Honestly, I'd seriously recommend securing a job BEFORE you land here, or having at least a three month saved up. You can probably get work in the service industry. Hawaii's unemployment is floating around 6.4% on Oahu, but it is worse on outer islands.
You can expect to pay at least three to four times what you are paying now for rent. If you can find a roommate and are open to it, it would cut your costs down a lot. Craigslist is a good place to check, but do NOT put a deposit down BEFORE you see the place.
The Bus is pretty decent, and can get you just about everywhere you want to go. It runs pretty often also. I'd recommend getting a good bike and learning to ride in traffic for getting around also.
The traffic in Oahu stresses me out when I go over there for work. I live on the big island but work in Oahu several times a year for weeks at a time. Its pretty! It has good food! And if you shop right, its not that expensive.
I wish I lived on the Big Island. What do you do for work, if you don't mind my asking? The employment situation is really the only thing that keeps me from moving to another island.
Do not put down a deposit before I see the place. Got it. Any ideas for where to stay before getting an apartment?
Most hostels will NOT let you stay there unless you have a ticket flying OFF island.
...seriously??? Good to know. Thanks!
the bus goes pretty much anywhere. also, they have things on the front that you can attach a bicycle to so you could do a combo bus and bike ride if necessary. also, i would advise getting a cheap scooter. you don't have to get them registered or have a motorcycle license if they're small enough.
finding a job is a mixed bag depending on your employment needs. if you don't mind doing some low level service work then you shouldn't have a problem. if you're looking for something specific or professional then you will have more problems. also, the unemployment rate is pretty high and everyone is competing for what few jobs there are. i cam back here from italy in may and i haven't had any luck with jobs, but i'm looking for rather specific types of jobs.
Thanks for the stuff about jobs; I'd prefer to not have some low level service job mainly because I'm finishing my master's degree in Chinese philosophy (in Chinese; no English) so I was looking at possibly teaching Chinese studies, but then again, University of Hawaii has PLENTY of awesome instructors who are far more knowledgeable than myself.
Adding to what others had already said...Places in Hawaii are extremely expensive. Don't want to scare you off, but it's the truth. I currently pay about $700 a month for a studio(christ, I WISH it was an full-sized apartment). But sometimes you'll get lucky and either all the utilities are paid for or either just electricity or water. Be VERY cautious of checking for places on craigslist though. I visited several places that a) don't exist, b) deceiving from the photos, and c) just straight up scams(money upfront/wiring money). The latter has definitely happened to alot of my friends/co-workers.
You can try looking for a roommate, but ah, I'd look for a place for just you and your friends. Maybe it's just me, but I'm too suspcious of the people over here(depending on the area, that is). I guess I'm one of those 'private people'.
Personally, despite TheBus goes everywhere on certain times...I absolutely hate it. It's either on-time or it's not or it just NEVER shows up_at_all. I'm pretty bitter about the prices of the tickets going up as well, but ah, I think that's just a state thing. I agree with the others on getting a bike or scooter.
Are you bilingual? I don't want to throw assumptions just because you live in Shanghai, but if you are, I say your chances of getting a job in Waikiki or Honolulu are pretty high. (Japanese being a HUGE plus because of all the tourist.)
Good luck! :)
I speak Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and English (dur :P); I'm looking at certification in these languages before I leave Shanghai.
My friends all wish to potentially go, so we'd all try together. There's seven of us total.
How is it with people who aren't islanders there? I heard that sometimes there are negative things that happen to people who aren't originally from Hawai'i; true or not true?
You'll have no problems with language barriers then...minus the Hawaiian pidgin, hehe! Hopefully, all your friends can come with you, so it's not much of a hassle when it comes to rent. Waikiki, Honolulu, Kailua, and Hawaii Kai are all nice areas when it comes to looking for a place.
You'll definitely hear the word 'haole'(apparently means foreigner, but used towards caucasians) a lot so it's something to get used to. I personally think the Aloha Spirit is practically dead around here. Not everyone here is welcoming as Hawaii is referred to. A lot has changed. I hang out with a lot of locals and they generally do not like caucasians or africans. It's weird though because most aren't even of Hawaiian blood or have NONE at all. Just tanned Japanese/Chinese/Filipinos-etc...it's ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure you won't have a problem. Just stray away from people like that or always have a friend with you if you're uh, walking alone at night.
Well, I'm part-Japanese but I look "white with a pinch of exotic" so maybe I won't have a problem. Who knows? But my friends will then; they're not mixed like that. Thanks for telling me!
No problem and I wouldn't about the whole race issue. The Asian race pretty much dominates over Hawaii anyway. XD My neighborhood is full of Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, lol.