United States Timor-Leste Scholarship Program

United States Timor-Leste Scholarship Program

Outstanding students from Timor-Leste are awarded full scholarships to earn associate or bachelor's degrees from institutions of higher education in the United States.

The United States Timor-Leste Program (USTL) is a program of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), US Department of State. 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 for up for either associate degrees or bachelor's degrees, travel, living stipends, medical insurance in the U.S., and visa costs.

Applicants may also receive up to one year of additional, intensive English-language training in the U.S. before beginning their two to four years of degree-related study. Participants are enrolled full time and live on-campus with an American roommate. Participants are placed at carefully vetted, high-quality US colleges and universities that match their academic interests and provide outstanding student support. All host-institution placements are final.

In addition to academic study, the USTL program provides participants the opportunity to engage in community service and internships related to their professional interests. Participants may apply to pursue a wide range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to agricultural science, business communication, economics, education, environmental science, international relations, political science, psychology, and sociology.

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. Applicants must be students enrolled in their final year of secondary school or undergraduate study who are proficient in English and have demonstrable leadership skills, a strong interest in cross-cultural understanding, and a commitment to return to Timor-Leste upon completing the program.

To be eligible for USTL, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen, national, or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the government of Timor-Leste;
  • Complete (or in the process of completing) secondary school;
  • Submit an application with all required documents by the application deadline;
  • Be at least 18 years old when the program starts;
  • Be eligible for admission to a US undergraduate degree program or become eligible upon completion of an ESL program;
  • Receive and maintain a J-1 visa; 
  • Commit to returning to his/her home country after completing the program;
  • Be proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application, and;
  • Meet any additional requirements of the U.S. college or university where placement is being sought.

Funded by

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs

Program Funding

Fully funded


Citizens, nationals, or permanent residents qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the government of Timor-Leste who have completed or is in the process of completing his/her final year of secondary school.