Aloha Hawaii

Led by Elizabeth Leer, Associate Professor of Education

January 5–15, 2019


This program needs 4 more participants before September 1 to go. But don’t wait until then to register — it could fill anytime! Maximum group size is 25 total travelers.

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Escape the polar vortex and say Aloha to Hawaii!

We’ll visit Oahu and the “Big Island” of Hawaii, exploring natural and historic sites and learning about the cultural context of our fiftieth state. In Honolulu, we will learn about early Hawaiian culture, the Hawaiian monarchy and its eventual overthrow, and the sovereignty movement. Given Hawaii’s history as a colonized nation, we will consider the importance of indigenous education. A highlight of the program will be a visit to the renowned Kamehameha schools, which are dedicated to the well-being and education of native Hawaiians and play a major role in the preservation of Hawaiian language and culture. In addition to taking in museums and sites of historical importance (e.g., Pearl Harbor), we will revel in the temperate climate and lush setting through activities like hiking Diamond Head crater, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, and relaxing on quiet, north shore beaches.

To finish the program, we will fly to the Big Island and take in its volcanic landscape. We will land in Hilo and drive to Akaka Falls State Park where we’ll stroll through tropical rainforest en route to two picturesque waterfalls. At Volcanoes National Park, we will hike through lava tubes and observe active volcanos along the Crater Rim Drive. On the island’s western coast, we will visit Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, or “place of refuge” for ancient Hawaiian breakers of the sacred “kapu” laws. Our last destination, historic Kailua-Kona, is the former capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and home of the world-famous Kona coffee.

We invite you to enjoy the beauty, culture, and history of the Hawaiian Islands!

See the full Itinerary.

Program Leader   

Elizabeth Leer (Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction, English Education) is Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department at St. Olaf. Her experience as a public school teacher led to her research interest in how to infuse multicultural education (especially multicultural literature) effectively into largely homogeneous environments, and her experience in the teacher education program at St. Olaf led to her interest in preparing culturally competent teachers who can meet the needs of all of their students. She is the author of Multicultural Literature in Monocultural Classrooms: White Teachers Explore Diverse Texts with White Students. She teaches general pedagogy and English education methods courses and has led the interim course “Multicultural Education in Hawaii” in 2010, 2014, and 2016.

What to Expect   

You should be in good physical shape to participate on this program, with the ability to walk several miles unassisted and participate in several hours of physical activities each day. Excursions include walking on unpaved surfaces, uneven pavement, stairs, and hills, and a great deal of standing. Good balance is required. The program is not recommended for slow walkers or travelers using walkers or canes. There will be opportunities for hiking and snorkeling.

Program Fee   

The program fee is $4,243 per person. Based on double occupancy, it includes discussions led by Elizabeth Leer, accommodations, breakfast daily and group meals as listed on the itinerary, admissions for group activities, ground transportation (except airport transfers at the beginning and end of the program), a round-trip flight within the program, and gratuities for group meals and guides. For single occupancy, add $884.

Airfare to and from Honolulu is not included in the program fee. Participants are solely responsible for all expenses not specifically included in the program fee. Examples of excluded expenses are: Airfare between your home town and Honolulu • Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the program • Any recommended immunizations or vaccinations • Trip cancellation insurance • Alcoholic beverages • Internet or phone charges • Gratuities to hotel staff.

A $500 per person deposit is required upon registration. Register now or view the full Payment Schedule.

Making your Travel Plans   

Do not purchase non-refundable airfare until we can confirm the program has enough participants to go. If you register, you should plan to arrive in Honolulu by late afternoon on Saturday, January 5, 2019. Plan to depart from Honolulu in the evening on Monday, January 14, arriving home the next day. More details about the timing of flights home will be given to participants closer to departure.

More Information and Helpful Documents   

Visit our Resources, including frequently asked questions, how to be an independent group traveler, safety overview, and photos from previous programs.

Helpful Documents

Payment Schedule
Terms and Conditions
Release and Waiver

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