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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Studying in a college in the US can be demanding and challenging and as I looked back into my experience of being an exchange student at North Central College in spring 2022. It was a challenging time for me because I have no idea how US higher education system was like, and I still remembered that I studied so hard for the final exams and didn’t have time to sleep. After the semester ends I started to understand the US education system that is very demanding and it helps me to have an idea of what to do if I ever come back to study again in the US. I had the privilege and got one of the best opportunities to come back and studying in the US again under the USTL scholarship to pursue my undergraduate degree at West Virginia University. I was a little bit nervous because I researched, and it seems that West Virginia University is a big university and that made me feel even more nervous.

I sat and asked myself am I going to make it? As because higher education system from one university to another might be different. I take five classes and it is quite my first time taking such five classes which demands more work and sometimes it is kind of stressful. On the first day of my class, I was nervous because the number of students in the classroom are way more than the number of students I have seen when I studied at North Central College for a semester and during the first class the assignments was assigned with a lot of reading and calculations since I am an economics students I have to take statistic class. I recall the moments when I didn’t understand what to do during my first class but luckily since I have got experiences studying in the US before, I know where to find help. I went to find student tutoring center to ask for help in terms of understanding the concept of the course and its homework.

I also went to student success coach at West Virginia University where they helped me on how to create a good schedule and time management for studying in order to help me stay on track while doing many assignments. After first couple of months I found myself was able to complete assignments on time without feeling stress about having too many homework and exams because I know how to manage my time really well. After having skills on knowing how to manage my time it helps me to get good grades in each of my classes’ exams. As we are approaches to final exams week, I feel prepared for each of my classes’ exams because I learn on how to manage my time and studying effectively.

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