About

FAQs

Applications

The school or program you’re looking to apply for will have an ‘apply’ button on its page, but here are some helpful links:

  • DTS: $65 per person
  • U of N courses: $65 per person*
  • Foundation School: $15 per child
  • Kokua Crew: $65 per person
  • Mission Builders: $65 per person
  • Seminars: Varies
  • Staff & Other Volunteers: $0
 

Application fees are non-refundable. In the case of a change of plans, the fee may be transferred to a later course – for up to 2 years. There is no Application Fee for non-attending individuals who may be accompanying a student or program attendee.

* Application Fees apply to Lecture Phase of U of N courses only. There is no Application Fee for outreaches, practicums or internships for continuing students in U of N courses. Students following an eligible degree plan at University of the Nations, Kona may be granted a waiver of the Application Fee for courses 2 and onwards. 
  • DTS and University of the Nations courses: Applications are generally open up to the program or course’s Arrival Day – but there are times when we reach capacity – so the earlier the better! 
  • Kokua Crew: None – up to the program’s Arrival Day, subject to capacity limits.
  • Staff: Staff may apply at any time.

Please note that the application process may take some time, i.e. to receive any references back, or to receive any  or to o

Please note if you are from a country other than the USA or Canada, you will need to apply far enough ahead of time to complete the visa process.

We’ll let you know via email, and this will contain any further additional information you’ll need. 

It can take up to 2 weeks for your application to be processed once it’s been submitted. If it’s already been this long and you haven’t heard back, double-check that you’ve paid any application fees, and your references have been returned,

If it’s been 2 weeks since you’ve fully submitted your application and you haven’t received a response, we’re sorry! Please email us:

  • DTS: 17+ 
  • U of N Courses: 17+. Must have completed a Discipleship Training School.
  • Staff: 17+ Must have completed a Discipleship Training School.
  • Foundation School: 4-17 only.
  • Kokua Crew: 18+
 

Note: Degree-seeking students are required to have completed 12-years of secondary education (e.g. High School, or it’s equivalent in your nation.)

 

Childcare and Families

Yes. YWAM’s values place a strong emphasis on family, and the whole ‘ohana is welcome here! 

  • DTS: Your children (aged 4-17) are required to attend Foundation School – a 3-month ‘mini DTS’ for children, that runs alongside the dates of our programs and courses. Check the Foundation School fees section.
  • University of the Nations, Kona students: Your children (aged 4-17) have the option of attending Foundation School, if they have not yet taken it. Check the Foundation School fees section.
  • Kokua Crew: Due to the nature of Kokua Crew, we are unable to accommodate children while in this program, sorry.
  • Staff: Depending on their nationality and duration of service, children of our missionary staff often attend a variation of on-campus schools, home-schooling co-ops, private Christian schools (e.g. Makua Lani) or public school. On-campus programs include Foundation School (4-17 y/o), The Learning Center (link), Keiki Corner (parent co-op, 3-4 y/o), or the U of N Preschool.
 

Please note that Foundation School is not offered during the summer (July-September) quarter.

For children of DTS or U of N, Kona students, living on-campus (includes housing & food):

  • Age 4-5: $1,095
  • Age 6-11: $1,795
  • Age 12-17: $2,495
 
For children of staff, or students living off-campus:
  • All Ages: $600 per child

DTS attendees and University of the Nations, Kona students: Babies and toddlers are welcome on campus – and there are no additional fees. However, please note that we do not have a childcare program. Therefore, if both parents are students or attenders, or are otherwise unable to look after the young child during the day, you are required to bring an accompanying nanny. 

The rate is $1,995 per quarter for accompanying nannies of students. Nannies should be 18+.

Kokua Crew: Due to the nature of this program, we’re unable to host families with children.

For information specific to your situation, please contact [email protected].

Families and couples intermixed with our general student body; however, each family will receive their own room offering the same amenities as the other rooms.

Any families who have a family member attending a school at University of the Nations Kona need to complete a health form for each family member, regardless of age or personal attendance to a program. Nannies also require a health form as they live in community on our campus and go on outreach with families.
 
