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Announcement regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

In order to protect the health and safety of our community members at home and abroad, and in accordance with recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University has asked all Harvard students, faculty and staff to avoid non-essential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

If you need safety or security advice prior to travel, please contact

If you need safety or medical assistance while on a Harvard trip abroad, please call Harvard Travel Assist at +1 617-998-0000 (24/7/365). All University-related travel should be entered in the Harvard Travel Registry to facilitate our ability to provide emergency assistance.

For further information about the University’s response to Ebola and what to do if you have recently returned from the impacted region, see the UHS Announcement.

Travel Tools

Traveling abroad can be deeply rewarding for Harvard students, faculty and staff. It also requires careful planning, even for seasoned travelers. Each destination requires a different strategy for staying safe and for responding to small inconveniences and serious emergencies.

Use the menu on the left to access important travel tools and resources. The “Before you go” and “While you’re abroad” tabs include reminders of some steps you need to take to prepare for a safe trip and to stay safe while you’re away.

  1. Register your trip
    Register your itinerary in the Harvard Travel Registry so that the University and Harvard Travel Assist can locate you and provide assistance in an emergency. Remember to update your registration throughout your trip if necessary (e.g. local cell phone number, changed travel plans). This step is required for students, and strongly recommended for all Harvard travelers.
  2. Visit the Harvard Travel Assist website
    Print a Harvard Travel Assist card and familiarize yourself with the services and eligibility criteria. Review the destination specific medical and security information available, as well at the listings of local emergency services. Always contact the local equivalent of "911" in case of a life-threatening emergency, then contact Harvard Travel Assist at +1 617 998 0000.
  3. Obtain the appropriate travel documents such as a passport and/or a visa
    These requirements vary by country, length of stay, purpose of travel, and the citizenship of the traveler. The process of applying for and receiving a visa can be lengthy, so it is important to plan ahead and get started well before your planned departure date. For more information visit Visa and Passport Services.
  4. Complete Travel Waiver and Health Clearance Form (if applicable)
    Your program leader or funding source will provide you with a Travel Waiver and/or Health Clearance Form if needed. Common versions of these forms are also available in the Student Travel Forms section.
  5. Register your trip with the embassy of your country of citizenship
    Embassies can provide some assistance to their nationals in an emergency. U.S. citizens can register at
  6. Review your health insurance coverage
    Harvard Travel Assist is not health insurance. Make sure your health insurance covers you in your destination country(ies). Check the Resources and Checklists section for links to more information about HUGHP and HUSHP coverage while abroad.
  7. Obtain a pre-travel health consultation
    See your health care provider about one month before your trip for recommendations based on your health and your destination. If appropriate, he or she may administer vaccinations, perform baseline tests, and prescribe medications or other preventive measures.
  1. In an emergency
    • Call the equivalent of "911", if appropriate
    • Call Harvard Travel Assist: +1 617 998 0000
  2. Update the Harvard Travel Registry
    • Register new side trips and updates to your itinerary
    • Keep contact telephone or mobile phone numbers up to date
    • Update in-country emergency contact information
  3. Keep an eye on country specific hazards and how to stay prepared by visiting:
  4. Report incidents