University: Hawaii Pacific University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Marketing
Study type: semester abroad
As an experience, Hawaii is definitely a must for all sun, fun, and surf lovers. I definitely don’t want to miss the time and can only recommend you to experience it. The organization should be well structured, but with Collage-Contact it becomes a lot easier because they are available for any question and help where it is possible. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see University of California Los Angeles study abroad opportunities.
When applying, it is definitely better if you apply relatively early. Since my university was a bit awkward at the beginning and it took a little longer, I was unfortunately no longer able to take the selected courses. However, that was not a problem as there are plenty of other options. The range of courses offered by the HPU is very diverse and there is definitely something for everyone! I’m studying business administration with a focus on marketing and in this direction the subjects at the HPU are also far below our level, but mostly more work-intensive.
The Toefl test is no longer required, but it is advisable to do it anyway, as it can of course also help in the future. For this test there is the “Toefl exercise booklet”, which prepares very well for the procedures, but as a small tip: the level of the real test is then a bit higher than with the exercises!
The MicroEdu Team will tell you everything else that needs to be considered for the application and after a check, the documents will also be forwarded to the HPU by them.
MicroEdu is not allowed to help with insurance, but MAWISTA is highly recommended here. In any case, compare the costs of the different insurances, since the insurances offered by the HPU are a lot more expensive.
When the application has arrived at the HPU, it doesn’t take long until all the remaining and necessary papers are there. Once you have the I-20 form, you can call the consulate and make an appointment. Normally the conversation lasts no longer than 2 minutes in which they ask why you want to go to Hawai’i etc. and after 1 week the visa is there.
It is also very helpful to know that you can only enter the country 30 days before the start of the semester and that you can only stay in the country for another 60 days after the semester. Unfortunately, I had no idea about this and my booked flight was 40 days in advance and therefore I had to rebook it at great expense, despite travel cancellation insurance. When you fly Delta, you can fly to another island for free with the miles you earn and Hawaiian Airlines.
All in all you need about 2 months for the complete organization, but the sooner the better!!
When looking for an apartment, it is advisable if you want to live alone or, as I did before, have someone you are moving in with, to look at the apartments on site. Most of the offers are on craigslist.com and here you can compare the prices very well. It’s not uncommon to look at a $1000 room that’s nice and clean and then see a smaller one for the same price that’s super dirty with no furniture. In any case, you shouldn’t expect the German standard and the facility is usually very sporadic. Here you are very well advised with Walmart, since everything is very cheap and you can return everything within 3 months, which is of course very useful for boxes etc.!
It is also absolutely not recommended for German students to live in one of the student residences offered by the HPU. It’s super expensive, small and there are endless regulations!! After a week we had been looking for a one-bedroom apartment with an extra kitchen and bedroom and a small living room. Ideal for two people. The apartment was in the middle of Waikiki, with a pool and nice BBQ area. in a small and clean condo complex and at $1100 for two people it was very cheap.
There’s a lot to do in Waikiki and you’re constantly high life. It can be very exhausting and has little to do with the Hawaiian “laid back feeling”. If you want to take it easy and really Hawaiian, you should look for a place to live in Kailua. It’s beautiful there and you get the right attitude very quickly! The locals are friendlier and more open-hearted there than in the tourist area of Waikiki. Living downtown is actually only worthwhile if you spend most of your time studying, since the sidewalks are folded up in the evenings.
Studying in America is a very big adjustment at first, since attendance is compulsory and homework is given every hour. In addition, you usually write a quiz every week or you have to do presentations. That sounds absolutely stressful and in the beginning it usually is, but since the level is far below ours, it’s manageable. The grades of European students are usually better than those of national students after a small amount of work. Despite little effort, I got very good grades in all subjects, which is the norm with international students. As a little tip: learning by heart is the best thing about the HPU!! As already mentioned, I mainly attended marketing courses and one in the hotel industry. One course was an online course which was VERY labor intensive.
The professors are always available to the students and some of them even expect you to write to them to get feedback. This is very unusual for European students, but it’s worth it!
If you have any other questions, the staff, especially Stephanie Denim, will help everyone.
The bus connection to the university is great and you wait 10 minutes at most, as almost all buses go to Waikiki or through downtown. The bus card costs $110 for one semester and you can travel the whole island with it!
There are many ways to spend your free time in Hawaii. Since I love to go surfing, it is of course great to study there, but there is also a lot to do for everyone else. In addition to all the sports on offer, you can, for example, go on very nice hikes to get to the waterfalls, explore the many beautiful beaches, or spend the nights in the many clubs in Waikiki. For example, on Tuesdays, Moose’s is a great “club” for meeting people, as each drink is only $1 to $3. Also the “first friday”, which is downtown once a month, should not be missed!
We often rented a car on days off or at the weekend, which is very cheap at around $20 in the off-season. For example, there are always “hot deals” on the “thrifty” homepage. You can go everywhere by car in a short time and you can get to the most beautiful beaches in a short time.
The sporty ones with a head for heights should not miss “Stairway to Heaven” under any circumstances!
The other islands are also an absolute must! Before the semester started, we did a three-week island hopping trip and it was really amazing. You should definitely get a local pass, because you get a discount almost everywhere with it. The trip wasn’t that expensive either, because the 2-star hotels on the other islands are also excellent. With a rental car you can see everything without any problems, because the islands are not that big. Even if the travel agency looks at you stupidly when you say that you want to see the entire Big Island in 5 days, for example, don’t let that dissuade you, it’s possible!! On the Big Island it is only recommended to live and land in Hilo,
On Kauai you shouldn’t miss the heli flight, because it’s really amazing and worth every penny!! Kauai is the most beautiful island in my opinion as it has beautiful beaches and the most beautiful coastline (Napali Coast) in the world. Even if you have to hike a bit longer to see some things, flying there is very worthwhile! Kauai is also the right place for a relaxing weekend trip!
All in all, however, everyone has to experience having been there for themselves and I can only recommend studying there. It is probably the best place in the world for everyone who wants to experience something and does not focus on studying but on fun, experience and the language.