Welcome to the new ISS World! This is a blog for the students, by the students. This year, we aim to go deeper into the hearts and minds of our international students as they embark new lives on campus and in the United States. Each blogger will post about every 3 months in rotation fashion and we welcome you to comment on their posts.

Meet our 2015 Bloggers (aka The Crew)

Graduate Bloggers

afrin2Afrin Zeenat | azeenat@uark.edu

Afrin is wrapping up her PhD in English. Her dissertation focuses on the portrayal of orphans in nineteenth-century American literature through the intersections of race, class, and gender. She first arrived at the University of Arkansas as a Junior Fulbright Scholar for a Masters in English. After the completion of her Masters, she returned home and returned to enroll in a PhD program with a Teaching Assistantship from the Department of English. She was awarded the Vance and Mary C. Parler Randolph Fellowship for Academic Achievement and Leadership in 2014 by the Department of English.

Check out her blog post for May.

wawancropWawan Eko Yulianto | wyuliant@email.uark.edu

Wawan is a Ph.D. student in the Program in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies funded by the Center for Middle East Studies.He is an international student from Indonesia and has been living in Fayetteville since 2008. His academic focus is on Muslim American literature, but he also has a passion for literary translation. He translates English and American literary works into Indonesian and Indonesian poems and short fictions into English. His translation of a celebrated Indonesian author, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, has been published in Moon City Review of Missouri State University. Outside his academic activities, he manages his own personal blog and is a self-taught videographer.

Check out his blog post for April.


Alexandru Avram | amavram@uark.edu

Alexandru is a PhD student in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He discovered his passion for Life Sciences in his early teenage years, when he was attempting to build microscopes (with very poor resolution) from recycled metal and cardboard pieces. He then continued his attempts in revolutionizing science and engineering by building steam engine propelled boats made from emptied egg shells. Years have passed from the latter rookie attempts and his experimental know-how evolved to the extent where the University of Applied Sciences in Giessen, Germany decided he met the requirements for a Master’s Degree in Biochemical Engineering.

Currently he is involved in numerous volunteering activities, such as judging science fairs at St. Joseph Middle School, Fayetteville or by being part of U of A’s All University Conduct Board jury. He also sporadically writes scientific blogs for the AIChE Young Professionals ChEnected web portal. In his free time, when his office desk is not piled up with homework for grading or chemical engineering related journal articles for reading, he enjoys jogging on a sunny weather and reading philosophy or psychology literature. His most recent New Year’s resolution was to help make the world a better, environmentally friendlier place.

Check out his posts for March and June.

Undergraduate Bloggers


Diego Calderon | dacalder@uark.edu

Diego is a student in the Computer Science program at the University of Arkansas. He was born in La Paz, Bolivia and is twenty-two years old. When he was one year old,  he moved from La Paz, Bolivia to Lima, Peru. He lived there for four years. When he was five, he moved back to Bolivia. When he was nine, he moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, then came back to Bolivia when he was thirteen! He is enthusiastic, loves to learn new things and share his experiences. He’s also a critical thinker and can see things from another perspective. Writing is his love and he is excited to keep learning and enjoying everything this amazing place has to offer.

Check out his post for May.

2015 Undergraduate Blogger

Julio Gavilano | jmgavila@email.uark.edu

Julio was born in La Paz, Bolivia. He spent his first 4 years living in Miami, Florida with his parents as they completed studies there, then moved back to Bolivia where he has lived for most of my life. He attended international schools which were taught primarily in English and focused on sending students to study abroad. After he graduated high school, he did 2 years of college at a university in La Paz and did a semester abroad at the University of Oklahoma. He then came to the University of Arkansas through a special program for Bolivians. This year, he will complete his Bachelor’s degree in Communications.

Julio’s goal in life is to work in the gaming industry as a designer or by providing some form of journalism within the industry. He currently writes for a gaming fan site called BlizzPro which focuses on all the games developed by Blizzard Entertainment. (By the way, he finds writing the form of communication he’s most suited for.)

Check out his blog posts for April and July.

Eleanor_ Sello

Eleanor Kitso Sello | eksello@email.uark.edu

Eleanor is from Botswana with three siblings: two little sisters and an older brother. Yay, middle child… She moved to America in January 2009 and  attended Fayetteville High School. After transferring from Northwest Arkansas Community College, this is her first semester at the U of A, and her major is in Business Management. Both her parents are U of A alumni!

Check out her posts for March and June.

About ISS

We are the Office of International Students and Scholars at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. As international educators, we enhance global perspectives, mutual respect, and responsibility through collaborative programs and services for the development of international students, scholars and the greater University of Arkansas community. Our office is pleased to provide a variety of programs to assist international students with their adjustment and integration to the University of Arkansas, the local community, and American culture. Visit iss.uark.edu to find brief descriptions of each of our programs.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s