Covid-19 Updates & FAQs

Fall 2020 Study Abroad

Can I study abroad during fall 2020? 

  • Given the uncertain nature of the current global health crisis and its continued effects on both public health and travel between countries, Harvard College has made the difficult decision to suspend all study abroad for the fall 2020 semester. This includes all in-person international programs, including the fall terms of all academic year-long programs. The decision was made in consideration of a number of factors, including, but not limited to: student health and safety, rapidly evolving travel restrictions, cessation of visa processing services around the world, country-specific entry requirements, impacts on global academic calendars, and potential consequences of international students’ presence to local healthcare providers’ capacity should there be a resurgence of COVID-19.

Can I defer my fall 2020 study abroad plans to spring 2021?

  • Please contact the OIE at to request the deferral of your Request for Credit and contact your study abroad program directly to request program admission deferral.

If my study abroad program is being offered virtually, can I still participate?

  • Virtual study abroad programming, while offered for summer 2020, will not be offered as fall-term options.

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 reach out to OIE Director, Camila Nardozzi at for more information.

Can I study out of residence for Harvard degree credit at another US institution? 

  • As noted in the Harvard College Handbook for Students, Harvard does not ordinarily grant credit for study out of residence at other U.S. institutions, except in rare cases when such study is judged to offer a “special opportunity” unavailable to the student at Harvard. Information on the process for petitioning for credit for study out of residence within the U.S. can be obtained from the student’s Resident Dean; if the student’s petition is approved by the Administrative Board, the OIE will be notified by the appropriate Dean and will instruct the student on how to apply for transfer credit.

Who can I consult with if I am considering a Leave of Absence? 

  • The College had trained a special team of advisers to help you work through specific questions you have. You can email to connect with an adviser.

Spring 2021 Study Abroad

Can I study abroad during Spring 2021?

  • While the global public health situation is still uncertain and constantly evolving, the OIE is closely monitoring the ability for spring 2021 study abroad. Until otherwise stated, the OIE is committed to supporting your study abroad plans for Spring 2021, and beyond. Please reach out to to begin planning for your spring 20201 study abroad experience.  

What are the first steps to planning for a spring term abroad?

  • We encourage you to attend Virtual Drop-in Hours held weekdays 2-5pm ET or write to to request an appointment with a study abroad adviser. The study abroad application process, including credit eligibility, approved programs, and more, can be found here.  

Where can I obtain more information about how Harvard College is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

  • Please visit the Harvard University COVID-19 webpage for more information.