registration, Banking and Payment Methods, Getting a Shanghai Cell Phone Number, Internet and WiFi connections, Nearby Convenience Stores and Supermarkets, to Recommended Restaurants/ Cafes Around Campus, hopefully, will be beneficial to any future study abroad students in Shanghai.

David W. Beilman, UHM Geography & Environment (Spring 2019 in London, England)

For myself as Resident Director, there were many positive aspects of my instructional experience. As mentioned previously, the library was great, and became our home for some classes and breakout group discussions. The Roehampton Abroad staff were friendly and helpful, and Rhys Bearder and Liz Davies are an enthusiastic pair that genuinely care about the students’ experience, and work hard to make it a good one. They were always quick with their best advice for students, from course issues to personal health issues, and provided thoughtful planning for many of our outings (combining a tour of Parliament with afternoon tea followed by a night of theater – brilliant!). They could be a bit hard to find in person at times owing to URs hot-desking and their rotating presence at the desk at the Welcome Centre, but they were nearly always available promptly by Email. As Director, I feel like my planned excursions around the city were well received by the students, and our discussions and their trip reports were surprisingly personal, thoughtful, and insightful. Overall, this suggests my ‘Climate Change: London’ curriculum was successful. My students were good about keeping in touch with each other and with myself. They frequently traveled the city and the UK as a group, which happily required little to no encouragement from me. Additionally, they holidayed together in Spain for a long weekend as a complete group. They also were good about letting me know when they did any traveling, no matter how close locally or far internationally, and I did the same with them. In fact, the updates on our WhatsApp group chat continued all summer, long after they had completed the program; still going, in fact. Two final examples of my positive instructional experience are that one of my 2019 students has just been accepted to grad school at UR for Fall 2019, and another student immediately signed up for another study abroad semester upon returning to Hawaii. 

Academically, my semester was productive and rewarding. On the UR campus I made contact with faculty in Life Sciences and was able to use their microscope laboratory facilities for my Antarctic climate change project. During spring 2019 I attended three academic conferences and participated in an invited workshop. These included the European Geosciences Union (Vienna, Austria), The Association of American Geographers (Washington, DC), the International Union for Quaternary Science Congress (Dublin, Ireland), and the Carbon in Wetlands and the Earth System through Time workshop (Exeter, UK). I delivered invited talks at the University of Bristol and the University of Southampton, and collaborative trips to the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge (I will be going to the Antarctic in February 2020) and the University of Exeter. New collaborations arising from my time in London include the University of Exeter (we completed three weeks of fieldwork in Arctic Norway in August with support from the British Antarctic Survey), the University of Southampton (a field campaign in the tropical Pacific including Tahiti and the Marquesas is upcoming in Fall 2020), the France CRNS Laboratory of Ecological Functioning and environment, Toulouse (a new US-France seed money proposal was submitted in March, and we just found out the proposal has been funded, and the University of Leicester (a NERC pre-proposal has been submitted and accepted, and a full proposal is planned for submission in January 2020). The opportunity to be in London for Spring 2020 was critical for all of these new collaborations and opportunities.

Petrice R. Flowers, UHM Department of Political Science (Year 2018-2019 Kobe, Japan)

This past September, our program got off to a bit of a rough start as a serious typhoon hit the Kansai region just as our YIJ students were set to arrive in Kansai International Airport. The airport and the only bridge connecting it to the Japanese mainland were damaged resulting in a three-week closure. Many of our students were already on their way and had to be rerouted to Nagoya, Tokyo, and one even flew into Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu to the south. The last student to arrive had to travel three days from France through Dubai and one or two other stops before making it to Japan. The situation required us to completely scrap the entire schedule for the first week of the program. Everything from airport pick-ups, the welcome party, the orientation, and the placement tests were all impacted. This kind of disruption could lead to continuing problems for a program such as this, but everything was handled well and we have had a smooth program thus far. The students seemed very resilient and were comforted by the competence and welcome of the KIEC staff. The KEIC Manager insisted that a staff member meet students when they arrived. He personally went to Nagoya and Tokyo to meet groups of students arriving at those airports. If he was not available, he sent another staff member in his stead. The individual meetings with the students revealed that they all appreciated this effort and that it helped them feel safe. The students made a thank you card for the staff, which was greatly appreciated. On this and other issues, the staff has proven to be very capable.

