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Old 12-24-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
24 posts, read 92,024 times
Reputation: 14

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Hello:-) I am a student at a community college in California. It is time for me to transfer, and I am considering UHM. I have never been to Hawaii. Any information about the university or its location is welcome. Are the people generally friendly? Is the public transportation good (running early, late, often, and to most areas in the city)? Is the nightlife exciting? Any advice on how to reduce the cost of living (cheap grocery stores, clothing stores, entertainment, etc.)? I have heard that it's expensive. Is it a generally safe area (would you walk alone at night there)? Any feedback will be appreciated. Thank you:-)
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Wildside of Oahu
1,411 posts, read 2,639,520 times
Reputation: 2420
If you can swing a cheap flight (check out Hawaiian air, I think they fly out of Sacramento)...do it. You could stay at a youth hostel and see for your self.

You'll also want to contact admissions and make sure all your credits will transfer.

As for the rest of you questions...yes, the bus service is good. Nightlife is great if you have some $$$. Plenty of clothing stores at Ala Moana to choose from. The usual young adult stores like A&E, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe etc.. Manoa & Honolulu are very safe compared to most areas in CA, including Sacramento.

Its cheaper to live in an apartment and cook your own food, vs living in the dorms, but you can finance the dorms through student loans, so you need to consider that.

There's also the free entertainment that is world class! The beaches, hiking, snorkeling, surfing, people watching, biking.

Good luck!
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:23 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,912 times
Reputation: 22
Busses usually run late...but since they are consistently late it's not too big of a deal. You can get almost anywhere on the Bus.

Cost of living....is insanely high...but much like anywhere else it's better to shop at the grocery stores like Longs/cvs, safeway, foodland, etc. instead of overpaying for foods at ABC stores and local 7/11s.

People...generally friendly, I'm assuming you are White, so there will be some rotten apples who will try to start trouble with you. The general rule is treat everyone with respect, dont stare at anyone for too long, they might take it the wrong way....throw up some "shakas" and you should be ok. Hawaii is relatively tame in violence compared to other areas.

Hawaii is a very nice place...but it will get boring. There's only so much you can do, but if you plan on staying here for less than a year you'll be ok.

As far as dorms and apartments, what is your price range? Dorms are a bit pricier than apartments, but are a lot more convienient. theres also a place called the Ohia, which houses students from the mainland and I believe the rent is around 600 a month, you'll be smackdab in Waikiki and be around a lot of other mainlanders.

UH is generally considered a commuter school, as most locals prefer to drive to school and go home, not dorm. So if you choose to dorm or whatever, you'll most likely meet other people from the United States as opposed to people from Hawaii.

Hawaii is filled mostly with mixed ethnicities, if you are White, you WILL be in the minority. But hawaii will be what you make of it...surfboards are relatively expensive, but it's a one time payment for free waves whenever you want.
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
24 posts, read 92,024 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joliefille View Post
If you can swing a cheap flight (check out Hawaiian air, I think they fly out of Sacramento)...do it. You could stay at a youth hostel and see for your self.

You'll also want to contact admissions and make sure all your credits will transfer.

As for the rest of you questions...yes, the bus service is good. Nightlife is great if you have some $$$. Plenty of clothing stores at Ala Moana to choose from. The usual young adult stores like A&E, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe etc.. Manoa & Honolulu are very safe compared to most areas in CA, including Sacramento.

Its cheaper to live in an apartment and cook your own food, vs living in the dorms, but you can finance the dorms through student loans, so you need to consider that.

There's also the free entertainment that is world class! The beaches, hiking, snorkeling, surfing, people watching, biking.

Good luck!

Thank you for your advice. I'm glad to hear that it is safer there than here, since I feel pretty safe here. What is Ala Moana? Also, those activities sound like fun, but I was wondering about something like cheap theaters, etc. In the Sacramento area there is a theater where you can see movies for around $3 and on Fridays local bands have free concerts in a park downtown. Is there anything like that in the area?
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:42 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
24 posts, read 92,024 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by skywalker23 View Post
Busses usually run late...but since they are consistently late it's not too big of a deal. You can get almost anywhere on the Bus.

