Many students choose to find their own apartments and off-campus housing either before they arrive in Hawai'i, or after they arrive and have had a chance to become familiar with the local environment. The island of O'ahu offers many different living arrangements--from the fast-paced city lifestyle of Honolulu to the quiet beach town of Kailua (near the windward Hawaii Loa Campus).
Preparation is key
However, it must be noted that rental housing is always in high demand in Hawai'i. Honolulu is one of the most desirable cities to live in and one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Because of this, the housing market is very tight both on and off campus, and therefore we encourage you to secure housing as soon as possible. If you are going to search for an apartment to rent after you arrive in Hawai'i, you should consider arriving early enough to secure a rental unit. It is advisable to set up and schedule apartment viewings before you arrive and spend the first couple of days looking at these options. If you wait until you arrive to even begin considering your housing options, it may be much more difficult and time consuming to find rental accommodations to suit your needs. To prepare for your search, refer to our Off-Campus Housing Checklist.
Start early, but not too early
We recommend that you do all that you can to start your off-campus housing search early on. Review and research your options and become familiar with the market about a month before your desired move-in date, and begin calling landlords to set up viewings about one to two weeks prior to arriving.
Where to begin your search
There are different ways in which students can search for off-campus housing: Campus Pipeline Electronic Advertisements (eAds) and rental websites. The off-campus rental units offer different options and living arrangements. Some of the properties offer hotel-type services with weekly in-room cleaning and varying amenities/security arrangements. Some of the private rental units/apartments offer traditional apartment living with limited amenities and involvement of host property/residential managers.