Transfer students from BYU–Idaho and BYU–Hawaii experience a difference in cultures, environments and traditions when coming to attend BYU in Utah.
According to University Communications, 780 students transferred to the Provo campus in Fall 2012; about 15 percent transferred from BYU–Idaho, and about 4 percent transferred from BYU–Hawaii.
Quynh Larimer, a transfer student from BYU–Hawaii studying accounting at BYU, decided to leave Hawaii to be with her sister in Provo.
“My sister was at BYU Provo, and I thought it’d be good if we lived together,” Larimer said. “Plus, BYU–Hawaii is on a small island and so there weren’t a lot of things to do. So I wanted to move.”
However, Larimer believes it is the people and faculty that have made her experience at both BYUs memorable.
“Both schools have ethical and hardworking students who share the same standards as me,” Larimer said. “They truly care about others and want to help each other out. Also, I like how both schools have outstanding faculty who work hard to make students’ education meaningful.”
Larimer’s experience in the Marriott Business School has provided her with job opportunities after she graduates. Though Larimer feels BYU provided her with a better professional and academic experience, she still values the experiences she had in Hawaii.
“It was at BYU–Hawaii where I first came to the U.S. from Vietnam,” Larimer said. “I made many great memories there, and I miss the ocean where my friends and I spent leisure time together. I also miss the Polynesian Cultural Center where I worked and visited when I was in Hawaii.”
Drake Cottman, a linguistics major, transferred to BYU Provo from BYU–Idaho in 2012.
“A few aspects of BYU Provo that I like are that there is a wider range of classes,” Cottman said. “I feel that BYU Provo offers more social opportunities such as collegiate sports where you’re meeting people and hanging out with friends.”
In some cases Provo students will leave the university to attend BYU–Idaho or Hawaii.
Cali Evans, a current BYU–Idaho student, transferred to the university from BYU Provo due to her major.
“BYU–Idaho is a very different school from BYU Provo,” Evans said. “It takes a very open mind transferring to BYU–Idaho, and they do things differently up here, but it’s still a great university. Be sure if you decide to transfer from BYU Provo to Idaho that you take only classes that will transfer, and bring lots of jackets because it gets pretty cold in Rexburg.”
Devin Young, a psychology major and transfer student from BYU–Hawaii, didn’t know his college plans would change after being accepted to BYU–Hawaii.
“I always intended to graduate from BYU (Provo), but when I saw that I got accepted into Hawaii, which I understand is relatively rare, I knew that I needed to go spend an adventurous year there,” Young said. “I thought to myself, ‘Why not?'”
Through his experience, Young felt that BYU–Hawaii was a tougher university than BYU Provo due to ethnicity.
“For someone who hasn’t spent any time being in the ethnic minority, I would say BYU–Hawaii was harder,” Young said. “I felt less comfortable and definitely like I did a lot of growing and maturing while over there.”
Lindsay Hays, a humanities major with an emphasis in history, transferred from BYU–Idaho to BYU Provo in 2011. When comparing the two universities, Hays felt that BYU Provo was harder than BYU–Idaho.
“There is more of an emphasis on the scholastic achievements in Provo,” Hays said. “The competition is much greater at BYU, and I find professors are more intense on grading, especially in writing.”
Alex Blanchard, an electrical engineering major and transfer student from BYU–Idaho, misses the smaller classroom setting that BYU–Idaho offered.
“I dislike how huge classes are at BYU,” Blanchard said. “I noticed that it affected my engagement in the class, and it’s much harder to get ahold of my professor. I talk way more to the teacher assistants at BYU Provo than I ever did while attending BYU–Idaho.”
Though class size has been a disappointment for Blanchard, he still has found positives to attending BYU Provo.
“What I disliked about attending BYU–Idaho is how small Rexburg was,” Blanchard said. “It’s a hard place to find jobs, and you would have to drive 30 to 45 minutes to Idaho Falls that has more stores, restaurants and job selections.”
Young, whose future job possibilities have been opened by attending BYU Provo, misses the atmosphere and feeling of attending BYU–Hawaii.
“I miss the stressless feeling of being at school in Hawaii,” Young said. “It was easy for me to forget that I was attending college because I felt everything there was low key and perfect. If asked what my dream college would be, I would say the BYU Provo campus but situated on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.”