Partner Programs

Up with People

Program Overview

Up with People is a program available to current Hawai'i Pacific University students who have a desire to develop and connect with other young people of the world, learning the qualities of leadership, global perspective, social responsibility and contribution to community.

For nearly four decades, Up with People has been developing and connecting young people from around the world through a unique multicultural, international educational program.  The program has graduated thousands of students who are inspired to meet the needs of their communities, their countries and the world. The program has not only provided students a unique experience combining international travel, intercultural living, performing arts and community service, but also has built cross-cultural understanding among people around the globe.

In Up with People, more than 100 students from 20 countries travel together on a multi-continent tour.  The group will visit a new city each week.  In each city the students live with host families, actively engage in the community through community service project and regional learning opportunities and perform in a vibrant and moving musical stage show that brings the community together.  

Up with People combines the theoretical study of leadership with practical hands-on learning and leadership opportunities.  The program curriculum consists of four components:

  • Global Education: Each city Up with People visits becomes a classroom and learning laboratory.  Participants meet with political, corporate and social leaders from around the globe.  They discover what makes a region unique by gaining a better understanding of its politics, history, culture, geography, environmental issues, religions and economics.
  • Professional Development:  Students select two of eleven teams to participate in during the semester.  These multi-cultural teams facilitate operational components of the program, for example, city logistics, documentation, and regional learning.  In this setting students take a leadership role in the group and learn multi-cultural teamwork.
  • Community Impact:  In each city, the students learn about social issues that the community is facing and take part in providing service to that community.  For example, students may learn about the tension between the logging industry and conservationists, followed by spending a day planting trees with youth from the community.
  • Multi-Cultural Immersion:  Students spend the semester in a multi-cultural group typically representing 30 cultures.  Also, students live in host families in each city visited, learning about the region through a local perspective.

Program activities include travel and tours, musical performance, workshops and presentations by visiting professors, hands-on practice, and community contribution and service projects.