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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As the steps move forward, I am more in love with my college institute and learning so much more as well as enjoy the weather (Summer to Fall). I Love many things that the University of Arkansas offers. One of the best thing I enjoy is that many people are so friendly and so helpful, which makes me feel home. I also enjoy many events that are going on in every semester for students to enjoy and learn more about campus and America (for me) in general. I like the idea of the event because people really use their time wisely on campus. What I saw on campus event is that everything is very working on time and many students involved in the organizing the event instead of faculties. Now, I can feel how hard working and enjoyable college students here are. These activities motivate me to learn more in and out class and to learn more about what I am interested in or curious about. I involved in weekly leadership training and a full day Leadershape (from Catalyst) this semester. I am learning so much about leadership and it gives me more self-confidence in terms of conversation skills with other people. I meet a lot of great people through these activities. It also gives me a huge chance to find myself’ strengths and weaknesses that I haven’t figured out by doing some great activities during the training. I also involve, as a member, of ICT (International Culture Team) and Ifriend (Having an American Family to hang out with) here on campus. These two amazing organizations give me a chance to meet with many more local and international students to learn about different culture and countries, at the same time I share my country/cultures during the conversation in some events that I participate. Since I am taking Cultural anthropology this semester, I also have some chances to go to attend some outside event to learn more.
As far as learning outside the classroom goes, I like most of the classes I am taking this semester though some are tough. I enjoy two of my Education classes (Survey of Exceptionalities and Children’s and Young Adult’s Literacy in Education) very much. I am learning a lot about different kinds of disabilities that students face in my Exceptionalities class. I also learn a lot about how schools here try to help students in special needs. This is so interesting because we do not have this special program in my country (Timor-Leste). So, by learning this subject I just realized that we really do have many students in special needs at school back home or everywhere in the world that no one cares or aware about. I also think of some of my friends, as well as family members, face some kinds of disabilities such as, Dyslexia, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, ADHD, and so on at school that caused them to drop put from school. However, there is no one to tell that there is a problem with the person. Instead people label the person in negative way that makes the person feel vulnerable. This is so sad when I think about limited support in education back home. I hope that one day everyone, no matter what’s going on with his/her, will have a chance to learn equally at school because everyone has a right to learn and learning can change people’s life. I also like my literacy (Reading class) because I read a lot of books (I have to read 17 books and watch some movies about some books, and 96 pictures books [read in class and write a reflection about it] and several articles match with the books every week) in this one class. I did not read a lot when I grew up, so in terms of reading I am a little slow. However, I enjoy the reading so far because I get to know more about some historical, fiction, and non-fiction stories. It is also very interesting to see how future educators prepare themselves to be a great trainer. I also enjoy my Anthropology class because I learn a lot about culture from all over the world (past and present).
Besides enjoying those classes, I also face some difficulties in this semester. I am taking Philosophy class. This class is so challenge for me due to the reading materials for the class requires really deep thinking and analysis into the conversations and the arguments. I also had a paper writing in a modern philosophy way. The paper stole most of my time in a week to try to figure out how to write it. I went to find help by going to writing center, tutoring on campus, meeting my TA, and emailing questions to my professor, yet it still a little hard to figure it out because some answers from the sources I mentioned differ to one another. I think this problem is not only on me, but most of my classmates are facing too. I also face some problems about other classes that I take in terms of reading and do some outside activities for my classes such as observing schools, field trip, and interview students/parents because I have to find places/schools to do these activities. Some strategies that I use to overcome these difficulties are meeting with my professors in their office hours, some time I meet with my TA to clarify what I am confusing about. I also make some on campus tutoring appointments to get help from people in the class support (CLASS+) and discuss with some friends. To tackle some other difficulties in understanding the subject, I sometimes watch YouTube video to get some basic idea in order for me to keep my study. Overall, this Fall of 2017 is a good semester though it is a little challenge.