Priority for Admission

Internal Transfers

Year of Birth to Year Level Placement

Immigration Status

General Application Procedures

Application Fee

Supporting Documents

Assessments and Interviews

Admission into the IB Diploma Programme



Applications for entry to any ISA school are made through the individual school’s website. Parents need to submit one online application per child. The life cycle of an application is one academic year. Applicants from within China and applicants from overseas have equal status.

Each school must be satisfied that students entering are able to engage with an English-medium International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, and that parents will support students to achieve success within the context of the educational programmes and opportunities offered. 

ISA does not operate a school catchment zone.


Priority for Admission
Students applying for enrolment to an ISA school are placed on a waiting list. Priority for an admissions interview/assessment will be based on the following ranked criteria and order of date of application.

Students who are able to benefit from an English medium education and who (in order) are:

  1. The children of full-time foreign staff at ISA or ISAIEG1;

  2. The children of full-time local staff at ISA or ISAIEG1;

  3. The siblings of students already attending an ISA school;

  4. Current students requesting internal transfer from Year 5 to Year 6;

  5. Current students requesting internal transfer from other year levels;

  6. Children of former students who have attended an ISA school for a minimum of three years or are former ISA students returning from a period overseas or siblings of former students who have attended for a minimum of three years and graduated from an ISA in Year 12;

  7. Other applicants who can benefit from an English-medium education.


1Staff are given priority according to employment terms for ISA.


An enrolment offer will only be made if and when a space is available in the appropriate year level of the student. 


Internal Transfers
The priority status for current ISA students transferring between ISA schools is provided following completion of a 2-year commitment period, with the exception of students transferring from Year 5 to Year 6. The student may join the internal transfer waitlist for the year group and school according to the category priority order. The timing of transfer will be dependent on availability. The procedure for a transfer request between schools is as follows:

  • All requests for transfers may be submitted from 1 January, at the earliest, for entry to the following academic year. For students on a two-year commitment, the transfer request may be submitted six months in advance of the completion of their commitment. There may be a possibility of mid-term entry depending on the place availability if the student has already completed their commitment to his/her current school. Normally there is movement and withdrawals over the summer period for transfers to take place.

  • The written transfer request must be submitted to the Admissions Office at the student’s current school. The current school will raise the transfer request if all conditions or requirements are met. The future school is informed of the transfer request.

  • Once there is availability, the future school will inform the student’s current school to initiate the transfer process. The current school will be in contact with the family to confirm and start the transfer arrangements.

Year of Birth to Year Level Placement
The ISA system places students in Year Groups according to their date of birth. Children usually start Year 1 during the calendar year in which they turn 6 years of age. Please note that the entry year group entered by parents on the application form may be adjusted to ensure the student’s date of birth matches the school’s age requirements.



Consideration may be given for accepting an application of a student in a year group that is one year lower if the applicant has a late birthday. This is taken into account along with other material aspects, such as the national teaching system from which the student originates. Greater flexibility may be applied where older secondary age groups are concerned and Year 11 in particular, however, all cases will be examined on an individual basis, and the school reserves the right to accept or reject any application at its discretion, the final decision being that of the Head of School.


A student has to be in the IB Diploma Programme (Years 11 & 12) for the full 2 years of the programme and should start school at the beginning of the academic year. There is some flexibility in the starting date, but apart from in exceptional circumstances as determined by the school, a student will not be able to start after 4 weeks from the start of the academic year.


Applications for Year 12 will not be considered for students who have not completed the first year of the DP.

Immigration Status

All students must hold a foreign passport (including HK, Macao and Taiwan) in order to be considered for admission. An offer of a place can only be made to a student who has the right to live and study in China. All admission application processes including a formal offer and receipt of deposit making a formal offer of a place can be undertaken prior to the student starting at the school.

General Application Procedures

  • Applications for entry are made directly to each individual school.

  • Applications for all year groups can be made throughout the whole year.

  • Applicants will be invited for interview and assessment at the school as vacancies become available.

  • Following a successful admissions interview and assessment, a place may be offered subject to availability.


Acceptance of the offer must be confirmed by payment of a deposit of RMB10,000 within the time frame specified on the offer letter, generally a period of between 2 and 5 days. Schools fees are paid by semester in advance, as below:

  • Semester One (1 September) by 15 May

  • Semester Two (following Spring Festival) by 15 December


School Fees are calculated for complete months, regardless of the actual start date e.g. a student starting on 4 March and a student starting on the 24 March will both pay full fees for that month.