The students are settled into their routines and all seem to be comfortable with their commutes. They are quite busy with their academics and club activities. Several students have joined taiko club and one student, a woman, has joined the club members who treat her like any other and do not “take it easy” on her during training. Overall, the group has good relations and tries to include everyone in group activities. They are engaging in a healthy mix of socializing among themselves and branching out to meet Japanese students. 

The Japan Studies courses are going well. In their individual meetings students expressed satisfaction with the variety of classes and seem content with the choices that they made. Joint seminar, Japanese History and Art of Kansai have the highest enrollments. I observed the Japan Studies course in October. All of the professors are very professional and expert in their fields; they all tried to engage the students with well-prepared lessons and encouraged student participation. I was especially impressed with Professor Swanson when observing her class. She artfully balanced lecture and discussion and the students willingly participated. In their comments, many of the students referred back to pieces of art that they had discussed in class previously so it was clear that the students were learning and accumulating a solid base of knowledge in the field. There was a nice class atmosphere and Professor Swanson validated students even in cases where she gently corrected them. On the day of the observation, Professor Horie was lecturing in the Environmental Economics course. He asked the students questions to elicit their participation and his demeanor was encouraging as his attitude conveyed the idea that the students had the answers and that their contributions were valuable. Professor Nakamura is well known for his engaging, student-centered style. Both YIJ students and Konan students take the Join Seminar. He encourages responses in both English and Japanese and asks questions to get the students to engage in conversation about concepts that might be differently understood in Japanese/ Asian and English/ Western contexts. 

There was some concern about my children attending the trip but in the end we were allowed to go. My kids were fine, of course. We participated in all events including the two-hour walking tour. They did not cry, complain, or ask to be carried. They were well behaved in the bus and the students in the room next door were shocked at how quiet they were. My kids were excited about spending time with students, especially Isadora, my 6 year old. At least 5 students told me directly that they missed having kids around and were so glad my kids were coming. Isadora (6) and Kaiya (3) ate more of the food than some students; they love Japanese food. They also spoke Japanese to the teachers. 

For many of the people in our community here in Kobe, we are the first Black people that they have gotten to know through sustained interactions. I see my children work to understand the world around them as both a part of and separate from the Japanese around them and it reinforces the importance of helping guide student development on this study abroad program. Isadora and Kaiya are also broadening the view of professors at Konan and students on the program regarding work/ life balance; a great topic of conversation in Japan. After our first overnight study tour, the two professors who ran the tour told me that Isadora and Kaiya’s presence on the trip helped create a warmth among the group. The week after the trip, a student told me, ‘you balanced being a teacher and a mom perfectly. I was like ‘wow’. It was so cool”.

We have gotten off to a good start this year and I look forward to a successful YIJ program.

Kara Miller, UHM Department of Theater & Dance (Fall 2017 in Paris, France)

My teaching and study as Resident Director enriched me as a faculty member in my research, teaching, and curriculum development. I conducted creative and scholarly projects while in Paris as well as continued to develop my curriculum including transnational influences in contemporary dance in France and across Europe for the Dance in World Cultures course. 

I was fortunate to be chosen as the Resident Director for the Paris Study Abroad program in the Fall of 2017. Paris is a gorgeous city and one of the world’s leading business and cultural centers in the arts. Dance, theater, music, media, fashion, and all the arts contribute to  Paris as one of the world’s major global arts scenes. It is the home of notable dance companies such as the Paris Opera Ballet as well as a hotbed of activity in experimentation with transnational influences of dance genres. Being in Paris afforded my classes the opportunity to see huge dance and theater performances as well as traditional and innovative practices in performance art.

