Sustainability and Tourism Development in The Hawai’ian Archipelago

Aloha, discover Hawaii from a sustainable tourism angle!

Welcome to Hawaii, this Group Study Program will introduce students to the issues of sustainability and tourism development in the Hawai’ian Archipelago, including the locations like Honolulu, Kona, Hilo and Kihei in Oahu, The Big Island and Maui in the State of Hawaii. Hawai’i has been a popular tourist destination for many decades due to its stunning natural landscapes and its vibrant culture. As a result, the impacts on the islands and their residents have been profound in many ways.  This program will focus on the sustainability issues faced in Hawai’i and the impacts of tourism on Hawai’ian culture, society, economy, and environment.

Participants will engage with course topics through direct observation, lectures, fieldwork, and communication with local university contacts.

Key information


Hawai'i, United States




Spring 2022

Program type

Group Study

Application information

Application status


Application deadline


Additional requirements

This program is open to students from all majors. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

Info sessions

Q&A session - Geography Europe and Hawaii Group Studies on:

January 27th, from 3:00 - 4:00 PM

Register here:


Dr. Aaron Williams

Have questions?

For program information, please contact Aaron Williams at

For application and registration support, please contact the Group Study Team at

Other useful links:

Recording Q&A session for Geography Europe and Hawaii programs

Please note: this video has automatic closed captions

Intro & academic info

Aaron Williams

Virtual itinerary video

Aaron Williams

Hawai'i 2022 Google Earth Itinerary

Click the link and select present to view, then scroll through destinations.
This itinerary will be updated as working itinerary.

Program details

Questions about these courses should be directed to the program instructor.

Please note: course descriptions are tentative and subject to change.

  1. Courses offered

    Students on this program are required to enroll in three courses. Students may choose three from the following list of courses, GEOG 390 is mandatory:

    GEOG 390: International Field Studies (3 credits) (mandatory)

    UBST 494: Sustainable Cities I (3 credits)

    GEOG 436: Field Studies in Physical and Environmental Geography

    GEOG 596: Directed Independent Study (3 credits)

  2. Prerequisites

    GEOG 390: Consent of the department

    UBST 494: Consent of the department

    GEOG 436: Consent of the department

    GEOG 596: Consent of the department

  1. Pre-departure

    Date TBD, Calgary: Mandatory group travel clinic

    Date TBD, Calgary: Mandatory pre-departure orientation

    May 1, Calgary: On campus international field studies academic sessions

  2. In-field

    May 2: Depart Calgary for Honolulu

    May 3-7: Honolulu (Urban field study of Waikiki tourism development, Hiking in Diamond Head State Park, Polynesian Cultural Center)

    May 8 - 10: Kona (Urban excursion, hike to Captain Cook monument)

    May 11-12: Hilo (Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park)

    May 13-17: Kihei (Tourism development, daytrip along the west coast of Maui, Haleakala National Park, Hiking and Snorkelling excursion onshore in Mākena State Park)

    May 18: Flight back to Calgary or post-program travel

    Click here for detailed itinerary (coming soon)

  3. Post-field

    Assignment deadlines to be confirmed

  1. Costs

    The estimated cost of the Environmental and Conservation Geography of Southeast Asia Group Study Program is $6,977. This includes tuition, airfare, field trips, local transportation, accommodations and meals. 

    For the full cost breakdown and payment deadlines, please see the program Student Cost Summary. 

    Important information regarding deposit payments: Deposits are non-refundable. Deposits secure your space in the program and allows payment for logistical arrangements to be made in advance.

  2. Funding

    Subject to change, please check back later for updates:

    International Study Travel Grant: Students studying abroad may be eligible for the University of Calgary's International Study Travel Grant. For more information on eligibility, application details and deadlines please click here.

    Faculty of Arts Group Study Program (GSP) Scholarships (for GSP participants) and Faculty of Arts Student Study Abroad Scholarships (for other international programs) - up to 10 awards of $1000 each! Application not currently open. Details to come.

    IDEAS Funding: Students in the Faculty of Science are encouraged to apply for IDEAS funding. For more information, please click here.

    Student loans: If you qualify for student loans, your program should qualify. We are able to provide you with a letter confirming your participation in the program for funding purposes. Please email to request a letter.

    Please note that eligibility for student loans is determined by your loans provider. 

    Click here for more info on funding opportunities!

All students will stay at student appropriate, safe and clean accommodations.


This program is open to undergraduate students in good academic standing from all faculties.

Applications will be considered after your application, unofficial transcript, questionnaire and program agreement have been received by Study Abroad.

  1. Statement of Purpose

    Please tell us why you want to study abroad, why you have selected this particular program (academic reasons, personal interest, career prospects, etc.), how this program will meet your academic objectives and/or complement your degree, how you plan to finance your program and why you should be selected.

    The Statement of Purpose is submitted within your online application (max 500 words).

    Note: Because the online application will time out after one hour, we recommend that you compose your statement of purpose in advance in Word to check for spelling, grammar and word count, and then paste it into the online application.

  2. Additional documents

    Download an unofficial transcript from your Student Centre.

    Click here for a step-by-step guide to access your unofficial transcript.

    Please download both the supplementary questionnaire and program agreement for this program. 

    Complete and sign both forms, and submit your forms and transcripts by email to

  3. Interview with the Instructor

    After your complete application has been received and reviewed by the instructors, you will be contacted by Dr. Aaron Williams to schedule an interview. Please watch your UCalgary email account and expect to be contacted within several business days

  4. Swim Assessment for Snorkeling

    The snorkeling activities have been specifically chosen to support your academic learning in this program. We encourage all students to participate if they are able. If you are unable to participate in the snorkeling component of this program, you will be able to participate in an alternate land-based activity. 

    Students who are participating in the snorkeling component of this program will have to complete a basic swim assessment prior to the program departure. You can view the assessment components here.

    You will be provided with information on how to book your swim assessment after you have submitted your application. 

Please ensure that you have read the Group Study Program General FAQs thoroughly before applying.


Program-specific FAQs

Q: The detailed itinerary for this program includes snorkelling. Is it mandatory to participate in this activity? What safety precautions will be taken? 
A: The snorkeling activities have been specifically chosen to support your academic learning in this program. We encourage all students to participate if they are able, however, it is not mandatory: an alternate land-based activity will be offered for students who will not be snorkeling. A basic swimming test will be scheduled and successful completion of the test is required in order for students to be able to snorkel. More information about the swim test will be sent to you after your application is accepted.

The lectures and activities took us to many areas where tourism had not yet been developed providing a raw experience that would be difficult to experience without the university.

Sam Finn

2015 SE Asia GSP Participant

Getting started

Program-Specific Info Sessions

Info sessions are scheduled for every Group Study Program. Attending an info session is not required to apply, but strongly recommended as it will give you an opportunity to meet the instructor and learn more about the travel experience.

We also recommend watching Global Learning 101 for general information.

Watch Global Learning 101

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this program, you can meet with one of our Group Study Advisors by emailing or booking an appointment through the link below.

1. Select "Advising"
2. Select “Study Abroad”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Select your program advisor to view available times.

Book an appointment

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how a Group Study Program might align with your degree.

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.