Aloha from Hilo, Big Island!
We often get questions about computers when students are preparing for their study abroad.
First of all, I would like to share our facilities. In one of the IEP classrooms, we have a computer lab. You are welcome to use the computers in between and after classes. Also, at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, there are computer rooms in the library.
On the 2nd day of orientation, we will ask all the new students to set-up their usernames and login passwords. With that information, students will get the free Wi-fi access on both campuses.
For short-term study abroad
If you are studying with us for a few sessions only, you may not need to bring your computer. You can use our and the library computer labs for your assignments after school. If you have a computer, you can contact your family and watch movies and so on but maybe your smartphone could be enough for your short-term stay.
For long-term study abroad
If you are planning to seek a degree at a college or university, it’s probably better to bring your own computer. You will have much more assignments once you enter the college or university compared to the IEP. It’s best for you to have an access to a computer at your house. Not only essays but you may need to create some slideshows for your presentations. You may also take online classes so it’s also a plus to have your own computer.
The average internet fee is currently around $50/month. If you have a roommate, you may be able to half the cost with him/her.
What kind of computer is good?
We also receive some questions asking which company’s computer is the best.
Most of the school’s computers are Windows. However, lately, we see many students are owning Apple computers. The most important software will be probably Word and Powerpoint for your study.
Considering that, you can choose what you like or feel best for you. You may be used to use Mac than Windows.
The American computer’s keyboard could be little different from your country’s one. Nowadays, it’s not too difficult to add your language to the computer so it’s another option to purchase one in Hilo after your arrival.
Lastly, if you arrive Hilo early and you don’t have access to the internet, you can visit our IEP office on weekdays. You can use our office computers to contact your family and friends! Sometimes, we may be out office for meetings, so it’s best if you can email us ahead of time.