Semester in Hawai'i
Hawai'i Pacific University

Fall 2021
Gap Year Friendly
LGBTQIA+ Friendly
Spring 2021

Say "Aloha" to your semester in Paradise.

Studying in Hawai’i lets you take classes at Hawai’i Pacific University, a fantastic private university in the center of Honolulu. Learn more about the friendly “Aloha Spirit” while you explore rainforests, volcanoes, and deserted islands on the weekends. Live on the Island of Oahu and immerse yourself in paradise, whether you’re surfing at the beach, watching a movie at the Hawai’i International Film Festival, or meeting fellow students on campus!

What to Expect:

  • Language: English
  • Average Courseload: 4-5 courses (12-15 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.75
  • Visa Requirements: NONE Required!


  • Diverse student body with students from 100+ countries
  • Campus located near beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, and national parks
  • World-class academics with large variety of courses available
  • Study away without leaving the U.S.
  • Customized excursions to explore the island

Program Details

Hawai'i Pacific University

Study in Hawai’i’s capital at the oceanside Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU). The private institution is home to over 4,000 students. About 10 percent of students at HPU are international and come from more than 65 different countries. This unique study abroad experience combines quality American educational systems with global influences. Your program will focus on rigorous academics, relevant career education, and social responsibility. The school’s small class sizes mean that you can work directly with professors to get plenty of individualized attention.

HPU has two different campuses, which are linked together by a free shuttle. One campus is in a more urbanized setting, located in bustling downtown Honolulu, and the other, the Hawai’i Loa campus, is located on 135 tropical acres just fifteen minutes away. The main campus means you can engage with the city’s culture between and after classes. Take a break and grab an iced coffee or a meal at any of the local restaurants or cafes in the plazas surrounding campus.

At HPU, you’ll find courses in disciplines like liberal arts, business, and nursing, along with a highly supportive faculty. To get more involved on campus and make friends with similar interests, you can join any number of clubs and activities. The school also has exceptional facilities, like computer labs, libraries, tutoring services, wireless internet, laboratories, and communications facilities for broadcasting, multimedia, and journalism students.

Accreditation(s): Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Areas of study with 3 to 7 classes available

  • Engineering
  • World Languages

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Areas of study which have more than 8 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Health
  • Humanities

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Please click here to view a list of the Baccalaureate Degrees offered at Hawai’i Pacific University. For more information about the courses offered for each major, please click on the degree title.

Course search:
The following are some of the potential restrictions – courses not available for “study away” students at Hawai’i Pacific University:

  • Courses on the military campus
  • Courses in Education
  • Courses in the Natural Sciences, including Marine Biology

Please contact us for clarification and/or confirmation regarding those types of courses.

In the first screen, choose your term. In the detailed search screen, choose the following campus: Dwntwn/HI Loa/Ocean Inst Class.  Select any other criteria, including the department(s) you are interested in from the first menu. Add your preferences for times and dates of classes if you want, select “search for courses,” and start looking through your course options! At the Downtown Honolulu campus, the buildings are just spread out and not centralized like most universities since it’s in an urban setting!

Undergraduate students are not eligible to take courses with a course code of 3999 or higher, as these are considered graduate-level courses

To access Hawai’i Pacific University’s online course database, please click here.

For the Virtual Semester:

Follow the instructions above but choose “Online” under “Schedule Type”.

To access course syllabi from past terms, please click here.

Why Life in Honolulu

Located on the island of Oahu, this jewel in the Pacific is home to coveted landscapes and is one of the world’s most popular tourist locations. When you arrive at Honolulu’s airport, you’ll be greeted by one of our representatives with a flower lei—the custom greeting in Hawaiʻi!

The warm, tropical climate lets you enjoy the outdoors at any time of the year. You can snorkel through vivid blue water, hike in a lush rainforest, explore active volcanoes, and try surfing Hawaiʻi’s legendary waves. To get around the island of Oahu, there are plenty of buses, taxis, mopeds, bikes, car shares, and the Hawaiʻi Pacific Shuttle.

Hawaiʻi’s unique heritage has led to a fascinating melting pot of people with Asian, European, and Pacific Islander backgrounds. Thanks to this, you’ll enjoy delicious cuisine, a variety of historical buildings, and the chance to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind community. Hawaiians like to celebrate, and you can join them for festivals that include the Polynesian Festival, the King Kamehameha Floral Parade, the Hawaiian International Film Festival, Statehood Day, and even Spam Fest! Your semester in Hawaiʻi will expose you to an entirely different world within the U.S.