My professional enrichment did not simply come about by attending many dance performances, as valuable as that was. I was also able to make significant connections with dance professionals and artists while I was there. I was subsequently invited to give guest lectures and master classes at other universities and dance studios. I presented a series of dance improvisation and choreography workshops at Poitier University in France, that resulted in a performance and return to France to a major international dance festival in the Spring 2018. I gave dance improvisation and video choreography workshops in Savonnia University in Finland and invited to return. I taught dance classes in Paris and presented Salesi, a dance film made in Hawai’i , as a featured public presentation at the Maisons des Association.

My creative and performance research incorporates yoga, dance choreography, improvisation, and dance filmmaking. Through out the semester I had a dance residency and rehearsal space the Centre de La Danse and En Cours: Site d’art contemporain in Paris that culminated in an installation and evening of performance research titled “Un Chemin de Miettes” and a dance for the camera film “Boulangerie d’Antan” at En Cours in December 2017. The performance was a video art dance installation with interactive projection design, live performance, and online media sharing with collaborators in France and Hawai’i.

I am deeply enriched by this experience as a faculty member at Manoa.

The strengths of UH Study Abroad IESEG are the location, the quality of academic rigor, and the genuine interest, enthusiasm, and openness of the Paris faculty and administrators to welcome students to study in France.

Overall the UHM Study Abroad program in Paris was a resounding success with an incredible international exchange with students and professionals. I recommend it for every faculty member at UH. If I had the opportunity for one semester of Study Abroad every year in Paris I would do it without hesitation.

Anne Misawa, UHM Academy for Creative Media (Spring 2018 in London, England)

This was a tremendous learning opportunity for me, not only as a teacher but also as a filmmaker. I’ve conducted for 13 years a program in China called SMART Exchange where I take 6 ACM UHM students to Shanghai to participate in the Shanghai Int. Film Festival, screen their officially selected films, and collaborate with Shanghai Film Academy students on creating short narrative films within a three week period, as well as a reciprocal program in fall with SHU students visiting Hawai’i, but this program in London yielded more opportunity for me to do my own personal research on topics I was interested in exploring than I can when I am in Shanghai as well as it gave me the opportunity to teach film courses to non-ACM majors, which gave me some insight. It was wonderful to be able to personally access the British Film Institute (its archives, film festivals and events, a key one with director Lynne Ramsay, a focus and influence to my creative work) and the London College of Communications (events, faculty and namely, the Stanley Kubrick Archives– a filmmaker, also a great influence and interest of research, namely on such films as 2001: The Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, the Shining, Lolita and more), as well as London’s theatre and museum options and opportunities for me to connect with faculty and people related to film etc. It all yielded an enrichment that will not only expand my personal creative work but has also allowed me access to information and materials (scanned by the institutions for me to take back for educational purposes) that will enrich the curriculum of the courses I teach at UHM. 

I think the strengths of the program is not only the foundation and support laid out by the study abroad offices in both UHM and Roehampton, but also inherent in the location of London itself and what it has to offer culturally. I quite appreciated Roehampton and the study abroad staff there. Other than small things, like good consistent internet access for the students, and the interesting challenge of a short semester to carry the curriculum of a UHM 15 week course, it was a tremendous, wonderful opportunity which I’m grateful for! Thank you!!

Linda Oshita, UHM Department of Special Education (Summer 2018 in Kobe, Japan)

On a professional level, I was more productive during my six weeks in Kobe than I had been all year at UHM. I arrived in Kobe with two projects I had intended to complete over the summer. Not only was I able to complete these projects, I also developed a new line of research– barrier free issues and disability in Japan. I researched barrier free structures, visited programs that provide access to individuals with disabilities in Japan, and met people with a focus on Japan. I would not have been able to do this as easily if it were not in Japan for the Study Abroad opportunity.