Cost of living....is insanely high...but much like anywhere else it's better to shop at the grocery stores like Longs/cvs, safeway, foodland, etc. instead of overpaying for foods at ABC stores and local 7/11s.

People...generally friendly, I'm assuming you are White, so there will be some rotten apples who will try to start trouble with you. The general rule is treat everyone with respect, dont stare at anyone for too long, they might take it the wrong way....throw up some "shakas" and you should be ok. Hawaii is relatively tame in violence compared to other areas.

Hawaii is a very nice place...but it will get boring. There's only so much you can do, but if you plan on staying here for less than a year you'll be ok.

As far as dorms and apartments, what is your price range? Dorms are a bit pricier than apartments, but are a lot more convienient. theres also a place called the Ohia, which houses students from the mainland and I believe the rent is around 600 a month, you'll be smackdab in Waikiki and be around a lot of other mainlanders.

UH is generally considered a commuter school, as most locals prefer to drive to school and go home, not dorm. So if you choose to dorm or whatever, you'll most likely meet other people from the United States as opposed to people from Hawaii.

Hawaii is filled mostly with mixed ethnicities, if you are White, you WILL be in the minority. But hawaii will be what you make of it...surfboards are relatively expensive, but it's a one time payment for free waves whenever you want.
Thank you for your feedback. It sounds like the public transportation is much better there than here. Would you suggest relying on it instead of having a car? Are there stores like Foodsco and Foodsource there? Or Super Wal-Mart? Here in Sac those are cheaper than Longs and Safeway. Why do you assume that I am White? What are "shakas"? I am not entirely sure what my price range will be if I move there (I still have to job search there), but the cheaper the better. I will look forward to the diversity if I move there. I have never been surfing. It looks terrifying, but I've always wanted to try it.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:27 AM
 
Location: hawaii!
168 posts, read 639,946 times
Reputation: 107
Ala Moana is the mall. google shaka, you probably know what it is but just don't know the name for the hand sign. If you live in town you should be fine relying on the bus & not even bothering with a car, it could be more of a hassle to have the car actually. There is walmart but it isn't really any cheaper for food than foodland or safeway. I love the nightlife here, so much fun but not too crazy that you only wana go once a month like downtown Chicago is (sorry, only thing I really have to compare it too lol) There are some free concerts sometimes but most bars are $5 cover if there is a cover at all. There are only a few that I have been to that charge more than $5 for cover, even on the weekends. There are plenty of bars with no cover all the time tho too. As far as safety goes, I think it's pretty safe. I do pay attention if I'm walking around alone but I feel like that's just common sense. If you're stupid & run your mouth, yeah your gona get into a fight. Same thing if you're stupid & leave your ipod on the front seat of your car, yeah somebody is gona break the window & grab it. As long as you use common sense & show everyone respect you will be fine. Sure there are sketchy areas of the island that I personally wouldn't walk around at night alone, but I also don't hang out there either so not an issue. As far as UH goes, make sure you have what credits will transfer in writing from a department head. I got a bachelor's degree from a university in the midwest & am now going back to school to get a second bachelor's degree at UH & some credits won't transfer, like gen ed credits. It's just kinda weird. Nothing I can do about it now except pay for the classes again & retake them. But just definitely look into that before you make any decisions.

Ps-I picked up surfing really quickly, TONS of fun. I had never been on a board or done any type of sports in my life other than running. So I think most people will be able to pick it up fairly quickly. It can be an expensive hobby tho.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:35 AM
 
682 posts, read 2,465,912 times
Reputation: 511
People here must have a different definition of "late" than I do.

The bus system is OK, but not great. And I do not think the buses run late. I often have to dash out of my office on campus to catch the last bus at 11:30pm or so, or I'm stuck there for the night. If the buses ran "late", that would mean at least 2am to me. And no, they don't do that. At least not the ones around campus.