Children under 18 have a different health form than adults. Hawaii State Immunization requirements also differ by age. See linkImmunization-Requirements-Summary.pdf (hawaii.gov)
 
In addition to immunizations, children also require a complete physical.
 
We understand different countries have different vaccination schedules. If your child(rem) is attending foundation school, they need to meet the Hawaii State immunization requirements, regardless of your home country’s vaccination schedule.
 
Getting pediatric immunizations on the Big Island of Hawaii is VERY challenging and expensive. Please complete required immunizations for all family members prior to arrival.
 
We are unable to accept homeoprophylaxis/homeopathic immunizations as a substitute for traditional immunizations.
Email [email protected] with questions pertaining to health requirements and information about vaccine exemptions.

Degrees

University of the Nations offers a broad variety of degrees both in Kona and internationally. For a complete overview, please visit the degrees section of this website.

The UofN is a degree-granting institution (Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees), but has not applied for accreditation in any one nation’s educational system. Because of its international scope and modular structure, accreditation is a more complex process for the UofN than it is for other universities. For a full explanation of Considerations Regarding Accreditation, please visit the Accreditation page.

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE NATIONS IS NOT ACCREDITED BY AN ACCREDITING AGENCY RECOGNIZED BY THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF EDUCATION.  Admission to the University of the Nations (U of N) and any of its sponsored programs is open to qualified individuals regardless of race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, and educationally unrelated handicaps. U of N reserves the right to change schedules and course offerings as deemed necessary.

Discipleship Training School (DTS) is the foundational training program for everyone involved with Youth With A Mission. As such, it is considered an essential life experience and a prerequisite for anyone applying for a UofN course or degree.

No. Because of our international reach, UofN Kona degrees and courses are open to anyone who has graduated from a YWAM Discipleship Training School at any location.

Total cost can vary substantially depending on type of degree (AA vs BA), courses required, outreaches, etc. Additional information regarding costs can be found on the Finance page

An Associate Degree is roughly equivalent to a two-year degree and requires 84 credits, while a Bachelor’s degree is more closely aligned with a traditional four-year degree requiring 144 credits. Both degrees will require international outreaches prior to completion, however a Bachelor’s degree from UofN requires that at least two courses be completed in a zone other than the one from which the student holds their nationality.

You can also go to the UofN app, register and then review all the courses you’ve taken. It can be found at app.uofn.edu. Or write to [email protected].

If you want confirmation of completing your DTS, contact [email protected].

Finances

A full overview of tuition and fees is available on the Finance page

The “Billing & Payments” tab in your portal will offer the ability to pay by credit card, debit card or ACH (electronic check). Options are also available to pay by check or money order or by wire transfer. Additional details can be found on the Finance page

For exact dates and amounts for your program or school, please review the “Billing & Payments” tab in your portal. The information below is given as a general guideline.

DTS and University of the Nations courses

“Lecture Phase” 

  • 75 days before Arrival Day: $1,000 deposit (per person) is due.
  • 10 days before Arrival Day: The remaining balance for the program’s Lecture Phase is due.


“Outreach Phase” if applicable 

  • 28 days after Arrival Day: $2,500 deposit (per person) is due.
  • 56 days after Arrival Day: All remaining fees are due for the program or school’s Outreach Phase. 
 

Kokua Crew Volunteers

  • 10 days before Arrival Day: Your fees are due in full.

Once you’ve applied for, and are accepted into a school or program, or have been granted staff housing, check out the “Billing & Payments” tab in your portal. Here you’ll see a unique link that you can share to family and friends – e.g. via email or social media.

Please note, that payments made towards DTS, Kokua Crew, University of the Nations courses, or staff housing are not considered a tax-deductible donation.

The following refund policy applies to DTS, U of N Courses, and Foundation School only.

Lecture Phase:

  • Before Arrival Day: 100%
  • Leave on or before the 2nd Sunday of the quarter: 85%
  • Leave on or before the 3rd Sunday of the quarter: 70%
  • Leave on or before the 4th Sunday of the quarter: 60%
  • Leave on or before the 5th Sunday of the quarter: 50%
  • Any time after the 5th Sunday is non-refundable.
 

