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Study Away

hawaii surfing 

Geographic Exploration of Hawaii

Explore the Geography of Hawaii by air, land and sea!

Travelling to the islands of Oahu and Hawaii, students will be introduced to environmental, and social systems and how local policy has been developed in response to human-environment interaction.  The students will become familiar with demographic, cultural, geopolitical, environmental and socioeconomic issues in Hawaii.  They will be able to describe how these systems are interconnected with each other from local to global level.  Topics and materials covered in this program will help the student attain an appreciation of the complexity and variety of the region’s cultural and physical geography and how we interact with it as a society.


Student Reactions to Program:

  • "I think this provided me with valuable research and connections in my future career as well as helped with graduate school applications."
  • "(I saw) how the cultural geography of Hawaii is different on different islands and that for each there is a history that is intertwined holding on to the past and going forward in the future. It really put the articles we read into perspective. IT was AMAZING."
  • A hui hou kakou - Until we meet again Hawai’i! (Facebook Video Posted by Zach Young on Monday, January 12, 2015)

 Program Highlights:

  • Pearl Harbor Historic Park
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Surfing Culture and Lessons
  • Marine Wildlife Encounters- Sharks, Turtle, Dolphins, Exotic Fish
  • Community Service Learning Engagements
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Introduction to Ranching on the Big Island
  • Traditional Hawaiian Storytelling



Contact the Program Leaders or Study Abroad & Global Learning right away. 




  • GEOG 452 (Colonnade course- Local to Global)*

*Options for Honors Augmentation and/or Independent Study may be available. Please discuss with professors.

Faculty Leaders


  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Kona, Hawaii


  • Winter 2020
    January 2-17, 2020


  • TBD

Funding Options


Application Opens Soon!


Western Kentucky University and its associates are not responsible for any loss due to theft, personal injury, flight or weather delays, negligence, or default of suppliers, or suppliers changing of itineraries. They and their associates are not responsible for any loss due to travel/flight delays or changes in travel plans due to Acts of Nature or other unforeseen circumstances, nor are we responsible for accidents and medical care. Tour services are furnished by independent contractors who are not agents or servants of Western Kentucky University. Refunds are not available for unused portions of the package.


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 Last Modified 5/7/19