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You should be aware of the risks and problems that can be associated with travel to unfamiliar places, and informed about ways to minimize risk and avoid problems. Harvard University requires all students who are traveling under university auspices (that is, receiving either credit or funding) to review, sign, and return the appropriate Assumption of Risk form.

HLS students should examine Harvard’s Global Support Services’ travel risk ratings. 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. 

* in the 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.

The challenges you may face will vary from place to place, and may depend on your degree of familiarity with the destination. It is always important to carefully assess all manner of risks and to act accordingly. You should use this information for general guidance but tailor preparation and actions to suit your particular situation.

Health Insurance, Medical Care, and Immunizations

Health Insurance

You must have health insurance and you should be familiar with what is covered and what is not when traveling abroad. Also, before traveling, you should acquaint yourself with the health care system in your destination country including the quality of facilities and cost of services.

All registered Harvard students are automatically enrolled [...]

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Planning and Precautions

Prior to departure it is important to educate yourself about your destination country. Review the country guides and security reports from:

Be aware of any advisories and travel warnings regarding your destination(s).

Review local news websites, guidebooks, or tourist bureaus for in-depth [...]

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Information for Emergencies

HLS Emergency Contact Information

If you experience an emergency while abroad, it may be necessary to first call local responders (i.e. police or fire department) or Harvard Travel Assist (+1 617-998-0000 for medical emergencies) and then notify the appropriate HLS contact person.

Program/Type of Travel Contact Email/Telephone Chayes [...]

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