Hawaii Pacific University Review (9)

Hawaii Pacific University Review (9)

University: Hawaii Pacific University

City: Honolulu

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

First of all, a general tip that does not only apply to HPU students: Apply for foreign student loans even if you don’t get a normal student loan!! I got several thousand euros and I don’t get Bafög.


If you are considering going to Hawaii, the following questions will probably interest you:

  • How is life in Hawaii?
  • How is living on HI?
  • How is the HPU?
  • How much is it??
  • How is life in Hawaii?

I was on HI from late summer to February, it rained maybe 10 times in that half year. The rain was only a 5 minute rain shower. After 10 minutes you were always dry again. But the weather isn’t oppressively humid or anything either, because there’s always a fresh breeze blowing in from the ocean. The temperature was always between 25-30 °C. So even in February evenings you could still go swimming in the sea. The large main islands of Hawai’i (Ohau, Kauai’i, Maui, Big Island, Molokai, and Lanai) all have drier weather in the south and rainier weather in the north. This is because the clouds always rain down on the large volcanoes in the middle of the islands. So if you stay in the south, you very rarely get wet. Check andyeducation.com to see Thompson Rivers University study abroad opportunities.

Camping trips to the various islands or to the north of Ohau (main island with the capital Honolulu to the south) are just one of the many activities to do in Hawaii. A flight to a neighboring island with Hawaiian Airlines costs just under $80. You also have to rent a car on the islands. Cars start at $30/day and trucks start at $60-70/day, plus insurance, gas and extra charges for drivers under 25. But that’s shared by 5 or 10 people at the truck, so it’s not that wild. It will also not be a problem for anyone to find enough people for a camping trip, as the HPU is very international and most students are only there for one semester. Everyone wants to meet new people and see the islands.

Other activities include learning to surf (bought my own surfboard for $300 and ended up selling it for $200), hike waterfalls, stairway to heaven (just search haiku stairs on google and look at the pics), attend surf contests (im Winter are the Bigwave contests in the north of Ohau), swimming with turtles and dolphins and whale watching, going out in Waikiki(!), celebrating Halloween for those who go to Hawaii for a winter semester, and much more.


Finding an apartment was very stressful, but it was worth looking for yourself and not going to the dorm. The cheapest HPU dorm I think was the Ohia, for prices starting at $800 there were small 2 bed dorms in the middle of Waikiki. We found a 1 bed condo on the outskirts of Waikiki for $1500. So split for 2 people it was $750 and a lot bigger than the Ohia. Most people with their own apartments split up apartments and ended up with prices between 600-800€.

Living in Waikiki has many advantages: eg. most of the other students are in Waikiki and it’s a short walk to the beach and bars. Living in Waikiki is expensive, of course, but now it’s not as bad as you’d expect from a beachfront tourist district. The prices are comparable to Munich or Frankfurt. Going out in Waikiki is incredibly good and cheap. I rarely spent more than $20 a night.

There are 2 very different campuses: Downtown and Loa. Business administration is taught at the downtown campus in the middle of Honolulu. The buildings look like the other bank buildings next door. Actually not that important, but of course the Hawaii feeling comes across better on the Loa Campus in the middle of palm trees. Again, a google image search will probably help more than a long description. So just a quick look at what’s special about downtown: In Fort Street (that’s where the university is) there’s delicious food for free. Chinatown is just around the corner and downtown is only a 25 minute bus ride from Waikiki.

Courses were International Marketing (highly recommended), Marketing Management (very easy), Contemp. Entrepreneurship and Consumer Behavior (both less recommended). The courses were small and with students from all sorts of countries. So it wasn’t so bad if you didn’t speak perfect English.

How much is it?

The most important tip that my roommate had to give me: Apply for foreign student loans! Even if you don’t get a normal Bafög. I don’t get a normal student loan, but I received a grant of $6,000!
My costs:

  • Housing: $750 * 6 months = $4500
  • Tuition: $8200
  • Flight: 1100 € = 1400 $ (flights between 850 -950 € are also possible with luck)
  • Books: $150 (Borrowed from Chegg.com)
  • Cost of living: 3000$
  • Camping trips: 1000$ (300$ / island)
  • Total: 18250$
  • Student loan: -$6000

Total: $12250

It was definitely worth it to me, the time was unforgettable. One cannot imagine Hawaii because there is nothing comparable in Europe. But you also have to be aware of the price. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

Hawaii Pacific University Review (9)