Whether you're an incoming student, a visiting scholar, a current student, or a family member of someone in the BC community, you'll find here information to help you thrive.

Academic Support Services

Academic Advising Center

For freshmen and pre-major sophomores in the College of Arts & Sciences. Stokes Hall, S140 | Monday - Friday, 8:45AM to 4:45 PM | Phone: 617-552-9260

All members of the BC community are warmly welcomed to participate in the Center’s programs, which encourage undergraduates to explore their interests and to broaden their acquaintances among faculty and staff members across the University. Some of their programs include peer advising and trips guided by BC faculty to culturally or historically significant Boston area sites, like Walden Pond, the McMullen Museum, or the Franklin Park Zoo.

academic advising center website

Connors Family Learning Center

The Connors Family Learning Center (CFLC) is located on the second floor of O’Neill Library (note that the main entrance opens onto the third floor). The Center provides one-on-one tutoring, free of charge, to all B.C. students. Tutoring is available in more than sixty courses, including writing skills and English Language Learning (ELL). The Center sponsors workshops on teaching and other aspects of academic life especially for graduate students. The Center also provides academic support services to students with learning disabilities. To make an appointment or to get more information, call 617-552-0611 or stop by the Center.

Tutoring Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday 10:00am-9:00pm
  • Friday 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Sunday 12:00pm-8:00pm

Please call 617-552-0611 to make an appointment.

Connors Family learning center website

English Language Support

For undergraduates, courses in English for non-native speakers include EN1009: First Year Writing Seminar for English Language Learners, offered in the fall (satisfies writing core), and EN1079: Literary Forms for English Language Learners, offered in the spring (satisfies literature core). Course enrollment is by special placement and is only available to undergraduate students. Students placed in EN1009 in the fall will take EN1079 in sequence in the spring with the same instructor for each course. This instructor may serve as the student’s freshman adviser. For more information, contact Lynne Anderson at lynne.anderson@bc.edu.

Boston College Language Laboratory
  • Lyons Hall, Room 313
  • Monday-Thursday 8AM–10PM, Friday 8AM–5PM, Sunday 1PM– 9PM
  • Front Desk: 617-552-8474

The Boston College Language Laboratory serves the language learning and teaching needs of the University's language departments, as well as students of English as a Foreign Language, and the BC community at large. The facility provides access to installed and portable equipment to be used with audio, video, cable television and multimedia language learning tools. Among the Lab’s English resources are media programs that focus on (1) pronunciation and speaking, (2) improving one’s use of English in business/workplace situations, (3) understanding and using English grammar. Materials to develop reading and listening comprehension skills are also available and include a collection of feature-length international films with English audio tracks and/or English subtitles. Please consult the Lab’s online catalog of English Resources for a description of programs available for use within the lab facility in Lyons 313. The Lab also offers online tutoring and resources. For more information, please contact Cynthia Bravo, Director, BC Language Laboratory: cynthia.bravo@bc.edu or call 617-552-8473.

Language laboratory website

Conversations Partners Program

The Conversation Partners Program is a volunteer program that matches international graduate students who want to practice their conversational English skills with a member of the BC community. The program helps connect people across the college for conversation, cultural exchange, and friendship. Please contact the OISS at 617-552-8005 or bcis@bc.edu for more information.

more info about the conversations partners program

Avoiding Scams

Scams are dishonest, fraudulent, illegal schemes to make money, especially those that involve tricking people. Unfortunately, there are often scams targeting international students and scholars in the United States. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have reported an increase in the number of scams targeting international students. Often scammers pretend to be government officials in order to obtain personal identifying information and money. They might already know information about you when they call, or they may try to scare you by threatening that you will be arrested or deported if you don’t pay immediately.

Protect Yourself

The tricks that scammers use are very sophisticated, and it is easy for anyone to fall victim. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from scams:

Government agencies will never request money by phone or email.

If payment is needed, you will receive a letter on official stationery requesting payment. You will NEVER need to make a payment over the phone to maintain your immigration status.

Do not provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) over the phone or by email.

Keep your documents in a safe place. You do not need to carry your card around with you.

Only go to government websites for immigration information and forms.

In the United States, official government websites include “.gov” in the web address. All application forms are free to download.

You will not be penalized for reporting a scam.

Reporting a suspected scam will not negatively affect your immigration status. You have the right to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud.

Ask for a call back number.

Do not provide personal identifying information or bank information. If you have any doubts about whether it is a scam or a real government official, ask for the caller’s information and a call back number. 

If you suspect that you have been a victim of a scam, call OISS at 617-552-8005 or email us at bcis@bc.edu so we can help you report the scam to campus security.

Additional Resources

Express Mailing

The Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) at Boston College provides an express mailing service called eShipGlobal that allows you to receive your documents from OISS using FedEx, UPS or DHL. To submit a request to have your document(s) mailed to you, you must first create a shipment using the instrcutions below and also notify OISS of your request.   

