Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

A Comprehensive Guide to Successfully Transitioning from Living in Korea to Moving to Hawaii in 2024

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming. It requires careful planning and consideration to ensure a smooth transition. In this blog post, we will discuss a detailed plan for individuals moving from Korea to Hawaii. This plan covers essential information and practical steps to help navigate the process and feel prepared and confident about the upcoming move.

Understanding Visa Requirements

Before moving to Hawaii, it is crucial to understand the visa requirements. Hawaii follows federal immigration regulations as a U.S. state. Some common visa options for living in Hawaii include:

1. Work Visa: Explore employment opportunities in Hawaii and secure a sponsored work visa through a local employer. The H-1B visa program is an option for skilled workers.

2. Investment Visa: Consider investing a substantial amount in a business in Hawaii to qualify for an E-2 visa.

3. Student Visa: Enroll in a recognized educational institution in Hawaii and apply for a student visa (F-1 visa). This option is suitable for those seeking higher education.

Finding Accommodation

Finding suitable accommodation is an essential step in the relocation process. Consider the following practical steps:

1. Research Areas: Familiarize yourself with different neighborhoods in Hawaii and choose the one that aligns with your preferences, budget, and lifestyle.

2. Real Estate Websites: Utilize online real estate platforms such as Zillow, Trulia, or local Hawaiian websites to search for available rentals or properties for sale.

3. Engage with a Local Realtor: Seek assistance from a local realtor who can guide you through the housing market and help you find the right accommodation according to your needs.

4. Temporary Accommodation: Consider booking temporary accommodation like a hotel or serviced apartment before arriving to allow time for exploring different areas and finalizing a long-term rental.

Exploring Job Opportunities

Securing employment is vital for financial stability and a successful transition. Consider the following steps:

1. Research Local Job Market: Learn about the job market in Hawaii, focusing on industries such as tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and construction.

2. Network: Leverage your existing network, join professional networking groups, and connect with local organizations and expat communities to explore job opportunities.

3. Online Job Portals: Utilize online job portals like Indeed, Monster, or local Hawaiian job boards to search and apply for positions.

4. Update and Tailor Resume: Modify your resume to align with local expectations and highlight your cross-cultural experiences and language skills.

Adapting to the New Culture

To ease the transition and adapt to Hawaiian culture, consider the following strategies:

1. Language Skills: Embrace the English language, which is widely spoken in Hawaii. Consider taking language courses or joining language exchange groups to improve communication skills.

2. Cultural Awareness: Learn about Hawaiian culture, history, and values. Respect traditions, customs, and etiquette, and immerse yourself in local celebrations and events.

3. Embrace the Aloha Spirit: Embrace the Hawaiian concept of Aloha, which encompasses kindness, love, and unity. Practice it in your daily interactions with locals to foster positive relationships.

4. Cross-Cultural Training: Attend cross-cultural training programs or workshops to gain insights into the nuances of Hawaiian culture and establish a foundation for successful integration.

Integrating into the Local Community

Building connections and engaging with the local community will contribute to a sense of belonging. Consider the following steps:

1. Join Community Groups: Participate in local community groups, clubs, or organizations related to your interests or hobbies.

2. Volunteer: Engage in volunteering activities to contribute to the community while establishing valuable connections.

3. Attend Social Events: Attend local festivals, cultural events, and gatherings to meet new people and immerse yourself in the local culture.

4. Online Communities: Join online forums, social media groups, or expat networks for Hawaii to connect with individuals who share similar experiences and interests.

Similarities and Differences between Korean and Hawaiian Culture

Understanding the cultural similarities and differences between Korea and Hawaii is crucial for effective adaptation. Some key points include:

1. Similarities: Both Korean and Hawaiian cultures value family ties, respect for elders, and a strong work ethic. Additionally, communal dining and emphasis on education are shared aspects.

2. Differences: Hawaiian culture emphasizes leisure, relaxation, and the concept of “island time.” Polynesian influence, including hula dancing, ukulele music, and aloha shirts, are unique to Hawaii. Respect for indigenous Hawaiian culture is also crucial.

3. Challenges and Opportunities: Adapting to a more laid-back lifestyle and embracing new cultural practices may present initial challenges. However, it also offers opportunities for personal growth, expanding perspectives, and enjoying a vibrant island lifestyle.

Recommendations for Budgeting, Healthcare, Transportation, and Activities

To ensure a smooth transition, consider the following recommendations:

1. Budgeting: Research the cost of living in Hawaii and create a realistic budget considering housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, healthcare, taxes, and leisure activities.

2. Healthcare Options: Familiarize yourself with Hawaii’s healthcare system, enroll in health insurance coverage, and locate nearby medical facilities and doctors.

3. Transportation: Determine the most suitable transportation option for your needs, whether it be purchasing a car, utilizing public transportation, or utilizing bicycle-friendly areas.

4. Local Activities: Explore the diverse range of activities Hawaii has to offer, including surfing, hiking, snorkeling, and enjoying local cuisine. Participate in cultural workshops or classes to immerse yourself further and meet like-minded individuals.


Moving to Hawaii from Korea requires careful planning and consideration. By following this detailed plan, individuals can successfully transition to their new life in Hawaii. From understanding visa requirements to finding accommodation, securing employment, adapting to the culture, and integrating into the local community, every step of the process has been addressed. Remember, this move not only offers challenges but also significant opportunities for personal growth and a vibrant island lifestyle.