Hawaii is where it all started for IGS. We have used thirty plus internship hosts on five different islands. We have set up obscure requests including a glass blowing internship. And we have stayed maistream with coral reef research with top scientists. Included in that mix are physical rehabilitaion placements, financial planners, and even a surf school. Hawaii has been great to our clients and to IGS. Favorite excursions have been over to the Big Island and Volcanoes National Park. Our Founder, Dr. David Adams, once led a group of students to an eruption site. Back in the 90’s you were allowed to walk over the freshly-crusted lava as it emptied into the sea. Tourists returned with partially-melted shoes and photos of the lava flowing literally below their feet. Put that down in the “what was the Park Service were they thinking” file? For those who walked the steamy paths, their soles/souls were forever touched.

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania, the only U.S. state located outside North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.




Honolulu  Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The city is the main gateway to Hawaii and a major portal into the United States. It is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions. Honolulu is the most remote city of its size in the world and is the westernmost and southernmost major U.S. city. Honolulu means “sheltered harbor” or “calm port”. The city has been the capital of the Hawaiian Islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan near the city on December 7, 1941. As of 2015, Honolulu was ranked high on world livability rankings, and was also ranked as the 2nd safest city in the U.S. Honolulu also contains small pockets of rainforest, canyons, waterfalls and beaches with coral reefs. It is the location of Punchbowl – a crater-turned-cemetery, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

KauaiKauai  Kauai is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s nicknamed “the Garden Isle” for its tropical rainforest covering much of its surface. The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Na Pali Coast have served as a backdrop for major Hollywood films, while 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge are major hiking destinations.

Popular beaches include Poipu and half-moon Hanalei Bay as well as Ke’e, whose offshore reefs offer snorkeling and scuba diving. Humpback whale-watching is a wintertime draw, while the National Tropical Botanical Garden showcases diverse native plants. Upscale resorts offer fine dining, spas and golf. Zip-lining and helicopter tours are adventuresome options. Nature lovers, beach bums, hikers, bird watchers, and travelers who want to escape tourist crowds without getting too far from civilization.

Haleakala National Park  Haleakala National Park is an American national park located on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii. This area is considered sacred to native Hawaiians and there are many important cultural sites within the national park. This enchanted place echoes with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The word Haleakala actually means “house of the sun.” According to a local legend, the demigod Maui caught the sun at the summit of Haleakala and forced it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day. The park features the dormant Haleakala (East Maui) Volcano, which last erupted sometime between 1480 and 1600 AD. The park is divided into two distinct sections: the summit area and the coastal Kipahulu area. The park is known for its unique volcanic features, its long scenic drive with numerous overlooks, and the unusually clear views of the night sky available. The main feature of this part of the park is undoubtedly the famous Haleakala Crater. The interior of the crater is dotted by numerous volcanic features, including large cinder cones. Two main trails lead into the crater from the summit area: the Halemau’u and Sliding Sands trails. People came from all over the world to hike to Haleakala’s summit. Each morning, visitors come to the summit of the volcano to watch the spectacular sunrise. More visitors come each afternoon to watch the equally amazing sunset. The second section of the park is the Kipahulu. Visitors cannot drive directly to this section from the summit area; they must take a winding coastal road that travels around the windward coast of the island. This part of the park lies within the lower part of Kipahulu Valley. It is separated from the summit area of the park by the upper portion of the valley. This area is designated the Kipahulu Valley Biological Reserve and is closed to the public to preserve the native plant and animal species in this fragile rainforest. This section of the park features more than two dozen pools along Palikea Stream in the gulch called ‘Ohe’o. These pools contain rare native freshwater fish. Visitors may choose to swim in these pools, or they may choose to hike a trail that takes visitors up to the base of Waimoku Falls. More than 90% of the native plants and animals found in Haleakala National Park cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Tourist interest in the area was the primary force responsible for the area becoming a National Park in 1916 and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980.


Tourism is an important part of the Hawaiian economy. Due to the mild year-round weather, tourist travel is popular throughout the year. The Hawaiian islands bring out the adventurer in everyone.

The Big Island is known for its volcanoes both active and historic, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has many choices for those who want to experience a walk on previously red hot surface. One of the best easy trails in the park is the Thurston Lava Tube, which takes you on an adventure through the forest into a tunnel that once carried lava. The tunnel itself has a full walkway shrouded in darkness, gives quite a shiver and goosebumps everywhere. The Koko Crater Trail allows you to climb to the top of it and get great views of Oahu and other Hawaiian Islands on a clear day. The trail is steep and difficult but it’s all worth it, and this is the perfect hike if you want to feel like the king of the world. You’ll find the path to the Twin Falls hike just past mile marker 2 on the Hana Highway, which is full of Hawaii’s beautiful native plants and trees all the way to the overlooking waterfall. The trek itself tends to be pretty easy. The twin waterfalls themselves provide a calm and cold water, perfect for anyone wanting for a swim.