Outreach Phase:

  • Before Outreach: Full amount paid, less any airline cancellation fee and expenses already paid towards the outreach. 
  • During Outreach: Pro-rated refund of room and board (by week), less any adjustments from the airlines, ticket change fees and other non-refundable expenses.

Yes. Financial assistance is available for students who meet certain criteria. 

Scholarships: A limited number of scholarships are available, subject to availability and merit. 

Tuition Discounts: As a missionary organization, we’re proud to offer discounts to those from Developing Nations (Countries B and C – See list), subject to need, and availability, to help them take the Gospel back to their home nations. We also offer discounts to children of long-term YWAM staff (worldwide), and long-term kama’āina of Hawaiʻi.

More information can be found on the Finance page

Do you issue 1098-T’s or T-220A’s?

As YWAM Kona / U of N, Kona is unaccredited, and is not a Title IV institution, we are unable to issue Form 1098-T or T-220A for tax purposes, sorry.

What about Canadian RESPs?

  • DTS: DTS attendees are NOT considered enrolled in University of the Nations for this purpose, sorry.
  • U of N, Kona Students: We can complete the forms, but it depends on the individual RESP whether they can grant tax-free withdrawal of funds. Please contact them for clarification.

Housing

  • DTS: Yes. On-campus housing is provided and included in your program fees.
  • U of N Courses: Yes. On-campus housing is provided and included in your school fees.
  • Kokua Crew Volunteers: Yes. As part of your program fees, housing is provided in our Hale Ola facility. See www.kokuacrew.org for more info.
  • Staff: On-campus housing is available, subject to availability. (Apps: Singles | Couples/Family)

On-campus housing is generally basic, but comfortable! 

Singles, or solo-attending students will be housed in our dormitories, which have bunk beds – expect 5-9 roommates.

Married couples and families will be housed in small family rooms, according to family size and availability.

Most rooms have shelves and drawer space. Each room (dorm, or family room) is equipped with a small kitchenette (microwave and fridge), and an en-suite bathroom. Some dorms also feature a shared lounge space located between adjoining rooms.

We’re confident you’ll enjoy our on-site Cafeteria and Banyan Tree Cafe, but we understand that some people like to cook themselves. 

Each room includes a small kitchenette including a sink, refrigerator, and microwave. 

All those living on-campus are welcome to use our hospitality kitchen, subject to request and availability.

Each on-campus housing complex is equipped with reservable washers and dryers. Payment can be made via coins or via the PayRange app (iOS and Android).

Sorry, pets (with the exception of service animals) are not allowed on campus.

  • DTS: No. As the DTS program is a “live-learn environment”, attendees may not live off-campus.
  • U of N Courses: Yes, off-campus housing is an option. You may be eligible for an off-campus discount of up to $450 per quarter.
  • Staff: Yes. Please note, however, if you are serving as staff in certain schools or programs, it may be a requirement for your role to live on-campus for specific durations.

Campus Living

Located on the Big Island of Hawai’i, the UofN Kona campus is located in the heart of Kailua-Kona. Against the stunning backdrop of the Hawaiian landscape. 

The Hawaiian term ‘ohana’ sums up the values of family, intentionality, and security that are integral to daily life at the University of the Nations campus. Being a part of this ohana means being appreciated personally and included in every part of campus life. Students have the opportunity to go deeper in their relationship with God as they attend University in paradise.

During a typical day, students can expect to have class lectures, work duty, and corporate gatherings. Class and work duty vary on what time they occur depending on what course you are attending and what work duty you are assigned to. On Monday mornings, you will begin the week by attending a corporate worship meeting. On Thursday evenings, the Ohana Gathering, sees the whole campus gather together for worship and a time of teaching.

Lecture time varies from course to course depending on the topic and nature of the material being covered. In general, you can expect to be involved in lectures, processing time, intercession & prayer, worship, etc. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

This depends on what course you are in and the intensity level of said course. For example, in the School of Writing, students have anywhere from eight to fifteen hours a week. However, homework for a student in the School of Biblical Studies can reach eight to ten hours per day.

