Category: BLOG (71)

graduation group of students with a woman leading smiling

Hawaii Student Housing is a success oriented community

Hawaii Student Housing offers a student friendly environment which is just what you’re looking for if you want to succeed in your studies. We have a safe housing environment which has clean and decent accommodations. The study lounges are well ventilated and computers are available for those who want to use them. You don’t need to go somewhere else if you have research to do. Our computers are connected to the libraries to the school of your choice. Everything you need for your studying is just right beside you.

We also sponsor student based activities where you can go on picnics and outings to enjoy your free time. You have time for studying and you have time for rest and recreation. A lot Hawaii Foreign Students choose our housing facilities because of our balanced approach when it comes to your activities; it ensures you’re going to graduate your course and go home as proud professionals. We have been in existence for so many years already and we know what students need to make their stay here happy and comfortable.

Staying in a foreign country poses a great challenge to many students. There are those who can easily adjust while there are also those that find it difficult at first. This is the reason why we make sure that our housing facilities are student centered. We have a student support system to ensure that you can easily fit in your new home and get on with your studies and earn high grades.

One of our student support system to this effect is when you come early you can use our computer search facilities to choose the rooms and roommates which you find convenient to line with. You may find students from your country. This will count as a big plus. You speak the same language and share the same customs and traditions.

We know that your first priority in coming over here is to study and graduate. You want to go home and accomplish your goal. We have several programs to help you attain that end. So we come up with another student support system. We have tutoring programs if you think you need a course booster to assist you in understanding your lessons better. Adjustment periods can make it difficult for you to concentrate. A lot of students have availed of this and after they adjusted were left on their own.

Our staff will also supply you with schedules for seminars, teach-ins, and workshop training which relate to your courses.

We will also help facilitate your arrivals and departures to ensure that you are properly guided and assisted. Your down payment is required in order for you to be accommodated in our housing facilities. Our Hawaii Student Housing facilities will only reserve your room if you have already made your down payment. Everything is on first come first served basis.

You will find out system catered to your needs and we have very friendly and accommodating staff. We will help make your stay here as memorable as we can.


Studying abroad is likely to be an exciting, enriching and fulfilling experience. But initially at least, it may also feel daunting and at times overwhelming.

New international students have to adapt to a new place, new culture and perhaps a new language, all at the same time.

Most universities (certainly those with large numbers of international students) however, have well developed support systems in place for international students.

These are designed to make the study-abroad experience as easy and enjoyable as possible, from application all the way through to graduation.

Pre-arrival support

Many universities have a welcome pack or guide specifically designed for international students. This may be available online, or sent by mail once you’ve been offered a place, and should contain useful information about preparing for studying abroad and what to expect when you arrive.

This guide may cover topics such as accommodation options, arranging medical insurance, tuition fee payments, visa requirements, budgeting for living expenses, part-time work and advice on what to bring with you.

There should also be information about the university and how things work there, including important online resources, administrative departments and campus facilities – so that it’s all a bit less unknown when you arrive.

Of course, there’s more to preparing for studying abroad than just filling out a visa application and applying for a place in student halls. You may have questions or concerns about other aspects of student life, or just feel nervous about not knowing anyone when you get there.

To fill these gaps, growing numbers of universities are introducing student mentoring schemes that start before arrival. This means future students are matched up with current students, who then communicate, usually via email, in the months leading up to the start of the course.

The idea is to ensure that international students feel welcomed into the student community before they even arrive, and know that there will be at least one friendly face waiting to greet them.

Orientation programs

The first few weeks of being an international student are likely to be the most obviously overwhelming. There’s so much to take in, so many new places and people, and it can take a while to find your feet.

It’s typical for universities to invite international students to arrive a few days earlier than the rest of the student body, to give them a chance to get settled and acclimatized before the chaos really begins!

This time is usually filled with an international student orientation program, designed to provide practical support and information, and also to encourage international students to get to know one another.

Common elements of international student orientation programs include being picked up from the airport, tours of the campus and local area, social events and activities, and introductory lectures and talks.

There’s also a more light-hearted workshop on the subject of culture shock, which addresses some of the differences in language and lifestyle that students may encounter, including different social norms, values and expectations.

If parents and other family members of international students are able to attend, they may also be invited to join in with orientation activities.

Ongoing support

Of course, the first few days are not the only time international students need support.

Marcey Abramovitz, international student support coordinator, says, “It is not only vital that students are promptly given a framework of information on the institution and the surrounding area, but they should also be made aware of the support network they can rely on should any issues arise during the course of their stay.”

She adds, “In some cases, just knowing that this support network is there if they need it can be help enough.” In many universities, the first point of call for international students needing help is the team of international student advisers.

These are members of staff available by email, phone or in person to help international students resolve any problems that come up – either themselves, or by directing the student to the most relevant person.

Having this dedicated team is important, Abramovitz says, because it means international students can always feel confident about where to start if they have a problem, rather than wasting time trying to figure out how or where to get the help they need.

The most common problems addressed by international student advisers include homesickness, culture shock, language difficulties, unfamiliar academic or grading systems, immigration, insurance and health problems.

The university’s international student advisers have the experience and skills needed to deal with the practical aspects of these issues – but also the emotional side of things.

Most of them have experienced living, studying or working abroad themselves, which helps them to empathize with how students are feeling.

As well as support from staff and other students, there’s also a third option: members of the local community. This type of support is available for international students in some universities, through a ‘host family’ program.

This scheme matches up international students with local families. The ‘host’ family offer friendship and hospitality (rather than ‘hosting’ in the sense of providing accommodation). For example, they might invite the students to their home for meals, or show them around the local area.

