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Know Before You Go

Our online and in-person orientations and consultations help prepare you for a safe trip and provide resources for your security and well-being while abroad.

Harvard GSS Online Orientation

The Harvard GSS online pre-departure orientation identifies requirements and helpful resources before, during, and after your trip. Although this orientation is intended and required for certain students, any Harvard affiliate may benefit from watching it. 

  • Plan 45-60 minutes to watch in one sitting or across multiple sessions.
  • Turn on your speakers and/or use the closed captioning.
  • Follow along with the Student Travel Checklist.
Group Orientations

Destination-Specific Orientations

Your program may require you to attend an in-person orientation specific to your destination, particularly for elevated-risk or high-risk locations.

  • Undergraduate students: The Office of International Education (OIE) maintains a calendar of orientations, information sessions, and panels.
  • Graduate students: Check with your department or program lead.

These types of group orientations typically include more in-depth discussion and exercises to help you think through health and safety measures specific to your destination.

Custom Orientations

Our International Safety & Security team can also design and deliver a pre-departure orientation specific to the needs of your program or activity.

Request a Custom Orientation

Individual Consultations

Prior to travel, you can schedule an in-person or phone consultation with a member of our International Safety & Security team to help you prepare for your trip and feel more confident about your international travel and activities.

All Harvard affiliates are welcome to schedule a consultation ahead of Harvard-related travel. Consultations may be required for students traveling to certain elevated-risk and high-risk destinations.

The consultation is an opportunity to review your travel plans—including your communication, transportation, and lodging plans—as well as your research topic or activity as it relates to the culture that you'll be navigating within. We'll discuss your goals and concerns, address potential risks and means to mitigate them, and provide recommendations for additional resources.

Schedule a Consultation

International SOS Trainings

Through our International SOS membership, you can watch optional online trainings on a variety of topics, including:

  • student health and well-being
  • student safety and security
  • security as a female
  • malaria and health
  • advanced security for high-risk destinations
  • cyber and information security for travelers

The first time you log in to the International SOS Training Hub, you'll need to create an account with your Harvard email address.

International SOS Training Hub