The idea of studying abroad occurred to me even before my time at university and was aroused further by the introductory event at the international office. There are several reasons for this.
I wanted (and still want to) gain experience in foreign language and cultural circles and make contacts with the students there. In addition, my desire to study abroad was increased by the fact that I had and still have regular contact with exchange students through the tutoring program at the international office. I also wanted to be the one who is at the university as a “foreigner”. Another reason for a stay in a foreign language country is, of course, that your foreign language skills improve, as you are forced to communicate with those who live there every day. Be it at university or in his free time. The special thing is that you gain knowledge that cannot be conveyed in any English class. In addition, studying in the USA is different than in Germany,
In summer 2013 I attended the summer session at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU). Originally I wanted to go to the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, but there were difficulties because I wanted to take a full semester. That’s why I had to look for an alternative. For me it was clear that it had to be a university in the USA. The reason for this was my interest in the country and of course that the universities are English-speaking. I discovered the HPU through MicroEDU (MicroEDU) and did some research on the Internet to see whether it had a good reputation for teaching. The university does not stand out and is not ranked as well as the UA, but it is still in the upper midfield. So it was said for me: Off to Hawaii!
The organization was made much easier by MicroEDU and Melanie was available to answer all of my questions. I always received an answer to my email one day later at the latest. Thanks again for that!
Finding accommodation is actually not a problem if you take care of it in good time. I lived in “The Plumeria”, which is exactly in the middle between Waikiki and the HPU. You shouldn’t expect luxury, but the people were all very nice and helpful and it was clean and perfect for this type of stay abroad. The highlight was always the BBQ every Saturday on the house.
The monthly bus pass ($ 60) is the cheapest option to get from A to B, but you need a lot of time if you want to take the bus to the north coast. I always drove to the university for about 10 minutes and during the day the buses also run at very short intervals.
On Independence Day (July 4th) I finally landed in Honolulu and the next day there was a briefing for all international students. There we were prepared in detail for what to expect in the next eight weeks, and not just in terms of study technology. In addition, the student ID was issued immediately, with which we had access to the excellently equipped computer center and the library.
As already mentioned, studying in the USA is a little different than in Germany. In fact, I would almost say that it is very close to our school system. In the two courses I took (Business Research Methods, International Marketing), participation was very important and was also included in the final grade. Because it wasn’t a lecture as we know it. Much more interaction was required as the courses were a maximum of 15 people. We also had homework to do every week, which was also assessed. What was also very reminiscent of my school days were the “quizzes”, small tests (approx. 10 minutes) that took place every week at the beginning of the lecture. The third part that made up the note were lectures. You had to prepare a topic at home and then present it freely to the “class”. The main part of the final grade was the intermediate and final exams, each of which made up up to 25% of the grade. Overall, the course may have been a little less demanding in terms of content, but it involved more effort, as the final grade was not just made up of a final examination. At the end of the summer session I was able to finish the courses with a 1.0 and a 2.3. Read more student reviews on Mcat-test-centers.
In one of the courses we didn’t get a script or anything like that, but had to buy a book ($ 230) to do our homework and prepare for the exams because it wasn’t available in the library. In the other course there was always a script for the current lecture and the textbook we needed could be borrowed from the library. However, the professors’ competence was very high and they answered all questions in detail and were able to explain everything well. In addition to the professors, the head of the international office, who happened to be German, was very helpful and was available to us with everything, even if it did not directly affect her in her function.
There were no unexpected costs. But you should know that it is often cheaper to go to a fast food restaurant than to cook something for yourself. If you always pay attention to offers, you can shop for as cheap as in Germany.
The two courses took place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I had a lot of free time. Since I studied in Hawaii, I never got bored. In addition to beautiful beaches, there are also many beautiful hiking trails through the inland, where rainforests, waterfalls and mountains with wonderful views are waiting for you. On two extended weekends I also visited other Hawaiian islands, which I can only recommend, as each island is diverse and impressive in its own way.
The stay in the USA, combined with the completion of a course, meant a challenge. Studying abroad improved my English skills and I was able to have the courses credited towards my studies, but it also changed me personally. You become more independent and more confident. A temporary stay abroad is an experience that I can only recommend to every student!