Posted by: lilyardas | August 9, 2007

To do list before going to JAIMS

Keep in mind that Hawaii is an expensive environment, so be prepared for your first month in Hawaii.

For scholars, USD 1,000 stipend is enough for your basic needs and little bit fun. I spend USD 550 for housing, USD 150-200 for cooking, and the rest for fun. Bring at least USD 1,000 for your first and last monthly housing payment

Create your own bank account, Bank of Hawaii is preferable, as they have more ATMs around JAIMS than other banks

If you prefer to buy daily meals, it costs about USD 10-20 per day.

Common rates are as follow (more or less):
o McDonald’s Value Meal: USD 5.00 – 6.00
o Japanese bento at 7-eleven : USD 3.50 – 5.00
o Frozen foods (per portion): USD 2.50 – 4.00
o Starbucks coffee: USD 3.50 – 4.50
o Boston Pizza (¼ round): USD 5.00
o Hawaiian Purified Water (1.5 ltr): 99 cents
o Coca cola in can: USD 1.00
o Aloha shirt : USD 10.00
o Hawaii T-shirt : USD 20 for 8, only at Swap Market and International Market Place
o Refrigerator magnets : USD 10 for 6-8 items
o International stamps for post card : USD 90 cents
o Post card : 20 – 70 cents

All purchases in retailers and restaurants are subjected to 4.712%

Hawaii Kai area is not a public transportation friendly. The bus passes JAIMS every one hour. If you want to use the bus, the fare is USD 2.00 per trip, USD 20 for 4 consecutive days, USD 40 per month

Some students prefer to buy a bicycle, for approx. USD 50 (used) or USD 100 (new).

Some students choose to have a car, for USD 2,000 – 3,000

You cannot take a bus from the airport as they do not allow you to bring your luggage inside the bus. You can take Airport Bus to Waikiki for USD 9.00 or taxi for USD 25.00-30.00

If you are Moslems, there are 2 places that provide Halal meat: India Market and Zaffron Restaurant. Both are in downtown, about 1 hour by bus from Hawaii Kai

If you are vegetarians, most fast foods provide vegetarian meals, and they don’t use lard for cooking. There are some Vegetarian restaurants: Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant (Chinese food), Down to Earth Deli and Guaranga’s Vegetarian Dining Club (Indian food)

JAIMS does not sell meals for students. 7-eleven and Boston Pizza are the nearest places for buying food. Sometimes students go to the nearest shopping center for buying food (McDonald’s, Safeway supermarket, Vietnamese restaurant, steaks etc). It takes 2 minutes by car, 8 minutes by bike or 15 minutes on foot.

Vending machines for dry snacks/canned drinks, refrigerator and microwave are available at JAIMS

You can rent a room for USD 425-1,000 for a private room in a house/townhouse/apartment. It is advised to have maximum USD 600 for your room, as cost of living in Hawaii may be around USD 350-450 (mine was USD 550)

You can stay over in other places before deciding where you are going to stay for the rest of 4 months. You can stay at youth hostel in Waikiki for USD 15/night or three stars hotels for USD 60-80/night

Some people prefer to negotiate by email prior to departure, so that the house family can pick them up at the airport on the arrival

Usually they will ask for Security Deposit, which means you have to give them certain number of money as a guarantee for your living. If you make any damage in the house, they will cut the reparation payment from your deposit

Some of them provide meals, please confirm that

Some prices are negotiable, even though they didn’t put this information on the list. You may negotiate between USD 50-150, others are upset when you ask for a negotiable price ;p

Keep in mind that currently the supply of housing is higher than the demand, so you can try to negotiate about the price. If they don’t want to, just try other houses… 😀

Do ask whether there are some more payments you have to pay (utilities, cleaning charges, move-out charge, or any other charge)

Most people love pets, so if you don’t like it, make sure they don’t have it

JAIMS does not take any responsibility if any thing happen between you and your host family. So if you have problem with your house, you cannot complaint to JAIMS, but you can report it to them, so they can take it out from the house listing

You can use your hand phone if it is tri-band. US cell phone is band 1900, so if you buy your hand set here, you might not use it in your home country

To communication outside the country, you can use yahoo, skype or calling card

Cell phone prepaid card : USD 20 with USD 5 value (the rest of USD 15 is just to buy the cell phone number)

Cell phone postpaid card : USD 20-50 per month with minimum 6-12 months plan with a handset bonus or discount

Hawaii is sunshine, dry and windy but sometimes hot too, you may need your moisturized lotion, sun block, lip balm etc

Bring adequate jackets, as most places use air-conditioners

Bring a small umbrella as it sometimes rains suddenly- though, called “liquid sunshine”

Computer & electronic equipment
JAIMS is equipped with high speed computer lab that is open 8.00-22.00 (weekdays) and 8.00-17.00 (Saturday only), with high speed wireless internet access. It would be beneficial if you have your own laptop so that you may work at home

Most of shopping centers in Hawaii have free wireless internet network. Some cafes or coffee shops require purchasing their product before we get the internet

If your host family does not have internet access, you can subscribe by your own approximately at USD 40/month

Voltage in US is 110V, you may have an adapter for your 220V equipment. Some appliances have 100-240V, so that not require an adapter

Electric plug used is 2 plug with 2 parallel flat blades above a circular grounding pin or only 2 parallel flat blades

Bringing your calculator for Finance class is a good idea

Going home
Check your airlines baggage service information. JAL and China airlines allow you to bring up to 64kgs, but United Airlines does only up to 32 kgs

Further reading
What’s in Hawaii
Tourism in Hawaii
Route and map of city bus
Classified adds (you can find use bikes, used cars, house rentals etc)
Calling card providers:,,
JAL baggage rule

Store your ALL luggage at the baggage storage at Narita Airport. Having your luggage brought to the hotel is not a good idea, as the train you will use is not handicapped user friendly and people is hardly to help your difficulties with your luggage

Minimize number of items you want to bring to the hotel. Bring only 3-4 sets clothes to the hotel in your back pack. The hotel has a free laundry (including free detergent) to use.

You don’t need to bring any toiletries to Tokyo, as the hotel provided them all

Internet connection is provided at hotel lobby, but you need to bring your own laptop

o Baggage storage fee: 500 yen per luggage per item
o Bento at convenient store: 280-500 yen
o McDonald’s value meal: 580 yen
o Coke: 150 yen
o Mineral water: 110 yen



  1. sip sip ikke mau juga ahh


  2. Cool.. bisa jd referensi bila aku ambil beasiswa East West Center suatu hari nanti ni Bos…

    terSENYUMlah (^,~) Makaci


  3. info yang super berguna nih .. makasih udah berbagi ..


    • mo berangkat ke jaims? salam ya buat dr. Odo and Ryan


  4. Yes mbaa! Sy brkt Apr 2010 ntar


    • gutlak ya, enjoy hawaii


  5. mau tanya, klo info di atas sprtinya harga dll msih samakah harganya skarang? 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: