Term-Time FAQs

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Before Going Abroad

Am I eligible to study abroad?

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors in good standing (as determined by the Harvard College Administrative Board) who have satisfactory academic and disciplinary records for the term preceding their proposed time away may be approved for term-time study abroad. Students considering study abroad during senior year, especially during the last term, should speak with an adviser as soon as possible...

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How do I apply for Term-Time study abroad?

The application process is a two-step process. You must:
1) Apply directly to the foreign university or study abroad program for admission. To do this, click
    on your program title and follow their application processes.

2) Apply to the OIE for transfer credit. To do this, click on the "Apply for Credit Transfer" button
    associated with your program choice. You may also click on the "Start/Resume an Application"
   ...

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Can I apply to a program that is not on the Approved Programs list?

Yes. You may petition to participate on a program that is not found on the Approved Programs list through the OIE's Petition Process.

Please note that if your program is approved, you must submit all program material and course syllabi to your concentration, secondary field, or language department for approval prior to your participation on the program. 

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Will Harvard College bill me for my study abroad program?

You will be billed directly by the study abroad program or foreign university, and will pay them directly. Harvard's Office of International Education does not handle study abroad program tuition and housing fees (except in the case of the Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona Program).

If you are participating on a program through the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), you will need to consult with their program managers directly about term billing.

If you are on financial...

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What should I know about managing my health insurance?

You must show proof of health care coverage to study abroad. All study abroad students are automatically charged for the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP). HUSHP has two parts: the Student Health Fee, and the Student Health Insurance Plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield hospital/specialty and Catamaran prescription drug coverage). A separate online waiver must be submitted for each part of the program that you do not want to participate in (Student Health Fee and/or Student Health Insurance Plan). All study abroad students are...

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How can I take advantage of the On-Campus Interview Program?

Students who study or work abroad are attractive candidates to employers. Going to an international destination shows initiative, independence, curiosity, a willingness to explore and acclimate to a new culture and other valuable qualities. Employers do not want to miss these candidates, but the logistics of being out of the country do create some obstacles and may require the students to do some extra leg work. Visit the OCI Program website for details on how to...

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Abroad Now

What if a course is pre-approved?

Although a course may be pre-approved, all courses are subject to final approval by faculty as well.  Make sure to bring syllabi, exams, and written work back with you to campus, as you may need to share your work with Harvard faculty to ensure final course approval. 

How do I report and record the courses I am taking?

Once abroad, you will be prompted (via email) to submit your final course selections and upload translated course syllabi through the online Abroad Course Enrollment Form, found on Studio Abroad. 

The OIE will also ask you to record the number of credits assigned to each course by the program or institution. 

How do the courses get approved?

The approval process begins once you have submitted your Abroad Course Enrollment form, and uploaded all of your translated syllabi to Studio Abroad. Once this occurs the syllabi are sent to Harvard faculty for review. Please note that you should submit your Abroad Course Enrollment form at least 7-10 business days in advance of your add/drop deadline, for proper review to take place.  In some cases approval may happen quickly;  in others, review takes more time. It takes time to finalize course approvals, as each individual course is subject to review prior...

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Can I earn credit for an internship course?

Internship courses are not eligible for credit and will not be considered as a part of the full load. You are free to pursue internship and service opportunities for personal enrichment.

Returning to Harvard

Where do I send my transcripts from abroad?

You must speak directly with your study abroad program or institution to request that an official transcript be mailed, in a sealed envelope, to:

Office of International Education
1414 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd floor 
Cambridge, MA 02138

The OIE can only receive and process official documents sent to us by the study abroad program or academic institution directly. (We cannot accept a transcript that is hand delivered, emailed or faxed). This takes time, so be proactive!

The OIE will not accept transcripts one year post study abroad...

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Can the OIE make copies of my study abroad transcript for me?

No. The OIE cannot make copies of your official transcript, so be sure to request additional copies for fellowship, graduate school applications, etc. These should be mailed to you directly, not to the OIE.

Remember, this process takes time, so be proactive.

Do my study abroad grades appear on my Harvard transcript?

No. Study abroad course grades will not appear on your Harvard transcript and are not factored into your Harvard GPA. The name of the study abroad program or foreign institution, and the number of credits you earned, will appear on your Harvard transcript (example: “Granted 16.00 credits for work at the Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona”). 

What if I fail a course abroad?

In these cases consult with your Allston Burr Assistant Dean to ensure that you are proceeding toward your academic degree at a satisfactory rate.

Please also be sure to check with your concentration and/or secondary field to understand departmental policies regarding minimum letter grades accepted for credit transfer. 

How do I petition for foreign language citation credit?

Foreign language citations are awarded through the Harvard language departments. Specific departmental requirements are listed in the Harvard College Handbook for Students.

For information about the language department’s petition process, consult with the appropriate departmental language adviser before you leave, and as soon as possible after your return from study...

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How do I petition for Secondary Field credit?

Check in with your secondary field adviser to see if your course is eligible for secondary field credit. Once transfer credit has been posted to your student record, enter the course information in the online secondary field tool, seek your secondary field adviser’s signature of approval, and submit the form to the Registrar.

How do I request the General Education Course reduction?

Once the OIE has confirmed via email that transfer credit has been posted to your student record, and as you plan for your final year at Harvard, please contact the Registrar's Office to request the course reduction. Specify which General Education requirement you would like to waive, and the Registrar will update your academic record accordingly.

Beginning Fall 2019 Gen Ed requirements will no longer be reduced for term-time study abroad.

For additional information consult the...

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