I commute by bus to and from UHM, and it works fine. But it's about a 1 hour commute that would take me 15 min in a car. I should really bike it instead, but I live up a huge hill, and just can't bear the thought of trying to do that climb at the end of of the day.

Similarly, whether you think there's a lot of nightlife or not depends on where you're coming from. Where are you in California? Compared to LA & SF, it's pretty dead here. It might be comparable to San Diego or OC, but there you have the option to get to LA. For me, there's plenty to do here. But if you're a college student and used to staying out late and club hopping, that's not really going to happen here. There are several bars & clubs in Chinatown and Waikiki, but not a lot outside of that I think.

As for safety: most of the crime is property theft. There's not a lot of violent crime. Scooters & mopeds & bikes get stolen. Laptops stolen from the library (when someone gets up to go to the bathroom and leaves it there). The occasional mugging late at night by the dorms.

I will say, as the professorial voice... it sounds like you're choosing UHM because it's in Hawaii. That's not a great way to choose your college. Do you have a reason to come to UH other than its location? None of your questions really reflect thinking about whether it's the right school for you. Do you want a big state school? Will you thrive when you're in big classes and have to find your own way, to a large extent? Do you want to study something that is a strength at UH? Hawaii is a long way to come, and far removed from everything, to find out you're not happy with the school.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
24 posts, read 92,024 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiem8 View Post
Ala Moana is the mall. google shaka, you probably know what it is but just don't know the name for the hand sign. If you live in town you should be fine relying on the bus & not even bothering with a car, it could be more of a hassle to have the car actually. There is walmart but it isn't really any cheaper for food than foodland or safeway. I love the nightlife here, so much fun but not too crazy that you only wana go once a month like downtown Chicago is (sorry, only thing I really have to compare it too lol) There are some free concerts sometimes but most bars are $5 cover if there is a cover at all. There are only a few that I have been to that charge more than $5 for cover, even on the weekends. There are plenty of bars with no cover all the time tho too. As far as safety goes, I think it's pretty safe. I do pay attention if I'm walking around alone but I feel like that's just common sense. If you're stupid & run your mouth, yeah your gona get into a fight. Same thing if you're stupid & leave your ipod on the front seat of your car, yeah somebody is gona break the window & grab it. As long as you use common sense & show everyone respect you will be fine. Sure there are sketchy areas of the island that I personally wouldn't walk around at night alone, but I also don't hang out there either so not an issue. As far as UH goes, make sure you have what credits will transfer in writing from a department head. I got a bachelor's degree from a university in the midwest & am now going back to school to get a second bachelor's degree at UH & some credits won't transfer, like gen ed credits. It's just kinda weird. Nothing I can do about it now except pay for the classes again & retake them. But just definitely look into that before you make any decisions.

Ps-I picked up surfing really quickly, TONS of fun. I had never been on a board or done any type of sports in my life other than running. So I think most people will be able to pick it up fairly quickly. It can be an expensive hobby tho.
I looked up the sign. You're right, I did not know that was its name. As for safety, it sounds like it's pretty much the same as Sacramento. Thank you for the advice. I will definitely contact a counselor to see which classes will transfer.
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
24 posts, read 92,024 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by newUHprof View Post
People here must have a different definition of "late" than I do.

The bus system is OK, but not great. And I do not think the buses run late. I often have to dash out of my office on campus to catch the last bus at 11:30pm or so, or I'm stuck there for the night. If the buses ran "late", that would mean at least 2am to me. And no, they don't do that. At least not the ones around campus.

I commute by bus to and from UHM, and it works fine. But it's about a 1 hour commute that would take me 15 min in a car. I should really bike it instead, but I live up a huge hill, and just can't bear the thought of trying to do that climb at the end of of the day.

Similarly, whether you think there's a lot of nightlife or not depends on where you're coming from. Where are you in California? Compared to LA & SF, it's pretty dead here. It might be comparable to San Diego or OC, but there you have the option to get to LA. For me, there's plenty to do here. But if you're a college student and used to staying out late and club hopping, that's not really going to happen here. There are several bars & clubs in Chinatown and Waikiki, but not a lot outside of that I think.