The idea is to promote cultural exchange, and help international students feel more fully immersed in and welcomed into the surrounding community.

Fun and games

Not all support services are about fixing problems; many simply aim to ensure all students enjoy their time at university, and have a fulfilling experience.

University calendars are packed with events aimed at or organized by international students. Some are specifically intended to promote cultural exchange, and others are just for fun.

At some universities regular activities organized for international students include film evenings, visits to local attractions, guest speakers, hiking expeditions and a weekly ‘international coffee hour’, where students get together over a hot drink, biscuits and conversation.

Some others holds a weekly ‘global cafe’ event, in which international and domestic students are invited to enjoy tea, coffee and cookies – a good opportunity to meet new people and build connections.

Other goes one better than this; as well as offering refreshments, its weekly ‘intercultural evenings’ also host performances and talks, while still preserving a relaxed environment.

Of course, there are plenty of other social events that are not specifically targeted at international students – and intercultural exchange is certainly not restricted to specified events.

One of the great things about university life is the sheer range of activities and organizations you can get involved with; there really should be something for everyone.

Study-abroad veteran Renatha Lussa explains what is meant by ‘culture shock’ and how to cope when you encounter it.

Going to live abroad is an exciting experience that requires preparation.

I am not talking about technical issues such as how many pairs of socks you should bring with you. I am talking about the big preparation, the one that is essential to making your experience rich and positive. Before you go, get prepared to experience culture shock.

Some of you may say “Culture shock? Not for me. Where I’m going is only an hour’s flight from home.”

It is true that the degree of difference in one’s own and the host culture is important, but this is not the only variable. And let’s not forget that the concept of culture can also be used for an organization, institution or a group. As a result, even a simple reorganization may generate culture shock.

So, what is culture shock? Well, it’s a mix of emotions. Feelings of loss, confusion, stress, anxiety and impotence that comes from both the challenge of new cultural surroundings and from the loss of a familiar cultural environment.

In my experience, culture shock can be divided into four stages:

1. The Honeymoon

“Oh, this is wonderful. Let’s go there. Amaaazing!” You are obviously excited and have an idealised view of the new culture. Anxiety and stress may be present but your general euphoria overtakes them.

Karim Sanaz, is an Iranian student at Uppsala University in Sweden. He remembers that when he arrived in Sweden everything seemed really different from his homeland. “I actually didn’t feel any sense of belonging. To me it was more like watching a beautiful movie without being part of it.”

2. The Crisis Phase

“I am tired. No one understands me. I want to go home!” This could be something you would say just before you kick the closet with your bare foot. Reality is back.

This phase occurs anywhere from the first two weeks to several months. Some of these differences you found so “amaaazing” in the first place, start to really get on your nerves. Perhaps you are struggling to make yourself understood by locals, you feel like a child; confused and tired.

3. The Adjustment Phase

You are still here. Well done. Understanding, acceptance and adaptation is key now. In this phase you will start to face new challenges in a positive way.

You will finally understand the new culture is different, accept it as it is and start to adapt your values, personality and behaviour to the host culture.

4. The Resolution Phase

“This is home guys!” You have developed your routine and the efforts you put in place in the previous stage are now imperceptible. You are stable emotionally and you feel comfortable.

Clarisse Mergen is currently studying a master’s degree in Canada. She arrived in Montreal three months ago and already feels like she’s in the resolution phase. “I’ve learned new behaviors that are now automatic reflexes, like waste recycling. I am also now more curious about the country’s politics and the way institutions work.”

Coping with Culture Shock

First of all, congratulations! You’ve just passed the first step that leads to the resolution. Indeed, now you know more about culture shock, you will be able to identify it when it happens.

If you feel tired, if you are emotionally sensitive, if you are critical of the culture, if you want to go home then you will know it is a normal reaction and you should not give up. Just understand, accept and adapt. Easy to say, I know. So here are some more tips for you.

  • Before you go, read some books about the place where you will be staying. This will help you develop more realistic expectations and will involve you even more in the project.
  • Cover your basic needs and ensure your security is met. Choose a safe area to live in, ensure your budget is under control, bring any medication you may need with you, as well as your earplugs if you are sensitive to noise.
  • You can also create a sense of safety and reassurance by bringing familiar items with you. Mergen admits: “I brought some pictures of my friends and family – as well as my teddy bear! It actually helped me feel at home at the beginning of my stay.”
  • Keep in touch with home by using MSN, Facebook, Skype, blogs, telephone and post – you are spoiled for choice! It may be difficult sometimes to keep a relationship going only by email, so do pick up your phone from time to time, it really makes the difference.
  • In times of instability, a feeling for your own culture when abroad is always comforting – speaking your own language, eating typical food, reading a newspaper from home. But be careful not to overdo these tricks, as they can be a way of resisting the change. Sanaz recommends that foreigners don’t spend too much time with their own community. “Try to tackle the language barrier as early as possible. It might be difficult at the beginning, but it is rewarding,” he says.
  • Maintain a network of people you love, you trust and who will give you confidence when you feel unsettled. If you are a fan of rugby or cinema, join a club. This is generally a good way to meet local people in a relaxed atmosphere. If you are not a fan of anything in particular then try something new and why not, something local: beach volley in Brazil, calligraphy in China, Bollywood dance in India. And don’t forget charities and volunteering opportunities, which can be a great way to feel part of a local community.

Now you should be more equipped to face culture shock if it happens. Indeed, some people don’t feel it at all, others feel it strongly. The intensity of culture shock depends on so many factors that you can’t really generalize. But at least you are aware of it, and you’ll know you’re not the only one feeling this way!

