All Academic Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible?
How many students are selected to study abroad, and how are they selected?
If I’m selected to participate, do I need to accept?
What courses will I take when studying abroad?
What are the costs of studying abroad?
What will my GSD student status be while studying abroad?
Do I need a visa, and how do I get one?
If I am not selected to study abroad, are there other travel opportunities for me at the GSD?Whom should I contact for more information or additional questions?

Q. Am I eligible?

A. Any GSD student who is eligible to take a studio option in the coming semester and is in good academic standing is eligible to participate in a studio abroad, unless otherwise noted. Studios can sometimes be directed toward students with a particular design background, in which case you should check with your Program Director to determine if it makes sense for you to apply. Students who have participated in a previous studio abroad program at the GSD are not eligible.

Back to Top

Q. How many students are selected to study abroad, and how are they selected?

A. A minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 14 students are selected to study abroad each semester. Students that are selected to participate in the study abroad program are chosen by a lottery system. The selection is completely random, and each student has an equally likely chance of being chosen. Interested students must submit a paper ballot by the given deadline in order to be included in the running of the lottery.

Back to Top

Q. If I’m selected to study abroad, do I need to accept?

A. If you submit a ballot and are entered into the studio abroad lottery then it is expected that you will accept your spot in the studio. There is an opportunity, immediately after participants are notified, to revoke your ballot with no penalty to you. In this case, the next person on the waitlist will be offered a position in the studio abroad program.

Back to Top

Q. What courses will I take when studying abroad?

 A. While studying abroad you will take one studio option plus two seminars, equivalent to 16 credits. You will also have the option to take an independent study, for a combined total of 20 credits which is the equivalent to one term at the GSD.

Back to Top

Q. What are the costs associated with studying abroad?

A. Tuition and fees are the same for studying abroad as they are for a normal semester at the GSD. If you receive financial aid, you will still receive this while studying abroad. Though these costs remain the same, you may find additional costs such as travel, housing, lower currency exchange rates, etc. while studying abroad and should keep this in mind as you decide whether or not to enter the lottery. Any costs associated with obtaining visas are the full responsibility of the student.

Back to Top

Q. What will my GSD student status be while studying abroad?

A. You will remain a full time matriculated student at the GSD while studying abroad, and will pay normal tuition and fees as if you were studying at the GSD in Cambridge, MA.

Back to Top

Q. Do I need a visa? How do I get one?

A. Whether or not you will need a visa while studying abroad depends on your citizenship and where you will be studying abroad. The best way to determine this is to visit the consulate’s website for the country in which you will be studying. If you do need a visa, it is recommended that you begin the visa process as early as possible in order to plan for any unknown difficulties in obtaining this.

If you determine that you do need a visa, you are welcome to use either of Harvard’s preferred vendors:


  • TRAVISA is Harvard’s primary vendor for visa and passport services and has a dedicated customer service team for Harvard travelers. To access their services, visit the Travis Portal ( for Harvard travelers. To speak with a member of the dedicated customer service team, call 866-951-1212 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting between 9am-8pm (EST). To easily review visa requirements for a specific destination go to their website.

A. Briggs

  • A. Briggs has a Boston office for walk-ins and will be our recommender vendor for visas from Boston consulates, such as Brazil. An A. Briggs web portal and dedicated toll free number for Harvard travelers will be available soon.

Whether you need a visa or not, all students traveling on Harvard business must register their itinerary and travel/lodging details by going to and following the instructions listed.

Q. If I am not selected to study abroad, are there other travel opportunities for me at the GSD?

A. The GSD provides numerous opportunities for those who wish to incorporate domestic or international travel into their curriculum or research. Please see the Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Urban Planning and Design Fellowships, Prizes and Travel programs to see other ways that you can apply for travel opportunities. Also, the GSD course catalog lists recent and future travel opportunities within studio options that are led at the GSD in Cambridge, MA.

Back to Top

Q. Whom do I contact for additional information or questions?

A. For additional information or questions, please contact Ashley Torr ( or Jackie Piracini ( in the Academic Administration Office located in room 409 of Gund Hall.

Back to Top

Content is loading...
Parent Page