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

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My First Quarter at Whatcom

Posted on: 26 December 2021 BY: NMarques

As a student in the United States, having a friendship family has been one of the best experiences for me. I arrived at Whatcom Community College earlier where everyone was still on break. Since it was summer break, the dorm was barely quiet, and it was difficult to associate with people. As a result, being alone and lonely was extremely difficult for me. Fortunately, the international program staff at Whatcom Community College connected me with some Americans here to help me in navigating my new environment, and they termed it as friendship family.

Throughout my first quarter at Whatcom, they have been super useful in several ways. First, they invited me to have dinner, where we got to know each other, and the next day helped me by showing me how to take the bus to go around Bellingham. Furthermore, they often invited me to their house to celebrate a special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also took me to Mt. Baker. Mount Baker is the fifth highest mountain in Washington and one of the snowiest places in the world. Going there and watching the snow while it was still summer was an incredible experience.

My classes for my first quarter at Whatcom were incredibly difficult because I only had one face-to-face class and the other two were online. When my classes began, my teachers provided a website. I needed to know how to use those websites is required to function in my classes and complete all of my homework. I was frustrated and confused because I had no idea how my classes worked. Therefore, I asked some of my friends to help me to figure it out. Unfortunately, they were unable to assist me as well because we had a different instructor.

Because no one could help me, I decided to go to my friendship family and ask them what I should do. She directed me to the learning commons because she worked at Whatcom Community College as well. Finally, there was a tutor in learning commons, and they eventually helped me out. After that, I was able to complete all my homework and end up receiving good grades in all my classes.