Covid-19 Updates & FAQs

Information on Fall 2020


I have questions about my visa or I-20. Who should I turn to?
> The Harvard International Office (HIO) manages visa and immigration-related services for the Harvard community. For questions related to your specific case, please reach out to Jessica Heffernan, Adviser to International Students and Scholars. The HIO can also provide guidance related to the July 6 ICE press release and what that means for you and your individual case, whether you are an incoming first-year or returning student.

I am an incoming first-year student. What does the July 6 announcement regarding the fall 2020 semester mean for me?
> Unfortunately, as an international student beginning a new remote program, federal guidance states that you may not do so from the United States. Therefore, as outlined in Dean Rakesh Khurana's message on July 20th, we are unable to invite you to campus for the fall term. As a first-year international student you may choose to participate in your first year remotely, or defer your enrollment to a later date. The deferral deadline for international students has been extended to July 31, 2020.

> If you have questions regarding deferrals, please visit the Harvard College Admissions webpage.

I received an email about the First-Year International Program. Should I register even though it will be conducted virtually?
> Yes! The First-Year International Program (FIP) provides important information to help international students like you adjust to life in the United States and at Harvard. In FIP, returning Harvard student leaders mentor incoming first-year students, providing them with foundational information for a happy, successful start at Harvard, including sessions and discussions about American culture, immigration, and academics in the US and at Harvard. Through its emphasis on inclusion and belonging, FIP creates new friendships at the same time that it cultivates the larger international community at Harvard. For more information, please visit the FIP website or reach out to the program directors at

I have questions regarding Placement Exams. Where can I find information?
> If you didn’t complete the placement exams in June, there are make-up dates available, July 8-15. For more information, please visit the Placement Exams Office.

I am a returning or transfer student. Am I able to study remotely in the fall?> As the July 6, ICE announcement was rescinded, you may conduct your remote coursework from the United States, or anywhere else in the world, as outlined in the original federal guidance issued in March 2020. If you completed a Learning Environment Questionnaire and were offered a room on campus for the fall 2020 semester, you may return to campus during your assigned move-in schedule. 

I'm not sure what I should do about the fall 2020 term. Who should I reach out to for advising?
> The College had trained a special team of advisers to help you work through specific questions you have. Please send an email to to connect with an adviser. Additionally, the OIE can also provide you with information regarding how to prepare for the fall semester regardless of your class year. Please direct your questions to the OIE team at and your questions will be answered.

As a returning international student can I study at a local university in my home country?
> Ordinarily, international students are not permitted to study abroad in the home country; however, some exceptions may be possible. Please visit our Study Away page and reach out to the OIE for more information. 

Where can I obtain more information regarding academic accommodations?
> If you require accommodations for learning, please contact the Accessible Education Office.

Where can I obtain more information regarding academic resources?
> The Academic Resource Center provides resources to support your academic success at the College. If you are a first-year student, consider attending their First-Year Friday events. Registration required.

Where can I obtain more information regarding campus housing?
> Please see Residential Life for fall 2020 updates and contact information.

Who should I contact regarding my stored belongings or if I need to store my belongings before the fall term begins?
> If you stored your belongings in the spring, please reach out to Olympia Moving and storage. They can be reached at or (+1) 800.222.4744. Olympia may also help with the logistics of shipping your belongings to your home.