MOVING TO HAWAII
Interesting things have been happening for me since I wrote my last Journal entry. Apparently the old saying “Hard work pays off” turns out to be true. I spend a lot of time doing my journals. I write about my experiences and always carry a camera around my neck should any thing interesting come up. Since my last entry I have written an article for #Norgeskreativehøyskole about my bachelor degree in Hawaii, and covered @IBSEducation´sInstagram feed for an entire week. It was a great experience and a feeling of accomplishment and acknowledge. As I went along I had to figure out something interesting and new to show. Luckily I have a great group of friends, and we decided to rent a car and drive around the whole Island of Oahu on a weekend road trip.
The car was 120$ total for the whole weekend and was worth every cent. We got to see underground caves at Kaneana, Sunset Beach at the North -Shore, The Manoa Falls and sleep on the beach at Kalanai Point. Hawaii has so much to offer and so far we have only scratched the surface. Below I have made a map of Oahu taking you through or weekend trip step by step. Klick the picture to enhance.
Going to Hawaii has been in my childhood dreams since forever. I grew up with the impression that I could never go to such a tropical and distant place. If one had asked me 10 years ago where I would live in the world when I was 21, the answer would likely not have been Hawaii. A series of events, and path crosses with the right people placed the idea in my head. I took a leap of faith, not knowing what to expect and so far the impressions have been far beyond my wildest expectations. My partner in crime Herman Langenes Martinsen who I have been studying two years with in Norway, came up to me one day and said; “ Psst. Dude, check this out. We could take our bachelor degree in Hawaii. I was immediately sold.
THE SCHOOL HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY:
Hawaii Pacific University is the most diverse school in all of the USA. Students seek knowledge at the university from all over the world. During my stay I have met a bunch of Germans, Koreans, Japanese, Scandinavians, Arabs Chinese’s, Americans just to mention some. The diversity at HPU ads something special to the class environment. Whenever a question is asked people shear life experiences from their own country, which to me is trusted knowledge you wouldn’t get anywhere else. I take 15 credits, or five courses each semester in order to obtain the Norwegian requirements on my bachelor degree in mass communication. One thing to keep in mind is that the American school system is a lot different to the ones we have back in Scandinavia. Every course runs on total points obtained. You get points for turning in an assignment, doing ALL your homework, participating in class and scoring high on you’re mid, and end term exams. The total score you obtain will determine your grade in that particularly subject. All that boring but vital information being said HPU is divided in to three different campuses. Downtown campus in the city of Honolulu, Loa Campus in the green foothills of Kaneohe and the oceanic institute on the windward coast of Oahu’. Depending on which major you choose you could take classes at the different facilities in calm and relaxing environments, or in the urban high speed business district of Honolulu.
LIVING IN HAWAII
Living In Hawaii is so different to living back in Norway. I constantly remind myself that I am not on vacation, which was very hard the first week. Once you accept the fact that you are here to stay you can start taking in Hawaii as a part of your identity. In the start it was very hard to find food similar to what we have back in Norway. Just buying bread requires a ton of effort. What brands to trust, and why are there so many? Once you know wall-mart who pretty much works like an IKEA, 7-Elleven, REMA 1000 and H&M combined, navigating your daily shopping list becomes easy. The first week I pretty much spent all my energy figuring out which cellphone service to use, what gym membership to get, how to obtain my state ID and navigation through public transport.
LISTED BELOW ARE SOME PRICES AND FACTS:
- AT&T cell phone service: 40$ a month limited data, text and cellphone services.
- 24 fitness gym membership: 40$ a month.
- Buss fairs: Free access with HPU student card to all of Oahu’ (The island I am on)
- State ID 26$ (one time charge) Basically saying you’re a resident of Hawaii which brings you a lot of discounts tourists don’t receive.
- A six pack of beer: 4$
- WIFI through all student facilities free when studying at HPU.
- Two hour rent of surfboard 20$ at Waikiki beach.
- Spring water is safe to drink, but 24 bottles of water costs 4$.
- The Norwegian water VOSS can be found at ROSS, next to wall-mart.
- Snus available at Tobaccos of Hawaii next to Hawaii convention center close to ala Moana Beach Park.
- Average price of 0,5 liter beer when going out 6-7$.
- The Norwegian Lånekassen will provide you with enough money to live here, yet I highly recommend to save up some extra money for the "you never now, situations” “for example I didn’t get my founds before 2 weeks in due to long processing and unexpected delays”
- Living at Aloha Tower costs 1200$ a month.
- As an International student you are only allowed to work at the University or in jobs related to your major.
- Looking for a Surfboard? - http://www.usedsurfboardshawaii.com/
ALOHA TOWER MARKETPLACE
My Roommate Herman and I were lucky enough to live at the newly renovated Aloha Tower Marketplace. We live in a section of the complex where all Scandinavians have been placed room to room. It's a great way to find new friends, potential future roommates and a feeling of home when moving to another part of the world. We also exchange ideas, tips and trusted food labels to each other. “Why ask an American for milk or yoghurts similar to TINE right?”
The dorm rooms are divided into lofts, studios, and twin rooms depending on how many that live together. We are living in a studio with two beds, and a bathroom. It works perfect for now, but at times can feel small when one requires some privacy. The rooms came totally ripped, meaning we had to buy everything except hard furniture. This was a additional cost we were not prepared for and I Highly recommend to put a little extra money in your "start up budget" - also be aware that at the time there are no kitchen in the apartment, and the finished common area kitchen is not been complete.
Aloha Tower is located on a pier right next to the skyline of Down Town Honolulu, 5 min walk to HPU. The complex consists of four buildings on two levels. First floor houses common areas, classrooms, restaurants and stores. The second floor that is limited to residence only is packed with rooms, working stations and lounge areas.
WHAT I FEEL THE FUTURE WILL BRING AFTER I HAVE BEEN STUDYING AT HAWAII.
Basically why I am studying at HPU is to obtain a better depth and knowledge of international communication. I hope to understand the American culture and advertisement and to blow my mind with creativity beyond the edges of space. As a 21 year old I hope to grow my personality, meet people and make connections on a continental scale. I want to bring a little Martin to Hawaii but also a little Aloha to Norway. I see myself in the future working in a creative advertisement agency in Norway, adding strength to the company with my background and cultural understanding.
- A Hui Kaua, Hawaiian for until we meet again.
Huge thanks to my friends: William Wirhed and Josef Sjögren for providing me with a lot of the photos used in this journal post.