Studying in Hawaii? Unreservedly recommended with the necessary change! I would go back to the HPU at any time without hesitation.
Hawaii is a wonderful place that knows how to fascinate with a variety of cultures that you will probably not find anywhere else in the world. He is a melting pot of American lifestyle, fast food and consumption (and obesity) and Asian friendliness. People exude an aloha that I would have loved to take home with me. As soon as you are open and friendly and, above all, respectful, you will be warmly welcomed in Hawaii.
Culturally and historically, the islands are an absolutely unique piece of earth that you can enjoy with all your senses.
The climate is incomparable. When I left Germany at -25 ° C at the beginning of January, I knew it could only get better. When I arrived in Hawaii, I immediately felt that it hardly took any time to adjust to 50 ° C more. It was fantastic!
So how did I end up having the best time of my life in Hawaii?
After doing some research on the Internet, I decided in spring 2008 to contact MicroEDU so that they could help me with my application. I had already decided on the HPU. Aline from MicroEDU was a great help by offering me orientation in the application chaos. She checked my application documents and submitted them for me. She was also at my side at all times when I contacted the university by e-mail. Thanks again for that! Find more review on Hawaii Pacific University on existingcountries.
So when the TOEFL test was successfully passed and the visa was returned, we could start.
I booked the flight and also my international travel health insurance through STA-Travel in Münster. They have low prices and I was completely satisfied with the service!
From Germany I hadn’t planned anything more than booking a bed in the Seaside Hawaiian Hostel (I can also recommend this without reservation, in the heart of Waikiki, breakfast included, relatively quiet, clean). One should take this to heart: do not travel by chance! Make sure you sleep in advance for at least the first week! It is helpful to contact people who are or have already been there via StudiVZ. They have the best tips and maybe a room or two free.
From the airport in Honolulu an inexpensive shuttle bus goes to Waikiki and visits the hostels. Just look around in front of the airport, an expensive taxi is not necessary.
After you have digested your first pleasure in the unclouded sunshine and the barefoot temperatures, you should get used to the thought of looking for a room. I only searched through Craigslist.com and found it. Expect to pay $ 600 a month for a furnished room. Popular areas are Waikiki and Ala Moana. Both are central, close to the university and in the middle of life. They hardly reflect the real Hawaii, as you live there among a large number of tourists or students. That was the reason for me to move to the east coast. Kaneohe and Kailua are nice places where you can experience real Hawaiian life and easily come into contact with the locals. The BUS from there takes about 30 minutes to the university (it is essential to purchase a semester ticket for about $ 110 in the BookStore,
I took off my watch after a week and never put it on again, because time is different in Hawaii. You should therefore be prepared to wait 20 or 30 minutes for the bus, sometimes longer… (it is advisable to always have the MP3 player and / or a book with you).
Worth seeing: Hike to Manoa Falls and climb Diamond Head (a volcanic crater with a wonderful view of Waikiki), swim at Diamond Head Beach and watch the surfers or monk seals, go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, drive to Haleiwa on the North Shore, spend a few days in a hostel on the North Shore (I recommend Backpackers, they also have a shuttle bus that picks you up from Waikiki if you wish), rent a bike and explore the Shore and the individual beaches and monster waves in winter, buy fresh food Hawaiian fruit at one of the roadside fruit stands, visits the artist family of Ron Artis and listens to them jamming, rents a car and drives the Kamehameha Highway along the east coast (fantastic, almost every beach there is a highlight),Visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center and the luau there, skydiving, surfing in Waikiki, camping at one of the beach parks, Friday fireworks in Waikiki, etc., etc. Fly for $ 100 (round trip) to Kauai or Maui!
Groceries are best bought at Don Quijote (lots of international food, good prices for fruit and vegetables), Walmart or Sam’s Club / Costco (bulk packs, good for things like toilet paper, water, juice, tomato sauce, pasta…). A purchase in ChinaTown is worthwhile, the prices for fruit and vegetables are cheap there. The best pineapple curry and the best bubble teas are also available there. There are good burgers at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Kailua, pizza at Boston Pizza in Kaneohe or at California Pizza Kitchen in the Ala Moana Shopping Center, local food is available at Zippy’s or in every L&L drive-in. Sushi is available everywhere in good quality at comparatively low prices. Be sure to try Ahi Poke (marinated raw tuna) and Lomi Lomi Salmon or Edamame Poke (typical Hawaiian dishes), Not far from the HPU campus in Fort Street Mall there is good Thai food and a very good and inexpensive vegetarian restaurant. Otherwise, Cold Stone (ice cream) and cheesecakefactory are always worth a sin. I ate the best homemade ice cream in Haleiwa, they also have wonderful Thai food.
Caution! Groceries are expensive in Hawaii, as are rentals. And at the end of the day there are taxes on top of all prices. So you have to look a little at your wallet !!! Life in paradise has its price… But there is wonderful weather and beach every day for free.
You can of course go out in Waikiki (Sanzebar, Duke’s, Country Club, Moose’s…), to the parties of the HPU, bars in the Ala Moana Center (Mai Tai) or in Chinatown (especially on First Friday). Important when leaving: have your ID with you, otherwise you won’t be able to get in. It is therefore advisable to have a State ID (around $ 15) made so that you don’t always have to carry your passport with you.
You can shop in the Ala Moana Center (can always be combined with an hour’s beach stay at Ala Moana Beach). In addition, Ross is good at hunting for bargains and Macy’s always has a lot on sale (especially relevant surfwear).
The HPU offers good study conditions and small classes. I really enjoyed attending most of the courses and really learned something. I can recommend Ian Masterson’s anthropology classes, he is a real soul and thoroughbred teacher, and Lynette Cruz’s classes, which usually include numerous fall trips on the weekend and give an insight into the “real” Hawaii, are just as indispensable – unbeatable. I thoroughly enjoyed the ESL courses. All the professors I had were very friendly and always helpful and I could always turn to Stephanie Demin with all my questions, who can be found in the University’s International Center and is always ready to listen.
I can really only recommend leaving the beaten track in Waikiki and contacting the “locals”. They have their very own charm and – provided you behave respectfully towards them and their country – are open-minded, open and very cordial. AND only they know how to show you sides and places of the island that go beyond the insider tip of the travel guide.
In short: Hawaii is an asset. There is a risk of not wanting to go again… Mahalo, Hawaii!
My tip: stop in San Francisco on the way back!