The work atmosphere also contributed to my productivity. I was provided with a spacious work area in the corner of the KIEC. The KEIC wifi signal was strong and I was able to research, check emails, download articles and easily do other tasks related to my research and writing. I was also able to work uninterrupted for long stretches of time in a very pleasant office environment while still having ample time to meet with KIEC staff, students, hold daily office hours, and attend lectures and other campus-based cultural activities with the students. In short, the RD position is a blend of the best aspects of faculty positions – student advising, research, writing, collaborating, and administrative tasks in small doses. 

Personal Benefits

The opportunity to live and work in Kobe this summer benefitted me tremendously on a personal level. I was very grateful that my family was allowed to join me for this summer program. My children, ages 13 and 15, were able to experience living abroad for the first time and this experience is one they are not likely to forget. Given that they were on summer break from their schools in Honolulu, I did not have to worry about finding an international school for them to attend while in Kobe. The summer program is ideal for faculty with school-aged children who want to experience living abroad but are concerned about interrupting their children’s schooling.

Robert Cooney, UHM Department of Public Health Sciences (Summer 2017 in Dublin, Ireland)

The Resident Director experience: something every faculty member should pursue!

I had been asked many times to embark on a study abroad experience as a resident director and there always seemed to be too many things going on in my life to commit to the time of being away for so long.  Finally, the lure of visiting my ancestral roots in Ireland while helping to build an opportunity for Public Health undergrads led me to overcome my initial reluctance.  The rewards were so great that now I wonder why I waited so long!   The best part of the experience was the close interaction with students that I accompanied, both in Public Health and Nursing.  Getting to know students outside of class is both amazing as well as enlightening for both sides.  The diversity of student interests and talents was incredible.  One of our students was a gourmet cook, while another excelled as an artist.  All had amazing stories to share and I think they found our shared experiences amusing on occasion as well.  The ability to learn about student interests outside of class and provide input to them was invaluable.  In addition, the interaction between our nursing students and public health students was gratifying as each discovered how the different disciplines have their own unique approaches to the issues of health care.  Over the four week period the growth in student maturity and self confidence was readily apparent and gratifying to observe.  Interestingly I noticed a remarkable decrease in anxiety levels of all the students after study abroad and I do believe their ability to cope with future uncertainty has been greatly enhanced by their experiences.   Knowing that you can travel half way around the world through strange airports and adapt to a new environment and have a good time is extremely empowering.

Image of University of Hawaii at Manoa Summer in Dublin, Ireland, students enjoying lunch on the UCD campus between classes.

UH students enjoying lunch on the UCD campus between classes.

One of the most important lessons that I came away with from my experience was how we have failed to communicate and transmit a larger world view to students.  Too often we teach our focused classes in a vacuum and do not help students integrate the specialized knowledge they receive in school into either a larger world view or to assist them in putting together a life plan that incorporates their talents, desires, and experiences.  The study abroad experience helps accomplish this in two ways.  First, the extended time spent with peers and the resident advisor in a semi-monastic setting of a dorm provides a fertile environment for discussion and exploration of ideas.  Second, the experience provided by study abroad opens students (and RD’s) minds to issues and conditions that are new and thought-provoking.  For example, we all learned that in Ireland sporting events, such as the Gaelic games, incorporate cultural values that are deeply embedded in Irish tradition and were instrumental in liberating Ireland from English oppression and restoring a sense of self-worth in Irish society.  Unlike American sports that are corrupted by money with little team loyalty, Irish sporting events such as Gaelic football and hurling are club-based and athletes proudly represent their communities and play for a higher social goal.  The return of Gaelic games after being banned by the English has led to the restoration of language and traditional culture in Ireland after centuries of their suppression by English overlords.

The history I learned about Ireland during my stay was incredible.  The Irish take great pride in their history and as I gradually integrated a picture of Irish history, I found it to be reinforced through my interactions and discussions with men and women from all walks of life.  I came away with an appreciation for 10,000 years of history that I could never have gained from reading history books alone.  Seeing some of the castles that my Norman ancestors had built and learning the stories of my Irish ancestors brought the history alive for me.  All in all, it was an amazing experience for me and from what I heard from the students, for them as well.

