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.



Return to Latest Articles

In December, just before the end of my first semester, I received the wonderful news of my acceptance into the University of Minnesota's First Year Leadership Institute (FYLI). This program, renowned for offering premier leadership development opportunities, is specifically designed for first-year students who are enthusiastic, curious, and eager to embark on their leadership journey at the U of M campus.

Given my status as a transferred student in my first year at the University, I was eligible to apply for FYLI, and this turned out to be a pivotal decision for me. Shortly into the new year, in mid-January 2024, my cohort and I participated in a transformative leadership retreat at YMCA Camp Ihduhapi, located approximately an hour from Minneapolis. The serene setting of the camp provided a beautiful backdrop for self-reflection and bonding with friends.

During the retreat, I had the opportunity to forge connections with my cohort members and facilitators. This proved to be a rich learning experience as I explored their cultures and perspectives as individuals who have spent a significant portion of their lives in the United States. Simultaneously, I also shared my own insights and experiences from my leadership and professional journey, fostering a sense of friendship among us.

Reflecting on the overall experience, I am immensely grateful for having applied to and been accepted into the FYLI program. It has not only expanded my understanding of leadership but has also paved the way for meaningful connections and friendships within the university community. To further cultivate these bonds and learnings, my cohort and I will have weekly meetings every Wednesday night from 6 to 9 pm as part of our ongoing leadership development program. During these sessions, we engage in discussions and activities focused on addressing social policy issues as emerging leaders. This continued collaboration promises to be a valuable aspect of our collective growth and impact within the university community.

Participant Application