Purposes of the Program

The Hawaii-Okinawa High School Student Exchange Program was established by the State Legislature in partnership with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawaii United Okinawa (HUOA) in 1990 to:

  1. Provide student with the opportunity to learn first-hand about the diverse
    cultures of other countries of the world.
  2. Foster and sustain good relationships and cultural exchanges between foreign
    countries and the State of Hawaii.
  3. Foster global awareness and a sense of “internationalism” in today’s youth.


We are currently seeking families who would like to host one or two Okinawan students from 2/11/24 to 2/25/24. As host families, you can learn first-hand about the diverse culture of Okinawa, and at the same time, share your wealth of knowledge and experience of Hawaii’s diverse culture as well.
Here are the expectations of host families:

  • The host family must have a student who is attending a public or private high school on the island of O’ahu.
  • Submit application to host a student from Okinawa by December 8, 2023 to the Hawaii Okinawa Center office, HUOA.Click on this link
  • Attend Orientation Meeting for Host families (Date TBD)
  • Attend Orientation/Welcome Get together.
  • Host Student(s) from February 11 – 25, 2024
  • Consider yourselves as “family” for your Okinawan student.
  • Okinawan student will attend school with Hawaii host student (5 days).
  • Attend Aloha Party at Hawaii Okinawa Center (Date TBD).
  • Bid them Aloha on (date to be announced) as they depart for their homeland.
  • Share your family’s Aloha and enjoy your Okinawan student!
  • For more information about the HOSEP, including the opportunity to go to Okinawa in June, please contact Jon Itomura, Executive Director of the HUOA at (808) 676-5400.

    Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be immersed in the Okinawan culture, and gain valuable experiences and memories as you foster a good relationship with your exchange student from Okinawa!

    Part II of our Student Exchange Program will be our Hawaii students going to Okinawa in June.

    Just the same as the Hawaii United Okinawa Association does when the Okinawan
    students are with us in Hawaii, the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education will arrange
    for host families and cover the expenses for field trips, welcome gathering, sayonara
    party, etc. Students will be responsible for their own plane fare to Okinawa.