Check out this student-made video from the WT 2013 course.
GBL 206 US Hawaii: Nation or State? In Search of Hawaiian Identity 4 S.H.
Most people think of Hawaii as a tropical paradise where they can be entertained by Hula dancers and opulent luaus. This course is designed to show students the complexity of the Hawaiian islands and the fight that continues to this day for those who are in danger of losing their very identities. We will explore the many tensions that exist in Hawaii that rest under the surface of the tourist propaganda. From classes at the University of Hawaii to talks with native Hawaiian activists, we will look at such issues as whether Hawaii should be seen as its own nation or a state. Historical, cultural and personal aspects of life there will be studied with the hope that students will come to understand in a deeper way the tensions between the image and the reality of the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii is a state that differs dramatically from the other 49 in its blend of cultures, with influence from Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese and other cultures. This results in a unique mixture of traditions and beliefs with occasional tensions among the various communities living in the islands. The design of this course is to explore the heritage of the indigenous peoples of the Hawaiian Islands, and to consider the issues of identity formation and political reality in the Hawaiian Islands. We will examine such issues as the role and impact of colonization on the islands, preservation of the environment, the impact of a native Hawaiian movement to secede from the United States on the political climate, and the historical roots of religious and cultural beliefs and the impact of Christian missionaries on those beliefs. Our major focus will be on how identity is formed in persons and how this plays itself out in the reality of contemporary Hawaii. The course will offer students a new perspective on a land that they usually understand only through tourist propaganda.
The Winter Term and fall courses partially fulfill the Elon Core Curriculum requirement in the area of Society or Civilization.
The WT course also satisfies the Experiential Learning Requirement for the Elon Core Curriculum requirement.
Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
This course may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.
Students will be housed in shared accommodations.
- Bishop Museum
- Pearl Harbor
- Class at University of Hawaii-Manoa
- Imiloa Museum
- Volcanoes National Park
- Authentic Hula Class
- Richardson's Black Sand Beach
- Class at University of Hawaii-Hilo
- Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge)
- Visits to King Kamehameha's birth place, Heiau visits on Kohala Coast
- Snorkeling and boat tour
- Archeological site visit in Lahaina
- Historical Tour of Lahaina
- The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui
Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.
Eligibility & Application Deadlines
The eligibility requirements specific to this program are listed in the Fact Sheet at the top of this brochure.
See the Deadlines and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information.
Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during pre-registration for Winter Term.
Pre-departure Course: GBL 106
This Winter Term course has a required one semester-hour fall pre-departure course associated with it. Students accepted into the Winter Term course will be automatically registered for the associated fall course. There is no additional cost for the pre-departure course for students who are registered full-time even if the one credit creates an overload for a student's registration.
It is Elon University policy that students who are registered part-time for the fall semester will be charged the additional one credit hour of tuition for the fall pre-departure course. Students will also be charged four credit hours of tuition for winter term in addition to the program fees. If students contact the Bursar's office to verify that they will be enrolled full-time in the spring semester, the four hours of winter term tuition will not be collected.
Spring Meeting Information
The spring meeting date, time, and location to be determined.
Fall Meeting Information
The fall pre-departure course will take place on Mondays at 3:35 PM, dates and location to be announced.
To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.
- Sept. 16 - 30, 2016: Students that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
- Sept. 30, 2016: Full payment deadline.
- Oct. 1 - 14, 2016: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the program.
- Oct. 15 - 31, 2016: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 75 percent of the cost of the program.
- Nov. 1: Students that cancel on or after this date are responsible for the full program cost.
You are responsible for the costs noted above if you cancel regardless of whether you have paid the program fees at the time of cancellation.
Deposit Refunds -
If you have paid the deposit and are cancelling your participation prior to the deposit refund deadline, the amount will remain as a credit on your account to be applied towards the following semester’s billing. If you have any questions about your deposit, you may contact the Bursar’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org
*All students are automatically enrolled in a travel insurance policy through iNext, an outside insurance provider. This policy covers students who must cancel their participation due to serious health issues that occur after October 1. In some instances (evaluated on a case-by-case basis) the travel insurance may insure against changes in mental health. The insurance does not cover any other changes in circumstances such as disciplinary or academic status; job, internship, graduate school or theatrical performance opportunities; leadership opportunities on campus; fear; other personal issues. Students who must cancel their participation after the final day to have the $400 deposit refunded may be able to seek a refund through the travel insurance company.
If airline bookings have already been made by the time of a student's cancellation, some airlines may issue the student a voucher for the value of the ticket less some penalty fee for change in ticketing. These are usually valid for 12 months with the airline issuing the ticket. The airline can provide specific details.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Woody Pelton, Dean of International Programs. We encourage you to address any questions you may have as soon as possible, as a delay in doing so could result in increased charges for which you may be liable.
Costs for study abroad vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in the fall semester tuition/bill).
Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.
Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet (link at top of page)-coming soon!
Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.
For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.
For More Information
Program Leader 1: Jeffrey Pugh
Department of Religious Studies
CB 2340, AVRP (Spence Pavilion) 213
Program Leader 2: Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler
Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Research on Global Engagement
CB 2345, Powell Building 108J
Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)
CB 2375, Global Commons 360
Elon, NC 27244