Work duty is a way for students to serve and give back to the UofN. Typically a student will spend two hours per day helping an essential need on campus. Many students end up helping out in the kitchen, taking care of the grounds, serving in the onsight cafe, etc.

Downtown Kona is within walking distance from the campus. However, for places farther away, the campus provides shuttles to nearby shopping areas multiple times a week. There are also shuttles running on Sundays to take students to nearby churches. In addition, there is a local trolley that can be ridden for a small fee, rental cars, and services such as Uber, Turo, or taxis.

Yes. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided daily with the exception of Saturday which is brunch and dinner. The cost of food is included in your lecture fees.

The campus strives to serve well-rounded meals that contain fruit/vegetables, protein, and carbs every day. While the meals change daily, there is always a salad bar available at lunch and dinner.

Yes. There is a vegetarian option available at every meal. Gluten-free and dairy free options are also available.

There is a USPS mail room on campus. You can go there and present your ID if you want to send mail or receive packages. Letters will be received by school staff and distributed in class.

Our mailing address is 75-5851 Kuakini Highway, Kailua Kona, HI 96740. Your school leader can provide you with your school’s mail box number is, which needs to be included in the mailing address.

Youth With A Mission is an international and interdenominational missions movement. It is the parent organisation of the UofN, and we share a campus with YWAM Kona. For more information on YWAM around the globe, click here.

Our campus clinic, The Ola Pono Health Center (OPHC) is temporarily closed. We do have a medical team on campus that oversees the necessary TB testing, outreach vaccinations, and outreach Covid-19 testing. If you need medical attention you can go to Aloha Kona Urgent Care located 1 minute south of campus at 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy, Ste 213. 96740. The nearest hospital is Kona Community Hospital located 25 minutes south of campus at 79-1019 Haukapila St. Kealakekua, HI 96750. If you have a medical emergency while on or off campus please call 911 immediately and then your school staff. 

The UofN Kona is committed to a safe and secure environment for all students and staff. Entry to campus is through an ID operated electric gate with a manned booth, and access to buildings is controlled. Mealtimes require all students and staff to scan their IDs, and visitors are checked in on arrival. Security officers patrol the premises, and attention is paid to the safety of students at every opportunity.

Quick Links

Hawaii Police Department
Emergency Updates

Contact
Department of Campus Safety
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
Office Line: 808-365-5041
Security Cell: 808-345-1911
Email address: [email protected]

Yes here it is:

 

In your free time, you have many opportunities to engage in island life.

Known for its stunning landscapes, featuring volcanos, beaches, and tropical valleys, the Big Island offers countless places to explore.

For those who want to stay closer to home, there is plenty to do on campus or downtown.

Please remember that there many places on the island that are sacred to Native Hawaiians, please follow all posted signs and warnings, and refrain from going on to private property as we want to be respectful to the land and people who live here.  

 

Preparation & Arrival

Here’s a basic list of things that you’ll need for your time here at the YWAM  / U of N, Kona:

  • Single size bed sheets, pillow, and a light blanket*
  • Towel
  • Personal toiletry items
  • Notebook and pen
  • A small gift representing your nation (This is important for Hawaiian arrival ‘protocol’)
  • Laptop, iPad, musical instruments, etc (some schools require a laptop or musical instruments, you’ll be informed if you need these when you get accepted)
  • Backpack or suitcase (this will depend on if your school has an outreach, contact your course leaders for more information)
  • Proof of health insurance (must be valid in the U.S./State of Hawai’i)
  • Passport (must be valid for at least six months after your course.)
 

Here’s an additional list of recommended items:

  • Raincoat
  • Clip-on fan (you can also easily buy these after you arrive)
  • Insect repellent
  • Modest swimsuit
  • Reef-safe sunscreen
 

*Couples rooms may have queen or king beds — please check with your school leader if you’re unsure

Yes. All staff, students, and volunteers are required to present valid health insurance on registration. This insurance must be valid in the United States (including Hawai’i). For this purpose, we do accept health-sharing plans.

