As we approach Harvard’s return to campus, and look forward to welcoming thousands of incoming international students, scholars, faculty, and their families to Harvard’s campus, we are happy to share that the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education recently released a Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education.
The message reaffirms the U.S. government’s commitment to fostering international education, including “study in the United States by international students, researchers, and scholars.” The message states that these key federal agencies intend to “welcome international students, researchers, scholars, and educators to the United States in a safe and secure manner and encourage a diversity of participants, disciplines, and types of authorized schools and higher education institutions where they can choose to study, teach, or contribute to research” and “recognize the significant benefits that international students, researchers, scholars, and exchange alumni contribute to research, innovation, economic development, and job opportunities in many fields and sectors throughout the United States.”
This has been a particularly challenging year for us all in many ways. The impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic have had on international education, and our international community, are immeasurable. However, we feel hopeful for the future, and encouraged that the U.S. government is reaffirming its commitment to international education.
As of August 2, the HIO will be expanding its in person presence on campus. Monday through Friday from 12pm – 1pm, an HIO staff member will be available on the ground floor of the Smith Campus Center for walk-in travel signature and document pickup services only. You must enter the Smith Campus Center through the side entrance at 11 Holyoke Street, Cambridge. You do not need to make an appointment for this walk-in service.
If you need a new travel signature, and have available space on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 for a new travel signature, you do not need an appointment to come to the Smith Campus Center for walk-in travel signature hours.
If you do not have available space on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 for a new travel signature, or need a new document for any reason, such as a funding update, extension, or replacing a lost document, you must contact your HIO Advisor directly first to request a new form to be printed. You must wait for confirmation that your document is available before coming to the walk-in pick up hours.
Please note, the HIO offices will continue to be closed to walk-in advising, registration, and in-person appointments until further notice. All HIO staff and advisors will be available via telephone and email, or for appointments via Zoom. For quick immigration assistance and questions, you may connect with an HIO Advisor through daily virtual advisor on call sessions. You may also contact your HIO advisor directly, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach the high levels of vaccination needed to protect our community, Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all students, scholars, staff, and faculty who will be on campus this fall. All vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization will meet the University’s vaccine requirement. You can read more about the requirement and how to submit documentation on the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) website.
For those international students and scholars with Harvard IDs who are not able to receive an authorized vaccine prior to arrival on campus, HUHS will provide opportunities for vaccination.
International students and scholars who arrive on campus not fully vaccinated will NOT be barred from move-in or classroom activity, and will NOT need a 14-day quarantine, assuming they have no COVID symptoms and no known recent exposure to a person who tested positive. Testing is required prior to international departure and upon arrival to campus. Instructions and protocols for international students who will arrive not fully vaccinated are available on the For International Students and Scholars page.
I have found it easier and quicker to learn about anything, whether academic or nonacademic, by asking the people around me about it rather than looking up the information online or in books. Therefore my advice to new international students would be to really utilize people around them as resources.