Harvard Law School’s global focus is central to its legal inquiry. Each year, students travel to countries throughout the world to work, study, and conduct legal research. HLS has a number of resources available to assist students traveling abroad. Any student traveling abroad should first become familiar with the resources and requirements detailed on these pages.
Prior to international travel, HLS students should be sure to do the following:
- Register the trip in the Harvard Travel Registry. This enables the University to locate you quickly and provide assistance in the event of an emergency (i.e., natural disaster, civil unrest, etc.). Registering is required for all students traveling under Harvard auspices and strongly recommended for everyone. 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. Be sure to record the complete dates you will be abroad, including adjacent travel before and after your program of study or central destination.
- Review, sign and return the appropriate Assumption of Risk form.
- 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.
In addition, HLS students should review Harvard’s Global Support Services’ travel risk ratings. Students who are considering travel to an area that is categorized as high-risk must both:
- Complete and submit the Questionnaire for Graduate Student Travel at least 30 days in advance of your expected travel date (Access to the document requires a Harvard University PIN.)
- Consult with Steve Taylor, Associate Director of International Safety and Security. Please note, this consultation will be based on your responses in the Questionnaire for Graduate Student Travel (step 1).
This is necessary for travel in conjunction with courses or clinics as well as independent travel. Please be aware that HLS may advise against — and may even withhold support for — travel that is deemed to pose excessive risk. Students should also review Harvard’s policy on high-risk travel by graduate students.
Further information regarding preparation for travel abroad can be found on Harvard’s Global Support Services web page as well as on these international travel pages. Students report that their experiences overseas are more successful if they plan their trips carefully.
Working or studying in a foreign country can be an exciting and rewarding experience. HLS encourages students to seek out international opportunities that will enrich their law school studies and facilitate the fulfillment of their academic and professional goals. There are many frameworks for HLS students to 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. Students may find additional information about international opportunities through the following people and offices, as well as relevant research centers and programs, and faculty members.
Guidance Regarding the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
In order to protect the health and safety of our community members at home and abroad, and in accordance with recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University has asked all Harvard students, faculty, and staff to avoid non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone.