International Students

From our founding as a settlement house through to our status as a world-class learning institution today, NBSS has embraced people of all cultures and backgrounds. International students represent a growing portion of our student body, and help contribute to a rich educational experience at the School.

Our international community—students and alumni—have hailed from six continents and dozens of nations around the globe. They're a diverse group in terms of not only nationality, but also age, experience, and interests. All have sought NBSS for our world-renowned education in traditional trades and fine craftsmanship.

We strive to ensure that you have a smooth application process, and that once enrolled you feel supported and at home here. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at admissions@nbss.edu or 1-617-227-0155.

Student Visa

International students attend NBSS on an M-1 student visa issued by the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Upon receiving a completed Certification of Finances form from you (see below), we will certify it and provide you with a Form I-20 to use with your visa application. For more information on the M-1 visa, visit the USCIS website or the Department of Homeland Security's Study in the States site.

Program Extension

The M-1 student visa is valid for a maximum of twelve months at a time. If you are attending a two or three-year program at NBSS, you’ll need to request a program extension for each year of enrollment. We can request a program extension online no more than 60 days from your program end date, and no less than 15 days from the end date. The extension cutoff dates are:

  • Monday, April 2, 2018, through Thursday, May 17, 2018, for all programs except Violin Making & Repair.
  • Monday, April 30, 2018, through Thursday, June 14, 2018, for Violin Making & Repair.

You’ll need to come to our Financial Aid Office during this period to request a program extension of your visa. We’ll give you a new I-20 form. You’ll submit the updated I-20 form, along with a completed form I-539 and a check for $370, to the USCIS to complete your request.

Optional Practical Training

If you have an M-1 visa, you may wish to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon the conclusion of your academic program. OPT allows you to work in the United States for a qualified period once you’ve finished your academic program. Because M-1 students must file a form I-539 at the same time they apply for OPT, NBSS will request an OPT extension online no more than 60 days from your program end date, and no less than 15 days from your program end date. This time frame is as follows:

  • Monday, April 2, 2018, through Thursday, May 17, 2018, for all programs except Violin Making & Repair.
  • Monday, April 30, 2018, through Thursday, June 14, 2018, for Violin Making & Repair.

You’ll need to come to our Financial Aid Office during this period to request an OPT extension of your visa. We’ll provide you with a new I-20 form. You’ll submit the updated I-20 form, along with a completed I-539 form, a completed I-765 form, and a check for $780 to the USCIS. (The fee for the I-539 is $370, and the fee for the I-765 is $410).

Click here for instructions on completing Form I-539. Click here for instructions on completing form I-765. You can download and print both forms on those webpages.

For more information on program extensions or OPT, please contact our Financial Aid Office at jdergay@nbss.edu or 617-227-0155 x115. You can also call the USCIS service center at 800-375-5283.

Special Information for Students from Canada

Canadian citizens may qualify for student financial aid through their home province to study at NBSS. Please visit the Canadian government's CanLearn website here to learn about student loans and grants, and to see if we’re an approved institution in your province. The NBSS CanLearn school code is MPTU.

Application Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to those listed on our Full-Time program pages.

English Language Proficiency

Proficiency in the English language is required of all students. You must complete at least one of the following:

  • Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, 525 PBT/70 IBT) or English Language Testing System (IELTS, 5.5) and submit your score with the application for admission.
  • Successfully complete your English as Second Language (ESL) courses and submit your transcript/certificate.
  • Successfully complete college level English courses in an US college or university and submit your official transcript.
Academic Records

International students are required to submit an official copy of one terminal secondary or post-secondary transcript. If the secondary diplomas and/or academic certificates are from outside of the U.S. (but not an American school), applicants are required to have their credentials evaluated by a professional evaluation service such as WES or CED.

Certification of Finances

International applicants must submit the Certification of Finances form to show evidence of their ability to pay educational and living expenses while studying in the U.S. NBSS will provide the form to qualified applicants, which includes the estimate that should be sufficient to cover one year of expenses, including tuition, cost of living, tools, and fees.

Download the form for your program below and return the completed form to our Financial Aid Office at jdergay@nbss.edu or by mail. Then, we'll certify the form and create an I-20 form for you. We'll return both forms to you to use with your visa application.

Certification of Finances forms by program (2018-2019)
Bookbinding
Cabinet & Furniture Making
Carpentry
Jewelry Making & Repair
Locksmithing & Security Technology
Preservation Carpentry
Basic Piano Technology
Advanced Piano Technology
Violin Making & Repair

Financial Aid

International students are not eligible for financial aid from the U.S. government, but may have other options available through private scholarships or even from your home country.

NBSS offers monthly tuition payment plans that can help you finance your education.

Questions?

Contact Jamie Dergay, Director of Financial Aid, at jdergay@nbss.edu or 617-227-0155 x115. You may also meet in-person on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.