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  • Locations: Honolulu, United States
  • Program Terms: Spring Break (Sp)
  • Budget Sheets: Spring Break (Sp)
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

multiculturalism hawaii
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Academic Term Spring, 2019
March 22 to June 7, 2019 (in Hawaii March 22-30, 2019)
Estimated Program Fee $2,400
Credits 7 UW credits
Prerequisites Students must pass TCORE 101 or TWRT 121 (or equivalent) with a B or higher
Program Directors Annie Nguyen and Jacob Martens
Program Manager Autumn Diaz |
Priority Application Deadline November 15, 2018
Extended Application Deadline December 14, 2018
Information Sessions TBD. Contact Program Director for more information.
General This program focuses on multiculturalism in Hawaii from the 19th century to today. Students will engage with writings from Hawaiian authors, examining writing as a creative process from research, personal experience, nature and place, and identity. Students will spend spring break (March 22-30) in Honolulu and return to UW Tacoma to complete this program's coursework during Spring Quarter 2019.  
Visas Visas not required for travel to Hawaii

Program Description

This program will immerse students in the land and culture of Hawaii, a state known for its multiculturalism, its historic significance in World War II, and as a gateway to Asian countries for US residents.

Students will engage in readings from Hawaiian writers, discussing the state's unique culture, history, and current events and be able to visit many of the sites referenced in these texts. We will be focusing on Hawaii in the 19th and 20th century to today and will reflect on Hawaii's history as a monarchy and past as a colony of Russia before becoming annexed by the US in the 1890s and made a state in 1959. They will share housing organized by the University of Hawaii, which sits just outside of Honolulu, the state's major city and an area that is rife with museums, cafes, markets, and more. Students are able to engage with local residents through the university and community centers nearby. Guest lecturers from UH will be invited to work with and talk to students on site. Students will also engage in excursions from the city.

In the Intro to Creative Writing course, students will examine the creative process of writing from research, personal experience, nature and place, and personal identity. Students will be given the resources to collect information regarding multiculturalism and its presence in Hawaii, given opportunities for both independent and group research, and then encouraged to engage in different writing practices to tap their own creative potential. Under group research, they will be introduced to topics of multiculturalism through a lecture and site tour conducted by the UH. During this day, it is anticipated that students will become inspired to learn more about a particular part of Hawaiian history, present day circumstances, and various cultures. Students will then have the opportunity for independent research, where they will be encouraged to follow up from the multiculturalism lecture to observe and collect information that will inspire their poetry, fiction, or nonfiction writing. They will also create a reflection of what studying away offers and how it has impacted them. The writing components of this course will begin in Hawaii but will continue throughout the spring quarter once students have returned to Tacoma.

To further their understanding of how place and identity intersect, a coordinated Directed Readings course focusing on Hawaiian writers will be concurrently offered. Students will read and reflect on works by Milton Murayama, Kaui Hart Hemmings, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Gary Pak.



Honolulu, Hawaii


University of Hawaii Honolulu


Students will be housed in shared rooms in a university dorm or youth hostel. More information about housing will be announced in the coming weeks.

Field Trips

Students will take part in a Multiculturalism Tour and a tour of Chinatown. Students will also have the option of going to Pearl Harbor at their personal expense. These tours will enable students to witness and experience firsthand multiculturalism in Hawaii and how various Asian cultures and Hawaiian American culture have impacted each other from the past to today.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Students must pass TCORE 101 or TWRT 121 (or equivalent) with a B or higher.


7 UW Credits


TWRT 200 Introduction to Creative Writing (5 credits)

Students in TWRT 200 will first develop an understanding of creative writing and its many forms by analyzing texts across three genres. Texts will center on the experiences of travel and of being "other," and will focus on Hawaii and place-based writing. Students will then engage in a writers' workshop, developing 1 essay, 1 short story, and 3 poems that will reflect on their personal experiences and discoveries while traveling to and in Hawaii. For inspiration, students will participate in excursions and field experiences that will expose them to various facets of life in Hawaii and learn from guest lecturers from the University of Hawaii.

Learning goals include:
1. Thoroughly read, analyze and discuss contemporary creative texts from a variety of writers who reflect the various cultures one sees in Hawaii
2. Understand and engage in the practice of research and lived experience in the formation of creative works, either as inspiration or as content reflected directly in the writing
3. Identify specific writing principles and strategies an author uses in a text, and consider how they might use similar principles and strategies in their own writing
4. Understand and apply key terms and concepts in different creative writing genres
5. Write original pieces that reflect these key terms and concepts
6. View their writings as works in progress, improving through revision
7. Analyze their own and peers' writing, giving thoughtful analysis and criticism in writing and orally, and focusing on what could be improved with revision
8. Receive criticism and commentary on their writing, consider that commentary, and revise appropriately
9. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of their revision process
10. Understand similarities and differences between different genres

TIAS 498 Directed Readings - Hawaii (2 credits)

This course focuses on readings by authors from Hawaii writing about Hawaii. Course readings serve as a guide to the Honolulu, Hawaii Spring Break Study Away program, to help students understand and analyze Hawaii's diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, its immigration history in the past 150 years, its poverty and plantation work history, the experience of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii during WWII, and its current day position in the United States economy both in terms of industry, tourism, and defense spending. Readings are aimed at enriching students' understanding and critical thinking about Hawaii, its many people groups, and what students observe and experience during their travels to Hawaii. We'll read, reflect in writing, and discuss the readings before, during, and after the trip, including both our anticipated and actual daily experiences while we're in Honolulu, how our experiences relate to the reading, and how our experiences, reflections, and readings affects us after returning to UW Tacoma.

