Frequently Asked Questions

You have any questions about the Kokua Crew Program? We hope the questions and their answers will help you and guide you. If you are still not satisfied after browsing through the FAQ’s, contact us personally here.

Topics:  Our Program     Application Process     Lifestyle     For Staff     YWAM General

About this Program

Where do I stay during my voluntary time?
You will be living in one of 8 buildings close to the University property, called “Hale Ola“, and sharing a room, a bathroom, kitchen and a living room with your housemates from other nations.

How many roommates do I have?
Between one and two roommates, depending on the room size.

How do I get to the University?
On the designated arrival and departure dates we will pick you up from the airport and drop you off after you finish the program.

When will I know what job I will be doing as a Volunteer?
On your application you can favor an area, though it’s not guaranteed as we have basic needs which need to be covered primarily. You will find out your work area on arrival day and introduced the first workday.

Is it possible to serve as a Kokua Crew member if I previously completed a DTS?
No, we reserve the limited space in the Kokua Crew for those who are new to YWAM.
YWAMers who would like to serve at the University in Kona are encouraged to apply to be on staff with our staff services department.

How about Dress code?
We do ask everyone to honor the other person and dress modest. Walking around in underwear belongs only in your room.

Can Families join the Program?
Unfortunately families with children can not currently join this program since we can not provide the proper accommodation. However, we welcome couples who are married. On the other hand, we do not accept individuals who are married.

Do we get meals on the weekend as well?
It’s all been taken care of and you won’t starve. You will be able to dine a brunch and dinner on weekends.

Where else can I do this program?
This program is in more than 15 countries.
Find out more Information right here

How much do I have to pay?
Your application fee of $45 as well as a $80 room/key deposit is due on arrival day.

What about Laundry?
We have laundry machines which only takes US Quarters.
It is 4 quarters for the washing machine and 4 for the dryer.

How do I receive mail while I’m there?
We have a mailroom on campus where you can receive mail send to this address:
University of the Nations, 75-5851 Kuakini Highway #247, 96740 Kailua-Kona, HI
The staff will pick it up for you and hand deliver to your doorstep.

What is my daily schedule like?
We wake up with the sun to be shuttled by the YWAM vans to campus for breakfast at 615 am. Work starts at 7:00am and ends at 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Throughout the week we have a few mandatory meetings which will will help you grow.


Application Process


How do I apply?
We provided for you a page to hit called “Apply” in the menu bar. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

When can I come?
Our program comes with two choices. A 6 week program and a 3 month program. On both you will find the exact arrival and departure dates we ask you to come. You will find the Dates listed here.

How far in advance do I have to apply?
The application process can take up to 4 weeks and depends on how fast we have the proper information from you, requested references included. Make sure to have enough time for the complete process and check back with our apply page on the proper application process.

How do I know I am accepted?
A letter of acceptance will be sent to you via email to give you the go ahead to book your flight tickets. Please check the proper Steps of Application.

When do I book my plane ticket?
We ask you to book your plane tickets AFTER you received a letter of acceptance from us.

When do I have to pay my fees?
Your application fee as well as your room & key deposit are due upon arrival. Please don’t attempt to pay in advance. We ask you to bring USD with you upon arrival.


What Visa do I need?
For a Non US Citizen you will be granted 90 Days with a ESTA visa which you need to apply for online. Approximate time of 2 days and around 15$.
Depending on your Home country the Immigration Law might vary. Please check with your US Embassy.

What about a Passport?
For international volunteers it is required to travel with a valid passport to the United States of America. As a resident of the United States you would only need to travel with your ID, but it is also recommended to carry your passport as a second ID with you.

General Lifestyle

What do I have to bring?
Here is a list, of recommended things to bring, which can of course be extended. Besides working shoes/closed toe shoes, working clothes, sun screen, you should be reminded to bring an appropriate bathing suit, beach towel and a alarm clock for early mornings.

What to for sure to bring?
Here is a list of things to FOR SURE bring: Passport, cash, health insurance card/paper, ID, and clear Tuberculosis Test Result.

What should I leave behind?
To lighten your travel, we provide a couple of things such as bath towels, bed sheets and pillows. We also have a boutique at our University which you will always find sweet treasures.