Creating A Shipment

  1. Create Your eShipGlobal Student/Scholar Account (please use your passport names)
  2. Click the icon for the type of document that you would like to receive (ex. “I-20”, “DS-2019”, etc.)
  3. Search & select “Boston College”
  4. Select “Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS)” from the list of departments provided
  5. Select your preferred carrier (Fedex, UPS or DHL) & shipping service
  6. Select method of payment (Credit/Debit Card, Wire Transfer or PayPal) & enter your payment information

Once your payment has been processed you will automatically receive a confirmation email, & your shipment request will be sent to OISS. Once OISS has processed & shipped your document, you will automatically receive an email notification confirming that your package is in transit, as well as your tracking information. You may also check the status of your shipment anytime, 24/7, by logging into your eShipGlobal account, downloading the “UEMS” mobile app, or by contacting eShipGlobal Customer Service.

If you experience any difficulty in registering and processing the shipment, please use the “Help” link in the site for step by step instructions. If you have additional questions about how to use this service, please email support@eshipglobal.com.

Life at BC

Other Helpful BC Resources

Career Center: Co-sponsor employment workshops (resumes, interviews, job search) specifically for international students with OISS.

Connors Family Learning Center: Provides English Language Learners tutoring for writing and speaking and Online Writing Lab.

Counseling Services: Provides free individual and group support and counseling for students; co-sponsors programs specifically for international students with OISS.

Language Lab: Provides many English Language Learner resources, as well as media from across the globe.

Student Affairs: Provides student Outreach, Disability Services, LGBTQ+ Support.

Graduate Student Life: Co-sponsors programs specifically for graduate international students with OISS.

Office of Institutional Diversity: Provides support and programs for faculty/staff/students of color including international students; Resource around issues of discriminatory harassment and hate crimes and bias incidents.

Office of Student Involvement: Advises all of the undergraduate international and intercultural clubs.

Student Affairs: Provides student Outreach, Disability Services, LGBTQ+ Support.

Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center: Provides support and programs for students of color including international students.

Massachusetts Driver's License/ID

Driving in the U.S.

The U.S. does not require a foreign licensed driver to possess an International Driving Permit while driving in the U.S. (although it is suggested if your license is not printed in English). Foreign licensed drivers who meet certain eligibility requirements may operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. You can find eligibility requirements on the Registry of Motor Vehicles website.

If you are applying for a Massachusetts license (except for Canada, Mexico, and any U.S. territories) you must take the written and road test. You can also register a car in Massachusetts online.

On most Massachusetts highways, the speed limit is 55 mph (88km). There are a few exceptions such as some sections of the Mass Turnpike (I-90) and Rte. 128 where the speed limit is primarily 65 mph (104 km). A right turn at a red light is allowed after coming to a complete stop unless otherwise indicated. Drinking and driving is illegal and this Massachusetts law is strictly enforced. Having open alcoholic drinks in a car is also illegal. Texting while driving is banned by Massachusetts law. State law also requires that all passengers wear seat belts.

Getting a Driver's License

As of March 26, 2018, by Massachusetts law foreign nationals must prove they were granted a legal stay in the US for a total of at least 12 months and must have at least 30 days remaining in their legal stay at the time of application to be issued a license or ID. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this requirement. 

For graduate students with a degree program of less than 12 months: The Registry of Motor Vehicles will only issue driver’s licenses to students in programs of study that are 365 days or more in duration. Your program start and end dates are listed on your I-20 or D2-2019 immigration form. Your I-20 or DS-2019 form cannot be extended for the purposes of applying for a license.

Social Security Numbers

By law, Social Security Numbers (SSN) are only issued to F-1 international students who have secured a job on-campus. Although many institutions such as banks, landlords, etc. may ask you for one, you are not required to have one. J-1 students and scholars may apply for an SSN before they have secured employment.  

Note: You may have received correspondence from BC which states your “social security number” beginning with a “9”. This is NOT a social security number but rather a “dummy” number used for BC purposes only. 


OISS staff are not tax specialists and cannot provide individual advice on taxes or assist with tax filing.  Instead, we have purchased a limited number of Sprintax access codes to assist students and scholars in filing their federal taxes. Sprintax is a software program and resource specifically for NON-Residents for tax purposes who have earned U.S. sourced income in 2023. U.S. sourced income refers to any money you received from a U.S. source, including wages, stipends, fellowships, scholarships and investment income. Sprintax will help you to determine if you are a non-resident for tax purposes and if you are, you will be able to use the BC provided access code to use the program for your Federal taxes. Their website also provides instructional videos, blogs, webinars and the ability to chat with a qualified agent 24 hours a day (for more information see links below). Most international students and scholars will be considered non-residents.

If it is determined that you are a non-resident for tax purposes, it is extremely important that you DO NOT file taxes using programs like Turbo Tax designed for residents which will file the incorrect tax form.  

Remember that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) will NEVER call you! There are many scams targeting international students and scholars. Do not respond to any phone calls about your taxes. For more information visit the IRS Website for more information.