What’s the best thing about Hawai‘i? Diversity! With new roommates and friends from Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, and Hawai‘i, Destiny Magee and Jordan Serra agree that diversity in culture and people make Hawai‘i an interesting destination for study away. Both are enjoying meeting new people, seeing new things, and studying for their degrees in an island paradise through A Semester in Hawai‘i at UH .
Jordan Serra is a legal studies and psychology major at Roger Williams University with hobbies in music, sports, and surfing. He grew up surfing in the Atlantic Ocean with his father and brothers, and he is looking forward to renting a board this spring and trying out the Pacific waves. He also sings and plays guitar, ukulele, bongos, and lap steel guitar, and has an affinity for folk, acoustic, classic rock, classic country and other types of music “not on the radio.” Jordan just bought a guitar to use while here in Honolulu and has been practicing some new pieces. After hearing some Hawaiian music he especially liked, Jordan emailed the performer and composer, Jon Osorio. Osorio is both an award winning musician and a professor in the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UHM. Professor Osorio wrote back and recommended a list of Hawaiian music, and Jordan has been learning to play some of it on his guitar. His friends back in Rhode Island are sure to get a great concert when he returns this summer.
Jordan’s other spare time is spent hiking, going to the beach, hanging out with new friends, and Skyping with his girlfriend who’s in Berlin on a study abroad of her own. They will be reunited at the end of the semester, but in the mean time, both are having memorable college experiences, half way around the world from each other!
Destiny Magee is also separated from her boyfriend this semester, but the distance between the two is not so far. He’s on the island of Maui and she’s on Oahu. Both are from the University of Northern Iowa where the snow is pretty deep right about now. Destiny has been enjoying a different college lifestyle while here in Honolulu. In Iowa, she commutes to school from home and does not spend much time on campus. Here in Honolulu, she is living in the dorms and taking advantage of campus activities. Destiny is studying biology and enjoys reading, writing, math and computers. But she is also getting outdoors to hike and snorkel at famous attractions close-by the UH campus. Last July, Destiny became certified in scuba diving in Iowa and hopes to take some ocean dives in the blue waters off her new island home. She’s already made the trip to Maui 3 times to visit her boyfriend, which is surely an ASH student record for repeat island trips! While there she’s snorkeled and explored the famous Haleakala National Park on the summit of the Haleakala volcano.
It’s easy to list the number of activities one does while here in Hawai‘i, but to describe the experience of being in a multi-cultural environment and sharing your life with others from all over the world is another story. It’s an experience about which both Destiny and Jordan would say, “You have to be here and see for yourself.”