Finally, make the most of this experience and wherever you are in the world, have fun!

emotionnal comfort 6

You may have heard of the Five Stages of Grief (refresh your memory with this educational clip from The Simpsons), but how about the Five Stages of Studying Abroad?

Italian student Gracy Rigano has spent a year studying abroad in Spain and six months working abroad in the UK, so she’s been through all these stages and back again! Here she outlines five emotional phases you can expect to encounter when studying abroad…


Phase 1: Excitement and optimism

It’s natural, either before leaving or after you’ve arrived, to go through a stage of feeling really excited, and enthusiastic for all the new and exciting things to come.

This can be a great feeling, especially if you can turn all that positive energy into a spirit of adventure and fearlessness when encountering new situations and challenges.


Phase 2: Disorientation

Especially if you don’t know anyone in your new location, it’s common to experience a feeling of being ‘lost’ and disorientated. I’ve found that it’s helpful to focus on establishing a stable base for yourself, so you have a place where you can feel at home and secure – a sort of ‘nest’.

Making a project out of transforming your student room will also give you a practical focus, hopefully meaning less time for moping around feeling sorry for yourself! Remember, help will always be there if you need it; universities have lots of support services just waiting for you.


Phase 3: Loneliness

Even the most open and friendly of people are likely to find integrating into a completely new country and culture a bit of a challenge. This can be especially difficult if you’re also not a native speaker of the local language.

To get past this phase, you need to basically push on through it – challenge yourself to keep trying, and don’t let your anxieties hold you back. This will almost certainly mean there are times when you’re outside your own comfort zone, but ultimately that’s a good thing!


Phase 4: Homesickness

Pretty much everyone experiences homesickness at some point while studying or working abroad, so just be prepared for this and know that it’s normal and will pass.

You could also view this as part of the personal development you undergo while away from home. It’s said that the only way to really appreciate one place is to go and live somewhere else – and spending time abroad is a great way of finding out more about yourself and what you really want from life.


Phase 5: Acceptance and serenity

After all the ups and downs, excitement, challenges and personal reflection of the initial settling-in period, you can look forward to a calmer, more relaxed time.

This doesn’t mean there won’t still be excitement and challenges, of course! But, having accepted both the positives and negatives of your situation, and reached a point where you’re more confident in your surroundings, you should be ready to simply enjoy your time studying abroad and really make the most of it.

Of course, everyone’s experience is different, so this model should be seen as flexible – you won’t necessarily go through each stage in exactly this order! But hopefully knowing that your experience is ‘normal’ and that each stage will pass should help – especially when you encounter some of the more challenging phases.

Source: Top Universities

Five Ways to Sabotage Your Own Study-Abroad Experience

Ok, time for another in-reverse guide. You’ve learned how NOT to choose a study destination – now here’s what NOT to do in order to have a fantastic time studying abroad. (Or conversely, if you’re really bent on ruining your own life, five ways to do that…)

1. Be a Moaning Minnie

Ok, so a little homesickness is one of the natural emotions you can expect to experience – but don’t let yourself overindulge in this. If you get stuck in the habit of comparing everything to the way things were back home (“Did I say that back home, we have all this stuff but, like, better? I did?”), you’ll:

a) Shut down lots of fun experiences for yourself,

b) End up with an idealized dream of home that’s probably just not true,

c) Become such a Moaning Minnie that no one will want to hang out with you.

  • Spotting homesickness >

2. Form an international student clique

It’s also natural that you’ll find yourself drawn towards other international students – for one thing, they’re probably the first people you’ll meet if you attend the university’s international student orientation program.

Meeting other international students is great and can be a fast way to form friendships with people from all around the world (as long as you don’t just cling to those from your own country). However, some foreign students reach a point where they realize they’ve hardly formed any meaningful relationships with local students.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, at least some of them are probably fantastic individuals who you’d get on with really well. Second, they’re perfectly placed to give you real insights into the life and culture of the country – which, yes, you’ll probably get to on your own, but it’s nice to have a local ‘guide’ to speed the process along.

Finally, if you ever want to return, it’d be good to have a friendly face to greet you – and possibly a free bed!

3. Become That Library Guy/Girl

Every course has its Library Guy/Girl – that diligent student who’s got a reputation for pretty much never leaving the library. Yeah s/he is probably going to be top of the class, but they do seem to miss out on a lot…

Obviously I don’t mean you shouldn’t take your studies seriously. But whatever course you’re taking, it really shouldn’t mean you never ever have time for anything else – in fact, taking time out is likely to be beneficial.

And believe me, even if you graduate with a first-class-honours-degree-with-cherries-on-top, you’ll regret it if when you look back at your time abroad all you remember is the shape of the librarian’s balding patch and that humming noise the lights made.

  • Escape the student bubble >

4. Become a Total Party Animal

The antithesis of Library Guy, Total Party Animal has – so the rumour goes – no idea of where the library even is. S/he is rarely seen before noon, never in a lecture theatre, and is apparently genetically unable to say ‘no’ to any request involving the prospect of a Good Time.

You’ve probably guessed the end of this story. Unless you’re one of those infuriating geniuses who seems to do well without ever opening a book, this path is not going to lead to academic success. And since you’re investing a lot of time (and probably money) in your degree, you almost certainly want to do the best you can.

So, while it is important to say ‘yes’ to the awesome experiences university and New Country have to offer, remember to say no when you know you really do need to study!

  • Professors can be guilty of this too >

5. Spend all your money in the first week/month/term

There’s a lot to think about when starting university, and even more when you’re studying abroad. What with applications, visas, finding accommodation, packing and so on, you may not have much time to sit down and draw up a budget.

And even if you have worked out how much you can really afford to spend, all the above-mentioned excitement can somehow make you ‘forget’ to check your bank account once you’re in the midst of term time.

