Study in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is a Southeast Asian nation that is home to jungle caves, coral reefs, and mountaintop markets. It has a wonderfully varied landscape, making it a prime spot for adventurous activities including hiking and diving.

Timor Leste offers some of the best scuba diving sites and the best trekking routes in the world. Some of the best spots in the country include Dili and Atauro Island, full of life, fish, and coral reef.

Studying in Timor Leste could be the ideal choice for foreign students seeking to explore international educational opportunities. It is a unique less traveled destination that can be quite a revelation to study abroad enthusiasts.

Education in TIMOR-LESTE

Over 90% of the country’s schools were destroyed during the war. As of 2002 when the country gained independence the government with the aid of international aid organizations has worked to rebuild most of the country’s schools.

Over 700 primary schools, 100 junior secondary schools, 40 preschools, and 10 technical colleges, and about 6,000 teachers were employed. The education system includes six years of primary education and six years of secondary education.

Timor-Leste's adult literacy rate for 2018 was 68.07%. The male literacy rate is 71.87%, and 64.21% for females, according to UNESCO.

Important things to note

Here are a few things to take note of before you go out and about in Timor Leste.

The money-the official currency of Timor Leste is the US$ but anything less than US$2 can be paid in centavos. Bring small notes when traveling in districts because large denominations are hard to change.

Bank/ Credit Cards- credit cards are not widely accepted But some expensive hotels do accept them. Credit cards are of little use outside major hotels

Medical Requirements- travelers to Timor Leste are currently discouraged from traveling due to the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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About Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is an island country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor.

It is separated from Australia by the Timor Sea. The country was a former Portuguese colony in the 16th century and was known as Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975 when they declared independence.

It regained its independence. The country had a total population of 1 299 412 as of 2020 with a population density of 78 people per square kilometer. Its area is about 15 007km2

Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups in Timor Leste are comprised of the following Tetun, Mambai, Tokodede, Galoli, Kemak, Papuan-Bunak, Fataluku, Bakasai, and a small Chinese minority


The official languages of Timor Leste are Tetum and Portuguese. Fifteen other national languages that are recognized in Timore Leste include Atauru, Baikeno, Bekais, Bunak, Fataluku, Galoli, Habun, Idalaka, Kawaimina, Kemak, Makalero, Makasae, Makuva, Mambai, and Tokodede. English and Indonesian are sometimes used. Tetum belongs to the Austronesian family of languages that are spoken throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific

Did you know? Facts about TIMOR-LESTE

• There is a myth that an aging crocodile transformed into the island of Timor as part of debt repayment to a young boy who had helped the crocodile when it was sick.

• The country gained its independence on May 20, 2002.

• Timor comes from the Malay word ‘timur', meaning east and that means that when the country was formerly known as East Timor, it was called 'East East’ when translated

• The United States Dollar is the official currency here

• Timor-Leste gained independence twice- firstly from Portugal in 1975 and then from Indonesia in 1999.

Must see places in TIMOR-LESTE


is East Timor’s largest and capital city where you can find restaurants, textile shops, produce markets, and seafood stands amongst thatch-roofed homes. you can enjoy freshly cooked seafood, coconuts, and go Scuba diving in watch whales swim along the coastline during migration season.

Dili is home to a variety of corals, blue moray eels, trevally, scorpionfish reef sharks, and more. Here you can also find Cristo Rei, a 27-meter-tall statue of Jesus Christ that overlooks the city, the second-largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world.

Lake Ira Lalaro

is the largest lake in East Timor. Lake Ira Lalaro is also perfect for mountain biking around and exploring. Guests should however keep activities on land and avoid swimming because the lake is also home to the country’s largest crocodile population.

Mt. Matebian

This is one of the country’s most sacred places, with thousands of pilgrims making their way to the base frequently. Mt. Matebian is topped by a statue of Jesus Christ, one of the largest in the world.