Image of Prof. Robert Cooney of the University of Hawaii Manoa Office of Public Health Studies, Summer in Dublin, Ireland, faculty resident director, posing in front of Trim Castle, built by his 26th great-grandfather Hugh De Lacy around 1200 AD and used for the filming of the movie “Braveheart”.

Exploring Trim Castle, built by my 26th Great Grandfather Hugh De Lacy around 1200 AD and used for the filming of the movie “Braveheart”.

Mark Branner, UHM Department of Theatre & Dance (Fall 2013 in London, England) 

Image of Prof. Mark Branner, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Theatre and Dance, faculty resident director of the semester in London, England program, and his three children exploring Kensington Palace.

Branner and his three children exploring Kensington Palace.

Mark Branner brought his whole family (with three kids under the age of 10) with him to London where he served as the faculty Resident Director in the Fall 2013 semester, and advocates other faculty members should too. Click here to read about his experience.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC) offers summer, semester, and year-long programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Pacific, and South America. During the 2012-2013 academic year, 293 students studied abroad and enrolled in 360 courses.  Twenty-eight of these courses were taught by eight UHM faculty members in semester/year-long programs and eight faculty in summer programs. A total of  20 instructional faculty taught and/or conducted research abroad through the UHM Study Abroad Center.

Judith Kellogg, UHM Department of English (Spring 2013 in Florence, Italy) 

Image of Prof. Judith Kellogg, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of English, faculty resident director of the semester in Florence, Italy program, and the Spring 2013 students

Prof. Kellogg and the Spring 2013 group

The program is not just transforming for students, but for faculty as well. As a medieval scholar with a strong interest in the Renaissance, the benefits of having been in Florence are immeasurable. The most immediate benefit will be to my teaching. Context is so important to the study of literature, and I have been able to assemble a wealth of visual materials, particularly focused on medieval art, Dante, and the markers of the transformation of perception from medieval to Renaissance. And since one of my research interests involves the relationship between texts and images, this will feed into my research as well. Exploring Florentine culture and artifacts has contributed profoundly to an understanding of the transition from medieval to Renaissance thought, and the different ways of interfacing metaphysically with lived experience within these two periods. This material will be immediately incorporated into my Fall classes at UH.

During my stay I also had productive interaction with several academics that I met through LdM. Lucia Soldi teaches the LdM course on “Text and Image,” and we had a number of good discussions about theory and specific works. In addition, at my public lecture on “The Legacy of Eve” I met Dr. Eva de Clercq, who has just published The Seduction of the Female Body: Women’s Rights in Need of a New Body Politic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Her work relates to my own on medieval women writers. In fact, we wished that I were around longer so that we could do a collaborative series of lectures, where I would lay the cultural foundation for Western attitudes towards the female body, and she would follow up with her vision of where we go from there. I am confident that we will continue our interaction.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC) offers summer, semester, and year-long programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Pacific, and South America. During the 2010-2011 academic year, 355 students studied abroad.

Tom Brislin, UHM Academy for Creative Media (Summer 2011 in Annecy, France)

My experience as resident director was very satisfactory. I conducted a weekly meeting with the UHM group, and was on campus at least three days a week to facilitate individual meetings. Since those taking a morning class were pau by 12:30, and those taking an afternoon class began at 1:30, I made sure I was in a central area during that hour to catch them coming or going. Discussions in our weekly meetings covered their unique experiences as well as antidotes to culture shock. They were able to share experiences that were helpful to each other, including inexpensive places to eat, drink, shop, and have fun.

