University: Hawaii Pacific University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: information technology
Study type: semester abroad
In the run-up to my stay abroad at Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU), a lot of people, whether they were work colleagues or fellow students, asked me whether this university had a good reputation and whether this stay could help me in terms of my CV. Now, to be honest, if someone is looking for THE university to start their CV with, HPU is definitely the wrong choice. However, what was very important to me right from the start was to come into contact with a foreign culture and with many international students, and thus get to know these cultures and understand them a little better. The HPU is an excellent choice for this. Many international students are enrolled in this university. My experience is that unfortunately the number of international students in the master’s degree programs is very small. However, this can also be an advantage, since it means that the contact with local or US students is much stronger. When we talk about international students at the HPU, we mean mostly European students. There were e.g. B. Swiss, Austrians, Germans and many Scandinavians are represented at the university. But not only the university is shaped by the many international cultures, Hawai’i itself was also strongly influenced by them. In Hawai’i you can meet people from all over the world, be they tourists or residents of the islands. The majority of Hawaiians are of Asian background. This alone can be explained very well by the history of its origin. This mix of cultures has made studying abroad something very special for me. This is an advantage both for me and for my experience, which I can bring to my professional future. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see University of California Santa Barbara study abroad opportunities.
When I compare the HPU to my home university, the main difference between these two is that the number of students at the HPU is much smaller. The maximum number of course members per course was around 25. In addition, in my opinion, more must be done at the HPU during a semester. In many courses, a weekly delivery of various papers or presentations was necessary. In addition, the corresponding chapters in the respective textbook had to be read. All in all, however, I would describe the effort as quantity before quality. A lot of submissions had to be made, but the quality of the submissions was not that high compared to the standard at my home university. The grading system at the HPU consists of scoring every submission, every task, presentation, even attendance. The final grade is then calculated from this and with the points from the mid-terms and final exams. So everyone has the chance to get an appropriate, good grade at the end of the semester.
The courses I took were Modern Methods in Project Management, Comparative Methods in Software Engineering and Information Systems Security. In the Modern Methods in Project Management Course, you had to find a project group and carry out a self-chosen, real project by the end of the semester. The resulting duties were graded. In addition, a pair of 1-page papers had to be handed in and a graded quiz had to be taken at the end of the week for the respective reading tasks. Go to the Comparative Methods in Software Engineering course Unfortunately, I can only say very little, since another professor took over this course at short notice, which meant that there was very little order and planning. In principle, project groups were also divided up here, which dealt with a software engineering project and were supposed to present it at the end of the semester. In the Information Systems Security subject , a lot of theory was taught and no practical tasks were required. In summary, all courses were very interesting and the professors made an effort to integrate all students well into the lessons and to clarify all questions in order to ensure a good grade at the end of the semester.
The application process at the HPU can best be described by the Hawaiian lifestyle: “If it takes a little longer, well then it just takes a little longer. Please don’t stress.” With the help of MicroEdu, the application process was smooth and easy for me. Waiting for the answer from the HPU took a very long time. In the end, however, there was still enough time to take care of all the necessary documents.
The first day at the HPU itself was a bit overwhelming for me. From the universities I know in Germany, I’m used to the fact that when I enroll at a university, there is an office responsible for it. Not so at the HPU. If you’re lucky, then all contact points are in one building. It is best to find out beforehand which offices are where and which documents are handed out where. The HPU service employees themselves are very polite and happy to help, provided you find the right office, the office is staffed and the right contact person is there. A little tip for all master’s students who are interested in an introductory event at the HPU: Register for the events of the bachelor ‘s students. No detailed information lectures were offered for Master’s students. Which of course can be an advantage for a student who is at the university for the first time. Also z. B. an island tour or hikes at the beginning of the semester are offered by the HPU. Also only for bachelor students. However, Master’s students can also register for this at any time.
Many students are already trying to find an apartment in Honolulu in Germany. I and, as I noticed later, many other students as well, first stayed in a hostel in Honolulu/Waikiki and only then started looking for an apartment and roommates on site. I was really, really lucky, to have found my roommates on the second day and a suitable apartment on the third day. But many others have searched for a few weeks until they have found something suitable. The best thing to do is to get in touch with other students in the hostel or in the respective Facebook groups of MicroEdu, the HPU Incoming Students or e.g. B. Sell your stuff @HPU, find out who is currently searching or become active yourself. In some cases, apartments or rooms are also offered in the two HPU groups. If you haven’t found what you’re looking for there, it’s best to ask the students in the hostels or on site whether they already know apartment blocks where apartments might be free, or simply look for them yourself by visiting pretty much every high-rise building and diligently finding out the numbers call the respective property management. I would highly recommend Waikiki as a place to live. The proximity to the beach and the many shopping and entertainment options are definitely a plus there. In addition, a lot of students live in Waikiki and it is also safe in the evenings. Of course, it must also be mentioned that the apartments in Waikiki do come at a price. If you still want to live there, it is best to share an apartment. For the few months that you really live there, you can definitely share a room. With the right roommates, it’s also a lot of fun.
People who are enthusiastic about nature and would like to experience it are definitely right on Hawai’i. However, if I’m a college student looking to experience more big city life, I don’t think Honolulu can really offer that. Which definitely has its advantages. A must for anyone who decides to spend a semester abroad in Hawai’i is to take a surfing course. Many students then bought a surfboard and sold it again at the end of the semester. So you are not bound and can go surfing as often as you like. The sea offers it. Another highlight was swimming with wild dolphins at Makua Beach. For the more adventurous, skydiving or swimming with sharks (in and out of the cage) is also available. From easy to difficult hikes, anything can be done in Hawai’i. The best thing to do is look for hiking trails in forums, exchange ideas with fellow students or download a corresponding app. What should not be forgotten is touring the other islands. Unfortunately, I was only on the Big Island and Maui. However, it is very surprising how different the islands are. On Maui, the famous and beautiful sunrise can be seen on Haleakala. An active volcano can be admired on the Big Island. Use every free minute to discover the little treasures of Hawai’i. Be it the breathtaking view from a ridge trail, the trampoline in the middle of the sea, the migrating whales, dolphins in winter or just the beautiful blue sea.