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Office of International Students and Scholars



The mission of the Office of International Students and Scholars is to work with the larger BC community to help ensure the academic and personal success of international students and scholars, and their families, at Boston College. The OISS provides information, support, and services so that international students and scholars can achieve their goals both in and outside of the classroom. The OISS aims to increase awareness of international student and scholar needs, promote intercultural competency across campus, and advocate for greater support for the international community of Boston College.

The OISS must be knowledgeable and updated on all immigration regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to international students and scholars and communicate them to both the international population, as well as relevant faculty and administrators, in a timely and effective manner. The OISS ensures that Boston College is in compliance with all federal government requirements for this population by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The OISS strongly believes it is the responsibility of the entire institution to adequately support its international community. The OISS therefore collaborates with both academic and student affairs partners throughout the university to provide resources, services, and programs to international students and scholars to help them successfully integrate to the Boston College campus. The OISS also offers opportunities for international students and scholars, and members of the BC community, to engage in meaningful dialogues and interactions which lead to increased cross-cultural curiosity and understanding.

Our professional organization, the National Association of International Educators (NAFSA), believes and OISS affirms that: “International education advances learning and scholarship, fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is essential for developing globally competent individuals, and builds leadership for the global community. We believe that international education lies at the core of an interconnected world characterized by peace, security, and well-being for all.”

The mission of the OISS therefore aligns directly with the 2017 Boston College strategic plan, specifically strategic direction IV which states:

“Increase the University’s presence and impact in the City of Boston, the United States, and around the globe.”

By helping to provide a positive and enriching experience for international students and scholars, who then return to their home countries and share these with family, friends, universities, governments, organizations, etc., the OISS is significantly expanding and improving the presence, reputation, and impact of BC around the world.



Welcome to Boston!

As a kid growing up in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, I knew many people that had come here from all over the world for greater opportunities. My own parents were immigrants from Ireland who came to Boston for greater economic prosperity.

I am so excited that you have chosen to study in Boston, home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world. You came here because you know Boston is a place where you will have the chance to further your studies, engage with a community of fellow learners, and put yourself on a path toward lifelong success.

We  are  proud  of  our international  community  in  Boston.  Twenty-five  percent  of  our  student  body  is  international. Twenty-nine percent of our residents are foreign-born (2018), and 48% of children in Boston have at least one parent who was born in another country (2016). This diversity is one of our greatest strengths.

As Mayor of Boston, I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know that you are welcome here, and that Boston is your city.

I wanted to let you know that we, as a City, are here for you. We want you to know your rights when you’re renting outan apartment from a landlord, getting a library card, or adjusting to life in Boston with the Office of ImmigrantAdvancement. The Office of Neighborhood Services and their 311 hotline and app are always available and can help connect you with all City services.

I also ask you to consider making Boston your home after you graduate. Boston has a dynamic innovation ecosystem, with numerous resources to support new companies. The Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program, which started in Boston, can even support visas for entrepreneurs if you want to stay in the US after graduation to grow your company.

I hope you have a wonderful time getting to know your new home, because you are a Bostonian too now.



Martin J. Walsh Mayor of Boston


                                     OISS NEWS & UPDATES



Beginning August 26, 2019, Boston College will charge a $50 fee for POST-Optional Practical Training (OPT) applications and $200 fee for STEM OPT applications. These are in addition to the application fees required by the government. The OISS and BC are committed to providing the best support and advising to our international students and alumni.  As OPT immigration procedures, advising and reporting have become increasingly time-consuming and complex, these fees will provide the OISS with the additional resources and staff to assist soon-to-be alumni and alumni with their OPT applications, well beyond their time as enrolled students. Post-completion OPT requires on-going OISS services after graduation such as advising, updating SEVIS records with address and employer information, issuing new I-20s for new employers and H1B cap-gap applications, and signing immigration forms for travel. STEM OPT reporting and advising is more complicated and requires processing an extension application, frequent validation reports to the government, advising students and employers on the required Training Plan, and then reviewing these documents, for up to three years after students have completed their degree. In both of these scenarios, the student is no longer at BC, and therefore not paying any tuition or student activities fees which would otherwise help financially support these continued services by the university. We look forward to continuing to provide you with this high level of assistance as you depart BC and embark on your professional careers.  PAY HERE


Please Note: There are NO fees for Pre-Completion OPT or Curricular Practical Training.



If you are interested in watching the Boston Celtics play against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, February 5th, please PAY HERE.


Please read our walk-in hours policyDuring walk-in hours you can speak to the on-call advisor on a first come, first serve basis. Appointments with advisors can also be made by calling (617) 552-8005.

Thea Bowman House

Monday 2pm-4pm

Tuesday 10am-12pm

Wednesday 2pm-4pm

Thursday 10am-12pm

Friday 10am-12pm


Thea Bowman House
(Behind Lyons and Stokes)

72 College Road

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


Summer Hours:

Monday-Thursday 9AM-4PM

Friday 9AM-3PM