Everything You Need to Know Before Applying to International School Manila

Are you ready to go international?
by Chanel Ang   |  Jun 9, 2023
Image: International School Manila
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Have you always wanted to experience international-level education in the Philippines? You can score your chance at International School Manila (ISM), the oldest international school in the Philippines! If you are interested in studying abroad in the future or diversifying your learning and interactions, ISM is for you!

ALSO READ: Meet the Filipinos Who Attended Institut Le Rosey, the Most Expensive School in the World

Below, we’ve listed everything you need to know about the school:

History of International School Manila

Initially called the American School Inc., ISM was founded on June 21, 1920 by a group of American and British expatriates. Its first location was at 606 Taft Avenue. Following that, the school relocated to two different areas in Manila.  After the Japanese occupation, ISM reopened at Donada Street in Pasay City. It was only in 2002 when the International School Manila was established in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

By 1970, the American School was renamed to the International School Manila to reflect the growing diversity of its students. Six years later, the International Baccalaureate Program (IBDP) was incorporated into the high school curriculum.


Middle school and high school students were also accepted into the school by 2017. Moreover, the school even expanded to include preschool and kindergarten students in 2018. Enrolling in international schools like ISM from a young age will surely give you a head start for applications for universities abroad!

What International School Manila Offers

Apart from international caliber education, ISM also has several prestigious facilities. There is something for everyone! Athletic students can look forward to the 400-meter all-weather track and three playing fields, as well as tennis courts and fully air-conditioned gymnasiums. Book lovers can also find their home in ISM’s three libraries with over 80,000 books! Performers at heart will enjoy the different theaters the school has to offer, as well as the Amelita M. Ramos performance hall.

ISM also has a Design Technology and Robotics Suite. The school has a fully equipped Film Lab and even a music wing with high-quality sound modules! The institution also offers a Specialized Learning Support Center.

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As for its curriculum, ISM’s elementary school includes preschool, kindergarten, and grades one to four. The middle school of grades five to eight have required courses like English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and more. As early as middle school, students can choose from electives, including but not limited to Digital Arts, Drama, Journalism, and Robotics. When ISM students get to high school, they will get to engage in the IBDP. ICYDK, ISM was actually the first school to offer this international curriculum in Asia! 

How Much Tuition and Other Fees Cost at International School Manila

In calculating the tuition, ISM includes the annual fee, facilities fees, and the semestral tuition. That said, preschool fees generally start between P140,000 to P280,000. Grade school tuition is at a base of P430,000, while high school fees start at P570,700. The annual fee varies per grade level, so make sure to check out the ISM tuition page prior to enrollment!


How to Apply to International School Manila

Are you ready to start your ISM journey? Here’s how to apply!

Step 1: Complete the online application

First, you must create a PowerSchool account. Once you have an account, you will then be required to upload documents like your passport, parents’ passports, academic records, and any other supporting documentation. Submit the Application File Requirements per grade level and you will receive a confirmation email! 

Step 2: Go through the entrance requirements

As an applicant, you will be required to complete an entrance exam onsite. You will also have to attend a personal interview with the School Counselor. There are exceptions, though; the school can make early decisions about admission based on your online application, so stay updated through email! 

Step 3: Confirming your seat

You must enroll immediately upon acceptance in order to secure your slot. Once a place is offered, the student must be enrolled at that time with the tuition paid. The enrollment processes include submitting your health record to the Health Clinic, paying for the tuition at the Cashier’s Office, and signing the Shared Agreement at the Admissions’ Office!


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About the author
Chanel Ang
"Parang iniisip ng mga tao na mataray ako, suplado, but actually may nafi-feel kasi ako sa umaga na bigat."