Living in Hawaii 2016-10-17T21:04:37+00:00


Finding a Place to Live

Craigslist is helpful when searching for rooms for rent. UH Manoa is located on Oahu, so make sure to not search for rentals on the outer islands. Or, search local newspaper ad listings, on-campus bulletin boards, and/or contact other grad studies in your department via a group email or listserv.

Geography/Island Life

The Islands

  • Hawaii (the state) consists of eight main islands: Kaua’i, Ni’ihau, Moloka’i, Lāna’i, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi (or, the Big Island). The Northwest Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) refers to the chain of rocky islands, atolls, and reefs beyond these eight main islands.
  • Hawaiian islands, and many Hawaiian words, contain the okina (‘) and/or the kahakō (āēīōū). Add the Hawaiian keyboard as an input source on your computer to easily type these symbols.
  • If youʻre having trouble with the pronunciation of local street names, places, etc, do a quick google search for “Hawaiian pronunciation.”


  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa  campus is located in Honolulu, on the south shore of Oahu.
  • To orient yourself using North/South/East/West with campus landmarks, consider the East-West Center as being on the East side of campus; Shidler College of Business and Bachman Hall as to the WestStan Sheriff Center as being towards the Southand Biomedical Sciences as being to the North.
  • Often, the directional terms mauka and makai are used. Mauka means towards the mountains, and Makai means towards the sea.
  • The closest neighborhoods to UH Mānoa are: Mānoa, Makiki, Palolo, Kaimuki, Kahala, Ala Moana/Kaka’ako, and/or Waikiki.




  • Hawaii has the highest energy rates in the nation. This is partly because it only has one primary electric utility — Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) — but also because all petroleum used on the islands is imported.


  • Tap water is safe to drink in Hawaii.
  • Both water and sewer service come from the Board of Water Supply.

Trash & Recycling

  • Trash and recycling are handled by the City & County of Honolulu everywhere on Oahu. The Department of Environmental Services has information about pickup schedules, curbside recycling, and the locations of recycling drop off centers and transfer stations.



  • Oahuʻs bus system, TheBus, is one of the best bus systems in the nation. You can find route information via Google Maps, TheBus website, or even download TheBus app directly to your phone for on-the-go help.
  • UH Mānoa tuition includes a semester-long TheBus pass. Validate your student ID at Campus Center, and when using TheBus, show it to your Bus Driver for a waived fee.
  • UH Mānoa has a private shuttle service, the Rainbow Shuttle Service, which also has a mobile app.


  • If possible, getting a Hawaii driverʻs license is a good way to take advantage of local discounts.
  • Owning a car as a grad student has pros and cons.
    • Pros: Ease of transport, better access to the island at large.
    • Cons: Fees included registration, insurance, safety check, maintenance, and gas.  Parking on campus requires a daily or semester-long pass. Free parking off-campus is on a first-come-first-serve basis.







Click edit button to change this text.