Many people say that Hawaii is the paradise of the world. Before I came here, I disagreed with this idea. I am a “city girl” and dynamic cities made me more energetic. So, when I arrived at the Hawaiian airport, I felt nervous because of the hot weather and the easy-going atmosphere. Moreover, I realized that I am not a beach person!
However, after my life at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), Hawaii gave me several positive effects. such as giving me confidence.
First of all, I realized my specific character and interests. In this society, I was able to learn about myself more deeply, especially what I wanted to be and what values are more important to me.
Management is my second major. HPU’s courses are more realistic and easily relate to our lives.
For example, there are too many students per one professor in marketing research class in Ewha. So, professors cannot care for each student.
However, in HPU, a class is smaller than that of Ewha and professors are more generous and have more office hours availiable.
In class, we researched the customers’ preference in restaurants in terms of choosing menus. I learned how to make research plans and evaluation papers.
Most classes have useful workshops or realistic adaption sessions for studying. They gave much better understanding about what we learned.
Also, cultural differences broadened my perspective. Hawaii is kind of a cultural melting pot. It is not like New York. Many people are Asians, and it is even hard to find a blond in this island. So people do not have any prejudice toward other race.
Moreover, Hawaii is one of the best tourist spots. Most people have warm hearts.When we were lost, many people, even a child, tried to help us.
Of course, Hawaiian people and I have different cultural background. However, I realized that all people have humanities in their heart.
For these reasons, my experience as an exchange student in Hawaii helped me broaden my viewpoint and enabled me to get closer to the warm hearts of people.
*Lee Jung-eun (’10, Sculpture) studied at Hawaii Pacific University.