Visiting Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Visiting Student FAQs

  • Can visiting students work on campus? Is volunteering permitted on a visiting (F-1) student visa?

International students can work part-time (19 hours per week) in a position that is on-campus. In regards to volunteering, we recommend that you refer to this site for more detailed information. 


  • Can international students open a bank account in the U.S.?

International students are able to open bank accounts in the U.S. Please be sure to check with the bank of your choice in regards to their required documents prior to initiating the application process. Services provided by U.S. banks are similar to those in other countries, but the terms used may differ from those with which you are familiar. One of the most common confusions are the difference between a savings and a checking account. Bank services and costs vary considerably.


  • Where can I buy a phone plan in the U.S.?

Sim cards are available from stores like Walmart and Target, or a phone plan can be purchased directly from a service provider: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.

The service you choose depends on what features are most important to you. You want to consider whether you are using your own phone, or features such as contract versus no contract, amount of available data, price, coverage, etc. OISS also provides start-up sim cards while supplies last.


  • I’ve arrived in Hawaii, what should I do when I get to campus?

First and foremost, pay a visit to the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS)  and bring your passport with the F-1 Student Visa and your I-20 to check-in. Next is to pick up your HPU Student ID and UPASS (bus transportation card) in the Registrar’s Office.  Then, visit the Business Office to confirm that your tuition payment has been received and that you have no other financial obligations before starting the semester. Finally, walk over to Aloha Tower Marketplace to visit the HPU Bookstore with the list of your classes to purchase or rent your textbooks. 


  • When will I hear if I’ve been accepted as a Visiting student?

On average, the turnaround time is anywhere from 3 to 5 days, if all necessary admissions requirements have been submitted.  (For example, passport, application, application fee and enrollment deposit, transcripts, and proof of English language proficiency).


  • Would it be possible to change my courses?

Prior to coming to campus, the process is to consult with the Visiting International Student Specialist ( with any changes to your courses. If you are already on-island, you will need to connect with the Academic Advising Office.  Your academic advisor can help with any course changes. Students have one week from the start of the semester to add/drop courses.


  • How many credits in ECTS will I receive from my studies at HPU?

Your home university’s study abroad office can provide this information to you, as each university has their own transfer credit policies. Normally, a typical 3-credit HPU course is worth 6 ECTS credits.


  • How do I pay for tuition?

International students can pay any tuition-related expenses through Flywire:

When making your payment, be sure to provide your Student ID# (8-digit ID beginning with @).

You can also contact the Business Office (; 1-808-356-5272 or 1-866-CALL-HPU) for any payment related questions.


  • What options are available in off-campus housing for Visiting students?

For Off-Campus Housing options, go to:

Also available as an option to students is to do a posting to the following Facebook groups for Students: Sell Your Stuff @HPU, HPU Study Abroad and Exchange Students, and Honolulu Rent/Buy/Sell a Room/Apartment/House/Home/Condos/Property.


  • What is the cost of living like in Honolulu?

The following link will provide an idea of what the cost of living is like in Honolulu: