Working or studying in a foreign country can be exciting and rewarding. Students report that their experiences overseas are more successful if they plan their trips carefully—please review the following requirements and resources.
International Travel Requirements
Ensuring student safety is an institutional priority for Harvard Law School. Therefore, HLS has a set of required procedures for students undertaking international travel in relation to activities for which they receive HLS academic credit and/or funding. These procedures are designed to protect students’ well-being and enable the University to provide tailored medical and security information and assistance prior to and during trips. As well, keeping track of student travel and projects abroad helps HLS better serve members of the community by facilitating connections among students and with organizations, and by securing and maintaining donor support for international initiatives.
We expect that all HLS students will follow the School’s international travel procedures and meet the requirements of sponsoring programs for projects abroad. Failure to do so in the specified timeframe may lead to revocation of funding or a student being deemed ineligible to apply for future HLS funding for projects abroad (those that would be conducted while enrolled at HLS and/or post-graduate fellowships). Actions deemed to be departures from generally accepted standards of integrity could result in referral to the HLS Administrative Board.
Prior to international travel, HLS students must:
- Register the trip in the Harvard Travel Registry.
Registering is required for all students traveling under Harvard auspices (that is, trips funded or arranged by the Law School or other parts of the University or resulting in academic credit) and strongly recommended for everyone. Registering enables the University to locate people quickly and provide assistance in the event of an emergency. Students should create a profile in the Travel Registry and then record their specific trip information and make sure the information stays up-to-date. Entries should include the complete period of time abroad, including travel before, during, and after the primary program / project under Harvard auspices.
- Review, sign, and return the appropriate Assumption of Risk form to the sponsoring program at HLS.
- Review the services provided by Harvard Travel Assist and relevant health and safety information and take appropriate steps.
Students traveling abroad for academic or professional reasons are covered at no cost to themselves by Harvard Travel Assist, a program that provides 24-hour worldwide emergency medical and security evacuation services. Please note that this program is a supplement to, not a substitute for, health insurance.
- Obtain the necessary passport and visa.
- Examine Harvard’s Global Support Services’ travel risk ratings and seek necessary reviews as specified below.
Additional steps for all students traveling with HLS funding this summer:
Students who are considering travel to an area that is categorized as high-risk, and that would occur during the period of the program / project under Harvard auspices, must both:
- Complete and submit the Questionnaire for Graduate Student Travel at least 30 days advance* of the expected travel date. (Access to the document requires a HarvardKey log-in.)
- Consult with a member of the Global Support Services safety and security team if requested to do so by GSS or HLS’ International Legal Studies.
This is necessary in order to obtain clearance for travel in conjunction with courses or clinics as well as independent travel and applies for the duration of the placement or project abroad. Please be aware that HLS may advise against — and may even withhold support for — travel that is deemed to pose excessive risk.
HLS students should also review Harvard’s Graduate and Professional Student International Travel Policy.
Students must complete all of these requirements in advance of travel abroad in order to maintain eligibility for HLS funding and academic credit.
* in the rare event that circumstances beyond a student’s control do not allow for at least 30 days’ advance notice, s/he should contact International Legal Studies and provide a detailed explanation. If circumstances warrant, ILS will request an expedited review.
International Students: Unlike U.S. citizens and permanent residents, international students at HLS may face difficulties when traveling abroad and returning to the U.S. during their studies. Before making a commitment to travel outside the U.S., international students should carefully review the travel information provided by the Harvard International Office (HIO), and speak to an HIO advisor.
Contacts for International Opportunities
The offices and contacts below may be helpful in exploring the many frameworks for travel abroad, including study abroad, clinical projects, independent research and writing projects, summer public interest internships, law firm summer associateships, student organization trips, and faculty-led courses.
- HLS Faculty Members
- HLS Research Programs and Centers
- International Legal Studies
Sara Zucker, Director
Andre Barbic, Program Officer
- Office of Career Services
Marni Caputo, Assistant Director for International and J.D. Advising
- Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs
Jill Crockett, Associate Director
Sheryl Dickey, Attorney Advisor for LL.M. Pro Bono Program
Liz Solar, Assistant Director of Externships and Administration
- Office of Public Interest Advising
Judith Murciano, Associate Director and Director of Fellowships