On its Web site, HPU markets itself as an opportunity for
students to acquire an American education in an international
setting because the University is strategically located in
the center of the Pacific Rim, the region with the fastest
growing economies in the world. It is no accident that three
of the five countries sending the most students to HPU are
from the Pacific Rim: Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Malaysia
and Indonesia used to be in the top five, but in recent years
students from these countries have found it difficult to get
educational visas. In 2003, countries number four and five
were Sweden and Germany.
Once an international student decides to attend HPU he or
she has a wide array of services available specifically
them during their academic career.
The staff of the International Center helps students prepare
for HPU. Upon their arrival, the center provides International
Student Orientation sessions, and it recommends that each
student attend at least one of these. The International
office on the fifth floor of the First Hawaiian Tower (FH
building), 1132 Bishop St., offers a staff of trained specialists
can advise students and help them adapt to their new home.
At the University’s libraries, international students
can access more than 50 international newspapers and magazines
to keep them up-to-date with what is going on at home.
HPU publishes an International Student Handbook that
contains all of the information an international student
It includes everything from information about HPU and
to American life, the Honolulu bus system, and banking.
HPU also has a PAL program to assist international
students enrolled in beginning–level English classes. International
students have the opportunity to pair up with volunteer tutors
to practice their English- speaking skills. Other speaking
opportunities, outside the classroom, come from HPU’s
more than 85 (this year) officially affiliated student clubs
and organizations, many of which are ethnically oriented.
HPU showcases its diversity on Intercultural Day,
an annual event at which international students
culture, costumes, language, and values with the
If one of HPU’s missions is to make sure every student
is a global citizen, HPU’s diversity is also a reason
why so many students flock from other nations to go to school
Many of these international students said the
Number 1 reason they attend HPU was because
as a Foreign Language, is not a requirement
for admission. Furthermore, according to Miho Preble
of the International
Center, students can enroll in HPU’s English Foundation
Program (EFP) to bring their English to acceptable levels.
(In contrast. the University of Hawai‘i requires that
international students pass the TOEFL test before they can
enroll.) At HPU, students who can pas the TOFEL test may skip
the EFP classes and immediately begin their undergraduate or
graduate degree program.
The EFP program has four levels. International
students take a placement test to determine
at which level
they will begin.
After completing level four, students automatically
start a degree program. Preble says that
HPU’s EFP program has
a great reputation for quality and academic strictness, but
students beginning at level one will add at least a year and
a half to their degree program.
According to the International Center, there
are several other reason why international
students come to HPU
to study. For
Asian students, Hawai‘i is the closest state at which
they can acquire an American education, and some Asian students
have relatives here. Many European students come because they
are able to receive some type of scholarship or financial aid
from their government to support their study abroad. The governments
of Norway and Sweden tend to pay for the majority of the expenses
for students from these countries.