Annecy was a good location for professional development. It has instituted one of the world’s top rated annual animated film festival (earlier in June), and its art conservatory focused on historic, contemporary, and interactive animation. Because of the festival, several digital animation and effects companies have located in the Annecy region. In nearby Lyon, the Lumiere Institute is a premier museum and library for the study of film. It hosts the Lyon Film Festival, as well as a summer screening series. I was able to visit the library, study early camera and projection devices, and screen tribute films to the Lumiere brothers made my contemporary international directors. I was also able to attend a screening of their classic film series focusing on Cinemascope productions.

Glenn Man, UHM Department of English (Spring 2011 in Paris, France) 

Image of Professor Glenn Man, University of Hawaii at Manoa department of English, faculty resident director of the semester in Paris, France program, being celebrated by the students.

Three cheers for Prof Man!

My professional benefits derived from teaching the French Cinema course and being able to do research on the European multi-narrative film at three venues—the bibliotheque of the Cinémathéque Française in Paris, the British Film Institute Archives and Library in London, and the archives and library of the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. In addition, I was able to broaden and deepen my film repertoire through retrospective cinema programs at the Cinémathèque Française (Hitchcock, Kubrick, Mexican melodrama) and at the BFI’s National Film Theatre in London (Spanish cinema, classic Russian cinema).

Personal benefits derive from immersion in Parisian and French culture and language, interaction with an ethnically and nationally diverse group of students, development of good relations with the staff of ABS, bonding with the Hawaii students and their friends, and working with Sarita and her staff to provide a fulfilling academic study abroad experience for our students.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC) offers summer, semester, and year-long programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Pacific, and South America. During the 2008-09 academic year, 433 students studied abroad and enrolled in 295 courses.  Thirty-one of these courses were taught by eight UHM faculty members in semester/year-long programs and seven faculty in summer programs.  A total of  18 instructional faculty taught and/or conducted research abroad through the UHM Study Abroad Center.

Jonathan Okamura, UHM Ethnic Studies Department (Fall 2008 in London, England)

I gained professionally as an ethnic studies scholar by acquiring new theoretical and empirical knowledge of London and the UK in general as another important setting of race and ethnic relations, besides Hawai‘i and the continental United States. As a specialist in Asian American studies, I learned quite a bit about the status and experiences of British Asian groups, including Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Chinese, and how they are both similar and different from those of Asian groups in the United States. Being here, I was able to observe and make direct inquiries about the nature of race and ethnic relations and of different minority groups in London rather than have to rely on only published materials. I will make immediate use of the knowledge and perspectives I gained by incorporating them in my course next summer on ethnic identity and in a course on comparative race and ethnic relations I am proposing for the new master’s degree program in ethnic studies. I also established a friendship with Prof. John Eade, director of the Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism at Roehampton that should result in a mutual exchange of publications and research information.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC) offers summer, semester, and year-long programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Pacific, and South America. During the 2007-08 academic year, 462 students studied abroad and enrolled in 338 courses.  Twenty-one of these courses were taught by seven UHM faculty members in semester/year-long programs and three faculty in summer programs.  A total of  14 instructional faculty taught and/or conducted research abroad through the UHM Study Abroad Center.

Robert Hughes , UHM English Department (Spring 2008 in London, England):

Once again, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to participate in the U.H. Study Abroad Center’s program in London in Spring, 2008.  It was perhaps the most memorable teaching experience of my career.  And, as I am retiring in August of this year, it was also my last teaching experience.  If I could work only with SAC, and not have to deal otherwise with U.H., I would consider staying on, but no faculty member could be so lucky.

I did benefit from being on location where some of the most famous British mysteries have been set and filmed.  I tracked down not only the Sherlock Holmes museum and pub, where I took my students, but also several sites from various Poirot mysteries and numerous Oxford and London locations for the Inspector Morse series.  As well as sites from the Dalgleish and Cordellia Gray mysteries of P.D. James.  And I attended again with my students Agatha Christie’s landmark play, The Mousetrap, as well as frequented “Murder One,” the only dedicated mystery bookstore in London.  I also corresponded with several literary agents in London about my Surfing Detective series, attempting to generate interest in its publication in the U.K.  And finally, I did some significant research for the fourth mystery in the series, Barking Sands, thanks to the wireless internet hookup in the Chaplaincy.  The Program offered much more opportunity to develop myself professionally than I was able to take advantage of.