Learning goals include:
Read, write, and discuss analytically; analyze historical, cultural, and racial dynamics, and synthesize readings to their travel experiences and observations in order to develop a deeper understanding of the complex Hawaiian culture and history related to class, race, and identity, and Hawaii's current day role as a tourist paradise and an important military asset for the United States.
• These ideas will be assessed through reflective writing and participation in small group discussions about the course's big questions.
• A formal essay will also reflect on the study away experience and how it has influenced students thinking and writing for other spring-quarter courses



Annie Nguyen

As a writing professor for more than 10 years, I've had the pleasure of working with students from diverse backgrounds and with varying skill levels in composition and creative writing. I have enjoyed helping them find their voices and following their growth.

My work tends to focus on the needs of first year writing students. The transition to college writing can be challenging for many students, who may also be facing challenges adjusting to college life in general. I try to help students not only excel in the writing classroom, but also in their college careers. Recognizing the importance of students' lives beyond the classroom, I helped pioneer the Accelerated Learning Project, a national model that addresses the needs of developmental writing students using a concurrent (rather than sequential) order of classes.

I also have a profound interest in global education, with a research focus on Asian culture and literature. For three years, I oversaw a Global Studies initiative to help faculty develop courses for study abroad and to recruit students. I have led 120 students on study abroad programs across Europe and Asia and was awarded a NEH Bridging Cultures grant to infuse Asian studies into the general curriculum. My course design work includes a spiritual autobiography course and a writing course that focused on Eastern and Western philosophies to develop a response to, "What is happiness?"

In addition to my work in higher education, I have also worked as a grant writer and program manager for several high-impact local, national, and international nonprofit organizations for the last 17 years. I have managed volunteers and staff members, coordinated fundraisers and special events, and facilitated the grants process from cultivation to project reporting and renewal. Through various leadership roles, I have forged partnerships with other national and local organizations and cultivated sustaining private and government sources of funding.

Jacob Martens

I grew up in part on a Pierce County goat farm in Eatonville, Washington, near Mt. Rainier. My father was a carpenter who framed houses from Spanaway to Puyallup and other places in between. Over my life, my father taught me many hands-on skills, including carpentry, roofing, wrenching, and other skills that I could use to make a living, and, at times, I did, such as running a handy-man business to pay my way through college.  But I was the first in my family to seek a college  degree and put it to use. I discovered a love of teaching in graduate school at Oregon State University—where I was earning an MFA in creative nonfiction writing. Since then, I’ve been teaching mostly first-year college writing for about 15 years, most of that in local community colleges around the Puget Sound region.
One of the defining moments for my life was moving from Pierce County to Southern California as a five-year old. There was a slump in the building industry, and my dad needed to find work to feed his family. We moved in with my grandparents, and I started kindergarten in a bi-lingual class in Carpinteria, California. I’d had no language skills when I arrived, but since then, I’ve always had a love of language learning, especially Spanish, and interest in exploring other cultures. In contrast to life on a goat farm, growing up in Southern California provided many opportunities to make diverse friends in high school and the local community college I attended, but our family economics and priorities defined travel as going somewhere in the car, and that was usually only a few hours away, and on rare occasion.  I’ve only really started to travel by airplane and beyond US borders in the last few years, so I bring to my travels a child-like wonder and a desire to fully immerse myself in the culture I’m visiting.
This background has well-positioned me to run Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) classes for first-year students at UWT. My first-year writing classes are collaborating with English language students at the Universidad Veracruzana in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. I am happy to be able to pursue creating study abroad-like experiences for students who may not be able to afford it, by connecting them with other students in similar situations, in other countries, eager to learn more about other cultures.
In terms of visiting Hawaii, I must admit I’ve never been before, but rather than basking in all the tourist glamour, I am especially interested in learning more about the intersections of cultures who call Hawaii home and their connections with their previous homelands. Since I married into an extended Filipino family, many still living in the Philippines, I look forward to learning more about the Filipino culture in Hawaii, and how my family’s history blends into the US fabric.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $2,400

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel in Hawaii
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $800)
  • Food (about $30/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: April 19, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Please note that this is a study away, rather than a study abroad program. All the financial information below, including program fees, due dates, and financial aid and UW scholarship processes are the same for this study away program as for traditional study abroad programs. Please follow the instructions listed on this website to help pay for your study away experience. Please note that the UW Student Abroad Insurance does not cover travel within the United States.

Financial Aid   

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid for study abroad programs. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans. To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid. For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website. For UW Tacoma students, visit the Office of Financial Aid for more details. 
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities. UW Tacoma students should consult Student Fellowships and the Study Abroad Scholarships website for more opportunities. 

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • UW Tacoma students can attend a How to Fund Your Study Abroad event - more information is on the Events page of our website. 
  • UW Seattle or Bothell students can attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website. Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor (an instructor of your TCORE 101 or TWRT 121 class is preferred), and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must participate in the online pre-departure orienation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program directors.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


The $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.