International Applicants

Please check back on December 15 for more details about our Summer 2019 programs.

There are many reasons why international high school students come to Boston University’s Summer Term High School Programs. One of the biggest reasons is to experience what it is like to study at a world-renowned United States university. As you engage with students from all over the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and the Americas, you discover new academic challenges, experience university life in the U.S., practice and improve your English language skills, and immerse yourself in American culture in one of the most historic, exciting, and cosmopolitan cities in the nation.


English is the language of instruction at Boston University, and a high degree of competency is assumed. Our program requires students to have minimum English proficiency levels equivalent to:

  • 90-100 with a minimum of 20 in each section of the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
  • 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International students who do not meet these requirements may want to consider CELOP's Gateway to the American University program, which provides a two-week university experience focused on preparing for college applications and improving English language skills. Find out more information on CELOP's website.

Visa Information for High School Honors Students

The High School Honors program is a full-time academic summer program. International students (i.e., students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States) who are coming to the United States for the purpose of participating in the High School Honors program must have an F-1 student visa. In order to receive a student visa, you must apply for an I-20 from Boston University, which requires international students to take eight credits (two courses). Please follow the instructions below in order to apply for your I-20 and F-1 student visa. We encourage international High School Honors students to apply early to ensure timely processing of the visa documents.

How to Apply for an I-20

Applying for your I-20: Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status

Applying for the I-20 is the first step to receiving an F-1 student visa. International students must be registered full-time (eight credits) for summer study at Boston University in order to be issued an I-20.

If you are not currently in the United States or are in the United States on an immigration status other than F-1, please submit the following documents:

  • International Student Data Form
  • A bank statement or letter in English from your financial institution stating that you (or your sponsor) have sufficient funds to cover your summer expenses. For information security purposes, when uploading your bank statement be sure to black out your account number.
  • Financial Sponsorship Certification (needs to accompany all other financial documents if you will be sponsored by a family member or other individual)
  • Copy of valid passport (including copy of data page and passport expiration date)
  • Copy of the most recent U.S. Port of Entry stamp in your passport and any other relevant immigration documents (only required if you are currently in the U.S.)

If you are currently on an F-1 visa from a U.S. high school, please submit the following documents:

  • International Student Data Form
  • Copy of valid passport (including copy of data page and passport expiration date)
  • Copy of the most recent U.S. Port of Entry stamp in your passport and other relevant immigration documents (only required if you are currently in the U.S.)
  • Copy of your F-1 student visa
  • Copies of ALL of your I-20s

Note: all of the above documents need to be sent with your completed application.

For admitted international students, an I-20 will be mailed to you via FedEx approximately three weeks from when you inform us that you will be attending the High School Honors program. All international materials and forms must be submitted to our office for us to process an I-20. Once you have received the I-20, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee and should immediately schedule a visa interview at the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for the F-1 visa.

To ensure you receive your student visa well in advance of the start date of the High School Honors program, you should leave yourself plenty of time when applying to the program.

Applying for the F-1 Student Visa

Please read instructions from the Boston University International Student and Scholars Office for details on how to obtain the F-1 student visa once you have received your I-20.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all full-time or part-time residential international students to submit proof of immunization against the following communicable diseases: measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); tetanus (must be Tdap vaccine); hepatitis-B; (bacterial) meningitis; and varicella. Your doctor must complete the Immunization Record Form to show proof of these immunizations. The Immunization Record Form will be sent to each accepted student in the acceptance packet.

If you are not in compliance with all Boston University health immunization requirements when you arrive on the Boston University campus, you have seven days to obtain the necessary vaccination(s) or you will be considered out of status. You may obtain vaccinations (by scheduling an appointment in advance) at:

Student Health Services
881 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-3575

Medical Insurance

All residential students enrolled during the summer are required to have medical insurance. Since many U.S. doctors and hospitals do not recognize out-of-country coverage, it is strongly recommended that international students on a Boston University F-1 visa participate in a qualifying medical insurance plan offered by Boston University. Students are not automatically enrolled in a medical insurance plan upon registration and must register on their own. International students should contact Student Accounting Services at 617-353-2870 or email for information on how to obtain medical insurance.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have any questions about the process for obtaining the I-20 or student visa.