Kristin McAndrews, UHM English Department (Spring 2008 in Paris, France):

Image of Kristin McAndrews, University of Hawaii at Manoa department of English, faculty resident director of the Spring 2008 in Paris, France, program, posing with some other faculty members and students.

Kristin McAndrews poses with some other faculty members and students.

In the Fall of 2007, I committed to a research project regarding the visits to Paris by Hawaiian royalty from 1850 to 1900.  I began chronologically with the 1850 visit of Prince Lot Kamehameha.  In addition, I decided to do some research into Garritt Parmele Judd, then finance minister of Hawaii.  They came to Paris on a diplomatic mission in order to facilitate a treaty with France. I wondered what the French might have thought about the efforts of the small party to negotiate a treaty.

Before I left Honolulu, I worked at Bishop Museum researching Lot and Judd.  I focused on Lot’s journal from that time period and Judd’s letters as two different types of autobiographical discourse. In Paris, I planned on looking at French newspaper archives in order to see what the French thought about the visiting Hawaiians.  In Paris, in order to proceed, I had to create a dossier at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in order to use their library facilities at the Mitterand and the Richileiu. Fortunately, I was given a lecturer’s card and quite a thorough tour of the facilities and archives. I researched at the Bibliotheque for three months both in house and on-line.  In addition, I visited the National Archives and the Musee de Paris in order to find more information about the ali’i’s visits. Now I have a substantial research project on tourism in relationship to visiting ali`i.  I recently gave a presentation at the International Conference of Autobiography and Biography held in Honolulu at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa regarding aspects of Lot’s grand tour in relationship to the well-established tourist culture of Parisian society in 1850.
My project has grown into a book length project that will contribute to studies of tourism, autobiography, biography, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian studies and the intersection of all these disciplines with French culture and history.

Rebecca Knuth, Library & Information Sciences Department (Fall 2007 in London, England)

Image of Prof. Rebecca Knuth, University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and Information Science program, having tea with the Fall 2007 in London, England students.

Rebecca Knuth and some friends have a bite.

I had one of the best experiences in my life. It was a wonderful break from administrative duties and committee work. I was able to read extensively, take notes for my book, go to a conference and lectures, meet with colleagues, go to the British Library, travel, etc. I was able to do so much note-taking, coding, and thinking that when I arrived back in Hawaii I was able to write two chapters in five weeks. The book I am currently writing sprang from the preparation I did on the syllabus for the class I taught In London. And I revised that class and am teaching it as a new LIS special topics course over HITS this semester. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE EXPERIENCE!!!!

Patrick Woo, East Asian Languages & Literatures (Fall 2007 – Spring 2008 in Machida, Japan)

This Resident Directorship appointment is an excellent opportunity for professional development. While here in Japan, I was able to do research for my doctoral dissertation. I have successfully located many academic articles, especially those published in Japanese university journals that would not otherwise have been available if I had not come to Japan. Visits to the National Diet Library further helped with my research. I also received a lot of help from the school librarians in obtaining research materials from other universities through inter-library loans.

In addition, I am looking forward to attending the Twelfth Asian Studies Conference in Japan to be held from June 21-22, 2008 and the annual conference of the Society for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language to be held from May 24-25, 2008. Participation in these conferences helps keep me abreast of the latest developments in the fields of Japanese language teaching and Literary Studies.

Furthermore, I benefited a great deal from my interaction with the Japanese language teaching staff at J.F. Oberlin University. I was able to see how differently a Japanese language program is run here in Japan, as opposed to in a JFL environment in America. Exchange of teaching ideas with my Japanese colleagues has been stimulating and as a result I will be able to experiment with new teaching approaches upon my return to the University of Hawaii.

