American Studies Forum

The following information is being furnished to you with the hope that it will help you better prepare for the workshop prior to your departure.

1. Predeparture Tips & Maps


Some things to Pack
Tipping in Hawaii
Arrival in Hawaii
Daily Schedule
Computer Use
Sharing a Dorm/Hotel Room/Roommates


1. Tips for CAPE Participants


Map to Pagoda Hotel / UH Campus (PDF)
Map to UH Dormitory / UH Campus (PDF)

(Please click the icon to download if you do not have Acrobat Reader).


a. Predeparture

If you plan to extend your trip to the mainland, make sure to purchase tickets and confirm reservations before you depart from your country.

It would be very helpful to consult with a CAPE alumnus in your region.

Learning about Hawaii prior to your arrival may make your stay here more enjoyable.

Other helpful pre-departure tips for pleasant travel:
1) travel light by making a list of absolute essentials and
2) don't forget to bring your 'Sense of Humor'.


b. Some things to Pack

It is recommended that participants bring the following: light sweater/jacket, sandals, casual shoes, swim suit, folding umbrella, spare suitcase, camera, emergency medicine for colds or indigestion. You may of course choose to purchase such items here in Hawaii. Note, however, that it can be inconvenient to purchase emergency medicine in Hawaii, especially when they are medications that require a doctor's prescription.

c. Weather

Hawaii is the land of endless summers. Although the average temperature is 71°-80°F (21°-27°C), you will be able to enjoy cool breezes thanks to Hawaii's trade winds. From December through March, mornings and evenings feel like autumn weather even though daytime temperatures are like summer.


d. Tipping in Hawaii

It is customary to tip airport porters, restaurant waiters, and hotel bellboys, etc. for their services. 10-20% is an appropriate amount. For instance, if the taxi fare is $20, an appropriate tip would be $3.00. A 15% tip is adequate in most restaurants, except in cafeterias and fast food restaurants where you should not tip. Although there is no set rate for porters, bellboys and housekeepers, it is customary to tip one dollar for one or two suitcases and add 25 to 50 cents per additional suitcase. Also leave a couple of dollars on your pillow daily for the housekeepers who clean your room. (One dollar would be sufficient if you are a student.)


e. Arrival in Hawaii

Your first day in Hawaii may be a bit challenging. Keep in mind most international flights arrive between 6 am and 10 am but hotel check-in is not until 3 pm. (Check-out time is 12:00 noon).

It may take several hours to go through immigration and customs. After processing through customs, use the marked Exit straight ahead of you for individual arrivals, or take the left-hand Exit if coming with a group. (If you are alone and accidentlly take this Exit, just look for a taxi.) Upon coming out, approach the taxi dispatchers and wait for them to get you a taxi. Taxi fare from the airport to the Pagoda Hotel are around $25 to $30 for an individual riding alone.

Go to the Front Desk of your hotel and complete the check-in procedure. It is convenient to use VISA or Master Card. You can also use Traveler's Checks or pay in cash (US dollars). If you are lucky, your room will be available for early check-in. As always, please respect the other customers and stand in line.

If early check-in is not possible, you will have to wait several hours before you can get settled in your living quarters. Here are some helpful suggestions on how to spend those hours:

  1. Have your luggage stored in the hotel 'Storage Room' or leave it with your friends who were able to check-in early.
  2. Once you get your room number, store your valuables, cash, passport, etc. in the hotel 'Safety Box'.
  3. If you are desperate for sleep, you can relax on the chairs around the hotel swimming pools.
  4. Those who can do without sleep might want to drop by the conveniently located Don Quijote supermarket where you will find a grocery store, post office, and drug store.
  5. If you still have some energy left, you can go to Ala Moana Shopping Center (one of the biggest outdoor malls in the world) which is within 10 to 15 minutes walking distance.
  6. Go to the beach! Cross Ala Moana Boulevard in front of Ala Moana Center, walk through the park toward the ocean, and beautiful Ala Moana Beach will welcome you.

Although you may not be able to do all the things listed above, exploring some of the places mentioned will help you become familiar with Hawaii.


f. Daily Schedule

CAPE's daily schedule begins at 8:30 am and ends at 12:20 pm. The CAPE program is held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH). You can take the Bus to UH at 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, or 7:45am at the corner of Kaheka & Rycroft Street in front of the hotel. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach UH by Bus. Bus fare is $2.50 for adults or $1.25 for Middle/High School students ("youth"), and exact change is required. Either dollar bills (paper) or coins are accepted. A monthly bus pass may be purchased for $60.00 (adult) or $30.00 (youth).

Participants will have free time after class sessions--unless a field trip or visitation is scheduled. Participants are urged to be active and try to gain various experiences. First hand knowledge of different cultures and life styles can only be acquired through exploration. Helpful information on the use of free time will be provided in the CAPE orientation session.

While attending the program, participants will have access to UH libraries and can photocopy materials if necessary. Access to e-mail will also be available.


g. Computer Use

Computers are available for use at the University of Hawaii’s Hamilton Library, and Sinclair Library. A few public computers are usually available in the lobbies equipped with Internet Explorer, but some may be restricted to library search only. Other computers with Microsoft Office and other programs are available with a login Username & Password available by request for a $10 fee from CAPE.

You must request the Username & Password if you wish to have access to any of the computer labs on campus and/or use wireless internet with your own laptop. Printing at the computer labs is free, but you need to provide your own paper.

Otherwise, printing is available at a cost of $0.09 per page. All printing & copying require the use of a "Copy/Print Card," which can be purchased for $1.00 at self-service machines in the libraries. You can then add on specific amounts of money to use like a debit card. If the card runs out of funds, you may add more money to it at the self-service units on the first floor of Hamilton Library, or by going to the Business Counter of the Circulation Department in Hamilton Library.

Laptop Usage:
East West Center Dormitory: You can purchase an Ethernet cable ($5) and connect to the Internet.

Pagoda Hotel: Free internet (username/password) will be provided after arrival. There is only one internet access outlet per room. Wi-Fi is only provided in the main lobby. Therefore, it is recommended that one roommate brings a Wireless Router with them so that all roommates may have access to the internet.

Electronic outlets in Hawaii (and the rest of the U.S.) use 120 volts. If you have electronic equipment that requires 220 volts, please bring your own converter or purchase one here after arriving.


h. Sharing a Dorm/Hotel Room/Roommates

It is not always possible to satisfy all roommate requests due to circumstances beyond our control. 1) If the number of double-room applicants is an odd number, one person will be assigned to a single room. 2) If your assigned roommate does not show up or give advance notice you may be responsible for the cost of the entire room.

Cases like these, however, can be resolved through understanding and cooperation.

The following participants will not need to concern themselves with the problems listed above: single-room applicants, couples, those who arrive together with roommates, group participants with prearranged roommate lists.


i. Meals

Breakfast at the UH cafeteria averages $4-5, lunch $6-8. For dinner, participants may dine at the Pagoda Hotel Restaurants, or at any of the numerous restaurants nearby.


j. Miscellaneous

Please be notified that, as a matter of policy, CAPE does not give discounts on tuition under any circumstances, even when the participant chooses to attend only a fraction of its program or programs.

CAPE accepts VISA, MASTERCARD and JCB credit cards for payments.


We hope that the information provided here may be of some help with your preparation before departure. Note, however, the above information is merely a guide, and it may not be applicable to all participants as we have variety of programs. We cordially welcome your participation. Aloha!

If you have any questions please e-mail To visit our homepage click on

Helpful Websites

The Bus:
Pagoda Hotel: