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Aloha to Opportunity at Hawaii State Universities

Just because it's the only state surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, doesn't mean Hawaii is cut off from the fun. Students who attend Hawaii colleges and universities enjoy a unique experience thanks to the islands' topography and cultural history. Check out some the interesting programs and activities available at Hawaii universities.

Helping Hands
College can be more than earning a degree, it can also encompass helping others. That's exactly what students at the University of the Nations at Kona are learning. The school is a co-ed Christian university with students and staff from more than 50 countries, but that's only a hint of the diversity available. The university regularly sends its students to 100 other nations in order to help needy communities with natural resources and healthcare. Students in the past have traveled as far away as the Amazon rainforest and India.

Best of Both Worlds
Hawaii state universities offer a vast array of things to do, but Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) may offer the most as the largest private university in the state. HPU is not limited to its urban campus, instead extending across the island Oahu to include a campus in the mountains, and several sites on U.S. military bases like Pearl Harbor and Camp Smith.

Programs and activities at the university vary as much as its locations. Students can choose from more than 50 majors, attaining degrees in everything from diplomacy and military studies to anthropology and computer science. And when it comes to extra curricular activities, university students can compete in national championships for well-known sports like basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading (HPU's all-girl stunt team won the Universal Cheerleaders Association's championship this year). They can also take advantage of Hawaii's location by joining a scuba-diving or surfing club.

Eclectic Academia
Many of the colleges and universities in Hawaii are actually a part of the University of Hawaii (UH). While its not unusual for Hawaii state universities to feature many campus sites, UH encompasses three university campuses, seven community college campuses, and more than five other education and research centers across six Hawaiian islands.

And while best known for its programs in Hawaiian/Pacific, East Asian, and Asian studies, UH also offers classes in subjects like ethnomusicology, astronomy and surfing. In 2005, students from the ethnomusicology program traveled to Paris to study European music first-hand. They listened to a Swedish church choir, Jewish klezmer music, and even Algerian pop music!

Members of the research community at UH are also well known for unusual accomplishments. A scientist from the UH Institute for Astronomy won the 2006 Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy for her study of oxygen in galaxies, while a scientist from the Manoa campus was a member of research team that discovered "stretch marks" on the earth beneath the Indian Ocean.

If you're intrigued by the many opportunities Hawaii state universities have to offer, continue your research and find the campus suited for you. Whether it's international relations or local cultural studies, Hawaii universities have something for nearly any academic palate.

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