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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

Prior to international travel, HLS students must:

  1. 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.
  2. Review, sign, and return the appropriate Assumption of Risk form.
  3. 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.
  4. Obtain the necessary passport and visa.
  5. Examine Harvard’s Global Support Services’ travel risk ratings and seek necessary reviews as specified below.

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.