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Admissions Criteria & Priorities

Founded in 1980 as Beijing's first international school to educate the children of Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand, and United States Embassy employees, ISB now provides an English-medium or Dual-Language education for students coming from different educational systems around the world.

ISB is an inclusive school that seeks to enroll students in the school's international Early Years (EY) to grade 12 program. Enrollment in ISB is determined by an Admissions Committee through a variety of means, including a review of official school transcripts, records, English language placement tests, confidential recommendation forms, and family introduction meetings. All such procedures will be transparent and fully explained to the parents of prospective students.

To be considered for admission to ISB, students and their parents must be able to document that they fall into one of the four categories illustrated below. When space availability is limited in a grade, admissible applicants with a higher-priority status will be admitted before those with lower priority status.

Within priority categories, special consideration may be given to applicants of returning families, those who have enrolled siblings, and/or with a high level of English proficiency. 

Being registered as an International School for Foreign Nationals in Beijing, we are unable to consider applications from Chinese national families that are permanently resident in mainland China. This is in accordance with the current authorities’ rules and regulations.  

ISB-Qualified Applicant

ISB-Qualified Applicant Priority 1
Foreign passport-holding students of founding embassy employees (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States).

ISB-Qualified Applicant Priority 2
Foreign passport-holding families with a parent holding a Chinese-issued work visa and a student holding a corresponding dependency (S1) visa.

ISB-Qualified Applicant Priority 3

- China-HK, China-Macau, China-Taiwan permanent residency families holding travel permits (通行证).

- Foreign and Chinese passport-holding families holding Q1 visa(s)/ Chinese residency permit(s).

ISB-Qualified Applicant Priority 4
Chinese passport-holding families with foreign permanent residency permits and proof of having lived abroad for more than one year.


A Message to our High School Applicants:

For HS students with a transcript: If enrolled at the onset of the second semester, we take into consideration the number of credits reflected on your official transcripts. However, we may not be able to align the same courses you have taken at your previous school.

Our High School program models a U.S. high school program, which means that students in grades 9 through 12 shall work toward earning a specific number of "graduation credits" each year. When applying to ISB, we will take into consideration credits achieved at your current school in planning your credits-to-graduation. Note:

  • A passing grade in a year-long course earns one credit.
  • A passing grade in a semester-long course earns a half credit.

Please view the High School Course Guide for information about the number of credits needed for graduation.

An enrollment start date at the beginning of the school year in August or at the beginning of the second semester in January is recommended. We realize families move unexpectedly throughout the year, however; and regardless of your transition time to Beijing, your arrival is anticipated with pleasure.

Please make sure to bring several original sealed transcripts from your school when you arrive. You will need at least one original sealed transcript to finalize your course schedule.

admissions Policies

ISB has a range of policies that support student learning and ensure the well-being of all in our school community. Our policies are read and reviewed regularly. As an international school with a culturally diverse student body, our policies aim to nurture each student's linguistic and learning abilities in line with our curriculum.