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.



The 2024 USTL Online Application Deadline is Past
Thank you for your interest in the USTL Program. The 2024 application for the USTL Program was available until 11:59 PM (EST) on November 17, 2023. The application will be made available in the coming Fall.

USTL is a merit-based, open competition. Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender; persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

An eligible candidate for the USTL Program:

  • Is a citizen, national, or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the government of Timor-Leste;
  • Has completed or is in the process of completing his/her final year of secondary school;
  • May be enrolled in an undergraduate study;
  • Is able to begin the USTL Program in the United States in August 2024;
  • Will be at least 18 years old when the program starts;
  • Is eligible for admission to a U.S. undergraduate degree program or will become eligible upon completion of an ESL program;
  • Is able to receive and maintain a J-1 visa;
  • Is proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application;
  • Is able to demonstrate leadership skills and an interest in cross-cultural understanding;
  • Is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program;
  • Meets any additional requirements of the host institution in the U.S; and
  • Agrees to submit a complete application with all required documents by the application deadline.

Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for the USTL Program:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
  • Employees of the U.S. Embassy and their immediate family members, for a period of one year following termination of such employment;
  • Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations);
  • Candidates in their final year of undergraduate study and those with bachelor’s degrees, obtained either in Timor-Leste or abroad.