Semester in Hawaii (USA)

by CISabroad

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Study in tropical Honolulu at Hawaii Pacific University and immerse yourself in the cultural epicenter that is the island of Oahu. There’s a lot to love about Hawaii, including the languages, ethnicities, culture, music, and food. Oh, and did we mention the beaches, palm trees, and lush landscapes? You’ll divide your studies between the centrally located, seaside campus or a campus on 135 tropical acres fifteen minutes from downtown. HPU is one of the most diverse universities in the world, and we don’t mean species of flora and fauna! So, plan to meet people from all over the world, feast at a luau, catch a wave, and soak up this majestic island in the Pacific Ocean.

Program Highlights

Diverse student body with students from over 100 countries

Campus located near beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, and national parks

World-class academics with large variety of courses available

Close to famous Waikiki Beach

Customized excursions to explore the island

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Program Reviews

Most Recent

Amazing Experience

- United States

January 25, 2018

My semester abroad in Hawaii was truly the best experience of my life. Not only did I get to meet some of my life long friends, but I learned so much. I learned a tremendous amount about the Hawaiian culture, and with that I learned a lot about myself. I learned to live out of my element, and see things through a new perspective. Im forever grateful of the opportunity to study in Hawaii, and it wouldn't have been possible without CIS Abroad & the wonderful staff.

Best semester yet

- United States

January 24, 2018

Choosing to study abroad in Hawaii was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Everything from the people on the island to the culture of Hawaii was welcoming and an experience I’ll never forget. Traveling to Hawaii was costly, but worth every penny! Lisa, the program director on the island, was nothing short of amazing too!

Experience of a life time

- United States

January 23, 2018

My semester abroad in Hawaii was the best few months of my entire life. I met friends that I will have for the rest of my life and experienced so many wonderful things. Although I was in the United States I felt as if I was in a whole different world. Everyone there from locals to tourists to students were all so warm and welcoming! The scenery was out of a picture book but even better. I was not bored for one minute!

Amazing Experience, Terrible Program

- United States

January 20, 2015

Hawaii is a beautiful place that is 100% worth studying abroad in. I had an amazing experience that I will forever treasure and be grateful for. Both the culture and nature of Hawaii are some things I'm so glad I got to experience. The negative side of this program is CISabroad. They are the most unprofessional company I have ever come across. They were never quick to respond to emails, if they even responded at all, and when they did, the staff was usually unhelpful or provided incorrect information. Upon arriving in Hawaii, there were many issues I had to deal with that I thought CIS was supposed to take care of. I still recommend studying in Hawaii, but if you can do so with another provider, do so. Or just expect the worst with CISabroad.

CISabroad responded to this review
March 23, 2015 12:32 PM

Thank you for your feedback and we're glad that you loved being in Hawaii! We recently just remodeled our entire pre-departure orientation. We are confident that students will feel more prepared than ever to study abroad!
-The CISabroad Programs Team

Great & Fun Memories, CIS Abroad was horrible

- United States

January 17, 2015

I had the time of my life in Hawaii, and I would go back in a heart beat. So many fun times, and amazing experiences. I WOULD NOT go with CIS Abroad. They were absolutely horrible, in almost every aspect. As soon as they have your money, they seemed to me that they could care less about you. There were several things that CIS promised they would do that ended up the fellow CIS students would have to do our selves. Our whole program on the first day of meeting all discussed how unprofessional they were through the whole process. It would take many days for them to answer emails, often with questions unanswered. HPU also needed many forms that CIS said they submitted, but the school had no records of the paperwork. So, while we were supposed to be having fun abroad, we were instead on the phone with the school for a long period of time figuring out paperwork. CIS also would keep things from us. You have to pay for $150 bus pass, $60 for wifi, and a few other fees. This bugged me because CIS didn't alert us of any of this, and some of the money I planned to go have fun with got turned into that. It just seemed really shady to me.
You stay at Ohana student housing, which if you haven't aleady seen the absolutely horrible reviews from yelp, and other online sites, expect a pretty bad living situation. The "furnished kitchen" had nothing in it on the day of our arrival. It took them a week before we got 1 plate, 1 fork, 1 spoon, a dirty microwave, and a small pan. So much for furnished. It is also incredibly small kitchen which gets very annoying throughout the semester. The dorms are dry, no alcohol, and they are very strict with their rules who will fine you for any small problem.
The only thing CIS did right was their advisor, Lisa, who will be there for you at anytime in Hawaii. She took us on some amazing adventures, and taught us so much about the island, and Hawaiian culture. By far one of the best people I've ever met.
Overall, as you can imagine it's pretty hard to have a bad Hawaiian expeirence. I stayed outta the dorms as much as possible, and had a great time. It just really stinks that CIS was so unprofessional and difficult to work with, but even if you choose to go with them you'll have fun, its hawaii.

CISabroad responded to this review
March 23, 2015 12:23 PM

Thank you for your feedback and we're glad that you loved being in Hawaii! We recently just remodeled our entire pre-departure orientation. We are confident that students will feel more prepared than ever to study abroad!
-The CISabroad Programs Team

Dissatisfied with Administration

January 11, 2014

I have put my input into the administration. That's my only complaint.

I really enjoyed Hawaii Pacific University and all of the professors and students I met there.

