The Community Building Institute, an integrated program of activities and orientations for new and returning participants which occurs before the start of each academic semester,  introduces participants to each other, to the region, and to opportunities for personal, intellectual, and community development at the East-West Center. It is required for all students starting an East-West Center program.

The East-West Center Education Program is premised on the vision of collaborative study as a means for building a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community. This concept views learning as a collaborative process to which each person contributes knowledge, experience, and perspective to benefit all participants. It recognizes the importance of establishing a basis for the comfortable exchange of ideas by building an environment of openness, trust, and responsibility-of “shared community.”

Through the Community Building Institute, participants will gain a greater understanding and awareness of shared communities as these relate to academic study, daily living and the challenges facing the Asia Pacific region. With participants from the United States, Asia, the Pacific, and beyond, CBI explores the many connections that unite different cultures here in Hawaiʻi, at the EWC, and abroad. Participants interact through educational and service activities that are designed to encourage learning about fellow participants, the EWC, and Hawai’i. CBI also aims to prepare participants for academic life in Hawai’i and engagement at the EWC.