Finally, during my stay in Japan, I was also able to gather a lot of instructional materials such as books, albums, films, videos, recordings of TV programs and other audio-visual teaching aids that will be very useful for teaching both Japanese language and literature in the future.  Most of these learning resources are not readily available in Hawaii and will no doubt enrich students’ learning experiences in many years to come.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center (UHMSAC) offers summer, semester, and year-long programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Pacific, and South America. During the 2006-07 academic year, 464 students studied abroad and enrolled in 342 courses.  Twenty-eight of these courses were taught by nine UHM faculty members in semester/year-long programs and six faculty in summer programs.  A total of  20 instructional faculty taught and/or conducted research abroad through the UHM Study Abroad Center.

Jennifer Engels, SOEST (Summer 2007 in Annecy, France)

The summer study abroad program in Annecy functioned as a professional sabbatical for me and allowed me to catch up on months of backlogged research, while at the same time preparing for next year’s course load.

While in Annecy I was able to work 6-8 hours a day on my own research projects via internet, and actually got published a scientific paper that had been in preparation for nearly three years.  Though physically at IFALPES for 2 hours a day, the rest of my time was my own, and far from my phone and professional duties here in my department I was able to work extremely productively.  In addition, the institute’s excursions and my own outings allowed me the opportunity to explore and photograph dozens of outcrops that I will use in my classes back here at UH.  Hawaii is fortunate to have world-class volcanology and beach processes close at hand, but we have no ancient continental rocks, no metamorphic rocks, and no fossils.  I was able to find excellent examples of Alpine and Jurassic fold belts, metamorphic textures, and marine fossils to complement my growing collection of geologic photographs, and hiking these features in person gave me a much better understanding of their formation mechanisms and emplacement origins.  There is no doubt that my summer in Annecy was more productive to me professionally than had I spent that month here at UH.

On a personal note, living in Annecy with a host family afforded me the opportunity to improve my French language skills, and I will have a lifelong attachment to my large, highly cultured and extremely open-minded host family, as well as the beautiful environment of Annecy and its surrounding.

Denise Antolini, UHM Law School (Spring 2007 in Florence, Italy)

Image of Prof. Denise Antolini, University of Hawaii at Manoa William S Richardson School of Law, faculty resident director of the Spring 2007 in Florence, Italy, program, with her son at a fountain in Italy.The semester was very rewarding for me, both inside and outside the classroom.  The courses turned out very well, both substantively and in terms of process.  By teaching my subject area (environmental law) in a new way, to undergraduates, I was able to read (and use) some new textbooks, cover material in a different way, and learn more about both systemic and cutting-edge environmental issues in the EU and Italy.  I enjoyed teaching the oral and writing skills to beginners; it allowed me to return to and relearn some fundamentals that will help me in my own work and my teaching at the Law School.

Being in Florence for the semester was also essential for my completion of my own research and writing projects.  While I found it very difficult to make progress on my projects while I was teaching, this is more feasible now that the semester is over.  LDM was helpful when I asked about connections with particular academic institutions here, and by talking to the other instructors in natural resources issues, I made some good connections.  I already had a good friend at the University of Florence, so that allowed me to visit there to observe classes and lecture in my field (environmental law), which was really rewarding.  For my research on comparative environmental law topics, Italian language skills are essential, so I also have to thank LDM again for allowing me to have a personalized course in Italian with an excellent professor.

Mire Koikari, UHM Women’s Studies Department (Spring 2007 in London, England)

Spending a semester in London gave me opportunities to mature as a scholar-educator who is concerned with issues of gender, nationalism, and imperialism. To understand the history of colonialism and its legacies, there is no better place than England, the old empire that continues to struggle with its imperial legacies. With various cultural facilities close at hand, I was able to devise and develop my teaching methods and to draw on various resources (such as museums, libraries, communities of scholars, etc.) to add to my current research on the roles of feminism in Western nation- and empire-buildings.