Welcome to Harvard!

August 18, 2021

With the beginning of the new school year approaching, the HIO would like to welcome new and returning international students, scholars, and their families to Cambridge/Boston area! For many of you, this may be your first time arriving on campus at Harvard. We hope the start of your orientation and fall semester goes smoothly.

New and returning international students and scholars should always contact the HIO directly for any immigration-related questions or concerns during your time at Harvard. While our offices remain closed for walk in advising until further notice, HIO advisors are available via phone, email, for virtual appointments, and virtual drop in advising hours.

Newly arriving international students and scholars may find information to help ease their transition into life in the U.S. in our virtual New Student Welcome Guide and New Scholar Welcome Guide.

We also want to remind incoming students and scholars that, while Boston and Cambridge are relatively safe, it is important for you to use caution when dealing with both physical safety and other safety issues such as identity theft. We encourage you to visit the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) should you have any questions regarding safety issues, and to familiarize yourself with the safety resources that Harvard offers. You should also protect your personal information from scams by not responding to unsolicited phone calls and emails. We hear of a number of scams each year (a dishonest way of soliciting money by deceiving people) targeting non-immigrants and U.S. citizens alike, including calls from individuals claiming to be immigration and tax officials requesting personal information such as social security numbers and credit card information. Government officials do not call or email requesting such personal information. If you receive any calls like those described above, simply hang up!  You may find more information on the Safety, Scams, and Identity Protection page of the HIO website.