Live La Vida Local

  • Lei Making

    Want to learn how to make a lei when you get back home? This class will teach you.

  • ‘Ukulele

    If music is more your thing, sign up for a free class. Instruments are provided.

  • Hula Class

    Try your moves out in a free hula class weekly at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

  • Camping

    All beaches in Hawai’i are public and many have campsites for $5 per night.

  • Royal Hawaiian Band Friday Lunch Concert

    Every Friday the Royal Hawaiian band plays at the bandstand on the ‘Iolani Palace lawn. Bring a sack lunch and enjoy.

Housing in Honolulu


When you live at the Waterfront Lofts at the Aloha Tower Marketplace campus, you live literally right on the water – with all the amenities you need located nearby. Both downtown campuses are a short walk away and local beaches, nightlife and the famous Waikiki can be accessed by foot or public transport (a bus pass is included in your program.) All rooms are doubles, meaning you will share with one person.

Each loft is configured differently and houses four to seven students who share two or three bedrooms in the loft. Residents in each loft share a single or double bathroom. Lofts feature a living area with seating, and kitchenette (lower level cabinets, sink, counter space, and apartment-sized refrigerator).


Included in your housing package is a 14 per week meal plan. These meals are provided by the new full-service student dining facility, Pier Nine by Sam Choy, on the first floor of the Aloha Tower Marketplace. All meals are all you care to eat. The plan also include $250 flex dollars for retail items, extra meals, or guests.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • 24-hour security
  • Air conditioning
  • BathroomShared
  • CommuteWalking
  • Double Room
  • Kitchenette
  • Study Areas
  • Wi-Fi

What's Included


Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:

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

Welcome & Orientation

Upon arrival, take part in a comprehensive orientation to get introduced to our unique island way of life (‘ao‘ao). Gain insight into the many different cultures that make up Hawai’i’s largest city. From Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Micronesian, Fijian to Portuguese, Honolulu is one of the most diverse places you will ever experience. All five of your senses will be engaged as you catch the beautiful “Aloha spirit.” Taste the local food; kalua pig (pulled pork) and lau lau (steamed fish and pork wrapped in taro leaves), take in the popular island-style reggae and Hawaiian music, see the incredible natural beauty from tranquil coastlines to rugged peaks. Touch the sand and feel the waves as you swim with the dolphins and sea turtles.

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

As much as you may want to stay, eventually the time will come when you’ll have to bid aloha and a hui hou (goodbye, until we meet again). Gather together one last time to remember the good times and reflect on all that you have learned living in Hawai’i nei.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial

At World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, learn about one of the most pivotal moments in U.S. history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II. The monument preserves and interprets the stories of the Pacific War, from the internment of Japanese Americans to the battles in the Aleutians.

Group Surf Lesson

Group Surf Lesson

While enjoying the fun and sun in Honolulu, take a surf lesson tailored to fit all ages and skill levels. Learn the basics of proper form and ocean safety from a CPR and AED-certified professional surf instructor. After balance ball training, head to the water and discover how to paddle and catch waves. The instructor remains in the water through the end of the lesson, making students feel at home while attending to every learning need.

Snorkel and Sailing

Snorkel and Sailing

Embark upon a relaxing sail through Oahu’s calm Waikiki waters as playful spinner dolphins frolic alongside and iconic Diamond Head lingers in the distance. Arrive at beautiful Turtle Canyon to snorkel among colorful marine fish and sea turtles. Swim along some of Waikiki’s most pristine reefs and sunbathe and bask in the serenity of a morning cruise.

Site Director

Loretta Chen
Travel Tip:

To travel is to live, to learn, to love. To gain empathy, make connections and seek growth both within and without. So pack light, go with a full heart and leave with nothing but footprints, memories and kindness.

Travel Tip:

To travel is to live, to learn, to love. To gain empathy, make connections and seek growth both within and without. So pack light, go with a full heart and leave with nothing but footprints, memories and kindness.


Dr Loretta Chen is an award-winning director, professor, TEDx speaker and best-selling author. Her latest, Inspiring Women of Hawaii was launched last Fall with all proceeds going towards the Women of Waianae Scholarship fund.

Hailing from Singapore, Loretta was the Executive Creative Director for brands like Samsung, Louis Vuitton, Adidas and BNP Paribas featuring Serena Williams. She was also active in the theater scene. Some of her credits include Victor Victoria starring jazz diva Laura Fygi and The F Word which won an an Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award.

