USTL provides full scholarships to outstanding students from Timor-Leste for four years of study at high-quality undergraduate degree institutions in the United States. Scholarship awards include full tuition for four years of undergraduate study, travel, living stipends, medical insurance in the U.S., and visa costs. USTL is a program of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State.

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Summer in Timor!

Posted on: 30 November -0001 BY: MLiu

After 2 straight years living abroad as student in Vermont U.S.A , coming home was the best gift ever. My parents organized a huge feast and invited our big family as a welcome home celebration. I was tired with jet lag but was so happy to see all my families faces. They were curious to hear about my experience living abroad and to fulfill their curiosity I stayed awake telling stories until 4 in the morning. After almost a week living in Dili with my family I went to Oe-Cusse to start my internship program. I was granted a internship opportunity and travelled to Oe-Cusse via air. I spent 15 days there to fulfill my internship requirement. My most memorable moment there was visiting the one high school and sharing my experiences about the USTL scholarship program. Students were very enthusiastic and curious about the USTL scholarship program. I left the USTL contact address there with school director for their future needs.
The first event I attended as soon as I arrived in Dili was the celebration of the 4th of July in the U.S. embassy in Dili. I met three new USTL students and Gerardo Abi during the party and we managed to take a group picture. The celebration was huge, a lot of food, games, and nice music that was very inviting for people to dance.
My second experience was going to Atauro Island with the U.S. embassy team. Atauro is the Island with the most biodiverse waters in the world according to scientists that were published in the Guardian last year, it definitely was worth a visit. We travelled through the air on our way there and enjoyed all the beautiful views from above. The embassy team was working with Peace Corp volunteer representatives in Atauro to produce a movie about their program in Atauro and I was working on my project to promote the USTL scholarship program. We visited two main high schools to talk about USTL Scholarship Program. Around 300 hundred students attended the presentation. After we were done at the school, we caught a Tuk-Tuk (traditional taxi) back to our accommodation in Barry. We went snorkeling the next day with a hired local boat and were able to enjoy one of the richest coral reefs on the island. I was sea sick after as I have weak stomach. Around 10am on the third day our mission was done and we were ready to come back to Dili and our taxi boat was waiting for us to departure. Overall, my experience in Atauro was one of the best experiences in Timor.
In Dili my daily activity was normal, I had breakfast in my parent’s house and attended friends invitations for lunch and dinner. The good thing about being students at home is that your friends will pay for your food. I was invited by one of my good friends to be her daughters God mother, the ceremony was early at 6am in the morning in one of the local church. After the ceremony, we were all invited to their house for a simple traditional breakfast such as cassava, sweet potatoes, banana, seaweed mixed with tomato and chili, yes” chili for breakfast. During my holiday, I also helped one of my friends who was opening her new restaurant which I believe will be one of the future best restaurants in town. During my relaxed days in my friend’s restaurant I met some interesting people and I got a job offer to organize a National Art Competition. The goal of this competition is to enhance recognition of, and offer a unique award to Timorese artists. Due to my short stay, my job is only to identify the team and set the foundation of this competition. It was very challenging as I met a lot of new seniors and emerging artists from all over the country.
On my normal day when I am not busy, I love to relax on the beach, drinking coconut water and reading my favorite books.