Living Situation:
I loved the dorms and enjoyed my roomate.

Cultural Immersion:
I loved Hawaii's culture

Program Administration:
I felt that Lisa did a terrible job as an administrator. She wasn't in contact with us as much as we hoped. One of the girls in our program went to the hospital twice during the trip and Lisa didn't know anything or ever check in on us to see how we were doing so had no idea of these incidences. She didn't seem to care if we were enjoying our time in Hawaii and didn't check to make sure everything was going well. I also had an extremely traumatic event happen to me where the police were involved. I didn't feel safe or comfortable and I felt that she was supposed to provide that sense of comfort for us on our trip. All she was concerned about was that we returned the sheets and stuff that she bought for us during the trip. Also we were supposed to enjoy excursions, which should've been covered through the extreme amount of money we payed for this study abroad trip. We got to go surfing which was an awesome experience, but for our second excursion we asked to go on a dinner cruise which was "out of the budget" so she put us on a children's pirate ship boat ride which we all had a terrible time. I think Lisa is terrible for this job and didn't provide the necessary tools as she should have. Thank you.

Health and Safety:
Just like anywhere you travel to, be careful of your surroundings.

Social Life:
I met extremely good friends

Aloha Spirit

May 15, 2013

Studying abroad in Hawai'i is the ULTIMATE study abroad experience! Exploring the island with people from all around the world was the most incredible and exciting experience. Hawai'i offers never ending adventures, a culture bound in spreading kindness and love, and unbelievable scenery that will keep you in awe. I learned SO much about myself during my time in Hawai'i - now all I can think about is how I can make it back to the island! It's an experience unlike any other, that I would recommend to adventure seekers who can open their hearts to wonderful cultural endeavors. Above all, my time in Hawai'i offered me the chance to take in the Aloha Spirit...something that you can only truly understand by living in the islands.

HPU is a great university! Different than what I am used to back home, but it was a good experience to try something different. Very international, small classrooms so the professors really pay attention to your needs and INTERESTING MATERIAL! Take classes in Hawaiian studies and the culture while you're here!!

Living Situation:
You get to know all the residents in the Ohia and the staff makes sure to get to know you - it felt like home when I walked in the doors! The rooms are good. The amenities are nice. The complex offers monthly cleaning, so this is a huge plus. And if you have ANY issues in your room, you can submit a work order and maintenance will take care of it ASAP.

Cultural Immersion:
Hawai'i is truly unlike anywhere in the world! I learned SO much about people from all over the world - Norway, Sweden, Brazil, Germany, Australia...this was my favorite part about the experience. Studying abroad in Hawai'i is the ULTIMATE location to truly study abroad!

Program Administration:
Program administers were wonderful! They really helped me when I was in a predicament and I knew I could trust their advice in any situation. It's so great to know you can rely on someone when you're in a new place without any connections. I really enjoyed getting to know them and spending time around the island with them!

Health and Safety:
I felt safe the entire time

Social Life:
Amazing! The people you meet (and you are constantly meeting new people) are wonderful people. Everyone is open to trying new activities and going on new adventures around the island. There is so much to do!


December 10, 2012

Come to Hawaii, it is deff a place to visit but not a place to live...
I would suggest to come, it is soo worth it...
However, I would think about planning out your weekends with stuff you will do with your friends and not rely at all on the CIS director on site. Pahia, is the assistant, He is prolly one of the nicest people you will ever meet if you are respectful.

Living Situation:
never had a stove/oven until the last two weeks of november

Cultural Immersion:
not a lot of legit immersion into the hawaiian culture

Program Administration:
on site people were okay.
Pahia is awesome, Lisa is great but we did like no excursions at all. rarely contacted me about doing things....

Health and Safety:
always feel safe here

Social Life:
not to bad...
best if you smoke ganja or anything else, and if your a partier

Program Details

  • Open to All Ages
  • Contact Provider for Cost Details
  • Yes
  • United States: Hawaii

    Hawaii (USA): Honolulu

  • Subjects & Courses


    Art & Fine Arts

    Art History


    Asian Studies






    Computer Science & IT





    Earth Sciences




    Environmental Studies

    Ethnic Studies



    Foreign Language




    Graphic Design



    Human Resource Management


    Illustration & Animation

    International Business

    International Policy & Diplomacy

    International Relations


    Journalism & Broadcasting

    Languages & Linguistics

    Liberal Arts

    Marine Biology

    Marketing, Advertising, & PR


    Natural Sciences




    Political Science & Politics




    Public Health


    Social Sciences

    Social Work



    TV & Media Production


    Travel & Tourism

    Visual Arts

    Web Design

    Women's Studies

    Zoology & Wildlife Sciences

  • Year(s) Offered

    Year Round

    Terms Available

    Academic Year



  • Open to All Ages

  • American


  • Contact Provider for Cost Details

  • As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

    Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

    Island orientation and local tour
    Two cultural excursions/cultural trips around Oahu
    Full-time tuition and fees
    CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
    Academic advising
    Financial aid counseling
    Assistance with travel arrangements
    Predeparture orientation
    Airport pickup
    On-site Support
    Student Union fees
    Hawaii Pacific University official transcript
    NYTimes Digital Subscription
    La Vida Local cultural program

  • Apartment/Flat

  • Experience Required


  • Online Application


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