Are you A …
Who we are
Bridges International Student Services is an international collaboration of:
- Parents – who have over three centuries of cumulative parenting experience! We were – and still are – parents of students who have gone through the process of going to US or International universities
- Former Students – who have gone through the university selection process in the United States or other countries
- Educators & High School/Secondary school counselors – both in the US and Internationally
- Founders or Facilitators of international schools, vocational schools and humanitarian organizations around the globe.
- World class, highly experienced web and software developers & business leaders
- Not Financially Driven
- Unique Long & Short Term Options
- Revolutionary Matchmaking Software
- Student Advocacy Focus
Did you know?
BISS was not initially developed to make money. BISS was birthed from the struggles friends and our own team had guiding our own children through the complex, costly, difficult and life-changing decision of post-secondary educational choices! We know the difficulties are compounded for our International friends whose children wish to study abroad, as they also have the added cost and requirements to gain a student visa. We understand and empathize with both the international and the US student perspectives. This is why BISS was created: to educate, guide, and assist international and US Secondary/High school students and their families walk through, step by step, a hard but critically important decision with confidence at a nominal cost. We simply believed there had to be a better way… and there now is!
No other International student consultancy, recruitment or placement program offers this!
BISS is unique! We offer multiple study options besides the basic 4 year Univeristy. bachelor degree programs. We also make available shorter-term and often less expensive, vocational or technical “Votech” institutes, that offer 2 year associates degree or even shorter certificate programs. This opens up a vast array of more affordable and shorter-term options with easier entrance requirements to International as well as US students. Students who, before BISS, may have thought they either could not afford or could not qualify to enter a 4 year university, or attend post secondary school, or study abroad at all. Both international and US students can find excellent careers in fields that are in great demand. Options that were simply unknown to the vast majority of the international student community and many US students as well, as these options are often not presented to them by their secondary/high school student advisers.
Matchmaking Software that is ‘one of a kind’, unique and works for you!
Our BISS BASIC proprietary matchmaking system is the ‘brains’ of BISS and it allows us to offer you outstanding and comprehensive personal university/institute finding and placement services, at a surprisingly low cost. The BISS matchmaking database is vast because Universities and Institutes do not have to pay BISS to be in our match making system. Furthermore, we do not represent or have student placement contracts or quotas for any specific university or institute. This means that you will have many more universities or institutes that you could be matched with that other conventional recruiting or consultancy placement services do not offer. And no other recruiting, consultancy or student placement service has our revolutionary matchmaking system! All institutes matched with you will meet specifications and preferences that you have submitted to us.
We create direct, personnel connections!
Our match making system may be the ‘brains’ but our students, are the heart of BISS. We do exactly what our name implies, we build a personal ‘bridge’ between students and educational institutes. Students will either receive a personal contact point with all BISS Preferred universities or institutes that they are matched with, or they will receive an institute web link for any BISS Standard institute that are in your top five listed matches at the end of the three month match making process. BISS Preferred schools will ‘pre-approve‘ you for acceptance based on the information BISS will send them, that you submitted. Preferred universities and institutes that you will be matched with, will also have an admissions counselor contact you directly to talk to you about their school. This direct communication with a personal admissions rep from a number of schools that want you to attend, gives you the power to choose. Also you and/or your parents can get answers to questions that are important to you before paying a non-refundable application fee and making a final decision. This gives you options and the knowledge that you need to make a confident and informed decision that is best for you.
100% Student Success Focused!
BISS is first and foremost a student representative service and because of this, BISS does not represent or recruit for any university or institute. The BISS matchmaking system is not biased toward any school! We do not try to place, influence or ‘sell’ you to go to any institute. We simply let our matchmaking system build a bridge between you and institutes that fit the preferences and specifications that you have given us.
