International Education


Phone: (617) 496-2722


The Office of International Education (OIE) works with Harvard College students who are planning to study abroad for academic credit during the term, summer, or full academic year. The OIE supports students prior to their study abroad experience, while they are abroad, and ensures that the re-entry process back to Harvard goes smoothly.

Why Study Abroad?

The study abroad experience broadens and deepens a student’s Harvard education

In this age of globalization, it is crucial to develop an understanding of cultural differences and to learn how to live and function in different societies. Through the wide array of Harvard’s study abroad opportunities, undergraduates can enroll directly in prestigious universities around the world and study with their international peers; take part in U.S. field study programs; or participate in programs designed specifically for study abroad students in countries around the world.

Harvard views study abroad as an invaluable part of every student’s undergraduate education and an integral part of the transformative experience that Harvard promises to deliver. Study abroad encourages students to explore the possibilities for earning degree credit for study in another culture. The study abroad experience can be as challenging and stimulating as study at Harvard, although the nature of the challenge may be quite different.


"Now we urge [our undergraduates] to spend time outside the United states during the course of their years at Harvard… In a digital age, ideas and aspirations respect few boundaries. The new knowledge economy is necessarily global, and the reach of universities must be so as well."

- Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University





“Study abroad gives our students new ways to look at the world around them, both while they are abroad and after they get home.”

- Donald Pfister, Interim Dean, Harvard College 

Who can Study Abroad?

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible for term-time study abroad.

Rising sophomores and juniors are eligible for summer study abroad.

Where Can I Study Abroad?

The OIE has an extensive list of approved programs all over the world. 

Term Time Study Abroad

Term time study abroad programs are listed here: Term Time Study Abroad.

If you can provide a compelling academic reason to apply for participation on a program not on the approved list for term-time study abroad, you may petition to have that program approved for you. You can learn more about our Petition process here: Petition Program Approval.

Summer Study Abroad

Summer study abroad programs are listed here: Summer Study Abroad Programs.

Different than term-time, summer study abroad programs are approved course-by-course through the application process. Please remember that in order to be credit-eligible, courses must meet for a minimum of four weeks, 36 classroom contact hours. 

Be sure to review the list of Summer Funding-Eligible Programs, as not every program on the Summer Programs list meets the criteria to apply for summer funding.

Please be aware that the list of Summer Programs does not include Harvard Summer School Study Abroad programs (HSS).  HSS Study Abroad programs are Harvard faculty-led programs run through the HSS office. If you are interested in applying to an HSS program, please contact their office directly.

Who can Advise Me?

​​​​​​For study abroad advising, credit transfer questions, or other study abroad queries, please reach out to the OIE. You may also reach out to our returned student advisers or student ambassadors for specific program questions.

Financial Aid questions should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Summer Funding questions should be directed to the Summer Planning & Funding Office, within the Office of Career Services.

Information regarding international health, safety, and security, or questions on obtaining an international visa should be directed to Global Support Services.

Questions regarding academic courses taken abroad should be directed to your Concentration and/or Language Advisers.


How Do I Apply?

There are two steps in the application process for study abroad. Each process has its own requirements and deadlines.  

  1. Apply directly to your Study Abroad Program or University for admissionGo to your program or university’s website to find information about requirements, deadlines and application processes. Note: be sure to check application deadlines early. Some universities like Oxford and Cambridge have very early deadlines (e.g. February for the following academic year and spring.)
  2. Apply to the OIE for transfer credit. 

OIE Application for Transfer Credit Deadlines
For Fall Term study abroad: March 1st
For Spring Term study abroad: October 1st
For Summer Funding: February 8th
For Summer study abroad: April 1st

How to Apply to the OIE for Credit
Applications go live roughly a month before the deadline. If applying to two programs abroad, you will need to submit two separate and complete applications.

For Term Time Study Abroad, go to the OIE website and click on the button titled "Start/Resume an Application."

  1. Log in and create your application.
  2. Complete all of the relevant online forms.
  3. Print the Approval of Term-Time Study Abroad Plan Form, complete it with your tentative course list and bring it to your Concentration Advisers and Resident Deans for review.
  4. Submit the form to the OIE.

For Summer Study Abroad, go to the OIE website and select the Forms tab under the Resources page.

  1. Print the Course Pre-Approval form and complete it with your program and course informaiton.
  2. Attach your unofficial student record, course descriptions, and syllabi.
  3. Bring the Course Pre-Approval Form to your Resident Deans for review.
  4. Follow the directions on the form and seek course pre-approval from the relevant advisers.
  5. Submit the form to the OIE.

For more information on the application processes, please use the following links: 

To read about other students’ experiences, please click here.

For more information, visit the OIE website, email or call 617-496-2722.
Drop-in hours every weekday from 2pm to 4pm. 

Hear from other Harvard College Students

Read our Student Advisor (SA) Bios. Our SAs are returned study abroad students hired by the OIE to provide general study abroad advising



Watch our Student Testimonial Videos to hear Harvard alumni discuss their study abroad experiences

FileEurope in Miniature, Jasmine Cho '14

Consult the list of Student Ambassadors who have agreed to serve as contacts for prospective study abroad students