Policies and Requirements
Age of Participants/Group Chaperones
Most SEP participants are 18 years of age or older. Younger students are welcome if the entire group is of the same age range, for example all high school age. NO STUDENTS UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE CAN BE ACCEPTED.
The University of Hawai‘i and SEP staffs are unable to accept responsibility for students outside of program hours, so it is highly recommended that all groups come well-chaperoned by adults. GROUPS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE MUST BE WELL-CHAPERONED.
Certificates, Attendance and Performance
University of Hawai‘i certificates of completion are issued to students in combination SEP/seminar programs. Students are expected to attend all classes and activities, be alert for classes, and be willing to participate actively in class. Students must be present for at least 90% of program hours and must meet program performance standards to be eligible to receive the certificate. Students not participating in class may be removed from class by the teacher and marked absent for the day. Every effort is made to consult with group chaperones if such problems arise.
If requested by the sponsoring institution BEFORE the onset of the program, SEP instructors can issue grades to program participants. The specific grading system can be worked out between the sponsoring school and the SEP program coordinators.
Although SEP is a noncredit program and students are not eligible to receive University of Hawai‘i credit, many sponsoring institutions choose to issue credit to their students based on their participation in SEP.
Health Insurance and Health Certification Requirement
The University of Hawai‘i requires that all international students studying in the Special English Program have comprehensive medical insurance that will cover them during their study program. The sponsoring institution is responsible for ensuring that all participants have adequate medical coverage.
Hawai‘i State Department of Health requires all students in study programs of more than 15 days to submit proof of measles immunization. More information…
Risk and Release
All students are required to sign a “Risk and Release” Form upon arrival. This form releases the University of Hawai‘i from responsibility in case of injury. For students under 18 years of age, the form must also be co-signed by a parent or adult guardian.
For Special English Programs designed with fewer than 18 classroom hours per week, the study program is considered “incidental” to the students’ US visit and so students may enter the country on a tourist (B-2) visa or on the WT visa waiver program.
According to Department of Homeland Security regulations, English study programs of 18 classroom hours per week or more must require student (F-1) visas. For programs requiring student (F-1) visas, our International Programs office can issue the Form I-20 required to obtain the visa. Note that additional fees and earlier deadlines apply.