Many college recruiters, placement or consultancy services will seek to direct students to specific schools in their network or to those that pay them a referral fee. BISS DOES NOT do this! Our match-making system is simply going to match you with the universities or “VoTech” institutes that best fit the preferences, budget and qualifications that you submit to BISS. Furthermore, the system will not match you with any university or institute where you do not meet their requirements or that don’t match your preferences, even if they are “Preferred”. Though we do have BISS Preferred Institutes that may be suggested to you, this will only be done after you go thought the ‘match-making’ system and only If that Preferred school fits your personalized match list. BISS Preferred institutes gain preferred status because BISS reps have contacted and vetted them. This means these schools have agreed to offer our students “BISS Advantages“ that may include “pre-approval” for acceptance, financial incentives, and a personal admissions rep, or they may contact you themselves. BISS Standard Schools have not agreed to contact you or give you any of the BISS advantages and have not been vetted by BISS and you will have to initiate contact with them yourselves.
Empowering education is one of our main goals!
The majority of the BISS website is dedicated to educating you on the processes and procedures involved in helping you to make a personal, informed and sound decision concerning your tertiary (post secondary school) educational options. However, BISS is not just an informational center, overwhelming you with massive amounts of material about a complex and multi faceted subject. We break it down systematically into guided discovery steps that will lead you into relevant knowledge helping you know which options are best for you. Though the information on the website is voluminous, covering many topics, it is presented in a basic to complex style, with links, where you can choose how deep into a subject you wish to go. At the end of it all, if you are diligent and take advantage of the system, you will be well equipped to ask the right questions leading to a confident, educated and smart choice about one of the most important decisions of your young life, your future! Still, if you want more direct, personal help, BISS offers various personal consultancy options headed up by Dr. Brita Nash, BISS Chief Educational officer, who has more than 35 years of experience in this field, 20 years of those Internationally.
BISS Term Definitions
VoTech (Vocational/Trade, Technical): Are post-secondary schools and institutes that provide targeted training and education where you earn a certificate, license or associates degree (2 year diploma) in a specific skill, trade or technical job. BISS calls them “VoTech” and divides them into two classes:
1.) Vocational Education and Training (VET) also called “Industrial Arts”. and are also called ‘Trade Schools or Institutes’. These jobs are primary skilled labor positions. Plumbing, Electrician, Welding are examples.
2.) Career and Technical Education (CTE), Also called ‘Tech schools or Institutes’, the more academically or technically oriented positions. Advanced Auto mechanics, Software Programing, Paralegal are examples.
Both VET or CTE are usually taught in a ‘teach and then do’ type of method, so there is classroom and then practical application work stations. And there can be on-the-job training as well. All training for either VET or CTE are specific to their field.
There are hundreds of “VoTech” fields, here are just a few examples:
- Air Conditioning tech (HVAC)
- Air Traffic controller
- Aircraft Pilot license & certification
- Auto Mechanics
- A variety of Building & Construction skills
- Culinary (chef school)
- Elevator Technician
- A variety of ‘IT’ applications & certificates
- Paramedic & Health related skills
- Hi-tech Welding
- and many, many more.
- A full list of options is available as part of BISS Basic Package
VoTech courses can run from less than 3 months to 4 years, averaging between 3 and 9 months. The cost of any given program varies greatly depending upon the vocation or skill chosen and the duration of the program. That said, they are typically less expensive than a 4-year university program. Most programs also have much easier admissions requirements, giving those with lower secondary school grades (GPA) — or who are short on the required academic course work to gain entrance into a 4 year bachelor’s University program — an option for further education and an opportunity to find excellent, well paying employment.
Many offer either a certificate or the license necessary to be employed in that work or field. Many offer guided field work experience after completion of the classroom stage. Some have internship programs attached to them as well, often leading to a job offer. There are hundreds of VoTech schools and institutes seeking international students and offer visa sponsorship.
BISS defines the ‘university’ as a 2 year or a 4 year degree program where you physically attend a specific university or college in a specific location and are seeking to obtain an Associate’s (2 year) or a Bachelor’s (4 year) degree/diploma. The majority of Universities have on campus housing that many VoTech and Language Institutes will not offer. – BISS has a separate track for those students that wish to pursue ‘online’ courses or degrees (coming soon).