The State of Hawaii requires that all students, staff and volunteers have clearance of tuberculosis (TB).

DTS, Kokua Crew and U of N, Kona Students (US-residents): Complete the TB portion of the application in your portal. The first step is to complete the Risk Assessment – a Q&A which will enable our Campus Health team to determine if you need further tests.  If you do, they will advise what you need to do next. Most attendees do not need further tests.

DTS, Kokua Crew and U of N, Kona Students (non US-residents): Complete the TB portion of the application in your portal. The first step is to complete the TB Risk Assessment – a Q&A in the portal which will enable our Campus Health team to determine if you need further tests. Many applicants do not need further tests. If you are from a country with a high prevalence of TB such as South Korea, the Campus Health team may encourage you to obtain a “QuantiFERON-TB Gold” blood test, and upload the results in English.

Staff: If you have been a recent YWAM Kona volunteer, DTS attendee, or a U of N, Kona student, the State of Hawai’i has no further TB requirements for you (assuming you have already been cleared). If this is your first time joining us, you may need TB clearance. Please email [email protected] for more info.

Please note that the State of Hawai’i does not accept X-rays or TB skin tests taken outside the United States.

Make sure you have paid any fees due, prior to any deadlines. 

If you are coming as a DTS attendee, U of N, Kona student, or Kokua Crew volunteer, please also upload an ID-style selfie to the “ID Photo” section of your application. This will help us prepare your ID in advance! For staff, you can email an ID-style photo in advance to [email protected]

DTS/U of N, Kona Students and Kokua Crew: When you arrive at Kona International Airport (KOA) on Arrival Day, a YWAM Kona/UofN greeter will be there waiting for you near the baggage claim. These greeters will be stationed at the airport all day. A shuttle will take you to campus where you will proceed to the registration area and find your school staff who will greet you and help you get your room key, ID, and health forms in order .

Remember: Input your flight info into the “Arrival” section of your application!

Staff/Other Volunteers: We do not provide airport pickup for staff or other volunteers. Please contact your department leader or ministry contact.

Visas

As a short-term missionary training program, the YWAM Kona DTS may be undertaken either on the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) or with B-1 status. You may not take DTS on F-1 or M-1 student visa status. Once you are accepted, we’ll send you further information, specific to you.
  • Canadians: You simply need to present an Invitation Letter from us. Nothing needs to be done in advance!
  • ESTA: If you are eligible to use ESTA (link), we encourage this option, which grants you up to 90 days in the U.S. under the “Visa Waiver Program”.  We’ll provide an Invitation Letter to facilitate your entry into the U.S. to obtain “WB” status.
  • All Others: We will provide paperwork to help you obtain a B-1 visa, as well as an Invitation Letter to present on entry to the U.S. which requests B-1 status. If you have an existing B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa, you can use this to enter the U.S. alongside our Invitation Letter.

Exceptions

U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders), citizens of Palau, citizens of CNMI, foreign citizens with approved DACA, and those on dependent visas (e.g. H-4, R-2, F-2), may attend the YWAM Kona DTS without restriction. For other visa classifications, or for further questions, email [email protected]

You must have a “Form I-20” and obtain F-1 student status (yes, even Canadians!) You may not study at University of the Nations, Kona as a visitor (e.g. B-1, B-2, or ESTA/Visa Waiver Program], or M-1 student status. If applicable, your non-attending dependent spouse and/or children can obtain F-2 status.

Once you’re accepted, we’ll send you further info on the next steps, if any, that you have to take. Do not apply for a visa without first chatting with us. 

As part of this process, please be prepared to upload in your Student Portal:

  • Finances – evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses. You can either pay fully (in advance), or provide bank statements or affidavits from sponsors.
  • English Proficiency – If your course is in English and this is not your native language, please have an Proficiency Test completed by an authorized tester. One will be provided for you.
  • Passport – A clear copy of passport bio (photo) page
 

Further, we may also need:

  • Degree Plan – Degree students will also need to contact the Degree Team ([email protected]) to formalize a degree plan to meet your educational objective
 
Are there any fees?
  • All F-1 international students are required to pay a $350.00 “SEVIS Fee” to the U.S. Government.  There is no fee for F-2 dependents.
  • If you need to have an interview at U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a visa sticker (Canadians do not), there will be a $160.00 fee per sticker, plus any Visa Reciprocity Fees (these are rare).
 

