40 Years of BISC

In 2016 BISC celebrated 40 years of existence since its humble beginnings as BOSPG (Bristol Overseas Students Planning Group). The organisation evolved steadily over the years, taking on charitable status shortly after 1986, changing its name to BISC, and making its home in different venues until finally “settling” at no. 45 Woodland Road in 1998.

In compiling the history of BISC, founding member John Smith wrote: “The primary emphasis in those early days (1976) was on hospitality…a Welcome campaign at the beginning of the academic year, an International Reception in October, a Christmas Party…and a limited number of visits to places of interest.” Though the programme of trips and events have been expanded over the years to a full termly programme of 14-17 events each term, alongside 3 weekly meals, the emphasis has not changed.

Today BISC is still THE home away from home to international students of all backgrounds. It is still the place…where the world meets!

It is fitting that as we look back over 40 years of the work amongst international students that we also look forward to many years to come. During the summer 2017, BISC will be embarking upon building work to extend the lounge in order to accommodate the huge numbers of students who regularly meet at BISC week by week. To fund this much needed project and the appointment of a 3rd staff member, BISC is embarking on an ambitious fund-raising campaign, much as we did in 1998 when first acquiring 45 Woodland Rd.

Whether you are a supporter or a student, we want you to share your stories of the past 40 years, as well as any ideas of how to raise the needed funds; or simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as you organise your own event as an individual, family or group of friends. Perhaps you would like to encourage friends to sponsor you £4 for a 4 mile walk or £40 for a 40 mile cycle ride or some such event.

40 Years Photo Gallery