Greetings from the College Counseling Office!

College Counseling: Program Overview

We welcome you to a new year, with many exciting changes our College Counseling department! Our College Counseling program seeks to empower and encourage our students to develop the confidence and skills to make important choices for their future. This process of university counseling is an important part of the counseling and academic advising support offered to our Upper School students in Grades 9-12. Our approach is to nurture ISD students’ social and emotional well-being while helping them explore their diverse options to discover their “fit” in terms high school courses and activities as well as in their post-secondary opportunities.

The College Counselors will work with students both individually and in groups to assist them in finding the best possible post-secondary options for each individual student. In Grades 11 and 12, students will work more closely with our team of College Counselors in developing an individualized plan to help them research, consider, and empower them to select the 8-10 colleges or universities around the world to which they will apply. Students will continue to be encouraged and supported in balancing their personal academic expectations while pursuing their extracurricular passions and leadership opportunities both in and out of school.

The College Counselor will assist their assigned Grade 12 Homeroom students with the application process including offering tips on college essay writing and interview preparation as needed as well as providing general college counseling advice to Grade 11 and 12 students and a thorough review of necessary deadlines and requirements during the College Counseling blocks scheduled into each student’s academic cycle.

Beginning in Grades 9 and 10, students will have the opportunity to meet with the College Counselors to participate in activities including interest and character strength inventories, values surveys, and career assessments to help them find and follow their academic and extracurricular passions from the earlier high school years. Grade 9 and 10 students will also frequently be invited to attend visiting university and college information sessions to begin the journey of considering both where and what they might want to study – for their IB courses in Grades 11 and 12 and after graduating from ISD. Parents are also welcome to attend any school visits from university and college admissions representatives as well as set individual appointments with one of the College Counselors to discuss educational opportunities for their children.

Our College Counselors can be reached directly via the Secondary School Office or by email to either or We look forward to meeting all ISD parents over the course of the school year!

Meet the Counselors: Mrs. Nusrat Sharmin & Mrs. Sonali Hutchison

Nusrat Sharmin

Nusrat is one of our two College Counselors and also the SAT Centre Coordinator at ISD. Prior to becoming a college counselor, she spent five years as Assistant College Counselor and supporting the IB DP Coordinator. She loves this profession and her work with high school students whom she has come to know well during her time at ISD.

Nusrat earned her M.A. from University of Dhaka in 2010 and then finished her MBA degree from Independent University of Dhaka in 2012. Prior to her tenure at ISD, she worked at the Embassy of France, Cultural office for a year before joining at ISD. She strives to help teenagers find for themselves a middle road—where they are able to get both an amazing education and find a school with a positive college experience campus, city, extracurricular and intramural activities, internship opportunities, etc.

Nusrat is a member of the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) and has attended counselor visits to universities and colleges in several schools in Asia - including Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Asia Pacific University in Japan, and University of Hong Kong - and Europe, and she also is a strong advisor for students applying to local Bangladeshi universities. She has earned her Certificate in College Counseling through UCLA (California, USA), an online certification course that offers comprehensive coursework in college counseling related issues to best support our ISD students. She looks forward to working with her students in college advising this year.

Students are always welcome to drop in to visit Ms. Nusrat, and she can be contacted via email at .

Sonali Hutchison

Sonali joined the ISD community last year from her previous school in the Philippines, Chinese International School Manila (CISM), where she spent the past four years developing their college counseling program as University Counselor and one additional year working directly with Grade 10-12 students as an intern counselor at International School Manila (ISM). Sonali looks forward to working with Grade 9-12 ISD students as they begin the process of navigating their pre-college journey. From academic advising to guiding students with the university application process, both in the region and farther abroad, she works closely with individual students to help them develop College Action Plans, personal learning goals, and to consider different extracurricular activities to enhance their educational and personal experience at ISD.

Sonali is a member of the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) and has been invited to attend counselor visits to universities and colleges in Switzerland, UAE, and throughout the USA. She obtained her International Counseling Certificate from the Counselor’s Training Center in 2013. She also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Wellesley College (Massachusetts, USA), Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School (Louisiana, USA), and Master of Education in Globalization and Educational Change with a Graduate Certificate in International Counseling from Lehigh University (Pennsylvania, USA).

Students are always welcome to drop in to visit Ms. Hutchison at school, and she can be contacted via email at .