Acceptance of an offer is with a commitment of two academic years before any internal transfer priority is available, with the exception of students wanting to transfer from Year 5 to Year 6.


Re-application is required when

  • An offer for an interview and assessment has been declined;

  • An offer of a place has been declined;

  • A student has not met the entry requirements at interview and assessment;

  • The one academic year validity period of the application has expired. Applicants on waiting lists at the end of the academic year may carry forward their waitlist position by reapplying for the following academic year. Waitlist applicants will be contacted by email before April each year for re-application. No additional fee is required.


If a student meets the entry requirements but there are no immediate places available at the school of choice, the child will be placed on the age-appropriate waiting list according to his/her priority status and date of application. In the event a place becomes available within six months of the initial successful assessment, no further assessment will be required. If an offer is made for an alternative school, no re-interview and re-assessment is required. If a place has not become available after six months from the initial successful assessment, the child will be required to undertake a further assessment to be considered for the offer of a place should one subsequently become available.


Application Fee

This is a non-refundable, non-transferable fee which covers the cost of admissions administration, including personnel, system costs, commissions paid to our online service provider, etc. Due to the high number of applications, the collection of this fee does not constitute any assurance that an interview or a school place will be offered. 


It is important to note that an application will not be processed without payment of the application fee.


Please ensure that you have applied for the appropriate academic year and year group. The application fee will NOT be refunded for incorrect application or early application.

Supporting Documents

It is important to note that an application with insufficient supporting documents will not be processed. In addition to the application form, you are required to submit copies of the following supporting documents:

  • Child’s school reports for the last two years, with English translation as appropriate;

  • Examination certificates / results (for Year 11 applications);

  • A reference letter from your child’s current school (for applicants seeking admission to Year 3 and above);

  • Educational Psychology Reports or similar (where appropriate);

  • Child’s Birth Certificate;

  • Recent (within 6 months) colour photo of the child;

  • Child’s Medical Report and Vaccination Card;

  • Child’s Passport / PRC Exit Entry Permit (EEP) pages showing personal details and China Visa / Landing Slip (if issued at the time of the application).

  • Parents’ Passport / PRC Exit Entry Permit (EEP) pages showing personal details and China Visa / Landing Slip (if issued at the time of the application).

  • Details of parent’s attendance at ISA school (if applicable).


Assessments and Interviews

All ISA international schools offer an inquiry-based English-medium education and, as such, children applying to join an ISA school must demonstrate sufficient English language skills to engage with the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.


Primary (Years 1 – 5) and Secondary students (Years 6 – 12) applying to join an ISA school will take age-appropriate assessments for English language. Secondary students will also take age-appropriate assessments for mathematics. In addition, applicants are assessed for learning skills and cognitive ability. The assessments are accompanied by interviews that will explore each student’s potential for language learning as well as their ability to engage and succeed within the English medium curriculum being offered at the school. The student’s academic background, previous school reports and references, and supporting documents support the admissions process for those students offered places.


Applicants must be able to demonstrate behavioural responsibility and the principles of good citizenship.


Whilst assessment interviews for Primary (Years 1 to 5) have to be undertaken in China, assessment testing for overseas secondary students (Years 6 to 12) can be undertaken with the cooperation of the applicant’s current school and subsequent interviews arranged to be undertaken by video conference.


ISA will request the details of a senior member of staff of an applicant’s current school, and retains the right to verify the identity of any person nominated by parents to administer assessments on our behalf, either by way of a school’s website, or contact with the school’s Principal/Head of School or senior staff member of an educational company nominated for this purpose.


Admission into the IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is designed for students who have successfully completed their middle years of secondary schooling. Various indicators of this success exist as possible pathways for entry to the DP:

  • A minimum of 28 points (out of a total of 49) in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP);

  • An average, or predicted average, of 5 in at least five IGCSE examinations;

  • New applicants will be admitted to the College and the programme on the basis of school transcripts, written applications, admissions tests and interviews.


New students will normally be entered into the DP according to the preference of the student and their families and with the agreement of the IB Diploma Coordinator for Years 11-12. A student with grades lower than the requirement but who, in the judgement of the IB Diploma Coordinator, would be a suitable candidate for Year 11 entry may be admitted as a DP Courses student. However, all cases will be examined on an individual basis, and the school reserves the right to accept or reject any application at its discretion. Students will be counselled on the correct choice of either DP or DP Courses.


Enquiries about this policy should be directed to the Admissions Manager at each respective school.

ISA Tianhe: admissions@isagzth.com

ISA Science City: admissions@isagzsc.com