How Umas Nangavulan made his dreams come true.
My name is Yin-Long Chou, but I always go by Umas Nangavulan. I am a junior student majoring in social work at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). I am working for the Office of International Admission as a student associate, the Office of International Engagement as a Global Panther Success team member, and a member of the International Student Promoters.
I am originally from Taitung, a city located in the eastern part of Taiwan. In case you did not know this, the Taiwanese population consisted of not only Chinese but also more than 16 different Austronesian tribes. Each tribe has its language and customs, which differ from the Chinese culture. You probably are also wondering why I am mentioning this in the blog. The reason is that my family comes from two different indigenous tribes. They are called the Bunun tribe and the Paiwan tribe. In fact, Umas Nangavulan is a Bunun language name. I have been proud of being in this community and sharing my unique culture with people around the world.
Education was a dream
Growing up in a tribal area, we don't usually get enough education resources and employment opportunities. Therefore, going abroad had been just a dream that would not come true. However, I was fortunate enough that I was recommended and offered a fully funded scholarship to study in a private experimental school. This opportunity had changed my life and made me want to step out of my comfort zone to see the whole world. I started working hard on learning English and preparing myself, and I ended up getting a study abroad scholarship.
My education journey
I started my journey as an F-1 international student in 2018 in a community college in Washington State. When the time I was about to graduate, I was struggling with finding and choosing my next destination. As international students, we all understand that it could be hard to find an institution that offers higher quality education and affordable tuition at the same time. Therefore, I spent a month searching for it. Then, I found out about UNI.
I remember I was surprised when I read through the UNI’s website. The reason was that UNI not only met my expectations but even beyond. As I went through the website, I realized that UNI provided lots of hands-on experiences in class, which can prepare us for the real world. I also noticed that UNI offered various study abroad programs for all the students to attend. For example, the social work department collaborated with a university in Korea, and the student could study there and do their internship. Those facts stood out to me, so I decided to apply and transfer to UNI.
Plans changed and were reimagined
When the time I obtained my AA degree and was about to transfer, I decided to go back to Taiwan and postponed my plan. The reason was that covid appeared and interrupted the world. I was almost giving up on continuing my studies in the States, but I still wanted to pursue my dream at the same time. After a long decision, I decided to recontact UNI. I understand that most of the school employees work remotely during the pandemic, and they might have a slow response. However, under this circumstance, the UNI admission team still did a fantastic job of responding to the emails and helping me.
UNI also provided me with several generous scholarships, so I can have one less worry. The current students and all the faculties who work in the international department have helped me a lot to adjust to the midwest environment. Also, the advisor worked closely with me to map out all the plans for future semesters. Because of that, I am able to share this experience with you now in Iowa. And I can’t wait to share more experiences with you all in the Study in USA blog.
|Umas Nangavulan from Taiwan is a junior student majoring in social work at the University of Northern Iowa. He currently works as a student associate in the admission office, as a GPS member in the Office of International Engagement, and as a member of the International Student Promoters.|
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