It takes more than twelve hours to hike to the summit and back. The mountain has two nicknames, the first one being the Mountain of Souls because locals believe that this mountain is where the souls of their ancestors reside and the second one is the Mountain of the Dead because of military activity that took place during WW II when Japanese forces created a series of caves and tunnels and killed many people in the process.

Jaco Island

This is an island completely separated from any semblance of a crowd or tourism, is an oasis of white sands and an active marine life full of reef sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and fish, to mention but a few.

Jaco Island is a sacred island and is largely uninhabited.

Nino Konis Santana National Park

This national park is very beautiful with scenic beauty and an aesthetic marvel. It has a coral area with coral and a variety of reef fish. You can also see more than 25 species of birds, marsupial cuscus, and bats

Mount Ramelau

This is a mountain located near the town of Hatubuilico. The hike from bottom to the top usually takes about six hours. At the top, you will find a statue of the Virgin Mary, another one of the country’s famous religious icons. Near the summit of Mt. Ramelau, you will find a church frequented by locals who wish to deepen their faith.

About Timor-Leste's Economy

Timor Leste is a low-income economy as ranked by the World Bank. It is 133rd on the Human Development Index and has an economic freedom score of 45.9, making it the 171st freest in the 2020 Index.

Timor Leste uses the United States Dollar (US$) as its main currency while uses its currency for smaller transactions of less than $2. Nominal GDP was estimated at $2.746 billion with a per capita of $2 164 as of 2018. GDP (PPP) was estimated at $6.311 billion with a per capita of $4 973 as of 2018.

Inflation was estimated at 2.294% as of 2018. GDP is expected to grow by 3.8% in 2021.

Timor Leste’s GDP contribution by sector as of 2018 was as follows:

• Agriculture- 17.45%

• Industry- 16.36%

• Services- 67.49%


The country has a developed agricultural sector and they produce Coffee, rice, maize, coconuts, cassava, soybeans, bananas, mango, and sweet potatoes to mention but a few.


Industry in Timor Leste involves printing, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, and woven cloth, to mention but a few.


Exports in Timor Leste were estimated at $24 million as of 2017 and major exports included coffee, sandalwood, and marble to mention but a few. Main export partners included Indonesia 25.38%, the United States 22.30%, Germany 13.65%, China 8.49%, Australia 5.94%, and Other countries 24.24%, to mention but a few.

Its imports were valued at $588 million. The main products include food, gasoline, kerosene, and machinery, to mention but a few. Its main import partners included Indonesia 31.88%, China 15.12%, Singapore 13.09%, Hong Kong 10.11%, Vietnam 6.61%, and Other countries contributed 23.18%, to mention but a few.

Why Study in Timor-Leste

Affordable Tuition Fees in Timor-Leste
Internationally recognized degrees

Universities in Timor Leste offers some programs leading to an internationally recognized degree.

Affordable Accomodation in Timor-Leste
Unique Cuisines and majestic site

studying in Timor Leste provide you with an opportunity to taste the unique cuisine and local food. There are a couple of sites to behold as well.

International Environment in Timor-Leste
Diversity of programs

U niversities in Timor Leste offer a diversity of programs for students to choose from. Programs include public health, engineering, social science, science, agricultural Technology, to mention but a few.

Great Weather in Timor-Leste
Scholarship Opportunities

There are several individuals, Nations, business entities, and non-governmental organizations that provide scholarships to assist students in their studies. These can be need-based or merit-based, sports scholarships, and merit-based scholarships.

Scholarships in Timor-Leste

There are plenty of scholarships are available for students studying in Timor-Leste.

Students can apply for any scholarship ranging from merit-based scholarships, sports scholarships, engineering scholarships, law scholarships, medical scholarships, medicine scholarships, athletic scholarships, art scholarships, and grants, to mention but a few.

Guatemala Student Visa

As an aspiring student in Timor-Leste, you will need a student visa that will help you to gain entry into the country without any problems.

Thus RocApply has put together the requirements for a student visa in Timor Leste.

The student visa has to be obtained whilst you are in your country of origin.

However, it is always advisable to check updated information on visa requirements in case there are any changes