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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Final Year

Posted on: 10 June 2023 BY: AVandeling

I can’t even begin where and how to sum up my four years of college experience in this blog but let’s just say it has been the best thing to ever happen to me. I’m glad that I made this decision coming here to study and live far from home. It was definitely a bittersweet decision to leave my hometown to pursue my dream but at the same time, I felt like this was the only way for me to grow and become a better person.

I think that living and studying abroad has taught me more than just the academic knowledge I gained from class, my professor, or discussion with my classmate but also taught me how to be more understanding and respectful towards people with different backgrounds. Every day, I encounter people from different races, cultures, religions, and languages they speak. I’ve heard different stories and struggles from unique individual that has inspired me and changed the way I view my life. I’ve talked to people with similar stories as me that made me feel like I’m not alone. I’ve been to some wonderful places that I had been dreaming of visiting my whole life. With that being said, I am forever grateful for every opportunity I had ever been given to experience all of these.

The most significant experience for me was the fact that I finally found myself here. I found what I like and what not; I found my passion and my interest; I found a way to overcome the personal issue that I’ve been dealing with for so long; I found a community that can understand me and accepts me for who I am; I found a group of people that I can call family; I became more vocal about things that I believe; I became more confident and independent to live my life; I slowly became someone who I always wanted to be.

I think it is very important to step out of your comfort zone and be daring to try new things. As someone who grew up on a very isolated island and never get a chance to explore the world. Coming here was an eye-opening and I couldn’t emphasize to you enough how my life has changed drastically. Therefore I highly recommended that if you ever get a chance to apply for USTL please do or just go outside of Timor-Leste. Trust me, it’s going to be the best thing to ever happen in your life!