Exchange at the University of Hawai’i
My name is Luca Pearce and I am studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) / Bachelor of Laws at UTS. I decided to go on exchange to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa as a part of my Journalism degree for the Spring Semester and am currently living in Honolulu!
I am really enjoying my time here in Hawai’i! There are so many things to do and see; from amazing hikes to picturesque beaches and eating poke bowls on the sand. When I first arrived, Manoa International Exchange organised sessions to teach exchange students about the cultural differences and provided recommendations on food and things to do. These sessions were a really good opportunity to meet other exchange students, and I was able to make some of my closest friends here! Living here for the semester has allowed me to really learn about Hawaiian culture and experience what it is like to live on the island. I am living on off-campus student housing (Hale Mahana) in an apartment near the university. It is insanely expensive to live in Honolulu and I am paying $1664 AUD each month to live in a shared room.
I am doing two restricted electives; American Studies and Hawaiian Studies, and two direct equivalents; Reporting and Journalism History and Trends. The classes here are more similar to Australian high school with weekly assignments. I have especially loved my Hawaiian Studies class as it has taught me so much about the culture and language, and I believe it is a responsibility of those visiting to learn about the history and treatment of Native Hawaiians.
I choose my classes to be mostly in the morning, so in the afternoon (if I am not studying) I’m able to go on hikes or go surfing at Waikiki. Hawai’i is so unique in its environment so there are always things to do! I have been lucky enough to go to some of the other islands including Maui and Big Island, which has been amazing, and the flights are pretty inexpensive!
If you decide to go on exchange to Hawai’i I definitely have some tips. It is very expensive to live here, one of the most cities expensive in the United States, so I would recommend coming prepared with savings. I applied for on-campus student housing but unfortunately was rejected, so I had to find alternate accommodation. Definitely look into housing earlier as it is really competitive here. There is sadly a bit homeless population here which was a bit jarring at first, but they don’t tend to bother you much. The university gives you a free bus pass that gets you around the island. It’s super easy to get around Honolulu with it but if you want to go to further it can be helpful to have friends with cars. Attend the football and sports games here! As a student you can get free tickets and it’s crazy to see the cheerleaders and marching band; it really is like High School Musical. I have absolutely loved my time in Hawai’i and I would 100% recommend to come on exchange here!
Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) Bachelor of Laws
Global Exchange Student at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, United States
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