Exceptions

U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders), citizens of Palau, citizens of CNMI, foreign citizens with approved DACA, and those on dependent visas (e.g. H-4, R-2) which permit study, may attend University of the Nations, Kona without restriction. For other visa classifications, or for further questions, email [email protected]

As a short-term participant in a voluntary service program, you may do this on the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) or with B-1 status. Once you are accepted, we’ll send you further information, specific to you.
  • Canadians: You simply need to present an Invitation Letter from us. Nothing needs to be done in advance!
  • ESTA: If you are eligible to use ESTA (link), we encourage this option, which grants you up to 90 days in the U.S. under the “Visa Waiver Program”.  We’ll provide an Invitation Letter to facilitate your entry into the U.S. to obtain “WB” status.
  • All Others: We will provide paperwork to help you obtain a B-1 visa, as well as an Invitation Letter to present on entry to the U.S. which requests B-1 status. If you have an existing B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa, you can use this to enter the U.S. alongside our Invitation Letter.

Exceptions

U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders), citizens of Palau, citizens of CNMI, foreign citizens with approved DACA, and those on dependent visas (e.g. H-4, R-2, F-2), may volunteer at YWAM Kona/U of N, Kona without restriction. For other visa classifications, or for further questions, email [email protected]

At this time, our Mission Builder program focuses on short-term construction projects. As such, this is not open to internationals, sorry. 

Exceptions

U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders), citizens of Palau, citizens of CNMI, foreign citizens with approved DACA, and those on dependent visas (e.g. H-4, R-2, F-2), may volunteer at YWAM Kona/U of N, Kona without restriction. For other visa classifications, or for further questions, email [email protected]

As a short-term volunteer participating in missionary service, you may do this on the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) or with B-1 status. Once you are accepted, we’ll send you further information, specific to you. Follow the links in that email to complete our request form.
  • Canadians: You simply need to present an Invitation Letter from us to request B-1 status. Nothing needs to be done in advance!
  • ESTA: If you are eligible to use ESTA (link), we encourage this option, which grants you up to 90 days in the U.S. under the “Visa Waiver Program”.  We’ll provide an Invitation Letter to facilitate your entry into the U.S. to obtain “WB” status.
  • All Others: We will provide paperwork to help you obtain a B-1 visa, as well as an Invitation Letter to present on entry to the U.S. which requests B-1 status. If you have an existing B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa, you can use this to enter the U.S. alongside our Invitation Letter.
  • Staff entering under the B-1 status can request up to a one-year stamp in the United States.
 
Long-term staff may be eligible for R-1 (Religious Worker) sponsorship. This first requires that you have been an active member of YWAM for at least 2-years, and are coming to perform eligible religious work. Certain roles, such as administration, or support roles, do not suffice. For more info, email [email protected] 

Exceptions:
U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders), citizens of Palau, citizens of CNMI, foreign citizens with approved DACA, and those on dependent visas (e.g. H-4, R-2, F-2), may volunteer at YWAM Kona DTS without restriction. For other visa classifications, or for further questions, email [email protected]

DTS/Kokua Crew: Yes, but please keep in mind if your stay in the U.S. may be limited to 90 days (ESTA/VWP) or 6-months (B-1).

U of N students: You can arrive no earlier than the “Earliest Admission Date” listed on your Form I-20.

Plan ahead! Remember that no accommodation is provided at YWAM Kona/U of N, Kona for anyone who chooses to arrive prior to their programs Arrival Day! No exceptions. Check nearby hotels or AirBNB for listings.

DTS/Kokua Crew: Please contact your program leader.

