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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Located in the Northern Bighorn Mountains is Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area. Last weekend, I found myself geared up and gazing down the snowy slopes of this mountain recreation area (which sits tall at over 3,000 meters!). It marked my fourth ski run after barely a year of calling Wyoming home.

You see, when I first arrived from my tropic homeland, words like "downhill skiing" held little meaning. My Alaskan and western pals here kept saying this strange sport of sliding down icy mountainsides on a couple of waxed sticks. To be honest, it sounded terrifying! But over many cups of hot cocoa and their patient instructions, I finally had the courage to give it a try!

I won't lie—first few runs of skiing that I did were at other Ski Resort at Sleeping Giant around an hour and a half away from Powell to the west. Trying to control those skis while pointed straight downhill felt impossible. More than once I ended up face-first in the snow!

But with supportive cheers from my wonderful new community, I kept at it. And suddenly, it clicked I was skiing! Very slowly and not too gracefully, yes, but skiing, nonetheless.

And this time, I was able to control my turnings and actually skiing!

Now I stand tall with my friends at the top of Antelope Butte, filled with awe at the raw Wyoming wilderness around me. Stretching below are snow-dusted evergreens and wide mountain vistas waiting to be explored. With my trusty skis strapped securely to my boots, I'm ready to go! And yes—maybe even make it to the bottom of the run this time!

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