You should check out Haleiwa Beach Park in the charming town of Haleiwa. Sunsets here are in perfect view, the water is on the cooler side, and the beach is wide enough to carve out your own space. It’s time for that long walk on the beach you’ve always wanted. Whether you want to snorkel, kayak, surf, or just go for a swim, Makaha allows you great conditions to do it all. The beach is spacious, the usually sunny conditions of Oahu’s west side make the water temperature great. Incredibly lively sea life like dolphins, sea turtles, and Hawaii’s many colorful fish also make an appearance.  Walk on green sand at Papakolea in Kau. One of four beaches in the world to actually have green sand, Papakolea is located near the southernmost point of the island and requires a three mile hike which is filled with scenery. The beach itself is isolated, the sand tends to be on the warmer side, and the waves crash softly because of the rocks there. You’ll truly feel like you’re at the end of the world.


Native Hawaiians are the Aboriginal Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaii. In total, 527,000 Americans consider themselves Native Hawaiian. 

The aboriginal culture of Hawaii is Polynesian. While traditional Hawaiian culture remains as vestiges in modern Hawaiian society, there are re-enactments of the ceremonies and traditions throughout the islands. Some of these cultural influences, including the popularity of lu’au and hula, are strong enough to affect the wider United States. It is one of the most recognized and well known Hawaiian art. Hula is not just danced for enjoyment. The truth is, the dances and chants of hula are usually based on traditions, myths, tales, history, religious rites, and the general philosophy of the Hawaiians. These poetic celebrations of life and culture convey stories about who the Hawaiians are and what the Hawaiians are all about. The people of Hawaii are still passionate about preserving their culture and their traditions, which makes them one of the most enduring and persevering culture in the world. Perhaps it is because of their close ties with and respect for nature that the Hawaiians hold on so tightly to their ways.


Hawaii’s very high cost of living is the result of several interwoven factors of the global economy in addition to domestic U.S. government trade policy. Like other regions with desirable weather throughout the year, Hawaii’s residents can be considered to be subject to a “Sunshine tax”. This situation is further exacerbated by the natural factors of geography and world distribution that lead to higher prices for goods due to increased shipping costs, a problem which many island states and territories suffer from as well.

The higher costs to ship goods across an ocean may be further increased by the requirements of the Jones Act, which generally requires that goods be transported between places within the U.S., including between the mainland U.S. west coast and Hawaii, using only U.S.-owned, built, and crewed ships. Jones Act-compliant vessels are often more expensive to build and operate than foreign equivalents, which can drive up shipping costs. While the Jones Act does not affect transportation of goods to Hawaii directly from Asia, this type of trade is nonetheless not common; this is a result of other primarily economic reasons including additional costs associated with stopping over in Hawaii (e.g. pilot and port fees), the market size of Hawaii, and the economics of using ever-larger ships that cannot be handled in Hawaii for transoceanic voyages. Therefore, Hawaii relies on receiving most inbound goods on Jones Act-qualified vessels originating from the U.S. west coast, which may contribute to the increased cost of some consumer goods and therefore the overall cost of living.

Since Hawaii is a state of the United States of America, the currency is the US Dollar (USD).

Hawaii is a favorite holiday destination for people from all over the world. Citizens of every country visit the Islands every year. However, there are several requirements for entry in Hawaii. The entry to Hawaii is dependent upon the same entry requirements of mainland USA. This can be done under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). A visa for Hawaii is also mandatory in some cases. You will require a Visa if you are not a citizen of US. Australian travellers with a current Australian passport can travel in Hawaii for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Visitors from the United States and Canada do not require a Visa to enter Hawaii. But for visitors from the rest of the world, a Hawaii Visa is a must, unless you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). All visitors must ensure that the passports they carry are valid for six months beyond the period for which they plan to stay.

Hawaii is generally a safe place to visit. The most common crime in Hawaii is theft from cars.

Visitors consistently give Hawaii high marks for its natural beauty, safety and security. But even in Hawaiian paradise, precautions should be taken to avoid the occurence of unpleasant situation, but it’s always a good idea to practice basic personal safety precautions when exploring the islands. If you become the victim of a crime or have an accident while vacationing, the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii provides non-monetary emergency aid.

English and Hawaiian are listed as Hawaii’s official languages in the state’s 1978 constitution, in Article XV, Section 4. However, the use of Hawaiian is limited because the constitution specifies that “Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law”. Hawaii Creole English, locally referred to as “Pidgin”, is the native language of many native residents and is a second language for many others. In their homes, 21.0% of state residents speak an additional Asian language, 2.6% speak Spanish, 1.6% speak other Indo-European languages and 0.2% speak another language.

After English, other languages popularly spoken in the state are Tagalog, Japanese and Ilocano. Significant numbers of European immigrants and their descendants also speak their native languages; the most numerous are German, Portuguese, Italian and French. 5.4% of residents speak Tagalog-which includes non-native speakers of Filipino language, the national, co-official, Tagalog-based language; 5.0% speak Japanese and 4.0% speak Ilocano; 1.2% speak Chinese, 1.7% speak Hawaiian; 1.7% speak Spanish; 1.6% speak Korean; and 1.0% speak Samoan.