Other career highlights include community endorsement as a Nominated Member of Parliament, hosting the World Cities Summit, serving as International Consultant to the Government of Bhutan and being voted one of Asia’s Most Inspiring Women.

Now living her dream in Hawaii, she teaches at University of Hawaii – Leeward Community College where she was awarded Outstanding Lecturer of the Year (2020). She was selected to be part of the Patsy T Mink Center for Business Leadership Alliance in 2020.

When not mentoring or advocating for women, youth and LGBTQIA, she is a devoted cat mom to ten fur babies. Her short film, Secrets to Happiness has picked up several awards and is currently touring the international film festival circuit.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team
Travel Tip:

We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us—be it through a text, phone call, email or personal visit—you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

CIS Abroad's COVID-19 Plan

We want you to have the study abroad semester of a lifetime, and also know that Fall 2021 is a unique time to be having this experience. We want to provide useful information to you so you can make the best decision for your finances, academic career, and personal health and safety.

Our Financial Commitment

CIS Abroad is working with international partners to create refund and withdrawal policies that limit the financial impact on students and families should COVID-19 change a student’s plan to travel. Currently, our standard refund policy is in place. We are hopeful we can roll out even more flexible policies and will update this section in January 2021.

To insure yourself from additional loss, such as the loss of airfare, or any other non-recoverable loss after your program begins, we recommend purchasing trip protection insurance, aka CFAR/IFAR insurance.

Our Academic Commitment

CIS Abroad has carefully selected programs to minimize academic risk. We are working with our international partners to understand what commitments can be made to academic continuity using remote academic delivery, synchronous or asynchronous (live or recorded), should COVID-19 impact a student’s ability to travel or complete coursework.

Our Health & Safety Commitment

CIS Abroad has developed a site-specific risk management plan for every location so that health and safety protocols are monitored, managed and communicated throughout the semester.

We have developed a COVID Care Package included in our program fee for all Fall 2021 programming to make traveling and living in a host country easier on students, especially those first few weeks on-site:

  • COVID-19 compliant airport pick-up and transfer to housing.
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery, if quarantine is required when entering the country
  • Welcome packet of masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies
  • COVID-19 compliant housing.
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive COVID-19 test or exposure; this housing may incur additional charges.
  • Access to COVID-19 testing; this testing may be an additional charge.
  • Medical and accident insurance that covers COVID-19-related illness
  • La Vida Local cultural activities and reflection that emphasize safe, local exploration geared to the specific context of being abroad at this special time.

Note: if quarantine upon arrival is required when entering the country, this may incur an additional charge for housing and meals. If quarantine is required, please see the Dates & Prices section for the correct “Quarantine Included” program specifics.

We recognize not every student, family, or university will allow travel this Fall, despite the risk mitigation outlined above. We are committed to providing our Virtual Global Internships so that we can bring international learning & career skills to you.


CIS Abroad is closely monitoring changing international regulations and will help you plan accordingly. We anticipate that as we get further in 2021 quarantine may not be required due to the use of vaccinations. If quarantine upon arrival is required when entering the country, it may incur an additional charge for housing and meals. If quarantine is required, that will be reflected in the Dates & Prices section with “Quarantine Included” program specifics.


All 2021 students will have COVID-19 compliant housing.


We plan to show you the best of what your location has to offer this term; great culture, great food, and interesting people. On the Excursions tab, you can see the day or overnight trips we usually offer. It is too soon to know if we can offer those same experiences or if we’ll stay a little closer to our program base. Just know that great experiences await you. We will update this section as your departure date gets closer.


No visa is necessary for this program.

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline:
    EXTENDED!Nov 13
    Nov 1
  • Arrival: January 9
  • Departure: May 10
  • Price: $26,390
  • Application Deadline:
    EXTENDED!Nov 13
    Nov 1
  • Arrival: December 28
  • Departure: May 10
  • Price: $27,890
  • Application Deadline: Jun 15
  • Arrival: August 20
  • Departure: December 12
  • Price: $26,390
  • Application Deadline: Nov 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 8 (Estimated)
  • Departure: May 14 (Estimated)
  • Price: $26,390 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: May 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: August 20 (Estimated)
  • Departure: December 10 (Estimated)
  • Price: $26,390 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

For Spring 2021, you will be charged the 14-day quarantine price. This additional $1,500 covers 2 weeks of accommodation in a Honolulu hotel.

If quarantine is not required for your first 14 days on-site, you will be refunded this amount. Please do not book flights until CIS Abroad confirms the start date.


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

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.