Our conversation partner wrote a blog for us! He started his academic journey at Hawaii Community College (HawCC) then transferred to the UH Hilo.
Many international students took the same path as him. As he mentioned, when you don’t know what major you would like to pursue, finishing your general studies at Hawaii Community College is a good option. While you take a variety of classes, you will get to narrow down your interests. Students can also transfer to different 4-year universities as well. We have one international student who graduated recently and chose to transfer to a mainland university.
Aloha! It’s Noah, Intensive English Program conversation partner for the Summer. I want to share some of my experiences as a transfer student from Hawaiʻi Community College (HawCC) to UH Hilo, and my College journey thus far. I began my studies at HawCC in Fall 2012, I was 18 and just graduated from High School earlier that year. It was always my plan to attend Community College first because I like to have smaller classes, plus it was close to home, so I wouldn’t be venturing out too much; I was still getting used to the idea of being an independent adult. I also wasn’t set on a specific degree or career field, so I wanted to get my General education course finished before I could make my decision. I took a few classes each semester, which led me to finish a little later than most do-I finished about 3 years later. In the Fall of 2015, I received my Associate degree in Liberal Arts. I’m so grateful for the education I received here at HawCC. It was a great starting point and allowed me to get accustomed to the College-level curriculum while in a comfortable environment. I’m also fortunate that I took many online classes, which greatly prepared me for when I transferred to UH Hilo last Fall when almost all courses shifted to online learning. After graduating, I was still unsure of what I truly wanted to do as far as a career. From 2013 on, I began working in different industries ranging from retail, restaurant, and office administration. When I finished my liberal studies, I continued working, which I feel allowed me to gain real-world experience, better my speaking and communication skills, and make money as a College student. The covid-19 shutdown led to me becoming unemployed. I was working as an Attendance clerk at an Intermediate school here in Hilo when everything happened. I was already pondering coming back to school to finish two more years and receive a Bachelor’s degree, so the turn of events prompted me to make my decision to return to school. I also had more clarity in what I wanted to do and decided on majoring in English. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and in High school, was in the AP Literature class. I didn’t know if I necessarily wanted to be a teacher, but something in the arena of writing and understanding vocabulary, grammar, etc. Currently, I am about to enter my senior year as an English major, as well as taking courses towards a TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of a second language) certificate. I can definitely see myself being an English tutor or ESL teacher, and my current position as a tutor here with the Intensive English department at HawCC is a great opportunity for me to practice those skills necessary to do so. I’m grateful to be here and glad to be accepted as part of this program! Have a great rest of the Summer everyone!