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Helping You Explore the World

Because global citizenship is an important component to a Harvard education, we are committed to making study abroad opportunities affordable for you. We work closely with the Office of International Education (OIE) to provide financial assistance for studying abroad.

Studying abroad during the academic year takes advance planning, careful thought, and working closely with your financial aid officer. We are committed to smoothing the way for you and providing all the information and resources you need.

How it Works

Students who receive Harvard grant assistance are eligible to transfer their financial aid to an approved term-time study abroad program. A Study Abroad Supplement must be submitted with supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office for their approved semesters. Once the budget is approved, the parent contribution, student contribution, and term-time work expectation are subtracted from this budget. The remaining amount is met with grant aid. If the budget is less than that of a Harvard semester, the student may be receiving less grant for the study abroad semester but the costs to the family should be the same. If the program is more expensive than a Harvard semester, we can provide additional grant up to $5,000 more than the student would receive during a Harvard semester. Any costs in excess of the $5,000 threshold will not be eligible for grant funding, however a subsidized loan will be available to meet these additional expenses.

Students studying abroad will have the normal term-time job expectation as a part of their financial aid award for their study abroad semester but may opt to take a subsidized loan for this amount if they wish. Some study abroad programs may offer funding directly to students—while students are welcome to apply for these grants, any awards provided will be subject to our outside awards policy and must be reported to the Financial Aid Office. A Consortium Agreement will be collected by mid-semester to verify whether the study abroad program is providing any outside awards.

Our office does not make payments directly to study abroad programs. Students will be refunded financial aid directly in advance of their program and it is the student’s responsibility to pay the program.

How to apply

  • Complete and submit the Study Abroad Supplement.
  • Deadline for Fall 2019/Full Year Study Abroad: May 1, 2019.
  • Deadline for Spring 2019 Study Abroad: October 31, 2018.
  • All students must submit a Consortium Agreement unless you are direct enrolling into a university abroad or are on a Harvard program. Consortium agreements are to be filled out by the host American program.

Budgeting help

The OIE holds evening study breaks hosted by student advisers who have recently returned from popular destinations—such as the U.K., France, and Cuba—to share their experiences, provide program advice, and help you think about your budget.

Additionally, we offer drop-in hours for budgeting questions on a walk-in basis at the OIE (1414 Massachusetts Ave. 3rd Floor). Bring copies of your program descriptions showing anticipated costs, as well as your Study Abroad Supplement, to your workshop.

At the Office for International Education, 1414 Massachusetts Ave. 3rd Floor

  • Wednesday, April 24th, 3pm-5pm
  • Friday, April 26th, 12-2pm
  • Tuesday, April 30th, 3pm-5pm

For more information

Current Student Tip

Check out the new Shoestring Strategies Guide! The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative has just launched a handy mobile app with tips for living on a budget at Harvard College. It is produced entirely by Harvard students, for fellow students. Find the App at the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace (search “Harvard Shoestring”), or online.

Dedicated to Affordability

Families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will typically contribute from 0-10% of their income.

Facts About Financial Aid


Amount that parents making less than $65,000 are expected to contribute.

Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.