Again, the key here is balance; don’t obsessively count out every dollar/euro/pound you pay out, but do try to keep a fairly regular check on the rate at which your bank balance is going down – and the likelihood of it hitting zero before your next pay cheque/bursary/parental handout comes in.

If you have a problem, it’s best to spot it early.  That way you’ll have time to look for a part-time job, sweet-talk your family, and/or seek advice from the university – they should have support staff who can help you work out a solution.

Ok, lecture over! Now get out there and have fun!

Source: Top Universities

We tend to assume that having a higher proportion of international students is a good thing – in fact, that’s one of the measurements used by the QS World University Rankings to assess how ‘internationalized’ a university is.

In many cases, a higher proportion of international students does in fact translate into a more exciting, multicultural experience – both within the classroom and beyond. But as a number of experts and academics have pointed out, this may not always be the case.

So how can you ensure that a university’s high ratio of international students will really mean a more ‘international’ learning environment, in the best possible way?

1. Talk to some international students

One of the most obvious and effective ways of getting behind the numbers is to talk to some current international students, and find out whether their experiences match up to what you’re expecting.

Many universities today have student ambassadors, whose role is exactly this – you may be able to contact them directly through the university website, or via the international student office or the student union.

You could also contact leaders of international student clubs and societies – who again, you should be able to find through the website or perhaps via a Facebook group.

A good policy here would be to speak to as many different students as you can – remember everyone’s experience will be different, so try and get a good spread of perspectives before making up your own mind.

2. Check out the social calendar

If you haven’t already during stage one, check out the list of student clubs and societies, and calendar of annual events – both should be available via the university website (again, if you’re stuck, ask university support staff to point you in the right direction).

This should give you a feel for how diverse the social life at the university really is. By this, I don’t just mean checking whether there’s an ‘Asian students society’ or a ‘Spanish-speaking student club’ – but also more subtle signs that the university’s multicultural intake has genuinely influenced the range of leisure activities on offer.

For example, there might be university-wide celebrations of different cultures’ major festivals. There could be opportunities to learn and share sports and hobbies from all corners of the world – from capoeira to crochet and manga to Morris dancing (hey, each to their own).

3. Get a feel for the international student support services

By this stage, you may have already had some contact with the university’s international student support staff – and had a chance to get some idea of how supportive they really are!

If not, get back on the university website and track them down. They may even have their own section of the site, detailing the range of services they provide.

Maybe they organize special events and workshops, offer language-learning support services, or run mentoring or host-family schemes. Most universities also run a special induction program for new international students, to help them get orientated and settle in.

4. See how international the faculty is

As well as checking how many international students the university has, you could also see how internationally diverse the staff members are. This is another of the measurements used in the QS World University Rankings to assess ‘internationalization’ (the ‘IF’ score given to each university).

You can ask students about this, and again check the website – if international diversity is something the university has been especially successful in achieving, then it will probably boast about this somewhere the site!

And of course you can also browse through the staff in different departments – often a brief biography is given for each faculty member, so you can get a quick idea of where they come from.

5. Look at the course content

Finally, you might want to try and find out whether the university’s claims to be ‘international’ are really reflected in the learning experiences it offers.

You might find some clues here in the course content – though this will probably be more obvious in some subjects than others. For instance, if you’re studying literature, politics, geography, sociology (or any other arts, humanities or social science subject), are there opportunities to specialize in a range of different cultures and societies?

As well as looking for cultural diversity in the content offered, you could also check whether any exchange programs or partnerships are in place. Are there opportunities to spend time in another country, or to collaborate on projects with those in another nation?

So, lots of research to do, but (yes, I know I always say this), worth it to make sure you get the study-abroad experience you really want.

And of course, it’s also worth remembering that the quality of your experience will also be largely down to you (see ‘Five ways to sabotage your own study-abroad experience’).

In the run up to the UN’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, find out how universities support and celebrate diversity.

On 21 May, events will be held around the world to mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which was established by the United Nations (UN) in 2001.

The event is based on the UN’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which states that “cultural rights are an integral part of human rights”. As a result, the Declaration says, everyone should have the right to communicate in the language of their choice, participate in their own cultural practices, and be treated with respect for their cultural identity.

These are clearly principles that could apply to all situations and aspects of life – and that certainly includes higher education.

Indeed, universities are well placed to lead the way in supporting and celebrating the cross-cultural exchange and dialogue the World Day for Cultural Diversity aims to promote.

So, how can universities fulfil the UN Declaration on Cultural Diversity?

Anti-discrimination polices at universities

Most universities have policies in place to guard against discriminatory treatment of any group of people – whether based on gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor.

Further, many universities have an Office for Diversity and Equality, which provides a first point of call for staff or students who have any concerns about this, or who would like to help promote equal opportunities and treatment within the university.

Universities with large numbers of international students may also be aware of the need to make special arrangements for students with important cultural commitments.

For example, if an important deadline or exam clashes with a religious festival or period of fasting, universities can make allowances to ensure that students don’t have to choose between their education and their cultural identity.

Opportunities for intercultural learning at university

Some universities, particularly in the US, have made it a requirement for all undergraduate students to complete a certain number of modules in subjects relating to cultural diversity. This could encompass a huge variety of options.

At Saint Louis University, for example, students can choose from courses including world music, contemporary black America, psychology of oppression, post-colonial literature, US Hispanic theology, intercultural communication – and many more.

At other universities, opportunities for intercultural learning are optional.

For example, at the University of Pennsylvania (‘UPenn’) in the US, students can apply to participate in the Intercultural Leadership Program. This brings together a group of domestic and international students for a series of workshops and projects, with the aim of nurturing “an intercultural community of leaders who are ready to take on issues they are passionate about, learning more about communities different than their own, and make a lasting impact.”

