By Amy Price
Think of Hawaii, and snapshots of pristine beaches, turquoise ocean, exotic wildlife, and bustling cities are probably the first images to spring to mind.
So imagine what it would be like to study there as a university student. Aside from the island’s natural beauty, Hawaii is home to a diverse array of cultures, from Asian to the islands’ highly protected indigenous institutions. Given its status as one of two ‘majority-minority’ states, where non-Hispanic whites do not form the majority of the islands’ population, this is a golden opportunity to explore and better understand cultures and peoples different from your own, as well as to take advantage of a wealth of prestigious higher educational options.
Chaminade University of Honolulu - For students who prefer a quiet life, Chaminade University of Honolulu is the perfect choice. Situated on a hillside overlooking the cities of Honolulu and Waikiki, the campus is surrounded by 62 acres of gorgeous landscape, ensuring a calm, tranquil atmosphere. Whilst focussed an academic excellence, the university’s most unique quality is its reputation for ensuring a safe, close-knit community, with 24-hour security and encouragement for students to take part in societies and community service that ensure close relations between all students. As if this wasn’t enough, with a diminutive population of less than 3,000, tutors can devote more time to individual students than other universities might be able to, ensuring that everyone can achieve to the best of their ability. It may not be a fast-paced lifestyle, but it certainly is an idyllic one.
University of Hawai’i at Hilo - In an already multicultural country, the University of Hawai’i at Hilo has the proud distinction of being ranked as the best campus for diversity nationwide by the ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’. Situated on the island of Hawai’i – not to be confused with Hawaii, the name for the collection of islands that make up the state – is located in a small-town environment, meaning that there is a relaxed feel to everyday life. What it lacks in vibrant activity, however, it makes up for in a host of exciting natural resources. The environment surrounding the university is used as a literal laboratory, hosting ten of the world’s thirteen climate zones, an active volcano, a tropical rainforest, and one of the best astronomy centres in the world. If you’re considering a degree in the sciences, you couldn’t be in a more exciting location in terms of world-class research.
University of Hawai’i at Mañoa - With a total student population of nearly 20,000, the University of Hawai’i at Mañoa has one of the largest intakes of all the Hawaiian universities. However, that does not make it any less superb. Situated in the Mañoa Valley, the campus is just outside downtown Honolulu, meaning that it is a stone’s throw away from an exciting metropolitan environment, with plenty of choice for everyday activities, and thrilling nightlife. If that wasn’t enough, Mañoa is at the forefront of world-class research, including space grants, and has been consistently ranked as the best university in terms of value by US colleges. This mix of the best of both worlds – international research and exciting recreation – makes the University of Hawai’i at Mañoa a serious contender, both in terms of individual study and the world stage.
Hawaii Pacific University - From its founding in 1965, the Hawaii Pacific University has become one of the state’s leading private institutions in the country. Consisting of two campuses and six military bases, the university offers well beyond the normal variety of degrees, and is located right in the heart of downtown Honolulu, allowing for a wealth of exciting lifestyle options. What is more, a maximum class size of 20, with a student-tutor ratio of 14:1, means that every student’s needs are met. Well within the top 100 of the 2016 edition of ‘Best Colleges’ in the United States, this university couples world-class learning and unique activities for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As amazing as all of these universities are, there are many more options open to you in Hawaii. No matter where you decide to go, studying on the islands will provide you with amazing memories, quality education, and quite possibly the adventure of the lifetime. If any of this appeals to you – go for it!