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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Before coming here, I thought adjusting to the new environment would be very difficult, because it is a huge country where everyone is busy with their own responsibilities. I thought I would face the challenges all by myself, however, after arriving and getting to experience life here, particularly in Twin Falls, Idaho, my assumptions have been altered about the people.
The people or the community in general in Twin Falls, is friendly and very welcoming to everyone. Here at CSI, everyone including the faculty staff and some friends have the willingness to help other people and make them, especially international students feel at home. They show the students to be of service to others by being helpful genuinely. It is an unjudgmental community where everyone can express their opinions and beliefs safely. Everyone is contributing to support each other towards success, it is all about teamwork.
As one of the international students, I feel delighted, grateful, and safe to be in this community.

As for the higher education in Twin Falls, I can say the professors and faculty staff are very professional, helpful, and fun. They are very determined in providing us the proper education and knowledge. It is obvious that they want the students to succeed in whatever we do. One of my professors knows that I am an international student, and so he uses simple terms in class so that I can understand better, which I think is very kind.
There are also numerous opportunities or resources for us to succeed in both academic life and in extracurricular activities. I join in one of the councils at the college, and it helped increase my leadership and communication skills, and not only that, but they also make sure we have fun at the college by holding different events.

Despite all the opportunities I have, there are some challenges I face as well. One of them is the foods, they are somewhat different from what I have had. In Timor-Leste, I always had homemade meals which my mom makes. But at the college, since I have meal plans, I cannot make my own meals and therefore only have the ones being served at the cafeteria. However, it is also helpful seeing that I can concentrate solely on my studies.
The second one is that there are no public transportations like buses to use inside the city, everyone drives everywhere. For someone who does not drive, it is quite difficult to get around the city, but what I like is that I can ask help for my RA, friends, supervisors to help, and there was never a time that they rejected to help me, they always find ways to help us international students.
Now, for my greatest challenge is being homesick. I have travelled abroad in the past, away from my family, but I never felt so homesick as I do now. This is the hardest one I have ever felt, because I won’t be returning to my country for two years. It makes it hard for me to concentrate on my classes, because I think of my family a lot, and sometimes feel lonely. I miss everything: family, friends, the house, my room, the food, my dogs, my country, and so on. However, I realize one thing from being away from my family. It is to carry them in my heart wherever I go, it makes me love my family and country even more. It makes me realize that I have a responsibility not only for my future, but also for my family, and my country, which is why I must strive to do better every time while living and studying in the USA.

Above all, I am so glad to be able to come and study in the United States!!!

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