University: Hawaii Pacific University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
So here is my experience report on the one-semester stay at the HPU. When I landed in Honolulu, the university shuttle bus took me to an address I had given. The airport is about 10-15 minutes from the tourist center of Waikiki and that’s where my first accommodation was. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see University of California Riverside study abroad opportunities.
Since it was not possible for me to arrange accommodation from Germany, I had to take care of it myself on site. Although it is basically possible to stay in one of the student dormitories, these are only available at extortionate prices from $750/month and upwards and with two other living partners. Furthermore, the conditions are similar to “youth hostels”, with strict rules on visits and alcohol consumption. In addition, the full amount for the 4 months must be paid at once, plus a deposit, which is somewhere around 2500 euros in the amount that you have to pay when you move in.
For these reasons I first moved into the Seaside Hostel in Waikiki, it’s very unsanitary and uncomfortable to stay there, but cheap. Although I had booked 3 nights, but only endured one night in it. Luckily I found an apartment in downtown Honolulu within a day for $425, which is a very good price.
The HPU pipeline is recommended when looking for an apartment. There is an entry called “eAdds”, where it is usually very easy to find apartments, although the housing situation in Honolulu is catastrophic. But I wouldn’t count on it. In addition to “eAdds”, there are also local newspapers that you can search in. Here I just refer to Google.
In general, I would recommend being there around mid-August or earlier to explore the islands of Maui and Kawai, because during the study period it is sometimes awkward to “disappear” for a week because there are many presentations and group work that you should be present for, a round trip ticket costs about $80,- including all taxes.
You can also explore the island of Oahu with Honolulu during your studies, because you usually only have university 4-5 times a week and have a lot of free time. You can fill your free time with sports and beach, as well as hiking. Waikiki Promenade around Diamond Head is beautiful for jogging, body boarding, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, skydiving etc. So there are many options. The evening life in Honolulu is roughly comparable to Germany. What surprised me was that drinks are much cheaper than in Germany if you go to bars and discos, compared to the normal food prices, which, to put it briefly, are “extremely expensive”. Locations like “Magos” are hip, but you get to know them quickly through others, the people are much more open-minded and warm. What you should know
You can buy food in “Safeways”, “Foodland” or “times”, the first two have free customer cards with which you can save. There is also a Walmart, but it’s a bit inconvenient and doesn’t have that much selection.
Now briefly to the university, if you have business majors, the lectures are in downtown Honolulu, so very central. The university doesn’t have a decent campus, though, and Studies hangs around on “Ford Street,” a mock shopping street that’s been repurposed as the “longest campus” in the world (an exaggeration on my part). I had taken classes like Consumer Behavior and Marketing, which were good to hear. The learning style is interesting, rather normative and all text-based. For the exams you actually only learn texts by heart, but it’s fun and it’s interesting to experience the difference to the German system. The university “basic fee” includes 6 undergraduate courses, but 4-5 courses are enough to cover up well with work, i.e. presentations, presentations, presentations,…
The non-profs (mostly graduates and PhDs from industry and abroad) are very helpful, at least the ones I’ve had. I’ve also heard from others that there are pretty strict professors, similar to those in Germany.
You only come into contact with the much-vaunted “International Center” once upon arrival, otherwise they are supposed to be the first point of contact for foreign studies, which was never necessary for me.
Overall I have a positive image of Hawaii, not what I had imagined, but still very impressive. You just feel right at home on the island, especially since the weather is almost always perfect. The people are incredibly polite and very accommodating, as is the case at the university. The university didn’t have that much to offer, but you have to accept that it’s a small private university and you almost always see the same faces.
Great weather almost every season, incredibly polite people, small classes (15-20 people), nice professors, not a strict working atmosphere, very relaxed, the most beautiful beaches in the world, many sights in one “spot”, very international, extreme environment ( i.e. nature, beauty, volcanoes), high waves =), simply Hawaii!
Costs of living, i.e. accommodation and meals are much too high and about 20% more expensive than on the mainland, “small” university, so no real campus atmosphere, limited “escape options” if you feel restricted, which doesn’t happen should.
The cheapest rental cars in the USA can be found in Hawaii, the best is the following site: www.carrentalinhawaii.com, there you always get the best price under BRAND X and even if you are under 25 years of age you do not pay the extra cost of $20. /Day. You can book a small car, you usually get a bigger one =)
Also visit the “Westside” of Hawaii, i.e. west of Pearl Harbour, which is mostly neglected, but there is also a lot to see and lots of shopping opportunities, among other things you can experience how the locals live, there is also a large cave to visit that few people know about.
Book inter island flights 3 weeks in advance to get a cheap seat. Hanouma Bay is a dream, you should definitely go there for snorkeling and not in front of you. Ala Moana Beach is also worth a visit, which is quieter than noisy and crowded Waikiki Beach.
Maui is a dream come true, you should allow at least 1.5 weeks for the island. and enjoy everything extensively, there is no other place like this on this planet.
If you like solitude and nature, then Kawai is the right place for you 😉