Not just a universal greeting, but also an attitude to life that I don’t want to miss! But before you want to set foot on this wonderful piece of earth, you should plan something beforehand. Ideally with the great support of MicroEDU!
I decided to go to Hawai’i on a whim and relatively late. Since I definitely had to leave for a semester for my studies, I naturally looked where it should lead me. But once the decision was made, everything happened pretty quickly.
However, I had already done the required TOEFL beforehand, which is also advisable. Because the evaluation takes around 2 months and should be successfully completed at least 6 months before the semester abroad (80 points are required in the computer version for the HPU), which is actually not a problem with little effort and good previous knowledge.
I heard about MicroEDU from a friend and immediately turned to MicroEDU with my plans to go to HPU. The staff helped me immediately and also answered my questions very quickly! They also provided me with the necessary application documents. Excellent! I sent all the necessary papers (completed application, copy of passport, grade account, proof of insurance, proof of finance and the TOEFL result) to MicroEDU for another check, who forwarded the application to the HPU! After 1-2 weeks I received the confirmation from the HPU by email and 1-2 weeks later, the written variant with the I-20 form required for the visa! Make an appointment by phone in one of the 3 embassies (Berlin, Frankfurt / Main, Munich) and go to a visa interview in person, which usually takes 2-3 minutes. I was asked what I would like to do in Hawai’i and if I can already surf. After a week my visa was sent to me by post, punctually one month before the start of the semester. I completed the entire application process in 2 months, but would not recommend imitating it, as I had to survive a few anxious hours! Without MicroEDU, I would never have made it in such a short time! Thanks a lot for this!! According to Abbreviationfinder, HPU is the abbreviation of Hawaii Pacific University.
After the application process, I booked my flight, which was unfortunately much too expensive. You can get this from 700 €, depending on when you book and in what period of time you want to fly. That means, apply earlier and save flight costs!
At the same time as the application process, I tried to get in touch with people in advance so that I could have an apartment / room or found a shared apartment before my arrival. I mainly used the online platforms Studi-vz and Facebook. I succeeded in doing this too. After a number of detours, I got a place in a shared flat 4 hours before departure (one German, one Norwegian). I was really lucky! Otherwise I would have rented a hostel on site until I found something. This procedure is normal and is done by anyone who is not as lucky as me. There are many hostels in Waikiki and you can quickly find like-minded people looking for an apartment! However, the rents are very high, which you should be prepared for. You pay an average of $ 800. My apartment / room was a bit above which was absolutely worth the money. It had everything from the swimming pool to the jacuzzi to the sea view! Like most student apartments, it was in Waikiki, Honolulu’s entertainment district. However, if you accept a bit of travel time (45min bus) or can afford a car ($ 1500- $ 3500), you could also find accommodation outside Honolulu (Kaneohe, Kailua) or outside Waikiki (near the University of Hawai’i) for less. If you opt for an apartment outside Honolulu you get the real charm of Hawai’i in return, because many locals live there who are very open-hearted and friendly if you show them the necessary respect. Both places would be worthwhile for a great Hawai’i experience. It depends a lot on what you want yourself:
I arrived in Honolulu a week after the official start of the semester because I still had to take a few exams in Germany. That wasn’t a big problem though, as I had clarified everything with my professors on site beforehand. At American universities, attendance is compulsory, 30% of which is included in the final grade. Being too late will be just as severely punished (point deduction). The rest of the grade consists of small term papers, quizzes (mostly online) as well as the midterms (intermediate examination) and a final exam. That sounds like a lot of work, but it can be done well. After all, you can also work or study on the beach. I had 5 courses and was well served by them. I needed four courses which were fully credited to me and have chosen the fifth as security. My courses were a mix of Marketing (3) and Finance (2). With a very manageable amount of effort, I have achieved very good results. The course sizes are very manageable with around 25 students per course and have helped the very committed professors to look after each individual student very well. Otherwise the university is very multicultural and you meet a lot of interesting people from all countries, especially from Asia. The support at the university is really good if you compare it with the service desert of German universities. As a study abroad student, you will be looked after by Stephanie Denim in German if you need help. Furthermore, the university offers a very good selection of clubs, Sports and other activities (organized hikes, parties, etc.), which are usually free of charge and are organized via the university’s own online portal (HPU Pipeline). I had a lot of fun at university!
Life in Honolulu can be described in two words: Hang loose !! The clocks tick a little differently here. You can get on the bus for 20 minutes. wait, which at the temperatures just gets annoying when you have to go fast. However, the bus network is very well developed and reaches every spot on the island. Nevertheless, from time to time we took a rental car (very cheap in America if you are over 25 years old), because this way you can explore the main island much better and faster.
With the wide range of leisure activities on offer, you don’t even know what to do first. I surfed a lot, played basketball or just chilled on one of the many dream beaches. Of course, I have seen a lot and have also done a number of hikes, some of which were very tough. If you want to surf a lot, it is worth getting your own for around $ 200- $ 300, as you have to put $ 20 on the table for 4 hours. Unfortunately, there are no exuberant beach parties, as there is an absolute ban on drinking in public in America. Otherwise, Waikiki is a very good place to party. There are student parties twice a week which are quite cheap compared to the otherwise expensive Waikiki. There’s also a big party in Chinatown every first Friday of the month (First Friday). Numerous private parties also offer variety in Honolulu’s party life. You can also expect good concerts (Gentleman, Seeed, Flogging Molly, Rise against, well-known DJs from the electronic scene, etc.).
However, you have to be prepared for a relatively expensive living, because food prices are very high. Nevertheless, you can shop relatively cheaply in stores like Walmart, Don Quiote, Sam’s Club (similar to Metro). But life is mainly shaped by the American fast food culture. If you want to equip yourself with new things, America is of course a paradise. Many branded items are very cheap (Levis for $ 35, Billabong shirts for $ 20, etc.). However, you should pay attention to the duty-free allowance and not overload yourself too much, although you can take 2 x 23kg on the plane with you.
You should also look at the beautiful other islands. I have been to Kauai twice and once each to the Big Island and Maui. The best way to explore these islands is with a rental car, which you can order in advance via the Internet, as the costs are so much lower. I mostly went camping there because it’s the cheapest and funnest option and you come into contact with a lot of locals. The tent sites are always on the beach and are well equipped. However, you can also stay in a hostel for $ 25 a night. Nevertheless, in my opinion it is a must to see these islands. The most beautiful island is Maui, which offers everything from remote waterfalls in the jungle (only to be found by locals) to breathtaking landscapes.
Finally, I can only recommend going to Hawai’i and using the very good service of MicroEDU for your application! I have had a lot of great experiences that have shaped me a lot! Hawai’i has become my number one emigration destination. However, one should not succumb to the illusionary notions of the courted paradise of Hawai’i, because everything has its downsides. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended!