Student Services at Boston International School works to provide an inclusive experiential program that enables each student to reach his/her full educational, physical and developmental potential. The program is dedicated to the promotion and maintenance of the health and wellness of the school community.

Four-Year Plan


Students predominantly work with their school counselor to focus on academic preparation, become more actively involved in clubs and organizations on campus, and begin a path toward career readiness. Additionally, college counselors are available to provide support in scheduled meetings. In the spring of Grades 8/9, students take the PSAT 8/9, and meet with their counselor to choose schedules. Students should strive for a schedule that is challenging but not overwhelming. Faculty advisors, department coordinators, and the Academic Principal are all available to assist in crafting schedules.


Students continue to work toward maturing academically. 10th graders take the PSAT/NMSQT in October which serves as practice for taking the SATs as a DP candidate. The PSAT is not reported to colleges. The scores are discussed between counselor and student and provide an indicator of the student’s potential strengths and weaknesses. At this stage, students and their parents will be introduced to BridgeU, and will begin exploring the various tools that the platform has to offer. These include interest inventory tests designed to help students learn more about themselves as well as the most comprehensive up-to-date list of colleges and universities around the world. In the spring, students will again work with their counselor to pick courses for the following year, and to determine which system is most suitable for them and with the help of the college counsellor work on an individual studying and testing plan. Parents are invited to attend the parent meetings, workshops, learn about the university counselling timeline and ask questions. 


Students begin taking the College Advisory Class, which will help them navigate the college application process throughout their final years and beyond. The regular classes aim at helping students begin to prepare for applying to university in Grade 12. Curriculums will cover topics such as universities across the world comparisons, Liberal Arts education, personal statements, supplemental essays, admissions deadlines, and many other topics. Our goal is to build a strong understanding of this process in Grade 11, so students return to school in Grade 12 ready to get started on their applications right away.

In addition to the course, college counselors meet individually with students and families to create a plan of action for applying to college. This will involve building a college list, financial test preparation recommendations, interview, and essay support.


Students are expected to stretch and to reach for colleges and universities that are the best fit academically, socially, and financially. As the school year begins with Senior College Advisory Classes, students regularly meet with their college counselor to discuss any questions that may arise as they are preparing and submitting applications to colleges. While this is primarily a student-driven process, they will be given plenty of guidance and assistance. Parents are welcome to reach out to counselors on the college planning process including financial aid and money matters.

Lisa He

Head of Career and
University Counselling

Summer Sheng

College Counsellor
"At Boston International School we work collaboratively to cultivate the environment and provide the support that increases student academic and developmental realities, while reducing barriers that can prevent them from achieving their highest potentialities." 

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." 


Offered by the College Board, the PSAT is designed to measure mathematical, verbal, and writing abilities necessary for success in colleges.

The test is a practice exam for the SAT. It is also used by the NMSQT to determine candidates for the National Merit Scholarship Program, the National Achievement Program for African American Students, and the National Hispanic Scholars Program; 1% of students with the highest nationwide scores may be eligible for further scholarship consideration.

Many students scoring between 95-99% are awarded Letters of Commendation in recognition of their achievement.

The PSAT exam is offered to all BIS students through G8-11 each October/January.

Students do not need to register in advance; registration is automatic through the College Counseling Office.

In most cases, if you are a musician, artist, or thespian your application process will be the same as your peers.

You will, though, want to submit a special resume detailing your musical, artistic, and acting accomplishments. Moreover, a portfolio, recording, or video of your work is recommended.

Some colleges, especially those with conservatories, may have special requirements and audition or portfolio days. Look closely at the fine print in their applications.

College visits can be made any time during the junior and senior years.

To learn how to best maximize a visit to a college campus, visit the college’s website or call the admissions office. A tour, information session and, if offered, an interview are three productive ways to spend your time while visiting a college.

Over the years, BIS students have been following the international trend and have applied to an increasing number of colleges. In recent years, BIS students have applied to an average of 8 schools. We recommend that students apply to between 6 and 12 schools, depending on the student and the types of schools he or she is applying to. We work individually with students to make sure that their final college lists are balanced.

The Counseling Department provides a comprehensive developmental preventive guidance program that focuses on academic, career and personal/social competencies promoting optimal development of all students. Counselors provide assistance and teach skills in individual, small group and classroom settings in the following areas:

  • Academic Planning for Four Years
  • Academic Success in the Classroom
  • Post-graduate Planning
  • College and Career Exploration
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Personal and Social Counseling
  • Social Skills, Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Portfolio Monitoring and Management
  • Transcript Evaluation and Credit Checks
  • Parent, Student and Teacher Conferences
  • Test Interpretation
  • Crisis Counseling
  • Alternative Program Availability

Financial Aid and Scholarships for college are available in 5 ways

International Students

  • Grants (Free Money)
  • Scholarships (Free Money)
  • Work-study
  • Loans (money must be paid back)

United States citizens

  • Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)

The BEST way to find scholarships to apply for is to apply to universities you are interested in. Why? Universities have dedicated matching scholarship searches ONLY available to students who have been accepted. The scholarships you find in University portals are vetted (legitimate) and usually matched to your strengths, which increases your chances to earn them.

Speak with your school counselor, HR advisor for up-to-date information.

Attend you counseling advisory classes with BIS counselors

Check out the following scholarship sites

There are two types of scholarships, Merit Based Institutional scholarships and "Private" or "External" scholarships. To get Merit Based institutional scholarships, try to get the best grades possible all through high school, keeping your G.P.A. (Grade Point Average) close to 4.0, which is the highest you can get. The great thing about Merit Based Institutional scholarships is that you don't need to apply for them as a senior. When you apply to Universities, you will be awarded them automatically based on your high school performance.

Private or External scholarships are competitive scholarships that have different types of eligibility criteria. Many websites have lists of these types of scholarships. But, you need to be sure that the scholarship is legitimate. If a scholarship ever asks you to send money, it is not a real scholarship. Please talk to your counselor if you have questions.