What is it Like to Attend University of Hawaii at Hilo?

Joshua graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a bachelor’s degree in Japanese studies. He specializes in languages tutoring and Japanese tutoring. Below he shares his experience at the University of Hawaii at Hilo!

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Joshua: The University of Hawaii at Hilo campus is vibrant and full of Aloha. One of the most diverse campus within the Hawaii University system, the Hilo campus really brings out the spirit of the Hawaiian islands with the modern necessities at hand for students and teachers alike. There are several buses that take students to and from the main campus, though Hilo is very much a bike-friendly community. This campus was among the most welcoming and safe I have ever attended.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Joshua: Professors and advisers are readily available to assist whenever possible, even after graduation. They take the mantle of teacher seriously and want their students to not only pass their classes but succeed afterwards as well.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Joshua: The dorms at UHH provide both a varying array of features and allow the full immersion of students into the Hawaiian lifestyle. The dorms have wide windows to let the trade winds in, beautiful sites, and are placed around the campus for easier student life.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Joshua: UHH’s main focus is the Marine Science, Agriculture, Hawaiian Studies, and Pharmacy majors. While the campus does tend to lean toward providing those students with plenty of opportunities to advance, the extreme diversity of the student and teaching staff made my time at UHH unforgettable. As a Japanese Studies major, I was afforded a great education and countless opportunities to put everything I learned in a classroom to use on campus.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Joshua: The students at UHH are among the most friendly I have ever met. The accepting and welcoming Hawaiian hospitality made it easy to settle in for the long five-year ride and make many lifelong friends.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?

Joshua: The Career Center and Student Services Center were both amazing, researching any question they had no immediate answer to and responding within hours. They prepared students for interviews and gave monthly classes and lectures for those without work experience.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Joshua: While there are many areas to study all around the UHH campus, the library became a second home to me and many other students in my major. The computer labs, the spacious floor plans, the study rooms, and the vast selection of books to pick from made it an easy choice for myself and many other students to frequent.

Describe the surrounding town. 

Joshua: Hilo is a deeply family-oriented town, dressed along the rocky coast of the Big Island. While there wasn’t much to do most of the time, the trip across the island (something to do in and of itself with the breathtaking views) to the Kona side was well worth it with nightlife and soft, sand beaches for miles.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Joshua: The student body was large and diverse, and while many students were there for the school’s main fields of studies, I found that all of my classes were filled with a respectable amount of students, generally ranging from 12 to 25 depending on the semester and class.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Joshua: One of my favorite memories of UHH would have to be the New Year’s celebrations. From the American calendar to the Chinese and Japanese one, the campus was filled with food, posters, games, and music for a full week in celebration.


Check out Joshua’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.