Hawaii Pacific University Student Review


A semester abroad at HPU is exactly what it sounds like: fun. The path from the financing over the visa to the Book of Flights and ultimate finding a nice apartment is long and arduous, but it’s worth it because their impressions and experiences will gather her so well get anywhere else.

The application process

One thing in advance: The help from your website is worth its weight in gold , as they are in close contact with the International Office there and also know each other well personally. So I could be helped with various things that would have been a lot more difficult alone (postponement of the semester abroad, taking master’s courses with an outstanding bachelor’s certificate). Your website helps me with any matter within a few days; only you have to pass the courses yourself. But first step by step.

It all starts with the choice of the target country and the university. If you have decided on the HPU, you have to formally a) take care of a visa and b) the application to the HPU. In my experience, the latter is more of a formality, as the candidates proposed by CC are usually accepted; Incidentally, a letter from a professor was sufficient as proof of my English skills .

The visa, on the other hand, is a lot more work: You have to fill out an online questionnaire, pay various fees, provide evidence of sufficient financial reserves (around $ 18,500 for one semester) and finally drive to the embassy for a short interview. Half as wild, but very complex.

Flying and living in Honolulu

If you hold the visa in your hands and have been accepted by the HPU, you can arrange a flight; plan your arrival at least 2-3 weeks before the start of the semester so that you can recover from jetlag and find a good apartment . I would arrive earlier as most of the students arrive in that period and the housing market is being scoured.

Living in the states is very expensive, especially in Hawaii. In Waikiki, you won’t get a single room under $ 650-700; The standard is more like $ 800-1000 / person. Alternatively, you can have a look around the surrounding districts, but in my experience the savings are not even $ 150 / month and you have to weigh up what is important to you. Some of my friends lived in Chinatown (near HPU), but they couldn’t recommend it because the district isn’t the prettiest. There is something happening every day in Waikiki and being close to the beach is really handy, especially if you want to surf.In addition to Waikiki and the surrounding districts of Honolulu, it can also be an option to live on the north coast and only drive to the university for the courses; if you want to completely relax for a semester and escape the tourist hustle and bustle in Waikiki, this is your choice.

Otherwise, the following applies to apartments as always: do not transfer anything in advance, take a close look at the apartment and document it exactly when you take over (pictures or videos!); The deposits are always in the 4-digit range and it happens that the landlord likes to keep something from them. And: Avoid the student housing of the HPU, I haven’t heard anything good about it and it is also too expensive.

The University

The HPU is smaller than most American universities and accommodates around 9,000 students on two campuses (Downtown and Loa) , which are connected by a shuttle. While the downtown campus looks more like an office building, the Loa campus is fantastically located towards Kailua with an incredibly beautiful view of the Honolulu mountains. Both campuses offer everything you need to study, including libraries and dining options.

When it comes to the quality of teaching, I agree with most of the other experience reports: it is time-consuming, but you don’t learn too much. I’ve read a lot about teaching on CC, but I was still surprised how true it is. You have to complete a lot of presentations, papers and group work, but in my experience you don’t go as deeply into the matter as you do at my home university. The HPU attaches great importance to soft skills , which also fits in with its statement on the development of “global leaders”. I chose the following courses on site:

Modern Methods of Project Management , held by Dr. Lawrence Rowland. Great course with practical relevance through involvement in projects from the State of Hawaii. Very dedicated lecturer with weekly papers and presentations. A very complex course.

Data Mining for Business Intelligence , given by Catherine Linnes. I can’t recommend it. Syllabus sounds very exciting, the course isn’t, even if it is complex. On request, I can tell you a little more here.

Management Information Systems , held by Dr. Kenneth Rossi. Great course, Mr. Rossi definitely has a clue of what he is talking about and integrates a lot of group work and presentations into the course. Is more aimed at business administration than at business informatics.

The costs

Everything is expensive in Hawaii. What sounds sad, is unfortunately really the case: In my case, the flight, rent, cost of living and studies all added up to the rumored $ 18,500 for half a year, which is also closely related to the collapse of the dollar in spring 2015. So at a comparable rate over the past few years, you can deduct about 20% from $ 18,500.

You can get food cheaper at Don Quixote and Sam’s Club, as described in other reviews, and household items at Walmart. I would try to avoid all other grocery stores.

Free time and tips

All of the above is irrelevant if you can say: You are in Hawaii. You are in a fantastically beautiful place and you ultimately pay for it.

What can you do in Hawaii? Here is a small list of things I can recommend to you:

  • Surfing: Buy a used surfboard at the beginning and sell it at the end. Borrowing is not worth it at all. And when you have bought it, you also have an incentive to try it out. You are at one of the best surf spots in the world!
  • Moped: Buy a used moped and explore the island. I don’t have a German driver’s license and got a learner’s license in Hawaii, which enables you to drive a moped. The effort is manageable with half a day in the DMV and passing a (light) theoretical exam. With the learner’s license you can also drive a car when accompanied by an adult with a driving license.
  • Hiking: Oahu has insanely beautiful and paved hiking trails. Some of them take 6-7 hours. Well worth the effort. Visit unrealhawaii.com!
  • Islands: visit the surrounding islands! Kauai, Big Island, and Maui are certainly the most popular islands and are each very distinctive. Plan 4-6 days per island, rent a car, pack a tent and explore the islands! More Hawaii is hardly possible.
  • Nightlife: In Waikiki there are many ways to go out in the evening. As described in other reviews, there are different specials in certain clubs or bars every weekday. Follow this, because on these days it is always busiest and you save a lot!

Last but not least

Enjoy every day on site and, even if the semester seems very long, plan your trips in advance so that you don’t get into trouble afterwards and have to cut your to-do if necessary! There is hardly a better place to see and do a lot, and since the university is not very demanding, you have enough time for it.

With a semester abroad at HPU, you primarily book six months in Hawaii and, secondly, a semester of study.

Degree Honors - Hawaii Pacific University