quinta-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2014

My Application and Preparation

Finally, I received an e-mail with warm greetings from St. Ambrose University explaining what I need to do to start my application. It's great to have a feeling that something you've been dreaming of it's happening in a blessed way.

I had to answer a lot of personal questions, send a lot of documents proving funds to support myself in the States and pay the university costs (Accomodation, health insurance, etc.), my official exam used in the selection process at UESC, a copy of official university transcripts to date, my passport photo page and an official letter of proficiency from my university.

Every single time that I look at some pictures of the university I get happier and more and more excited about it. It's a huge curiosity to exploit a new culture, food, friendship. I caught myself thinking of how I will be doing when I need to go to the library, buy books,  go shopping, or any presentation in class! How exciting is that! 

In this moment full of mystery, some frightening feelings come out. Will my classmates and I get along? How about my roommates? How can I spread my energy, culture and happiness and receive theirs as well? I know that I must be myself but with caution so that I can better prevent any offensive and bad situation for both sides. Everything I know is that I feel myself in complete state of excitement, eager to experience everything, see all my old American friends again...

On the process of going abroad, it's not so easy. You have to be informed and get to know as much as you can to prevent any occasional problem. Financially speaking, I still have to keep my money under control in order to have enough "dindin" to pay the university and do a lot of things I want to do and have some fun, of course! 

My mother has taught me something really newsworthy: if you have a goal that involves an amount of money that you still don't have it, you must abdicate some things to conquer others. As I am a homebody person, it's contributed a lot! I am not saying that you have to suffer as you are saving up money, but you need to establish your priorities.

Meanwhile, you must be organized, trying to plan everything in advance. I am not an expert in traveling, then I've been googling some doubts I have, asking my classmates who went to Davenport, looking for the best and the most effective and efficient ways to make this dream easier, cheaper and nicer! 


I am a very active person, I study/work about 14 hours daily during the semester. This last one, I was involved with two monitoring projects, teaching four class weekly of Portuguese and Spanish, attending seven subjects of my major, being a worship leader and a sign language interpreter on Sundays! I know, I am kinda crazy, but, at least working with all of these things is not a burden and I have much fun doing everything. It's obvious that I feel overwhelmed, but by the end of the semester (LOL)! Mercifully, I finished the semester with excellent results, high grades, and happy (the most important feeling)! 

Well, going back to the previous point, we need to be careful and understand that we can not embrace the world, so I had to leave most of my extra-activities to focus on what is before me and it's about to happen: my exchange program! It's not easy to leave a group you love working with, but it was necessary. I am thankful for all my coordinators who understood my necessity and are supporting and cheering for me. ( PS.: be careful with superactivism that blinds us to see more important things around us such as family, friends and even ourselves).

Undoubtedly, this semester will be extremely important. That is the moment when I starting finishing up my exchange internship project and my syllabus, first classes that I intend to use during my Portuguese class in the States, I'll have to get to know more about the university, complete all the requirements of it. In short, I need to organize my schedule step by step and comprehend what my priorities are right now. To win a battle (achieve our goals) we need strategies! So, make yours too, start acting and go for it!

Concluding this post, everything is doing great and I want to let you two last considerations:

Keep dreaming
Keep working towards your dreams!

God bless you and see you soon with more news intended to inspire and help you in some way!

A little bit about what I want to talk

Dreams are often inexplicable. Its definition is very varied. A lot of people may confuse the definition of dreams with the concept of wishes. For me, dreams are those that change your mood, your emotions, body, mind and your heart starts beating really fast!

I was a kid with many wishes, but when I was18 I found the dream that would change my life: the possibility of traveling to the United States! Why the U.S.? This is a question that I am not even able to answer it.

There is a verse in the Bible which says that we could be awake all day and night long, and still, we will never be able to understand what God does. We can try, but we do not understand! (Ecclesiastes 9: 16.17)
And that's how I feel!

I had to face several obstacles that I may have the opportunity to share with you later, but the most beautiful thing is that I am closer than never to achieve my dream!

But to get there it was not so easy!

I had many false alarms and attempts to anticipate this dream, but now I understand that there is a right moment for all things (Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. ) I can't even count how many times I cried for being so anxious and for having such a big uncertainty about the things that would happen to me and how to reach and achieve that dream. My whole life was dedicated to live God's dream and I wondered if this was only my dream or he would be dreaming with me, until I realized that my love for my Lord was so big that He knew that achieving this dream without him it would not have the same joy and pleasure as happening under His will. In short, later I understood: it was our dream! How do I know that? That's a story for another blog.

For the first time, I applied myself for an international scholarship at St. Ambrose University that is directly related to my career field, but I could not make it due to studying my first semester in college. The next semester, I tried again, however, the new syllabus was established that year and it says that I could only participate in this scholarship contest after having studied the subjects of English, French and Spanish 4! And that would only happen in my fourth semester!

For sure, I was being tested on my anxiety and being forced to wait. As much as I knew that God was reserving the best for me, this waiting was "burning my neurons"!

I finally got in the fourth semester! Guess what? The coordinator of this exchange had to leave the project for a doctorate and now there was a new coordinator! So, I was freaking out get to know who was the new one.

I received some information that the new coordinator was delaying to open this scholarship selection for not having enough information from the university about how to handle it and make it! My God! 

Finally, the selection process was opened and I was happy and surprised to receive so many emails from my classmates telling me if I knew about the scholarship selection process and if I had made my registration for it! I felt so much love in so many messages: "this is your moment!", "I believe in you", "God is with you and he will make your dreams come true!"

When I got the document explaining about the scholarship and how to participate, I realized that there was only one spot and I had to compete with the students from my course ( International Negotiations ) and people from Liberal Arts...

"Ok! I was the winner spermatozoon among thousands and thousands of sperms to fecundate the egg, why should I give up on this contest?" I thought.  I had all the competences which were required to participate, however I have to fight pretty hard to get this scholarship. It would not be easy, but I don't want to be frustrated for not giving a try. But, if I fail it? Is this my moment? We'll see!

It may seem a miracle, but I was the only candidate who applied for it! Woo woo! However, I needed to get good test scores to prove that I was able to study at an American university, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to go.
I studied with some American friends of the project I was part of, I had some simulations for the interview to practice my English, I wrote a lot of essays to practice my writing , I prayed a lot, believing that if that was God's time for me, nothing could stop me!

Result? I was accepted with the highest grades! Oral test: 100%; Written test: 100%. I could hardly believe that I would be traveling to the United States in a couple months!

I definitely "would be "!

Some days after being accepted, I received a call from the coordinator saying that he wanted to talk to me about the exchange. My heart started beating really hard and fast!

Guess what? My trip to the university had to be postponed (again) due to some registrations of international students already concluded for that semester ...

I didn't know what to think ...

"Should I be happy because i am going anyways or cry for another postponement?"

I did both! LOL!

Many friends told me how good it would be going in the summer, then my heart stopped being so restless and I tried to relax my spirit. Overall, what could I do? I felt like everything I had to know was that "all things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose."

Now I can only count down the days... At least, I'm surely going to the United States next summer!

Today I am happy and satisfied about going later. Some American friends have invited me to spend Christmas, Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Eve in USA with them. It will be worth it! I was able to wait over a year to be accepted, why not waiting 6 more months to travel? Of course I can do this!

Do you know what comes next? I have no idea! I just know it will be the best experience of my life!
Woo woo!!!