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    YWAM General

About this Program

Where do I stay during my voluntary time?
You will be living in one of 8 houses at a property about 1km from the University Campus where you will be serving.
The place is called “Hale Ola“, Please plan on sharing a room, bathroom, kitchen and a living room with your housemates from all over the world!

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

Who arranges transportation from the airport?
On the designated arrival and departure dates we will pick you up from the airport and drop you off after you finish the program. If you arrive before… or need to stay beyond the designated dates, you are responsible for you own lodging and transportation.
Here are some hostel options we like.

How do I get to the University?
We have vans that will shuttle you to and from the campus for service, meals, and some other corporate worship meetings.

When will I know what job I will be doing as a Volunteer?
On your application you can rank your top 3 choices, though it’s not guaranteed as we have basic needs which need to be covered primarily. You will find out your service area shortly after arrival and be introduced to the department on the first service day.

Is it possible to serve as a Kokua Crew member if I previously completed a DTS?
As a rule, NO. Space at Hale Ola is reserved for those without YWAM experience.
However, we reserve the right make exceptions depending on skill set and need.

How about Dress code?
We do ask everyone to honor the other person and dress modestly. Many cultures are present and come from different world views. Hale Ola has the same rules as the campus. Guys must wear shirts outside buildings and bikinis are for the beach only.

Can Families join the Program?
Yes! As long as the children are 18 years of age or older. Unfortunately, we do not have accommodation for families with young children. Married couples are welcome, but not without their spouse.

Do we get meals on the weekend as well?
Yes. Food is provided 7 days a week.

Where else can I do this program?
This program is in more than 15 countries, but ours is the best!
Find out more Information right here

How much do I have to pay?
Your application fee of $65 as well as a $80 room/key deposit is due on arrival day.

What about Laundry?
We have laundry machines which take US Quarters or work with an app.
It is $1.50 for the washing machine and $1.25 for the dryer.

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

What is my daily schedule like?
We wake up with the sun to be shuttled by the YWAM vans to campus for breakfast at 630 am. Our volunteer service 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.

Sample schedule:


What if I want to extend my time?
Once you arrive and get settled, you can see if the program fits you.
If you decide that God is not finished with you here, please fill out an extension request form. This includes the staff in your prayer process and reasoning for wanting to extend. We will let you know in due time.

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?
Each session has specific arrival and departure dates. You will find the dates listed here.

How far in advance do I have to apply?
We endeavor to return your emails within 48 hours of the first business day.  The whole process depends on how long it takes to get your application fee, information, and for your reference to respond. Once everything is compete from your end, we will send you an invitation to the interview.

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 refer to the Steps of Application.

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

When do I pay my fees?
Your application fee is paid on line before your interview.
Your room & key deposit are paid in cash when you arrive.
We ask you to bring US Dollars with.


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.
Immigration laws vary depending on your home country.

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

How demanding will it be physically?
Hawaii, especially Kona, is hot and humid. You may think it’s hot where you are from, but unless you live near the equator, you are not used to heat like this. We ask you to be able to serve for 7-8 hours standing or walking with just a few breaks. We do not have many sit-down or ‘office’ positions.

What should I bring?
Pack light. The climate is tropical and you will not need many (if any) warm clothes. Good shoes is a good idea. YWAM has a “Thrift Store” which provides many essentials at no cost to you. These are items others donated before they left. Most people say they packed way too much! You can get almost anything you need FOR FREE so pack light.

What should I leave behind?
We also provide bath towels, bed sheets and pillows, so no need to bring that stuff. In addition, you can rent sleeping bags, tents, and hammocks for camping on the weekends.

Are there opportunities to buy groceries?
Yes. We live fairly close to a Walmart and a Target.
For our handyman, there’s a Lowes right around the corner. Kona also has a variety of clothing stores such as Macy’s, Ross and plenty more. We provide a weekly trip to Target and Walmart.

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%.

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 drive. 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. The land is important to everyone living on the island, so it’s important to do the same.

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 on private property because it’s disrespectful.

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 serve 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 serve 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.

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.