U of N Courses: It is imperative that you arrive to your course on time to commence your studies, as you may experience difficulty entering the U.S. after the program’s start date that is listed on your Form I-20. If you must travel, due to an emergency, please contact the Visa Desk as soon as possible: [email protected].

Visitors on the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA), B-1 or B-2 status, F-1* status, or F-2 dependents are generally NOT permitted to fundraise or work in the United States. It is expected that all of your expenses come from outside the United States, and working or fundraising for expenses (e.g. car washes) may be a violation of U.S. immigration law.

* Degree-seeking F-1 students may be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) – a work-permit to allow you to work in the U.S. for up to 1-year, in your field of study, after the completion of your program. Our F-1 visa team can advise you on this matter.

Yes, this may be an option for you. Please discuss with a member of the visa team – [email protected]

DTS: Please discuss with your program leader. You may need a new Invitation Letter. Email [email protected] for more info.

U of N students: If you are traveling during a scheduled break, you will be required to have your Form I-20 signed by a member of the student visa team before you travel. Please also ensure your passport and F-1 visa (if applicable) is valid for re-entry.

Staff/Other Volunteers: Please keep in mind you may need a new Invitation Letter. Email [email protected] for more info.

DTS/Kokua Crew/Staff/Volunteers: You may remain in the United States no later than your period of authorized admission in the United States. You can verify this (after entering the U.S.) here

U of N, Kona students: Students who complete their studies are permitted to stay in the United States up to sixty (60) days for leisure purposes. Students who terminate their studies early are only provided with a fifteen (15) day period. Email [email protected] if you have questions.

After you have completed your application and are accepted, the Visa Desk will email further instructions specific to the individual. You can also contact us at [email protected] (DTS) or [email protected] (U of N or Staff).

DTS:

The Visa Desk will provide specific information regarding individual applications, but students should expect to provide the following:

  • Verification of High School Completion – e.g. High School Diploma, General Education Diploma or equivalent national examinations
  • Finances – evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses [See FAQ]
  • English Proficiency* – If your course is in English and this is not your native language, please have the Proficiency Test completed by an authorized tester
  • Passport – A copy of passport biographical page
  • Degree Plan – Degree students will also need to contact the Degree Team ([email protected]) to formalize a degree plan to meet your educational objective

The UofN Kona Visa Desk is available to help guide you through the process of applying for your student visa.

Detailed step by step instructions regarding the visa process are available on the Visas page. In general, the process will follow this path:

  • Step 1 – Acceptance to your course of study
  • Step 2 – F-1 Application Pack
  • Step 3 – Issuance of Form I-20
  • Step 4 – SEVIS Fee
  • Step 5 – Visa Interview (Not required for Canadians)
  • Step 6 – Entering the United States

For non U.S. residents, it is important that you present a YWAM Kona “Invitation Letter” to U.S. Immigration officials explaining the nature of your trip as a trainee missionary. This is not your Acceptance Email!

If you haven’t received an Invitation Letter, Please complete this form.

If you have difficulty at the Port of Entry into the U.S., Immigration officials may contact us at (808) 326-4545.

You are required to submit evidence of your ability to pay for your stay in the United States, including tuition and living expenses, before a Form I-20 may be issued. For those attending a one-time course, you will need to show you can pay the full cost of the specific course you are attending. For those attending multiple courses and/or degree programs, you must show you are able to pay the equivalent to one year of study or three academic quarters.
Financial evidence may be provided in the form of personal bank statements or signed statements from sponsors.

International students are required to have the ability to pay their school fees before a Form I-20 may be issued. International students may not work or fundraise in the United States. For information on Financial Assistance, please click here [link to Financial Assistance page.]

Visitors

Yes! Campus tours are available and we would love to show you around! To schedule a visit, call 1 (808) 326-4487

Yes. Visitors are allowed on campus, but must check in with security at the entrance gate upon arrival. 

Overnight guests must be pre-approved either through Campus Housing ([email protected]) or via the GO Center ([email protected])

Our Global Outreach (“GO”) Center facilitates guests. To check availability, please contact the Go Center at 1 (808) 326-4455 or gocen[email protected]. Rooms have a suggested donation of $70 per night.