The University of Pennsylvania also has an International Residence Program, which promotes intercultural exchange by encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to live together in a shared accommodation facility, and also to participate in a series of social, academic and cultural programs.

These include trips to major cities, musical and theatrical performances, sampling different cuisines, and opportunities for students to give presentations about aspects of their own culture.

This idea of promoting inter-cultural learning and exchange outside of the classroom underlies the International House movement, which currently has 15 members, spread across the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, New Zealand and France.

These facilities range in size from 100 beds at the international student house in Washington DC, to a whopping 5,700 beds at the Cité Internationale in Paris. Each international house is run independently, but with a shared mission: “To provide students of different nationalities and diverse cultures with the opportunity to live and learn together in a community of mutual respect, understanding and international friendship.”

Special events and celebrations

Check most university events calendars, and you’ll probably find a large selection of cultures represented.

This may include events to mark particular festivals, events focusing on certain cultures or aspects of culture – for instance, a night of Ethiopian music and food or an international film club – and also week- or month-long programs of events.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, the university’s Annual Intercultural Month takes place every April to May, featuring events to celebrate the range of cultures represented at the university.

This extensive program is driven not so much by large numbers of international students, but by the ethnic and cultural diversity that exists within the US.

Acknowledgement of diversity within a shared nationality also forms part of the Diversity Week program at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In October 2011, this featured a ‘subcultures fashion show’, in which the catwalk was taken over by groups ranging from ‘goths’ and ‘skinheads’ to ‘nerds’ and ‘skaters’.

This light-hearted event was accompanied by more serious explorations of cultural diversity, including workshops on intercultural communication in business and within the law, and a screening of documentary film Religion connects! Religion connects?

Meanwhile, Rhodes University in South Africa schedules its International Week for 19th-25th May – to coincide with the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The week kicks off with students and staff joining for a colorful parade celebrating a wide range of cultures, followed by a concert in which groups are invited to share part of their culture through a musical, spoken or theatrical performance.

Sounds like fantastic fun, and just what the World Day for Cultural Diversity is all about. But of course, these kinds of special event are just the tip of the iceberg; on many university campuses, intercultural dialogue is a way of life – something that occurs in every lecture theatre, library and student dorm.

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Amanda Eng

I am a graduate of the undergraduate business program at HPU and am currently enrolled in the MBA program. The program I did while in Malaysia was a training program and I knew that I wanted to transfer to a school in the United States. I met Bernard Chong at a University fair; he was a great help and was very knowledgeable.

I ended up choosing HPU because of the helpful International Center staff and also because of HPU’s beautiful location in Hawaii.What I like most is the multiculturalism at HPU.I have never met so many people from different places; now, I have friends from all over the world. I used to speak four languages, but now I have picked up even more languages from the new friends that I’ve made here!

HPU even has Intercultural Day, which gives us a chance to share our home country and culture with others through traditional games, displays and performances. There are so many ways to get involved. I even had the opportunity to serve as the president of the Malaysian Student Association. Through this organization we established relationships with the Malaysian Embassy and even met the Prime Minister. In addition, the staff and advisors are so helpful and friendly; International students are treated fairly and equally at HPU.

Natascha, Brazil

Natascha Ometto
Florianopolis, Brazil
General Business

I found out about HPU because a good friend of mine was already studying here.  She convinced me to come by telling me that HPU is a really good school and that I would be able to find a better job after graduation.

I first came to HPU in September 2007 to improve my English in the EFP program (English Foundations Program) and now I’m studying in the General Business program.  The professors in my program prepare students for the future and teach you what is happening right now.

Classes such as Human Resources Management and Introduction to Business gave me a good background for my internship and for the future.One of the best things about HPU is the Career Services Center, which I find is very useful.  They assist students with getting internships and finding business contacts.

They also set up meetings with well-known companies who need new employees so I could meet with business people face-to-face.  I got an internship at Sheraton Waikiki as the Front Office Manager, which was a good experience for me because Hawaii has the best travel industry in the world.I also really like the environment at HPU.   There are people from so many places with different perspectives.  I even had a chance to study abroad after learning about it during a presentation in class.  HPU students can go to so many places all over the world to learn a language!

I went to Seville, Spain to take history and language classes and I was able to use my scholarship to help pay for it.  It was a great experience because Spain was a completely different environment compared to Hawaii and I was able to learn other points of view on subjects that I had learned at HPU. 

Mathieu, France

Mathieu Milani
B.A. in Environmental Studies Transfer Student

I first heard about HPU because it has a partnership with my former university in France.  I also met Stefanie Demin while in France and she was so friendly, helpful and willing to answer all of my questions. There were many universities to choose from for my major but I chose to come to HPU because it was the best choice for me.  This is my first time studying abroad for a lengthy period of time and I chose HPU because of its great reputation, environment and for the way that the Environmental Studies program allows students to study a mix of both science and business.  Once I arrived in Hawaii in January 2010, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice, warm welcome that I received from everyone at HPU.   I am glad to be a student at one of the most international universities in the world.

Before I arrived at HPU, I didn’t realize that the downtown campus would be in a busy business district.  The way that the campus is undefined allows students mingle with business people, which is very unique.   On the Windward Hawaii Loa campus, students are able to be closer to nature and the beautiful scenery; I also like to take advantage of the great infrastructure that is in place such as the soccer fields.  Of course, there is also the great weather, ocean and surf, which are also things that I enjoy about being in Hawaii.

