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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Hilo, Hawaii, United States; Honolulu, Hawaii, United States; Kauai, Hawaii, United States; Kona, Hawaii, United States; Lihue, Hawaii, United States;
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Course DescriptionHousingItineraryEligibility / DeadlinesPre-Departure CourseCancellation PolicyCostScholarships / GrantsMore Information

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Check out this student-made video from the WT 2013 course.

Course Description

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.

Tentative Itinerary


  • Sustainable farming of local foods with Waipa Foundation?
  • Exploration of historic sites with Hawaiian Studies professor
  • Waimea Canyon and the Na' Pali Coast


  • Bishop Museum
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Iolani Palace 
  • Waikiki and Diamond Head
  • Class at University of Hawaii-Manoa


  • Imiloa Museum
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Authentic Hula Class
  • Richardson's Black Sand Beach
  • Hawaiian language class at University of Hawaii-Hilo


  • Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge)
  • Coffee Farm tour
  • Visits to King Kamehameha's birth place on Kohala Coast
  • Snorkeling and boat tour

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. 

  • March 7, 2017: Priority period begins for all programs. 

  • 11:59 PM, March 16, 2017: Priority period deadline.  All applications received during priority period are reviewed for eligibility and merit rather than time of submission. 

  • March 28, 2017: Notification begins.  The GEC will send notifications via email for all applications received by priority period deadline.

  • March 28, 2017: Change period begins.  Students that submitted applications during the priority period can switch into available programs by submitting a Change Form (available March 28-29). 

  • March 30, 2017: Rolling period begins.  New applications will be accepted and reviewed on a space-available basis.

  • Sept. 2017:  Final application deadline.  **Students that cancel after this date will not have the deposit refunded.** 

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.

Fall Meeting Information

The fall pre-departure course will meet on selected Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 P.M. (beginning September 6, 2017).

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.

Per the Study Abroad Policies webpage, please note the following payment and cancellation deadlines:
  • September 4 - October 2, 2017:  Students accepted to Study Abroad programs that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
  • September 15 - October 2, 2017:  Students accepted to Study USA programs that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
  • October 2, 2017: Full payment deadline.
  • October 3 - 9, 2017: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the program.
  • October 10 - 18, 2017: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 75 percent of the cost of the program.
  • Oct. 19, 2017: Students that cancel on or after this date are responsible for the full program cost.
Note: 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 or 336.278.5300.

*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.


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).

Scholarships/Travel Grants

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

Study USA
Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)

CB 2375, Global Commons 360
Elon, NC 27244
336.278.6700 (phone)
336.278.6692 (fax)

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Our guest lecturers provided a fresh perspective on top of the material that we learned in the Fall.
     — Kaylyn Weller, Winter 2013
Read what others have said about this program.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2018 09/14/2017
Rolling Admission 01/02/2018 01/19/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.