Spend a semester in one of the most beautiful places in the world – Hawaii. Not only does it sound wonderful, it’s the best decision I could make.
Lots of paperwork, but everything easier than previously thought. With the help of MicroEDU, the organization before the trip became simple and structured. I had a plan that included all the necessary steps and important information. A few weeks after I sent my application to MicroEDU, the acceptance was already in the mailbox.
A DAAD certificate handwritten by a lecturer is sufficient as proof of language proficiency for the Hpu. I simply spoke to an English professor at my university and made an appointment for a test. The visa application process also went smoothly. At the appointment at the embassy, I only had to wait about 30 minutes to answer three questions (in English). After waiting a week, my passport with visa was in the mailbox. Visit jibin123.com to get information about best cities to study in Norway.
I had never applied for BAföG before and probably never got it, but since I read on the MicroEDU website that the rate is calculated differently for BAföG abroad, I submitted an application. Lo and behold, I was funded and received a travel allowance of 1000 € and a grant for the tuition fees of 4600 €. This money is seen as a complete grant and does not have to be paid back. So an application is definitely worthwhile, even if you do not receive a normal student loan. The whole process took me about 3 months and I only had to submit documents once. I decided on Mawista international health insurance, which was the cheapest I found at around 37 € per month.
After receiving the acceptance, be sure to join the Facebook group for the respective semester. There you get to know like-minded people directly. I met my Danish roommate there. I also recommend the information event organized by MicroEDU, where I met a friend with whom I went on a trip to Las Vegas and San Francisco. At first I had only booked the outward flight and the return flight from Hawaii, as I didn’t know beforehand when to go back. But I think you can get away more cheaply if you book both together. I paid around 1200 € for the flights.
I really liked the atmosphere at the university. You meet people from all over the world there. The HPU is located downtown in the business and finance district of Honolulu. The lecture rooms are spread over several buildings and are mostly quite small, for courses with 15-25 people. There are a lot of food stalls there, most of them Asian. The small Crepes Cafe is highly recommended for morning coffee.
It’s good that you can choose the courses from Germany, but I decided again what the HPU costs $ 30. I only had lectures on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, which turned out to be perfect for everyday life in Hawaii.
My courses were: Communication & Culture, International Relations, Sex, Gender & Communication and Consumer Behavior.
I can actually recommend all courses. The level is lower than in Germany, but you have to struggle with hard work. But you get used to it quickly and can easily get very good grades. Of course there is compulsory attendance in every course.
In any case, you should first search on site and move into a hostel for this time. I stayed at the Polynesian Hostel for a week. It wasn’t that clean, but it was bearable. I searched through Craigslist and found my apartment there too. Before that, however, I had also looked at overpriced, dirty rooms. In any case, don’t give up, at some point you will definitely find something suitable. The prices in Honolulu are very high. I paid $ 700 a month for a shared studio apartment in Waikiki. Most of the students have lived in Waikiki because that’s where life goes. From there it takes about 30 minutes by bus to the university. Under no circumstances should you sign anything from Germany and even transfer money, unfortunately there are also many fraudsters on Craigslist and other real estate sites.
Life in Hawaii is expensive but great. The prices for food and housing are really very high compared to Germany and the American mainland. You stand in front of a $ 6 milk in the supermarket. Fresh fruit and vegetables are best bought relatively cheaply in Chinatown (walking distance from the university) and everything else in Wal-Mart. There you can also buy bicycles, tents, etc. and simply bring them back later. Wal-Mart reimburses almost everything.
The nature on the Hawaiian Islands is breathtaking – wonderful beaches and green jungle wilderness. A real paradise for hikers. I wasn’t a hiking fan before my trip and I changed my mind there. It almost became a sport, we did a different hike almost every week in a fixed group.
Definitely go to the other islands. You can get a round trip for $ 80 and stay in a hostel or tent. My best experience was watching 4 huge humpback whales on Maui.
Buy a surfboard. I bought an old one on Craigslist for $ 120 and had an amazing time doing it. I never thought that I would be safe on the board one day, but success is quick and it’s a lot of fun.
Definitely skydiving on Oahu if you dare. We paid $ 140 to jump from 14000 ft and it was an amazing experience. If someone wants to get a tattoo, I can highly recommend Black Cat Tattoo in Chinatown.
Every Tuesday the $ 1.2.3 party is a must at Mooses. Almost all students meet there for very cheap drinks. Chinatown has a big party every first Friday of the month. There are definitely plenty of places to go out in Waikiki.
I took so many great friends and experiences with me. It was a wonderful time and I can only advise anyone who is still thinking to go to the HPU for a semester, to travel and to take everything with them. You never know if you will get another chance to get to the other end of the world.
Mahalo and Aloha