By Estefania Magdalena | Staff Writer

For the first time ever, Kapiʻolani Community College students will have the opportunity to travel abroad in the summer and study at an international university thanks to a new endowment that created the Queen Kapiʻolani International Travel Scholarship in Fall 2019. 

“We feel that students live in a global community nowadays and irregardless of the major, study abroad opportunity will only enhance a student’s employability and afford students an opportunity to see the world in a different manner,” said Shawn Yacavone, who works in the Honda International Center, in an email. 

The scholarship, with a deadline on March 9, affords students the opportunity to live and study in destinations worldwide for Summer 2020 at a fixed cost of $950, which includes airfare, housing and tuition.

Other points to consider are personal expenses and meals, which must be covered by the students who win the award. As for accommodation, CIEE will be fully in charge of arranging where the students will stay, which depending on the country will vary in one way or another. The Honda International Center will inform at the time of the application as some destinations may have a homestay arrangement and others a shared apartment with other students.

Since all countries have different cultures and laws, Yacavone emphasizes that, in general, just speaking English will be enough in this program but that depends on the destination. However, it will be possible to verify this information on the CIEE Summer 2020 web page.

It is also necessary to note that some countries will have, as a requirement, the prior approval of a visa but most will not. If the first case occurs, the student will be responsible for covering all the costs of this process.
Yacavone said that the goal of the program is to provide students who reside in Hawaiʻi with an experience that brings them closer to what life is like in other parts of the world and what it is like to study elsewhere.
Students interested in the scholarship must apply to the Paul S. Honda International Center through the Queen Kapi’olani International Travel Scholarship in order to be considered for the award. The deadline is on March 9. To be admitted, the acceptance process has different requirements of eligibility based on student information with KISC Admissions and Records at the time of application: have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher, being a KCC Home campus student, being enrolled in minimum 6 credits at the time of the application, and must be a legal State of Hawai’i resident. 
He was also aware that there is interest among students to be able to live the experience of studying in other parts of the world, but that many times the economic requirements do not make it possible.
“I have been researching different models of study abroad offered at various campuses across the US and trying to find something that would be both creative and a phenomenal opportunity for motivated students interested in a study abroad opportunity,” he wrote. “I also spent some time researching destinations of greatest interest to our students. The result was the creation of this scholarship with the generosity of College donors who also believe in the life changing experiences afforded through a study abroad opportunity.”
While all students are invited to apply directly to any of the CIEE programs if they do not intend on applying for the Queen Kapi’olani International Travel Scholarship, the objective of the scholarship is to reward two or three Hawai’i resident students who are considered deserving of this award. 
“This is a competitive scholarship opportunity so not all students who apply will simply be accepted. CIEE, however, does welcome students to apply directly to any of their programs although the student will need to bear the full cost of the program,” he wrote. 
The duration of the program is approximately four weeks and is set up entirely by CIEE.  Students from all over the world will be participating, so there is no deviating from the schedule set by CIEE for the duration of each of the programs. However, due to the fact that it is the first year that the proposal is launched, the summer courses taken will not have credits that are accepted by KCC, although that may change in the future.
In order to be chosen among all applicants, students must complete the scholarship application, obtain a written academic letter of recommendation from an instructor at Kapi’olani Community College from whom the student is currently taking a class or have taken a class from in the past, and ask to the teacher to seal it in an envelope and sign along the back fold.
“We will only award up to a maximum of 3 students for the Summer 2020 program cycle,” Yavacone wrote in the e-mail. “We may not award 3 if the applications are not strong and so it is important to submit a strong application, including the essay and letter of recommendation. Students advanced from the application stage to the interview stage will be contacted for an interview after the application deadline in March.” 
Students must also write a personal statement, which must be a 12-point, two-page, double-spaced essay detailing personal interests in the scholarship program application and explaining how participation in this program will help the student reach his/her professional goals. Finally, the student will have to print an unofficial STAR transcript and include it with other application materials.
For more details or an application, students can approach to Honda International Center (ʻIliahi 107) from Monday to Friday before 4 p.m. Other information alternatives are or (808) 734-9312.
The international scholarship includes destinations like Argentina, Italy, Hungary and more. (Photo by Estefania Magdalena)