As for safety: most of the crime is property theft. There's not a lot of violent crime. Scooters & mopeds & bikes get stolen. Laptops stolen from the library (when someone gets up to go to the bathroom and leaves it there). The occasional mugging late at night by the dorms.

I will say, as the professorial voice... it sounds like you're choosing UHM because it's in Hawaii. That's not a great way to choose your college. Do you have a reason to come to UH other than its location? None of your questions really reflect thinking about whether it's the right school for you. Do you want a big state school? Will you thrive when you're in big classes and have to find your own way, to a large extent? Do you want to study something that is a strength at UH? Hawaii is a long way to come, and far removed from everything, to find out you're not happy with the school.
Thank you for your advice. 11:30pm sounds good in comparison to the buses in Sacramento, which stop running at about 9 and earlier. The location is part of my reason for looking at the school (I really want to get out of Sacramento), but the school also seems to have a lot to offer for an English major. The average class size is around 25 according to the website, and that seems good to me. It's only a bit smaller than most of the classes I have been in. Large classes are fine with me too. I have taken large online courses and having to find my way on my own seems to work well for me. I think it is what you make it. Since I have found so much information on the UHM website, I am not sure what to ask here. Do you have any advice about the school for an English major? What do you teach? What do you like about the school? What don't you like about the school? Would you recommend it?
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
6 posts, read 12,713 times
Reputation: 13
I went to UH for two years and graduated from there in 2007. I wouldn't recommend living in the dorms if they are still in the same condition they were in the whole two years I was there. Friends that did live in them spoke of rats, leaking roofs, unstable electricity; one dorm was condemned and the university had no plans of doing anything about it.

Parking on campus was crap; you had to sign up for permission to purchase a parking pass that was only good for one semester and was $130+, so about $260 for one year. If you weren't lucky enough to be selected for a permit, you had to pay a daily $3.00 parking fee and yes, that came out to much more than a semester pass. If you are looking at relying on public transit, that will save you from the ridiculous parking fees.

There is a clinic on campus and the option to enroll in health insurance is given upon enrollment, otherwise you can see if your private insurance is accepted or pay out of pocket. They did everything from flu shots, minor injury treatment, to birth control. Also, you may have to submit a current TB record to them as I did, so be prepared for that, otherwise UH will hold up your enrollment.

Hope you like stairs, lol. The majority of the English classes were held in Kuykendall and Sakamaki Hall, both I believe were 4 stories. There is an elevator but it's not really worth it to wait for it.

Professors. Personally I liked S. Curry, M. Heberle, J. Lew, and V. Wayne. Classmates had differing opinions on Curry as he tends to be very brass and has kind of a conspiracy theorist way of presenting things. Lew tended to sway things on the qu33r perspective and some classmates found that unsettling. I had Heberle for the Bible as Literature and he was great, Wayne was able to draw the scholar out of you that you didn't know was there. The prof I heard to stay away from was Hsu. She's an old woman who doesn't believe in computers, all assignments had to be hand written and if you made a mistake, you had to start over as she WOULD NOT tolerate cross outs or white out. She would make people cry and several of my classmates that had her would confirm that Hsu made them cry.

The selection of English classes is phenomenal, waay more than what was offered to me at the University of Texas San Antonio. UT and UH had a single author requirement and all UT offered was Shakespeare and I've never really liked Shakespeare. I ended up taking Gertrude Stein & Virginia Woolf at UH. I loved Argumentative Writing with D. Payne. The selection changes up every semester, so if you are even considering taking a class, find out how often it's offered because chances are it might come up only every other semester or summer only.

The only negative thing about transferring is that not all my credits transferred as requirements. For example, my 6 hours of History that were a requirement in TX were classified as electives and I had a whole new set of requirements to fulfill on UH's part. Also, I had to have 4 semesters of a foreign language instead of the 2 required in TX. I strongly suggest looking at what is going to transfer and how it will fit in UH's requirements.

Overall, I had a good experience at UH and enjoyed the English department
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