Hawaii Pacific University
Ever since I was a young girl I’ve always wanted to study a semester or two abroad. When I finished high school I felt it was the right time and I decided to go abroad during the 2013 fall semester.
The difficult choice for me was to determine which of all these cool places I wanted to study. I considered many different universities in the US and there were several that I liked - but still I felt I needed to try something a little more unusual. So I got my eyes on Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) and started to dig in for as much information as possible. I found KILROY to be very helpful. Hawaii Pacific University turned out to be just what I was looking for. The university wasn’t too big (about 8 000 students), and extremely oriented towards international students. KILROY helped me with the paperwork and communication with the University, something I really appreciated.
KILROY assisted me with getting in touch with former students at HPU which helped me to find accommodation in Hawaii. This was a nice help as I otherwise wouldn´t have known what to sign up for. Since I was going to Hawaii by myself it might have been easier to stay in the student housing offered at the University campus, but now in retrospect, I'm incredibly glad that I found an apartment that I shared with three Norwegian girls also enrolled at HPU - and it was great.
The best thing about Hawaii Pacific University, besides the fact that you actually live in Hawaii with a wonderful climate, is that the University really cares about its students. Several events and activities were arranged during the semester. You could get together and meet fellow students and I really felt like a part of HPU. As mentioned earlier, HPU is not a very big university and small classes are common. I believe this led to getting a really in-depth and professional relationship with the professors and they took the time to help each and every one of us.
My days off were filled with everything from hanging out at the beach, surfing, diving, and doing road trips to cool waterfalls and hiking trails - and of course a visit to the famous Hawaii landmark of Pearl Harbor. There are quite an incredible number of hiking opportunities in Hawaii and I got a lot of new friends at the trails. I lived in the main tourist area of Waikiki, so it was easy to rent a car and take off to the North Shore where you can experience Hawaii in a more genuine way with less cars, towers and tourists.
The reason why I chose to study abroad was partly to develop my English skills, but also for the whole living abroad experience itself. I can honestly say this is the best decision I have ever taken. In addition to English and the experience, I have had the opportunity to get to know so many incredible people from all over the world and it is thanks to them that my six months at HPU was so wonderful and memorable.
Annie, Hawaii 2013