I spent a wonderful semester abroad in Hawaii!
I started the preparations nine months before the start of the semester, which was quick and uncomplicated with the very good support from MicroEDU. I lived with three other foreigners in a shared apartment in the Ala Moana district, which is between the downtown and Waikiki districts and was therefore an ideal location. I found the apartment through an entry in the HPU student group on Facebook.
Since I was only enrolled for one semester abroad at the HPU, instead of the TOEFL, it also accepted a DAAD language test with B in all areas, which I successfully passed free of charge with the language teacher at my German university. According to AbbreviationFinder, HPU is the abbreviation of Hawaii Pacific University.
For the recognition of my courses, a learning agreement was concluded between the HPU and my German university. It was to be noted that I had to acquire at least 30 ECTS points. The subjects at the HPU were each three American credits. There is no uniform system for converting American credits into the European ECTS system. The 1: 2 formula can be used for the undergraduate area, but not for the graduate area. According to this I should have taken five courses, although only three to four courses are recommended for the graduate area. After consulting with the contact person at my German university, it was agreed that I should choose four subjects for the 30 ECTS points. The three American credits per subject were converted to 7.5 ECTS points,
I found it good that I had the opportunity to choose interdisciplinary courses. I can only recommend all four courses (graduate area) that I have taken!
Introduction to Accounting and Finance (course: MBA, lecturer: Duane Seabolt):
The subject with the least learning effort and the nicest lecturers! There were two written exams, for each of which a maximum of 100 points could be obtained, and up to 100 points were awarded for oral participation.
Financial Management and Strategy (Degree: MBA, Lecturer: Mark Lana):
I learned a lot of useful things here, but the workload for this subject was very high. The grade for this subject was made up of four sub-areas, for each of which you could get up to 100 points. Every week there was an online quiz with 10 questions to answer and a case study to be worked on. In this subject, too, there was an examination at the middle and at the end of the semester.
Web Design (Degree: Master of Arts in Communication, Lecturer: Brian Cannon):
My favorite subject! During the semester, each student had to create their own individual homepage. A total of 450 points could be achieved for this course. There were 150 points for the practical tasks that were completed during the class. There were 50 points for the written exam towards the middle of the semester, in which theoretical questions about the textbooks were asked. You could get 50 points for the analysis paper, in which you analyze and compare the web design of two companies from the same branch. There were 50 points for the current status of the homepage at the middle of the semester and 120 points for the final version of the homepage at the end of the semester. Furthermore, 30 points were awarded for the oral presentation of the final version of the company’s own homepage.
Modern Programming Fundamentals (Degree: Master of Science in Information Systems, Lecturer: Edward Souza)
Ideal for anyone who wants to acquire basic programming skills. In contrast to the other three subjects, this was an online course and contact with my fellow students and my lecturers took place via an online platform. Every week we had to create smaller programs as assignments. I found the subject challenging, but I personally enjoyed it a lot.
The Center for Academic Success (http://www.hpu.edu/StudentServices/CAS/Tutoring/index.html) offers HPU students free, individual support for the various subjects. Highly recommended if you have problems solving your weekly homework or just want to have your essays checked for grammar and spelling errors.
I can also recommend everyone to use the very good, free service of the HPU career center (http://www.hpu.edu/CareerServices/index.html). The career center is an institution within the HPU that is entrusted with preparing HPU students and graduates for entry into the world of work. They impart job-relevant knowledge through advice, seminars, company contact fairs and lectures and establish contacts with employers. I also made use of their service by arranging two appointments for one-on-one interviews, each lasting one hour, with a career advisor from the career center to have my CV and cover letter checked professionally.
Being a member of one of the many registered student organizations at Hawaii Pacific University (http://www.hpu.edu/Studentlife/Clubs/) is an ideal way to meet new people from all over the world and to deepen your experience at HPU. There are student organizations of a professional nature (e.g. MBA Club), cultural & spiritual kind (e.g. Japanese Association), as well as special interests (e.g. Vegetarian Club). I am a member of the German Speaking Student Association and the Kababayan – Filipino American Student Association and have participated in their various activities such as the BBQ at Fort DeRussy Beach Park, the Honolulu Aids Walk and volunteering at the Philippine Fiesta in Kapiolani Park participated.
For further leisure activities, the Leisure Center of the Hawaii University (www.hawaii.edu/cclp) offers diverse and inexpensive excursions (e.g. mountain hikes around Oahu) and courses (e.g. hula dance course, ukulele lessons). With a valid ID, you can also rent outdoor equipment such as surfboards or bodyboards at a low price.
Conclusion: My semester abroad in Hawaii was one of the best times of my life. I would do it again at any time and can only recommend everyone to spend a semester at the HPU in Hawaii. My English language skills have improved enormously and I was able to further deepen my business administration knowledge. I got to know a lot of wonderful people from different countries (Japan, China, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Italy, USA, to name just a few), quickly made new friends and acquired a very high level of intercultural competence. The city of Honolulu or the entire island of Oahu and the neighboring islands as well as the HPU offer students really many opportunities to enjoy their time.
Mahalo to MicroEDU for the great support! Mahalo to my second home Hawaii! I’ll be back!