The university track, unlike the VoTech track, is going to be a diverse, broad based educational track. What this means is that in the course of a University based Associate or Bachelor’s degree program, a full year or more of your studies is going to be spent taking courses in various subjects regardless if they have any relevance to your field of study. You will have to take some English writing and literature, some history or social studies, some political science and economics, some math, some physical education no matter what you major in. The philosophy or education behind the University program is to have a student be ‘well rounded’ with some fundamental knowledge in a number of ‘disciplines’ and then a heavy emphasis on your field of study in which you get your degree.
The university track will also have specific minimal entrance requirements based on your secondary school course work and grades and possibly other criteria, which will vary between universities. Most VoTech Institutes and all Language Institutes do not have such requirements. Also, for International Students, the University track will demand proof of ability to pay for 2 or 4 years of education, depending on the length of the program, to be given to the US consular before issuing a student study visa.
English Language Schools (ELS) - International
These schools exclusively focus on learning English.
From a practical perspective it is simple. If you are struggling to read and understand this and it is taking you time and effort, then BISS highly recommends that you consider going to an English Language School (ELS) before attempting to go to a University or VoTech institute.
- FLEXIBILITY: Unlike most university language programs, Independent ELSs have flexibility. Most have rotating entrance dates meaning that you may be able to start in October or March or February, etc. as they have multiple class start up dates around the year.
- VARIETY OF LEARNING LEVELS: Many ELS have a variety of class levels from basic beginner, to intermediate, to high tech or business language classes. Also, language immersion is the best way to master a language in the shortest amount of time
- STUDENT VISA SPONSORING: All BISS referred language schools can issue the necessary documents to be submitted to the US consular to gain the all-important student visa
- ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS ARE MINIMAL: ELS do not require your Secondary/High school transcripts or records or any other test scores or entrance exams to gain entrance. They may have you take their own English aptitude test, but this is simply so that they will know which level of class to place you in. Basically, all you need to go to an ELS is the necessary finances to pay for the travel, the TOPE – (Total Out of Pocket Expense- which includes the cost of the course) – and that you be at least 18 years of age.
- UNIVERSITY RECOMMENDATIONS: Some ESL institutes have agreements with certain universities to accept you based on their recommendation regardless of your TOEFL (English fluency) score.
BISS Never Sells Leads
BISS will not sell your information: Ever.
Many student recruiting companies are either representing specific Universities and/or they are seeking to get your information so they can sell that information to Universities for a fee. They gather a certain number of students info into a bundle or package of ‘leads’ and they get paid by Universities or a group of Universities or marketing companies for your info and then the Universities and others will begin to send you information and advertisements in a mass blanket mail.
The issue with this is that they are going to send those ads and emails to you regardless of whether you can qualify for entrance or afford it! Furthermore, there is no personal interaction, no matchmaking with those universities. It is just bulk marketing.
- BISS does not sell your info to anyone. EVER!
- We only release your submitted information to those Preferred universities that you have been matched with through our system.
- BISS does not represent or act as a recruiting agent for any university.
Once you have completed the BISS application process your information will be sent to your BISS Preferred matched institutions.
These are Universities or institutions that have agreed to “pre-approve” you for acceptance pending:
- Confirmation and authenticity of your self-reported information
- Official transcripts,
- Test scores
- Proof of finances (etc…)
- Space being available at the time they receive your official documents
- Any additional admissions requirements unique to their institution (such as essays and recommendations).
- Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guidance for Students who wish to Study Abroad
- ‘Pre-Approved’ Universities or Language or ‘VoTech’ Institutes Matchmaking (BISS Preferred)
- Personal ‘Bridge’ to ‘Pre-Approved’ University/Institute Admissions Counselors (BISS Preferred)
- Tuition Discounts & Scholarships (BISS Preferred)
- Visa Interview Preparation and Guidance
- Preparation for University Student Life Abroad