Ethnic Geography of Hawaii Program FAQ


Where and how do I apply? Do I just register for the course?
Applications for the program are available from the Hunter College Education Abroad office 1447 HE or online Once you have been accepted into the program and have submitted your paperwork and payments, then the Geography Department will input your registration permission. If you are doing the program via e-permit, you need to contact the Education Abroad Office at your home school and (upon acceptance to the program) apply for the e-permit from the CUNY portal.

What is included in the program costs?
The program costs include your hotel, a January unlimited bus pass, entry into museums we will visit as part of the program, the Ali’i Luau package at the Polynesian Cultural Center, an ecotour, and a closing luncheon.

What additional expenses are there?
Tuition, your flight, transportation to and from the airport (at orientation we will discuss the easiest and least expensive way to get from the airport to Waikiki), meals, bus transportation the few days in December we are in Hawaii (bus passes are for the calendar month), souvenirs, and any additional trips or tours you choose to take during free afternoons and weekends as per the syllabus. The hotel has a coin-operated laundry facility so you won’t need to bring 3 weeks’ worth of clothes.

What kind of ID will we need?
You will need a government-issued photo ID for the airport but you do not need a passport. A driver’s license or state ID will do. Your student ID will not work at the airport. However, I encourage you to bring it because certain places give discounts to college students. On the busses, though, “student” means K-12.

Where do we stay?
We stay at the Ocean Resort Hotel in Waikiki. It is 2 blocks from the beach but toward the end of Waikiki where it becomes a residential neighborhood. You are close to the tourist activities but not quite in the heart of them. This way you get a sense of both the tourist experience and the “real” experience. You will be sharing rooms—either doubles or triples depending on how many students apply to the program.

How will we get around?
The Honolulu bus system is one of the best in the country. You can get almost anywhere on Oahu on the bus. Our hotel is on several major bus routes, including the bus that goes from Waikiki to the University of Hawaii-Manoa where we will have lectures and to the Ala Moana Mall, where you can connect to nearly every other bus route in the city. Buses cost $2.25, but you can use the transfers for a return trip even on the same line within 2 hours. Some bus drivers give transfers for longer than 2 hours. The bus does take $1 bills. You will be provided with bus passes that become effective January 1.

Will we have to eat out every meal?
Our hotel rooms will have kitchenettes. Part of the on-site orientation is a trip to a nearby moderately priced grocery store, Wal-Mart, and directions to Chinatown—three readily accessible places for affordable food.

What work is involved?
This is a 300-level undergraduate and 700-level graduate course. There will be required readings, a field journal that will incorporate the readings and your observations, and a “take as you go” final on Blackboard. Graduate students are required to complete an independent research project and will make a presentation of their work on the last day of class. All work is due by the last day of class. Topics need to be approved ahead of time. Everyone is expected to participate in all lectures and field trips.

What about free time?
There is plenty of free time built into the program for you to enjoy being in Hawaii. Classes will be every morning from 9-12 unless there is a field trip scheduled. Some trips are half-day, some are whole day. Most afternoons and most weekends, you will be free to engage in other activities. There are a number of free and low cost activities, and for those of you with the funds and daring, there are high-adventure activities (skydiving, swimming with sharks).

Will we be visiting other islands?
In order to keep program costs down, we do not go off-island as a group. However, if you have the resources, you can arrange to go on a tour of another island during a free day. You will need to provide Prof. Miyares with an itinerary and fill out a form required by Hunter College.

What about cell phones and computers?
Hotel room phones will be turned off so you don’t get stuck with an unexpected phone bill. Cell phones are definitely the way to go. Make sure you have nationwide roaming and long distance on your plan. Most of Oahu gets good cell reception. You lose cell reception in some mountain areas. We are still in the US so you do not need an international plan. If you have a laptop or netbook, it is a good idea to bring it. The pool area at the hotel gets decent wireless access from public wifi. We will have access to computers at the East-West Center where we have lectures, but to print you need to provide your own paper. There are no assignments you will be required to print. There are two computers at the hotel, but the hotel charges by the minute, and printing is charged per page.

What about New Year’s Eve?
We will have class in the morning, but you will have the evening free. Prof. Miyares will provide information about free fireworks displays and will give advice concerning choosing where to celebrate. We will not be celebrating as a group due to the age range and probable preferences of the group