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Policies and Safety

Be sure to familiarize yourself with Harvard Summer School general study abroad and specific program policies before applying. Upon admission, read about the many resources available to you to help keep you safe during your time abroad.

Study Abroad Program Policies

  • You must be in good academic standing as of the end of your last semester of study prior to the program in order to participate in any study abroad program.
  • Arriving late or departing early is not permitted. Program directors work hard to create a program that immerses students in the local environment and meets Harvard’s curricular standards. It is important for all students to be present for the entire duration of the program.
  • While the program is in session, personal travel outside of the program country is not allowed without written permission from the Program Director.
  • You must participate in all aspects or courses of the program and live in the program-provided accommodations. Spouses or other family members are not permitted to reside with you in program housing.
  • You must submit a signed Conditions of Participation and General Risk and Release Form, as well as a doctor-signed Health Clearance Form to participate. These forms will be distributed after acceptance into the program.
  • You must abide by the policies outlined in the Harvard Summer School Student Handbook.
  • You are not permitted to hold part- or full-time work or participate in internships while participating in a Harvard Summer School study abroad program.
  • Pass/fail option: Only Harvard College undergraduates may take courses on a pass/fail basis. See the Admitted Students page for additional details and deadlines.

Program Modifications and Cancellations

Harvard Summer School reserves the right to cancel programs due to low enrollment or adverse local conditions. The launch of Harvard Summer School programs will remain subject to an array of factors including, but not limited to, local public health, environmental, and security situations; outbreak of disease, civil unrest or armed conflict; and any travel restrictions that may be imposed by Harvard or by government agencies. Individual Study Abroad program start dates, course content or program design may be adjusted with evolving in-country health and safety considerations.

If a course is canceled prior to the start of the program, your tuition will be refunded in full, but you are responsible for textbooks, coursepacks, and other incurred expenses not covered by tuition.

Student Privacy

While Harvard Summer School and program staff may be able to answer general questions about our programs from parents and guardians, we are prohibited from releasing specific information as it pertains to a student’s participation in a Harvard Summer School study abroad program. Harvard Summer School policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) provide students and former students certain protections and rights concerning the confidentiality of their educational records.

See also: Privacy Statement


Safety Information and Resources

Health, safety, and security are paramount in Summer School Study Abroad program planning and execution.

Our security consultants at Harvard Global Support Services (GSS) continually monitor and make recommendations to Harvard Summer School programs regarding current travel risk levels and situations around the world. While in country, our faculty program directors and staff are expert resources for their particular locales, as well as being integral members of the Harvard community during the academic year.

The University is committed to facilitating travel under safe conditions. While all international travel involves inherent risks, it’s important to stay informed about conditions that could pose a threat to your safety and security. Harvard Summer School will continue to monitor developments at our program locations with Harvard Global Support Services (GSS).

For travel safety advice, and additional resources, we encourage you to visit the Harvard Global Support Services (GSS) website.

Travel Warnings

Harvard Summer School is aware of the risks associated with international travel and adheres to the Harvard College Policy on Undergraduate Travel Abroad. This policy sets forth international travel restrictions for Harvard College students and post-baccalaureate fellows. Please see Harvard Global Support Services (GSS) for a full statement of this policy. Harvard Summer School reserves the right to cancel or adjust any program should the risk rating for that particular location change before or during the program.

International SOS

International SOS provides 24/7 medical, mental health, and security support and evacuation services to students enrolled in any Harvard Summer School study abroad program. To expedite access to these services, it is vital that you register your trip with International SOS before you leave– either through the MyTrips system or the Assistance App. To do this, you should create a “New Trip” in your account and enter your flight details, local phone number, and other relevant information.

While abroad, Harvard Summer School study abroad participants can contact International SOS for medical, mental health, and security assistance by calling +1-617-998-0000 or connecting through the Assistance App.

Case managers will advise you on your situation and work with our international safety & security team to connect you with appropriate resources. Review the full list of medical, mental health, security, and travel assistance services.

The International SOS member portal and Assistance App also include country-specific information that may be helpful before you leave and while you’re away.

24/7 Emergency Numbers For Students

  • International SOS: +1-617-998-0000