I have also been impressed by the technology at HPU such as the computer systems, projectors etc., which make learning easier and more interactive.  Additionally, I find that the teachers are very friendly, open, innovative and communicative at HPU.  For example, if I have a question, I can call or e-mail my professor directly and get a quick response from them.  Some professors even give out their personal cell phone numbers!  Even though a hierarchy between the teachers and the students is still maintained, I still feel encouraged to discuss different topics and try out different ideas in the classroom.  Furthermore, my classes at HPU have not only allowed me to meet people from different cultures and see others’ point of view, they also have opened my mind about how things are done in the United States.

I also feel that my education at HPU will prepare me well for the future.  Here, I am able to get the qualifications that will be desirable when I enter the working world.  Because my program is a mix of science and business, I am able to understand both fields well and I am even able to get a double Bachelor’s Degree.  Currently, I have been able to work on-campus in the LAC and the Communication Video Lab and I will have further opportunities to do research and an internship before graduation, which will give me even more valuable work experience in the United States

Masaru, Japan

Masaru Moromisato
BA in International Relations

I found out about HPU when I was attending a community college in Seattle, Washington. I was looking for a university that would provide cultural experience, small size classes, and lots of nature. HPU was exactly what I was looking for.

Multiculturalism at HPU is so remarkable that you could not ever imagine interacting with so many people from different countries at other universities. Being Japanese born in Peru, I see myself quite culturally open minded. My family and I moved to Tokyo, Japan when I was 4 and I was raised there since then. However, since my parents were also born in Peru, the unique background unconsciously helped me build a flexible mindset. HPU still impresses me every day with its diversity: By going to classroom or simply walking on campus. The number of European students is significant, thus allowing me to learn more about new different perspectives without paying for an air ticket to Europe or any other places where I have never been yet.

Maximum class size of 25 students is rare and that attracted me the most when I first heard about HPU. I even had a class where there were only 7 students. This kind of class setting encourages students to participate in discussions and also allows students to more willingly interact with their instructor as they seem to be more approachable. The professors at HPU are truly experienced, and very enthusiastic to support you with as much help as they can provide to you; and you can even have long lasting friendships with your instructors.

Having the Hawaii Loa Campus surrounded by mountains is entertaining and relaxing at the same time. Hawaii is definitely one of the best places to go hiking, which can give you a magnificent scenery on the apex. HPU Downtown Campus is located about 10 minutes by bike from the beautiful beachs and less than an hour by bus from the numerous hiking trails in all directons. I personally have interest in the field of environmental protection and living in Hawaii always makes me realize keenly how precious our nature is. What I like about Hawaii the most though is how friendly and nature-loving people are here. I spent time deciding to which university to transfer, but HPU was the right choice and definitely is the University that I would like to recommend to others too.


Eirik, Norway

Eirik, Norway
MA in Communication

Before I came to HPU, I already had some international experience: For example; my first encounter with American culture as an exchange student in North Carolina back in 1998, also, a semester on a small East Coast college in the early millennium after I had to return to serve a mandatory year in the army. I  spent the last two years prior to HPU in Copenhagen, Denmark, completing my bachelor of education that I began at the most northern university in the world, the University of Tromsø, Norway.

Later, I realized that I needed a dramatic change in my life, climate-wise as much as a need to go where I hadn’t gone before.
I met Lilian Hallstrom at a fair in Denmark. The graduate program in Communication at HPU sounded appealing to me. Additionally, the Hawai’i location and the English language played a crucial role in my decision to come to HPU.

So, I came to Hawaii in Fall 2008 as a graduate student. I decided to study communication in its broad aspect as it’s such a multifaceted field that studying the bigger picture of communication would give me much more fundamental knowledge and tools necessary for my career in media-related fields. In the new work force we need to be able to multitask.

What I really like about HPU is that it really makes me feel like a Cosmopolitan Earthling. From students of different cultures here at HPU I learn that, we are one people on one planet, who need to respect one another and make our world a better place.

For this same reason, I recently took a summer program at HPU and traveled to South Africa to work on a global documentary. We were six people from different fields of communication from HPU that came together in Pretoria, South Africa, to shoot a dynamic documentary. Our preconceptions about this country vaporized an a whole new paradigm was created. “. Our team “HPU- Africa” will continue to edit and produce positive message about this beautiful country.

Class sizes at HPU are relatively small and students can get more attention from their teachers, and even develop long lasting friendships with them.  Thus, my advice to all students at HPU would be to spend their time wisely: Create a global network of friends, explore Hawaii “the last frontier” for its culture and now mixed plate ethnic background, the growing art venues in Chinatown, and all the out door activities this magical island group has to offer.

Currently I am exploring the Beatniks influence in literature and film and hope after finishing school, to move to San Francisco where I plan to start writing a short novel book band on global experience. I don’t only want to embrace bohemia but also cheat King Winter a while longer.

felliphe, Brazil

Felliphe Castro
Sao Paulo, Brazil
BA in International Business

It has always been my dream to come to Hawaii.  When I was deciding to come to HPU, I spoke to Gui Albieri from the International Center because he is also from Brazil.  He was very friendly and helpful when he explained what it would be like to come to HPU and Hawaii.  I began studying here in September 2007 in the EFP program (English Foundation Program) and now I’m in the International Business program.

I like the atmosphere at HPU because it’s unique from most colleges.  Here, you can meet people from all over the world and HPU’s location in the middle of Honolulu’s downtown business district allows students to interact with business people.

There are also many good resources on campus for HPU students.  The Career Center is helpful and the advisors there tell you everything you need to know in order to get a great internship.  Their HPU Connect website is very useful for finding businesses that are looking for interns.  I even landed an internship at Turtle Bay Resort in the Special Events Department.  The Tutoring Center is another great resource at HPU.  It is a good place to go when you have a paper due because they can help to correct it and check for grammar mistakes.  The tutors there are always very helpful and friendly.

