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Finding Purpose & Sustainability

At MUM, we believe that global change happens only when we understand the connection between nature and ourselves. This off-campus semester program is designed for students who want to develop a deeper understanding of their relationship with the environment and better the world through sustainable practices.

Do you want to learn how to help our planet? Now you can, with us, on the Big Island.

This Program is for Students Who Want:

  • A break from their current college campus while earning college credit in an exotic location
  • To cultivate a deep relationship with Hawaii’s lands, people, and culture
  • To spend a semester abroad with a “tribe” of like-minded individuals
  • To explore their inner selves and the all-encompassing nature of life

Immerse Yourself in Native Hawaiian Culture

We are hosted in facilities owned by the Kohala Institute on the Big Island, near Kapa’au and Hawi. The recently renovated historic facilities are located on 2500 acres of land owned by the Kohala Institute, the site of the ancient Hawaiian village (ahupua’a) of I’ole.

Students will be totally immersed in Hawaiian culture, meditation, advanced agricultural design, herbal medicine, spirituality, and more.

Learn from Sustainability Experts

You’ll learn about advanced sustainable practices such as permaculture, medicinal herbal preparations, and bee-keeping from a range of experts and leaders within the field, including:

  • Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, one of the world’s leading authorities on biodynamic agriculture
  • Dr. John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at University of Missouri-Columbia and an expert on sustainable economics
  • Dr. Fred Travis, an internationally renowned neuroscientist and a leading figure in global research on consciousness
  • Dr. Ved Nanda, professor at the University of Denver and a major figure in the global international law community
  • Jay Harmon, an award-winning entrepreneur and biomimetic inventor

Tap into Your Creative Potential and Create Change

Do you have creative ideas that you want express more easily? In this program, all students learn the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique. Backed up by decades of scientific research, the TM technique has been shown to enhance brain functioning and relieve stress; helping you to make your world-changing ideas a reality.

Courses included:

Permaculture design is a system for rethinking and redesigning of every aspect of human endeavor in terms of sustainability. In this course, students will learn the principles of sustainable design and gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge they need to design and implement sustainable systems in harmony with the natural world.
This class will discuss how a worldview that sees the world as sentient, intelligent, and conscious could develop, as well as how this perspective would affect economics, science, governance, religion, healthcare, agriculture, energy use, architecture, city design, and other areas of the human experience. This course features expert guest speakers from a variety of areas, including Dr. Ramdas Lamb (religion), Dr. Fred Travis (neuroscience), Dr. John Ikerd (sustainable economics), Jay Harmon (biomimicry), and Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah (biodynamic agriculture).
Hawaii is profoundly different from the mainland USA. In this course, students will review the history of Hawaiian people and culture to identify the elements that have contributed to or detracted from deep sustainability.
This course takes the ideas of the previous course on Hawaiian history and looks at what is being done now to promote sustainability, with a particular focus on education. Student teams will compete for the best new design of one initiative that could be undertaken with a local partner.


Join us for a semester in Hawaii

Frequently asked questions:

Apply as an MUM Student:

  1. Contact Devon Almond at or 808-854-9652 to discuss program information.
  2. Consult with your MUM academic adviser for approval.
  3. Consult with MUM financial aid counselor for financial feasibility at or 641-472-1156.
  4. Apply to Hawai‘i program using online application link from Academic Program Director. Dr. Devon Almond.

Apply as a Guest Student:

  1. Students from other universities, Dr. Devon Almond at or 808-854-9652 to discuss program information.
  2. Apply to Hawai‘i program using Non-degree Guest student application. Upon approval Dr. Devon Almond will send you the link.

4 months (September–December or February–June blocks), 16 credits

  • $8,250 fee in addition to normal MUM tuition
  • $8,250 fee covers $3,700 room board + $4,550 program fee
  • Single month participation: $2,000 room, board, program fee, plus normal MUM tuition
  • Non-degree Guest Students: $8,250 + $450 per credit tuition
  • Air Fare is an additional student expense responsibility

For more information, contact Devon Almond at or (808) 854 9652.

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