Hawai’i is paradise. There is no other way of expressing it. Therefore, to all those who are thinking about studying here: Go for it!!! As abbreviated on abbreviationfinder, Hawaii Pacific University is also known as HPU.
The application to the HPU seemed to me to be time-consuming at first, but in retrospect it was easy to cope with, if you want it then it doesn’t feel like work anymore. MicroEDU is really very helpful here, at this point a big thank you to the entire team, which was extremely helpful and patient with all of my questions!
Proof of language proficiency is required for acceptance at the HPU. The HPU accepts the TOEFL or the DAAD (with at least B in all areas). I took the DAAD test for the HPU and can recommend it to others. On the one hand, this test is the cheapest compared to all other language certificates I know (I think I paid 20 euros at my university). It can also be completed at most universities. As soon as all the documents had been received by the HPU, I received my approval after about 4 weeks.
The main campus of Hawai’i Pacific University is in Honolulu’s Dowtown. This campus is not really what you would imagine an American campus university to be, as it is a nice little boulevard surrounded by skyscrapers in which the lectures take place. Nevertheless, I found the downtown campus to be very beautiful and atmospheric. The reason for this was probably also that the HPU has a very international flair. You constantly get to know students from all over the world.
The science subjects (and a few others) are often taught on the Loa campus. This can be reached from the Downtown Campus using HPU’s own shuttle service. The drive there takes 15-20 minutes and leads inland. I recommend everyone to take a subject on this campus if possible, as the location is breathtaking. You are in the middle of the mountains and on this campus you have the typical American campus atmosphere. Regarding the course and the content, I can say that it was a very valuable experience for me to see how mathematics (my main subject) is taught in the USA on the one hand and at a private university on the other. At the HPU, application is generally very important. In addition, the professor / student ratio is optimal, thanks to small classes of around 8-16 people per course.
For the visa regulations you have to complete 4 courses with 3 CPs each (if you have not yet graduated), that means 12 CPs are compulsory. However, 15CP’s are included in the tuition that you pay, so that you can voluntarily take a 5th course. In addition to 2 math courses, I also took 2 business and management courses because I wanted to learn something in this field and the HPU has a good reputation for this. The semester abroad was the perfect opportunity for me to think outside the box in addition to my mathematics lectures. I took advantage of this and in no way regretted it. As a fifth course I have therefore also chosen ‘Anthropology of Polynesian Surfing Culture’ with ‘Ian Masterson’. I can personally recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn a lot about Hawaiian culture (not just surfing culture) and, above all, cosmopolitanism. Prof. Masterson is really passionate about his subject (if someone should actually choose it, please send him my best regards).
Since everything was already well organized in Germany thanks to college contact, I did not need to seek advice on site. However, there is also a German contact person on site who you can turn to if you need help with anything. In general, based on my ‘check-in day’ before the start of my studies, I can say that all HPU employees I encounter were very friendly and helpful in approaching internationals.
I personally make a recommendation for Honolulu’s ‘Waikiki Beach’ district. The reason for this is that Waikiki has everything for students like me who only spend 1 semester in Hawai’i. On the one hand, most of the young people live here (also because most of the student residences are located here). On the other hand, this is the only place on the island with nightlife. All bars and clubs, surf shops and surfing valleys and countless restaurants from all over the world are within easy walking distance. Depending on the traffic, it takes about 30 minutes by bus to get to downtown Honolulu.
Leisure and excursion possibilities
There are simply no limits on Hawai’i, so let off steam:), go diving with impressive Manta Rays or explore an ancient shipwreck, get the absolute thrill of parachuting, enjoy the sunset on one of the countless dream beaches, listen to it Ukulele playing Hawaiian, see the most enlightening sunrise on one of the numerous volcanic craters and then carefully walk to the lava if you dare;), just go / learn to surf in every season, look respectfully at Pearl Harbor, take a sunset cruise and see wild dolphins Accompany your boat curiously, curiously explore nature reserves yourself with a kayak, swing like Tarzan on a liana to land with an epic jump in the water,swims in the freshest and coldest water under the deserted waterfalls, snorkels on the wonderfully warm beach with relaxed giant turtles, even relaxes on a black sandy beach, uses countless opportunities for cliff jumping, bravely walks through the jungle to places that only very few reach, cheer with the warriors at football, borrow Jeep convertibles and go on the funniest road trips, just live the aloha – Hang Loose =)just live the Aloha – Hang Loose =)just live the Aloha – Hang Loose =).
I also recommend everyone who is able to take trips to the other paradisiacal Hawai’i islands. I myself was lucky enough to explore Kaua’i, Maui and the Big Island. Big Island is by far the largest island and therefore has a lot to offer. Maui looked very cute to me and is the perfect romantic destination in my opinion. My favorite island (although the distance is only very small) was probably Kaua’i, as this island is the most natural of all. The Na Pali Coast and Hono’onāpali Falls are breathtaking.
Do’s & Don’ts
- In my opinion, the most important ‘do’ is the following: Read all the experience reports on the HPU here on MicroEDU. I know that sounds like a lot and it also sounds like a lot of repetitions, both are true. However, you will quickly notice how helpful it was in Hawai’i, so I recommend this to everyone.
- The best thing to do is to buy a student pass for ‘TheBus’ at the bookstore. O’ahu is probably the only county in the US that has a good bus system. However, don’t rely on bus times (I don’t even think there are any, you just wait for the bus, it will come sometime).
- Really don’t buy books in the first two weeks of lectures. First see if your professors are actually working with the book or using other materials for their lectures. If you do need them, I recommend looking for used and older versions on amazon or ebay. In my opinion, you can get along well with these in most cases, but often save three quarters or more of the new price.
- Hawai’i isn’t cheap. If you don’t want to / can not only eat fast food then you can get all kinds of groceries and housewares etc. cheaply at ‘Don Quijote’ (1 gallon of milk still costs $ 4. 50, but it is much cheaper than in convenience stores such as the ABC’s). ‘Wal Mart’ is also recommended, although there are no fresh vegetables or fruit, but drugstore and household goods are a little cheaper there. Food Land and Saveways are a bit more expensive, but there are a lot of enticing offers that you can get with a free saving card that you get at the cash register.
- Tuesday is Mooseday! You can find out what that means as soon as you go to ‘Moose’s Mcgillicuddys’ on Lewers Street for the first time on a Tuesday. Probably the hottest party, as all international students from the HPU and UH gather here on this day. During the day there is also excellent food here as it has been a restaurant for a long time.
- It’s best to get your Hawaiian ID right at the beginning. This is like an American identity card, which you are entitled to have, since you are a full-time student as a resident. In addition to the fact that it is a great souvenir, you can use it to identify yourself anywhere in the United States and therefore do not have to take your passport with you everywhere. You can also get discounts almost everywhere in the Hawaiian Islands (Kama’aina). Be it shopping for clothes in the surf shop, diving or jet skiing.
- Probably the most important don’t: don’t expect the wrong thing from paradise. Even under palm trees and perfect sunshine, studying is still a study and requires self-discipline. Waikiki, once paradise bad, has naturally become a kind of tourist stronghold due to the huge hotel names that have increased over the past few years. Good black bread and decent muesli from our point of view will also be difficult to find. Let yourself be prepared for something new, Vietnamese could become your new favorite cuisine – like mine after I tried it once. Do not despair of the frustration of learning, the professors are very fair and also very helpful, so that with the necessary ambition you will probably get what you are working towards.