I have learned many things since coming to HPU.  I have to be really organized and on-time to get good grades, which has made me more responsible.  The professors here are very knowledgeable and they have prepared me for my internships and for the future.  My Human Resource Management class prepared me for job interviews and how to create a resume that will make me stand out.  I have also learned many things in my Computer Science classes that will be useful in many business situations

Yasemin, Germany

Yasemin Karabudak
BA in International Relations

Aloha! I am Yasemin Karabudak, an international student from Germany. Trusting my heart in decision making delighted my life with great experiences. Based on my experiences in the United States as an exchange student in 2006/07 I decided to study International Relations at Hawai’i Pacific University.

I started my studies at HPU in fall 2009 and I feel like it has been one of the best decisions. Besides interacting with outstanding professors and the diverse student body in an excellent in-class atmosphere, I also took the initiative to get involved with the various student organizations HPU has to offer. One of them is the United Nations Club; I joined because it is my ambition to become an internationally engaged diplomat. After researching about Slovenia, getting acquainted with the works of UNICEF, developing public speaking skills and fundraising, a team of 11 dedicated students and I went to the National Model United Nations Conference in New York to take part in the simulations of the sessions of the UN’s committees. It was a tremendous learning experience for me and to follow up with what I was exposed to during the conference, I also got the opportunity to go to Cambodia to study and do volunteer work for a NGO that cares about orphans. Additionally, I held various leadership positions in the German Speaking Student Association and Student Government since freshman year, organizing events and working on issues that deal with student concerns and complaints. My deep appreciation for HPU also stems from working on campus as Office Assistant at the Faculty Support Center which gives me the chance to interact with Faculty and Staff of HPU on a daily basis.

My multicultural background and open-minded personality make it easy for me to be approachable and interested to other cultures and languages. HPU is the perfect place for me to develop my passions and further my understanding of International Relations. Mahalo HPU!

Valdete, Sweden

Valdete Sylaj
BA in Advertising

I came to HPU in Fall 2009.  I first became interested in coming to HPU after meeting Lilian Hallstrom, in Sweden at a seminar where she spoke about HPU and Hawaii.  I also met two other Swedish students who had gone to HPU and had great things to say about the school.

The best thing about HPU is the small class sizes, which I love.  The teachers are very good and open to listening to students’ ideas.   Additionally, they are very understanding and encourage many interesting class discussions.  Most universities don’t offer this kind of relaxed environment where discussions are possible.  For example, I went to a university back home for one year and there were 200 people in each class!  I feel that I am learning more here at HPU.

I also like that most of the professors teach you to think for yourself and to be critical.  They encourage you to bend things your own way while making you feel secure in pursuing what you want in the future.  I am encouraged to be creative and feel comfortable in expressing myself here.

That many student worker positions available on campus is another aspect of HPU that I like.  These positions allow students to work within the school to earn some extra money and gain work experience in the United States.  These positions are also very flexible with my class schedule.

Quynh, Vietnam

Quynh Dao
BA in
 International Business

I have been studying at HPU since Spring 2009.  I found out about HPU when I was studying at St. Joseph High School in Hilo, on the Big Island, as an exchange student from Vietnam.  My high school counselor told me about HPU so I decided to visit the campus.  During my many visits, I felt welcomed and liked the fun, internationally-oriented environment.  I chose to go here because it is a private institution and I knew that it would be a good place to study International Business.

One thing that I really like about HPU is how small the classes are so I have a good chance to have personal interaction with both my peers and professors.  The small class sizes also help me feel less intimidated and more comfortable when speaking in front of other people.  I also like that there are a lot of international students here at HPU and I get to learn about different cultures through my classes and various events on campus such as Intercultural Day, the Holiday Bazaar and extracurricular clubs.  Even by just walking around the downtown campus, you’ll be surrounded by students from many different countries, which is an experience that only HPU can offer. At HPU, I’ve made a lot of friends—both local and foreign. I have learned so much from them about different cultures, experiences and languages.

Another thing that I like about HPU is that it’s easy to be involved in many activities, clubs and to participate in events.  I’m in Spirit Club so I get to cheer at a lot of games and it makes me feel like I’m a part of the school community.  I also volunteer at different events on campus and work part-time at the International Center, which gives me an “insider’s perspective” on what’s going on at HPU.  When you’re actively involved it helps you as a person to be a more outgoing and communicate well with others in order to make new friends and networking connections.

Of course Hawaii’s weather, and HPU’s location is great.  Hawaii is one of the cleanest and safest places in the world. It is almost always sunny here and there are many beaches were you can go to relax and hang out with friends.

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Aleksandra Stankovic
Stockholm, Sweden
BA in Advertising

I found out about Hawai`i Pacific University through www.collegetennisonline.combecause I was looking to transfer from another university in the United States.  I play tennis, so I was looking for a school that had a strong tennis program on the west coast.  While applying to different schools in California, I figured that I could apply to HPU as well; however, I never thought that I would end up here.  I talked to the tennis coach here and he offered me to an opportunity to come play for his team, so I said why not—it’s Hawai`i!  Hawai`i has always been a place that I wanted to visit, so when I was offered a position on the tennis team at HPU, I was thrilled.  I began my studies here in Fall 2008.

So far, one thing that I really like about HPU is that the people are so friendly and helpful.  All of the faculty members are always looking out for the students and it feels like the staff and students are truly a small community.  Students get to have really good relationships with the professors because of the small class sizes, and you meet a lot of new friends from all parts of the world in the classes.  I enjoy meeting new people from all over the world and the cultural diversity at the school is definitely one of the unique features of HPU.  Additionally, I like the fact that I can play the sport that I love while getting a great education.  I’m very proud of being a student-athlete here and I love to represent HPU on the tennis court.

