Aloha – study in paradise.
If you are looking for an internationally oriented university, where the courses have a manageable number of participants, the professors show consideration for international students and still want to enjoy the aloha way-of-life, I can only recommend the HPU.
This recommendation applies with a small caveat, because the island of Oahu, where the HPU is located in the heart of the capital Honolulu, is one of the most expensive places in the USA. More on this later.
So if you want to study in Hawai’i you have to take care of a few things in advance. I suggest a good six months as a preparation time window, because you can’t just get on the plane and fly there – unless you are a tourist.
You need a TOEFL test, which you can take in many German cities. I recommend the IBT version, as you can prepare for it very well (literature on this is available from Amazon). In order to be allowed to study at the HPU, you need some vaccinations, but these can be easily obtained from your family doctor – the total costs are less than 200 euros. The most time-consuming thing is to apply for a visa, which is only possible in Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich by making an appointment in advance. Under high security precautions you have an interview with an employee of the embassy, who will then send you the documents within a week. Find out the exact details on the Internet, it is there in great detail.
Anyone who has done all of this and transfers the tuition fees of around $ 7,400 to the HPU is there!
The course selection is made in advance, but it is not clear that you will get the courses you want. It is advisable to be on Oahu at the beginning of Orientation Week, as you have the option of changing courses for a fee of $ 30 each, as long as they are not yet full. The campus is located in the middle of the financial district of Honolulu and is easily accessible on foot. There is a second campus for marine biology that is outside and can be reached by a free shuttle. The support at the HPU is very good and there is even a German employee – Stephanie – who is very helpful. The course of the courses is somewhat reminiscent of the upper level at grammar school – sometimes with compulsory attendance, tests or a quiz that sometimes comes unannounced. Project work is required or presentations are made, mostly in a group. These tasks collect points for the final grade, which can be viewed on the HPU Internet platform about two weeks later after the final exam at the end of the semester. I had taken two economics courses and three marketing courses – the absolute madness in a positive sense are courses at Ken Schooland (ECON) or Malia Morrow (MKTG).
General transportation on Oahu is by bus. The company “The Bus” has a good route network and runs until around 1.00 am.
From the airport, but also otherwise, taxis are far below the German average. I recommend “Star Taxi”, which is absolutely reliable and has a fixed price after prior agreement by telephone.
Housing on Oahu is an expensive necessity. Ohia and Ohana dormitories are cheaper than renting an apartment, but hair-raising rules apply to protect US <21 students. If you don’t feel like this BigBrother control, you should first rent a hostel and then look at the apartments that are offered at www.craigslist.com. You may also meet other international students there who are looking for accommodation and you can rent something bigger. The average room in Waikiki costs $ 650-850 per month. Life on the Northshore is very charming, but can only be achieved with your own car. Btw parking spaces are very rare and expensive in Oahu. Read more student reviews on Hetongdiy.
I lived in Waikiki and haven’t looked back! It was two blocks to the beach and only one block to Kuhio Ave. or to Kalakaua Ave., where the nightlife takes place – in Waikiki there is something going on every night in any bar or club! Every first Friday of the month there is a big party in downtown Honolulu, which is also where the university is – the clubs don’t take covers and there are lots of artists and bands on the streets.
As already mentioned, life in Oahu is expensive – the ubiquitous ABC stores or the FoodPantry are well stocked but are more of a convenience store, as they are far more expensive than in the supermarkets outside Waikiki. The best in my opinion is “Don Quixote” which is about 10 minutes away from Waikiki and has everything a European needs and also covers any need for US or Asian food. In terms of price, a league with the German chain “Real”. Everything you can’t eat or drink can be found cheaply at Walmart just around the corner. Bus lines 2, 13 and B stop within sight of the DonQ. If you want to shop, you should take a look at the Waikele Premium Outlet – there are shuttle buses from Waikiki several times a day ($ 5 round trip including coupon book) – it’s worth it!
If you have the time, you should try to look at the other islands, which are all completely different, but each attractive. I took all sorts of islands with me and that rounded off my Hawai`i adventure. My conclusion on the HPU and studying in Hawai’i is absolutely positive, I have met great people from all over the world and had an unbelievable experience. Mahalo!