GEL Wildcat Alumni & Partner Program

UA 2020 GEL Wildcat Alumni & Partner Program
GEL Wildcat Alumni & Partner Program
GEL Wildcat Alumni & Partner Program
GEL Wildcat Alumni & Partner Program

The Office of Multicultural Advancement is partnering with Global Experiential Learning (GEL) to experience a new program for Wildcat alumni and supporters. We invite you to join us on the island of O’ahu on our GEL Wildcat Alumni & Partner Program that will explore Hawai'i through its people, history, and culture. You will have a chance to interact with current UA students and participate in their lived experience on a GEL program, while contributing to their future experiences with programs like these. 

  • 'Iolani Palace

  • The University of Hawai’i Mānoa & Loʻi Service Project

  • Pearl Harbor, where there will be an opportunity to interact with Veterans and learn more about USS Arizona.

  • Bishop Museum, and we will have an exclusive tour of Hawaiian Hall and time to explore other exhibits

  • Polynesian Cultural Center, where we will have dinner with a show

  • Guided tour of Waimea Valley 

  • A visit to Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones

  • Heʻeia Fishpond tour

  • $5000 per person ($1500 tax deductible)

  • Purchasing your own flight to Oahu, Hawai’i arriving Wednesday, March 11, 2020

  • Tour components as outlined on the Tentative Itinerary (attached)

  • Non-exclusive Airport transfers based on individual arrival and departure days of program

  • Five (5) nights accommodation at Queen Kapiʻolani hotel or similar category hotel based on double occupancy

  • Five (5) included breakfasts at the hotel

  • Two (2) included lunches with tours

  • Four (4) included dinners

  • Entrance fees for all items on itinerary

  • Taxes on group arrangements

  • Standard gratuities for bus drivers and restaurants for all PII-arranged trip components

  • PII escort for PII planned activities, available after hours by phone

  • Arrival and Departure Transfers between Honolulu International Airport and hotel outside first and last day of program

  • Roundtrip airfare between point of origin and Honolulu International Airport (HNL), Oʻahu

  • Single rooms

  • Activities and meals not included in itinerary

  • Insurance costs (PII strongly recommends participants purchase optional travel insurance. Plans available through PII - - or other sources)

  • Incidental items of a personal nature (including phone calls, room service, daily housekeeping services, laundry, souvenirs, etc.)

  • Costs for University of Arizona Tour Leader(s)

  • Marketing expenses

Ancient Hawaiians developed a very intimate relationship with their natural setting, characterized by a deep love, respect and knowledge of the environment. Discover how Hawaiʻi’s remote location, tropical climate, and diverse climactic zones create a unique setting unduplicated elsewhere. Hear the history and legends of the islands while engaging in service projects that benefit the environment and preservation of our unique culture. See what current University of Arizona students are learning and doing through hands-on projects while engaging with native and local communities.

Prior to arrival, we suggest the following videos and reading be previewed at advance group meetings prior to arrival to prepare the group with a historical background:

Location Terms Available Languages of Instruction Housing What's Included

Application and Payment Deadline

Credit Type
O'ahu, Hawai'i Spring Break: March 11, 2020 - March 16, 2020 English Hotels Housing, Travel, Insurance, Excursions, On-Site Transportation, Entrance Fees

January 6th, 2020


To apply, please contact Cassandra, GEL Graduate Assistant:


Dates Activities
Wednesday, March 11
  • Check into the hotel, explore Waikīkī and get settled
  • Meet your Pacific Islands Institute group leader at the hotel and leave for Orientation and Dinner.
Thursday, March 12
  • Breakfast at hotel - ʻIolani Palace
  • University of Hawai'i  Mānoa & Loʻi Service Project 
  • Pāʻina

Join the students and tour ʻIolani Palace. Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, ʻIolani Palace was the home of Hawaiʻi’s last reigning monarchs and served as the official royal residence and the residence of the Kingdom’s political and social life until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. Registered as a National Historic Landmark since 1962 and the only official royal residence in the United States, the Palace is one of the most recognizable buildings in Hawaiʻi. Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, 'Iolani Palace.

Friday, March 13 
  • Visit to Pearl Harbor
  • Bishop Museum– exclusive tour of Hawaiian Hall and time to explore the other exhibits
  • Punchbowl

This morning we will join the students that have added on the Pearl Harbor day to their week for the Arizona Memorial visit. Explore the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center, then watch a short documentary film before boarding the shuttle to the memorial. Upon return to the visitors center, we will proceed to lunch before heading to our docent-led tour of Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum. (Students will remain at Pearl Harbor). Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. The Museum was established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, and has expanded to include millions of objects, documents and photographs about Hawai‘i and other Pacific island cultures. Return to the hotel via Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, for a free evening on your own.

Saturday, March 14
  • Polynesian Cultural Center dinner and show 

A leisurely morning before you are picked up to drive to the windward side of the island where the Polynesian Cultural Center is located. Arrive around lunchtime and enjoy a local lunch on your own before entering the park and exploring the villages. You will have a few hours to participate in shows, interact with the people from various island cultures and engage in hands-on activities. At the scheduled time, you will meet up and go to the buffet lūʻau dinner then be seated for the live show. You will be transported back to the hotel arriving between 9:30 and 10:00 pm.

Sunday, March 15

  • Waimea Valley – guided tour 
  • Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones
  • Mahalo/Farewell Dinner

After breakfast, we will head to Waimea Valley, located on Oʻahu’s north shore. The valley offers an authentic window into the culture, lifestyle and customs of the Hawaiian people. The area is home to a 150 acre arboretum boasting 5,000 documented species of tropical trees, plants and flowers in 34 different gardens. A guided hike through the valley past archeological sites and a range of habitats stretching from the dry, salty sea shore to the cool, misty uplands, Waimea Valley is home to a vast array of ferns, flowering plants, invertebrates, birds, stream life, and Hawaiʻi’s only land mammal, the hoary bat. Enjoy legends and stories of the valley and of the Pohaku, or stones, with spiritual significance and leave with a greater understanding, appreciation and respect for Hawaiʻi’s history, culture and traditions. After Waimea Valley, you will have some free time to explore historic Haleʻiwa town and find lunch at the many restaurants and food trucks in the area. On the return to the hotel, we will stop at the Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones.

Monday, March 16 
  • Heʻeia Fishpond tour

A morning visit to a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring one of Oahu’s ahupuaʻa (land division). Fishponds were originally created by the Aliʻi (chiefs) as stocking ponds to raise fish and provide for easy access to fish during the winter months when deep sea fishing was dangerous. The Heʻeia fishpond is a unique natural resource that was constructed over 600 years ago. Paepae o Heʻeia, is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and restocking this 88-acre ancient Hawaiian fishpond to its original state. You will examine the relationship of the pond, its brackish water conditions, and its connection to the Heʻeia Stream and Kāneʻohe Bay, and learn what our student accomplished last week. The program concludes upon return to the hotel. The day is left free to explore until your departure for Honolulu International Airport. After check-out, the porters can store your luggage if you wish. 

Be prepared for an agricultural inspection on departure (no fruits and vegetables can be taken back to California unless they have been inspected by agricultural inspectors and cleared to leave the state).

A L O H A !

Staff Contact

Cassandra Lim, Alternative Spring Break Program Lead

Dan Xayaphanh, Director

(​520) 621-7057