Also, because of the multiculturalism on campus and also the education that I am getting at HPU, I have learned a lot about different world cultures and this has made me a world citizen.  HPU focuses a lot on group work so I have learned to cooperate with people from all over the world, which is something that I will bring with me when I’m done with my studies.  I think that this is very important in today’s society since it is becoming more and more diverse.  I’m majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and I’m very thankful for the professors who have prepared me to work and succeed in that field.  When I graduate from HPU, I know that I will be able to achieve my future goals and get the job that I’m dreaming of!

Source: Washington TImes

When U.S. officials were trying to broker a deal to end the bloody 20-year civil war between Sudan and South Sudan in 2005, they had an in with the elusive guerrilla fighter leading the south’s shadowy rebel forces.

Before John Garang took up arms at the helm of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, he spent four years at Iowa’s Grinnell College earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. A decade after graduating in 1969, he returned to the state to get his master’s degree and doctorate from Iowa State University in agricultural economics.

The portrait of the Dinka tribesman and hardened warrior studying in the cornfields of the Midwest is not as unusual as it may seem. A surprising number of politicians, diplomats, lawmakers, military leaders and business tycoons from around the globe — in countries both friendly and hostile — have spent time in U.S. colleges and universities, a source of “soft power” that has boosted the country’s interests in often surprising ways.

Long before Mohamed Morsi rose through the ranks of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to win the country’s post-revolution presidential election, he was a Trojan at the University of Southern California earning a doctorate in engineering from the Los Angeles school.

Other high-profile international figures, including Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, King Abdullah of Jordan, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the late former Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto, among others, also occupied American classrooms before returning home and ascending to power.

The State Department lists nearly 300 world leaders, current and former, who chose U.S. institutions, a trend that analysts say reinforced the nation’s status as the global leader in higher education but also underscores the figures’ desire — or, in many cases, need — to familiarize themselves with the United States, its politics and its culture.

“We have been the most open to students from other countries. That’s why we continue to be the leading destination country, and it’s been a long, long period that we’ve been that,” said Allan Goodman, president of the nonprofit Institute of International Education. “It’s our tradition of academic open doors and a very consistent record of having international students here. The best American universities have been open to international students for the longest period of time. The credentials [obtained from those schools] matter, and the byproduct is that they gain a better understanding of the United States.”

Beyond the Ivies

While the usual suspects at the top of the American higher-education totem pole — Harvard, Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Columbia, to name a few — can claim more than their fair share of internationally powerful alumni, state institutions and some lesser-known schools also have taken advantage of the trend.

The University of Wisconsin, for example, counts among its alumni officials from Bangladesh, Jordan, Peru, Sri Lanka and Sweden. The University of Michigan has educated leaders in Antigua, Jamaica and Thailand.

Louisiana State University boasts alumni who went on to prominent positions in Costa Rica, Honduras and elsewhere. The District’s George Washington University saw future leaders from Colombia, Togo and other nations come through its doors.

The University of Chicago trained the now-famous “Chicago Boys,” a group a Chilean economists who went on to greatly influence that country’s monetary policy.

“It’s not only the Harvards, but sometimes state colleges in unknown places are recruiting a lot of these international students. The global market has expanded,” said Jorge Balan, a Latin American scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “Some of these colleges have done very well in recruiting these students from overseas. They’ve done very, very good work.”

The State Department and private groups keep running lists of foreign dignitaries who studied at American schools of higher education, a list that includes a king in Jordan, a crown prince in Norway and a crown princess in Japan. In some countries, the links can be extensive. When Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who got a master’s degree at Missouri’s Webster University, convenes his Cabinet, the group includes alumni of the University of California, Berkeley (defense minister), American University (justice minister), the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (finance minister), UC-Davis (trade minister) and the University of Colorado School of Mines (energy minister).

The federal government’s Fulbright Program, analysts say, deserves significant credit for the influx of foreign students — both future leaders and typical undergraduates — coming to the U.S. The program awards money to academically eligible Americans to study overseas and offers grants to foreigners to attend U.S. institutions, assuming that they have the necessary grades to do so.

Rising numbers

In the 2010-11 school year, the number of foreign students in U.S. schools shot up to 723,277, an increase of 5 percent from the previous year, Institute of International Education reported. It has increased each of the past five years, and has risen 32 percent over the past decade.

The institute’s data also highlight the fact that foreign students aren’t coming just from nations with close ties and warm relationships with the U.S.

Chinese students accounted for much of the recent growth, with the total number from the burgeoning Asian power increasing by 23 percent overall and by 43 percent at the undergraduate level.

In the 2010-11 school year, 157,558 Chinese were studying at American schools, far more than from the No. 2 country, India, which had 103,895. Other nations with rocky relationships with the U.S. — Russia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among others — also have sent their young people to the U.S.

Few countries, specialists say, bar students from attending top-notch American schools for political reasons, recognizing that the skills they gain in U.S. classrooms will be invaluable when they return home.

“I can’t see any regimes, other than maybe North Korea or Cuba, where there are limitations for people to go out and study wherever they want, even if there is animosity” between that nation’s government and the U.S., Mr. Balan said. “Very few times, [the animosity] becomes an insurmountable barrier to people who want to come study in the U.S.”


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Millions of prospective students learn about U.S. study opportunities through State Department
supported EducationUSA advising centers abroad.

342 current or former Heads of State, Ambassadors, Ministers as well as people in other positions of leadership/power in their respective home countries who all studied in the United States.

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