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Any UH or UW Students? Advice requested...


Omnipotence personified
15 Mar 2003
I'm trying to decide to between Hawaii or Seattle for relocation (going back to school ) and I thought maybe some folks in JREF land might be able to give me a spot of advice.

The choice is not as obvious as it seems - I sunburn easily and am not really drawn to water sports. Since I will be burried under with classwork I don't see myself getting out all that much. My wife is a different story, but she hates the sun too and has been requesting a place with a bathtub. :D Kind of tangental, but if university housing doesn't have bathtubs, please tell me.

If you are a current SHAPS or JSIS student I would love to get in touch with you, but all types are welcome.

I have some questions about quality of life for each location beyond the ivory towers that university websites are not helping much with answering. Even if you are not a university student and just wanna help ol' M out, please drop me a PM or leave a post below (if you just want to chat that is just fine too). 🙂
Well, if you don't like sun or water sports, then Hawaii is not the best choice. You'd probably be happier in Seatlle. I haven't been to Seattle myslef, but I went to Hawaii last year and it didn't make me want to go back there. I can't stand lying on a beach doing nothing and don't like watersports either, and except that there is very little to do in Hawaii. Food is quite expensive and not good compared to Japan. I was already bored after 5 days in Oahu, as it's just a small island with little sightseeing. Personally, I can't imagine myself staying there more than a week. Seattle sounds nice though. I heard many good things about it. It is said to be one of the most liveable cities in the US. As for the University itself, I have of course no idea.

How long are you going to be away from Japan ? :?
Thanks for the heads-up Maciamo. Not a picture I had of Hawaii - esp. if you judge by the number of Japanese people that flock there each year :)

The programs, in my opinion seem to be equal and which one I choose will come down to the aid package they can give me. I hear good things about Hawaii and from talking with people at the university I get a very different vibe about the environment. Both were selected for strong connections with Asian and Japan to start with...

I have also been scanning off-campus apartment listings in Hawaii the last hour. Yikes!!

As for your question (we plan to be back in Japan someday for a long stint), we would be back about once a year. However, "away" in terms of residency - that would be at least until the PhD is secured. But then that will probably require field research in Japan, so who knows...?

While Japan will be out of sight it won't be out of mind (esp. since that is what I will be studying), but the average is about 7 years for a PhD, I hear (MA included). But it depends on the individual and the program they are on. Some finish fast, some much, much later.

I don't know about you, but switching between Japan and US is very routine at this point. Until you asked how long I would be away, I hadn't really thought in terms of a separation.
Please, do not subject yourself to living in Seattle, or anywhere near. Its not worth all the tea in China.
well, hawaii is テシber expensive as most everything has to be shipped in from somewhere else. i've also heard general complaints about it being small. but theres is alot of japanese and other asian culture there. seattle, well you might not see much of the sun there, it rains alot, not too sure about much else.

i believe kakuzen and keiichi both live in hawaii now and could prolly give you more detailed answers about it.

is there another university someone else that could give you the same PHD? maybe in california somewhere?
Could you please expand a bit Winter? I'm not a big tea drinker so no loss there :)

Jeisan, Thanks for the tips. I'll give them a PM sometime soon. As for other programs, I hope it didn't seem like I was trying to make lemon-aid. I'm blown away that either school would take me. Both SHAPS and JSIS have amazing East Asian programs...
Well, for me its just personal experiences have tainted my view of that area. I was robbed a few times, had some other things happen to me, had some bad gigs, just a miserable time spent there.

So my comment is probably unfairly biased, and maybe you should overlook it.

Regardless, I hate Seattle, and especially Des Moines, Washington. Miserable places.
Mandylion said:
As for other programs, I hope it didn't seem like I was trying to make lemon-aid. I'm blown away that either school would take me.
nah i was just trying see if maybe there was another option, if it were my choice id take UH. ive wanted to go there for sometime already, one of the only schools to offer asian studies as well as graphic design.
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