Hawaii Pacific University Student Review

Hawaii Pacific University Student Review

Aloha guys! I am pleased that you are interested in Hawai’i Pacific University and you will definitely not regret it if you decide to spend your semester abroad in Hawaii. I hope that with this experience report I can give you all the important information and make Hawaii a little more palatable. If you have any questions afterwards, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Information about the host university

I organized the registration for the Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU) through College Contact. The HPU is very international and you will mostly deal with Germans, Norwegians, Swedes and Swiss, even if that is a bit of a shame. The campus is in downtown Honolulu and most of the students live in Waikiki, which is about 40 minutes away by bus.


In total, I have four courses in Hawaii, each with 6 creditstaken, which is credited to the University of St. Gallen with 24 credits. Basically, it can be said that, as with most exchange universities, the level is quite low compared to St. Gallen and it is easily possible to achieve the top grade in most subjects. On the other hand, courses here are much more complex during the semester and you have quizzes every week for some courses and the examinations usually consist of several papers, group projects, presentations, a midterm exam and a final exam. However, for most subjects it is more quantity than quality that counts. Often, presence is also part of the grade. I put my courses in such a way that I didn’t have a university on Tuesday or Thursday. There are also many students who do not have classes on Monday and Friday, which is beneficial if you want to fly to another island for a weekend. I will now report in more detail about my courses:

International Business Management – Attila Pohlmann

This course was by far the course with the least effort for the top grade. The examination consisted of group work with presentations, individual presentations, attendance and a final exam. This course was credited to me in the compulsory elective area.

International Marketing – Thomas Kohler

International Marketing was also credited to the HSG in the compulsory elective area. In contrast to International Business Management, this course is massively more complex, but the grades were just as easy to achieve. The examination consisted of group work with weekly submissions and weekly presentations, weekly quizzes, an individual presentation and a final exam.

Living History of Hawaii – Dr. D. Askman

This course was credited to me in the Reko area and it was by far the most exciting course. The professor makes the lessons very interesting and since your own notes are the only material with which you can learn for the exams, you always pay attention. The examination consisted of three short papers, attendance and two exams. The effort is very fair and the top grade is possible, but you have to make an effort.

Intermediate Microeconomics – Xing Fang

The professor was extremely difficult to understand, and she wasn’t very good at explaining either. This course was also on the more demanding side compared to other courses at the HPU. Nevertheless, thanks to extra credits, the top grade is quite possible. The course was credited to me as Micro 2.


I definitely recommend you live in Waikiki because that’s where life happens! We lived 200 meters from the beach , I shared a room. Having your own room here is quite expensive and almost impossible to get for less than $ 1000 a month. (We paid 700 each) Finding an apartment itself was not easy either, the best thing is to go to the Waikiki Beachside Hostel two or three weeks before the start of your studies and look for a couple of roommates with whom you can go looking for an apartment together. I found the apartment by simply walking down the street and calling the numbers down at the apartment buildings. Other good places to go are Craigslist or Real Estate Agents.

Leisure and mobility

Public transportation on O’ahu is pretty good by American standards . However, you have to factor in a lot of time because most journeys take two to three times as long as if you were driving a car. Because we wanted to make the most of our time, my three roommates and I decided to buy a car. Renting can be very expensive as you always have to pay an extra fee if you are under 25 years old. In retrospect, I don’t know if that was a good idea because we had a lot of stress buying and selling. But I think that’s a matter of luck.

As for leisure, Hawaii has so much to offer, as you you can probably imagine. Since we had a car, we were completely free to go to the North Shore for a day, to swim with dolphins on the west coast early in the morning or to get to the hikes, which are a little more difficult to reach. Use every single day, time will fly by!

Not just paradise

Like almost everything, Hawaii also has some not-so-nice sides. For one thing is the incredibly expensive life here. Especially healthy, fresh food is extremely expensive. If you want to eat reasonably well, you should expect between $ 20-40 for food every day.

Another negative point is the number of homeless people and other somewhat creepy people walking around downtown and Waikiki. It’s sad to see how badly people are sometimes.

Hawaii Pacific University

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