Below are resources that offer academic and personal support to students and scholars. It is important to note that some services are school specific within the University. Please check with individual schools regarding resources available.
University Health Services (HUHS) / Mental Health (HMHS)
For students who are on the Harvard Student and Affiliate Health Plan the HMHS staff offers help and guidance with a variety of adjustment issues. Since family and close friends from one's home country are not around it may be helpful to consult a mental health professional when dealing with issues of adjustment, depression, or just feeling overwhelmed.
Bureau of Study Counsel (The Bureau)
Experienced counselors at the Bureau of Study are available to assist students with academic issues and personal concerns, and also to provide courses, seminars, and academic tutoring to develop reading and study skills. They are interested in talking to international students about their personal concerns and issues related to adjusting to a new culture, a different educational system, and the use of a foreign language. They also offer workshops related to stress and stress management, individual counseling on personal or academic matters, psychotherapy, and group discussions on the University experience. The services offered by the Bureau are available to undergraduate students, and students from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), and the Graduate School of Education (GSE). Extension School students must get a referral from their school in order to use the service.
On December 31, 2019, after over 70 years of dedicated service to the Harvard community, the BSC will be closing its doors. In continuation of the University's commitment to ensuring equitable access to the academic experience for all Harvard students, the College will be launching the Academic Resource Center (ARC), opening August 2019.
Academic Resource Center
The Academic Resource Center (ARC) at Harvard University exists to support the academic mission of Harvard College and the GSAS by ensuring every student has full access to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education. The ARC supports Harvard’s students in developing reading strategies, time management skills, and metacognitive approaches to learning. Students will have access to consultations, workshops, academic coaching, peer tutoring, and skills-based resources.
At the ARC, you can expect to find workshops to help you develop time management skills, plan your semester, enhance your reading and retention, and approach your problem sets. You can learn more about your ideal learning styles and environments, how to customize your semester if you are returning from leave, and how to find and connect to instructional support opportunities with your instructors and courses.
The staff of the Barker Center offers free services to students to help them improve their writing skills. Some staff members are trained specifically to assist those for whom English is a second language. Note: the Center does not offer proofreading services. This service is available to undergraduates and GSAS students.
Peer-Support Services or Hotlines
Popular way for students to discuss personal issues confidentially is by calling on other Harvard students for support. This organization is staffed by American and international students currently at Harvard. They are trained and supervised by professional counselors to answer questions or discuss any subject, and to provide referrals when needed. The hotline is a relaxed, friendly way to talk to other students who are interested in helping students. All calls will be received in strict confidence. In Common is available for graduate students in GSE, GSAS, HKS, HLS, GSD, and the Divinity school. This service is available to all graduate or professional school students.
The Vivian Allen International Student Emergency Funds
The Vivian B. Allen Fund provides emergency funds to full-time financially needy international students. The Fund is not a regular financial aid source, but provides emergency assistance to students. Examples of how the fund might be used include payment of uninsured dental expenses or travel grants for family emergencies. Eligible students must contact the Financial Aid Office at their schools for further information and application forms.
Harvard Worldwide showcases Harvard University's teaching and research activities across the globe. This website is designed and maintained by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs to provide a broad overview of those activities.