Yoshimura Oliver

I would like to say that attending University of Hawaii at Hilo is the best thing that ever happened to me. I was born and raised on the small island of Pohnpei, one of the four island states that made up the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The island of Pohnpei is a small developing island where modernization still conflicts with culture and life is hard.

There is only one credible college on the island, College of Micronesia (COM), where i attended after graduating from high-school with about 500 graduating seniors in 2005. Within this 500 high-school graduates, only a few have managed to made it through the college entrance exams. Luckily i got accepted into the College of Micronesia and after three hard years i graduated with my Associate of Arts degree in Micronesian Studies. It was then, that my search for education abroad begins where my interest in learning more in the fields of Anthropology begins to grow. I met with my counselor Penselynn Etse and one of my professors Mariana Ben Dereas who are both alumni of UH Hilo who graduated with their Masters degrees in Political Science. It was them who advised me to apply for UH Hilo, so i looked it up online and to be honest, i was amazed by the programs that the campus offers. I realized that this is the University that bests fits me. The courses that are offered such as Anthropology courses and the culturally diverse backgrounds on campus increases my interest in attending UH Hilo.

I still remember the day i got the acceptance letter from UH and the look in my family’s eyes the day left at the Pohnpei airport, where feelings of excitement, hesitation, sadness, and curiosity were running through my nerves at the same time. I will never forget the day I arrived in Hilo with an extreme cultural shock and the warm welcome that the UH Hilo campus have given me. My first semester here in UH Hilo was by far the hardest time I’ve ever experienced in my life, but thanks to the help of peers, professors, counselors, and SSSP I have managed to get use to the UH Hilo system and courses and now being comfortable here. I’ve been attending UH Hilo for 2 and a half years now working on my Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, and I have only two more semesters left before graduating. I have made the right choice attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Thanks to the UH Hilo family.