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HIPHI Internship and Volunteer Program FAQ

HIPHI’s internship and volunteer program matches students with one of our staff members based on which public health health issue they are interested in and which skill sets they want to learn and practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between internship and volunteering?

Internship is for students and recent graduates who want to learn/practice public health issues and skills – they are learners. Most interns will be earning credits during their practicum experience or it is a requirement for graduation. Volunteering is for people who want to share their skills with HIPHI,  on their own time.


Q: How do we apply to be considered for internship and volunteering? 

Complete our application form. We select applicants for interviews if the applicant’s interest areas match with one of our programs and our staff has the capacity to teach the skills the applicant wants to learn. We offer internship opportunities if HIPHI staff have projects and time to mentor students.


Q: When do you review applications?

We typically begin reviewing applications two to three months and as late as one month before the start of the semester. To receive an update on the status of your application, email or Staff will consider applicants if they have projects to assign students and if they have time to mentor students. For this reason, we are unable to consider students months in advance. Applicants will receive an email invitation to interview with our staff.


Q: What information do you need from my university (internship only)?

During the interview, we will ask candidates to send us a practicum handbook/guide so we can assess whether our staff can fulfill your practicum preceptor/site requirements. If HIPHI has not worked with students from the student’s university, we will ask the university to send us a Memorandum of Agreement.


Q: What do I need to do to begin my internship project and volunteering experience?

All interns and volunteers must attend orientation (a one-hour presentation of HIPHI’s policies and procedures) and complete our Agreement Form. Interns and volunteers may start working on internship or volunteer projects after submitting their Agreement Forms.


Q: Are the internship and volunteer experiences paid? Do you offer stipends?

All internship and volunteer positions are UNPAID. HIPHI does not offer stipends. Interns who attend universities in the Western Region (HI, CA, AZ, NV, US Pacific Islands) may consider the stipend program from the Western Region Public Health Training Center. Please inform your university academic advisor and HIPHI supervisor if you plan to apply to WRPHTC’s stipend program.


Q: Do you accept international students? Can I get a  J-1 Visas?

HIPHI is open to mentoring international students, however, students will be responsible for financing their own J-1 Visa (visa and fees), which may cost up to $3,000+ depending on the length of stay. Please visit the U.S. State Department’s website to learn more about the J-1 Visas. We are able to accommodate students who live in Canada, who are able to work remotely. We require remote-students to work on their projects during HIPHI’s business hours (Monday through Fridays 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM). 


Q: Do I need to be vaccinated to be an intern and volunteer for HIPHI?

Students who physically reside in Hawai‘i during internship and volunteer term are required to be fully-vaccinated (including a booster shot) and submit proof of vaccination or valid exemption letter after their orientation. Interns and volunteers who plan to physically attend meetings or events in Hawai‘i are also required to submit proof of vaccination or valid exemption. Students who physically reside in the continental US during their internship or volunteer term do not need to submit proof of vaccination or exemption, as they will be working remotely. Applicants do not need to provide proof of vaccination or exemption.


Q: Will I be required to work in-person at HIPHI or remotely?

We expect interns and volunteers to work remotely from home until HIPHI changes its policies and procedures. HIPHI is equipped with remote-work tools such as video conferencing, messaging apps, cloud storage, and online-based office apps (Google Workspace).


Q: Will my internship eventually become a paid position?

No, none of our internship positions/projects become paid positions. If you are looking for employment, learn more about vacant positions on HIPHI’s Employment page


Q: What training opportunities are available at HIPHI?

HIPHI occasionally offers webinars for students. To view past webinars, visit this website. HIPHI also convenes the Hawai‘i Public Health Training Hui (PHTH), which offers free, monthly webinars for public health professionals. To learn more about PHTH and view past training seminars, go to this website.


Read: Recent Newsletter Article

Read: Intern’s experience at HIPH

We would like to welcome our new interns and volunteers, and express our gratitude to those who are finishing their internship/volunteer experience in  Spring 2022!

  • Adjalinda Aragon – Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui Intern, Hawai‘i Pacific University
  • Amanda Oberle – Maui County Food Access Intern, University of South Carolina
  • Andrew Bidtah – Food Systems and Resiliency Intern, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Dr. Andrew Davidson – Oral Health Intern, Brock University
  • Celia Chang – CTFH Hawai‘i Youth Council, Washington University
  • Gavin Sako – Hawai‘i County HEAL Intern, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
  • Katherine Morgan – Maui Nui Food Alliance Intern, Emory University
  • Maria Aurelio – Hawai‘i County HEAL Intern, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
  • Mateo Estuar – Maui County HEAL Volunteer, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Michael Chase – Maui County HEAL Intern, University of Southern California
  • Sydney Shibuya – Hawai‘i Youth Food Council Intern, Chaminade University
Rie Kuhaulua, PsyD, MPH

Rie Kuhaulua, PsyD, MPH

Public Health Workforce Development Program Manager
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