Are there opportunities to buy groceries?
Yes. We live fairly close by a Walmart. Within decent walking distance is Target and K-Mart. For our handyman, we have a Lowe’s and in driving distance a Home Depot. Kona also has a variety of clothing stores such as Macy’s, Ross and plenty more. We provide a weekly run with our campus vans to a few of these grocery stores.

How is the weather in Hawaii?
The Weather in Hawaii is usually all year round pretty steady. In the “Winter” months of December to March it’s usually between 68°F – 80°F (20°C – 27°C) and in the “Summer” Months of March to November between 71°F – 86°F (22°C – 30°C). Most of the time it will feel hotter than it actually is due to the high humidity of between 60% – 85%. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen.

How far is the Beach?
Our closest swimmable beach is the Pier, a 10 minute walk from Hale Ola (the place we live) right in the heart of downtown Kona. Magic Sands is about 5 Miles away, reachable by the local trolley and Kua Bay is about a 13 Mile ride. Plenty of beaches are spread throughout the island and can be mostly reached by car.

Can I rent a Car?
Yes, you can rent cars at your own expense from companies such as Enterprise, Budget, Alamo and many others. Certain age limits may apply to the rental agreements.

What is the Hawaiian culture like?
Hawaiian culture is very family oriented, friendly and loving. It is based on a lot of respect, so we ask you to come with a mindset of honor. Hawaiians as well as we care for this land.

Any things I should to be aware of?
There are a couple of things we ask you to be sensitive and respect, since you volunteering with us are representing not only yourself but the University of the Nations as well.

  • Hitchhiking is illegal in the State of Hawaii.
  • We also ask you to always go out in pairs after dark .
  • Please do not trespass since it can have legal consequences.

YWAM General

What is YWAM?
Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.

Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 9 to 90. We currently work in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 18,000.

One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff (known as “YWAMers”) come from over 130 countries, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.

What are YWAM’s Values?
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms the Bible as the authoritative word of God and, with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, the absolute reference point for every aspect of life and ministry. Based upon God’s word, who He is, and His initiative of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus (His death, burial, and resurrection), the following responses are strongly emphasized in YWAM:

Worship, Holiness Witness, Prayer and Fellowship. The Foundational Values of Youth With A Mission are the expression of our basic beliefs coupled with specific directives given by God since YWAM’s beginning in 1960. They are recorded here in order to pass on to successive generations that which God has emphasized to us. These shared beliefs and values are the guiding principles for both the past and future growth of our mission. Some are common to all Christians everywhere; others are distinctive to Youth With A Mission.

The combination of these beliefs and values make up the unique family characteristics of YWAM—our “DNA.” They are values we hold in high regard which determine who we are, how we live and how we make decisions. These 18 Values which include “Knowing God”, “Hearing God’s Voice” or “Champion young people” are our guide in which we believe and stand for. Please check out all 18 Values and its full explanation right here.

What is the University of the Nations (UofN)?
YWAM’s University of the Nations (U of N) operates in 650 locations in 160 countries, providing programs in approximately 100 languages around the world. The U of N is committed to teach and develop men and women spiritually, culturally, intellectually and professionally.

As a student in the U of N, you are nurtured as a whole person. You learn in a discipling environment where growth in character and walking in the ways of the Lord are fundamental. You study only one subject at a time in a 12-week modular system, each course approached from a Christian perspective.
The U of N aims to equip students to serve in all spheres of society and in all nations. The goal of the U of N is to teach students how to apply biblical truth practically and to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
The core program in the U of N is the Discipleship Training School (DTS) which is required for all other U of N courses. To find a University of the Nations course, pick Training from the search bar above, and type in subject words (such as Bible or Counseling) or countries or cities. Also visit the University of the Nations website.

What is a DTS?
The Discipleship Training School (YWAM DTS) seeks to bring you into a more intimate relationship with God. It also gives you an opportunity to discover your passions and your part in God’s purposes for the world. It is for those who long to follow Jesus in new ways with a different perspective.

The course is a full-time program and lasts five or six months. It consists of two parts: lecture phase and outreach phase. In the lecture phase, you will learn more about God and His world. You’ll learn not only from lectures but also from community living and practical training. The outreach phase focuses on applying what you learned in the classroom through an intense, cross-cultural experience.

You can apply for the DTS at over 200 YWAM locations all over the world. Many offer a special focus on a specific interest, an area of service, or a nation. The “Crossroads” (YWAM CDTS) or “All Ages” DTS meets the needs of students over 30, such as second-career people or families with children.