USTL provides full scholarships to outstanding students from Timor-Leste for four years of study at high-quality undergraduate degree institutions in the United States. Scholarship awards include full tuition for four years of undergraduate study, travel, living stipends, medical insurance in the U.S., and visa costs. USTL is a program of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State.

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I had a mixed feeling when I graduated from ESL school. Indeed, I felt a bit sad due to the realization that I was going to leave the school, which had assisted me to enhance my English skills, and many international students with whom I made friends. In addition, I was given an opportunity to do numerous volunteer activities such as serving to disable people with their family during thanksgiving, playing with children in school, and assisted children in choosing gifts to their mother in a women shelter. Nevertheless, I was very excited due to the fact that I was going to experience a real life as a University of Arkansas student.

As far as I remembered, the first semester was going very smooth. I took relatively easy classes such as Geology with lab, College Algebra and Introduction to American Culture. I would say that my favorite class is the Introduction to American culture. It was such a remarkable class that introduced me to a variety of American aspects such as culture, education, politics, and arts. In addition to a class, we also had an opportunity to had field trips visiting American art museum and watching American musical theater in order for students to be able to American arts and arts in general. Moreover, I also really enjoyed geology lab since we had to touch and identify a variety of wonderful minerals and rocks and learn how the process of earth systems have influenced the earth’s surface into what we know today. Since my first year was so relaxed, I was able to do many interesting things. I played a lot of American football with international friends in an open space field nearby my dorm, joined a conversation club, where we met with American students to talk about random things to improve our English and attended to many international and local presentation where I could taste local and international food for free.

I thought that my second year would be pretty as easy as my first year, but it turned out to be pretty challenging. This year, I am enrolled in tough classes such as University Chemistry and Physics, Calculus I. Having enrolled in these classes, I have felt like my perseverance is being tested rigorously because there are many times where I have to do my homework until two in the morning and still struggling in same classes. Nevertheless, I am glad that my professors are amazing in terms of their assistance. They help me how to be more organized and better in terms of time management. In addition of that, I learned to work with other engineering students to design bridges and build a structure that can hold certain weight in Introduction to engineering class. Well, perhaps one think that my life here is so full of classes and busyness, but the reality is that we have had a lot of fun as well. During the school break, we were brought by a Christian group on campus called Chi Alpha to do repelling. Repelling basically a sport where one has to climb down the cliff by rope and kind of walking vertically on the wall. I was really scared at the first time doing it since the instructor was yelling about what to do and not while you backward toward the edge of the cliff. Fortunately, I was able to repel myself properly although my heart was pounding with a mixed of excitement and fear. Furthermore, we were traveling to Texas, Dallas to watch me first time Rodeo ever, which was awesome. We also spend a night wandering in Dallas Six Flax, an amusement park which provides many thrill games. Again, my bravery was tested when we rode a game called Superman, which launched individuals twenty meters upward while only protected by a safety belt, and also when we rode Texas giant, a super tall roller coaster that made the scream out of me while riding it.

In conclusion, my second year has been very amazing despite the difficulty I face in terms of dealing with classes. I hope that in this second year of mine, I will be able to be more organized in terms of my time management so that I can do some volunteering work that is related to engineering.