The Ivy Coach Daily

July 18, 2020

Harvard International Students


Harvard University recently claimed a swift victory over the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. The victory will allow Harvard’s international students — and international students studying at universities across America — to continue to stay in the U.S. during the course of their education irrespective of whether or not these students’ universities are offering online-only instruction this fall. But, in spite of the victory, Harvard administrators still recognize that some international students will prefer to stay in their homelands this fall — particularly in light of the escalating COVID-19 cases in our country. These administrators also recognized that differing time zones around the world could make synchronizing online instruction difficult for many international students. So what has Harvard done about it?

Harvard to Accept Certain Coursework from Local Universities for International Students

As Juliet E. Isselbacher and Amanda Y. Su report for The Harvard Crimson in a piece entitled “Harvard Will Allow International Students to Study at Universities in Their Home Countries This Fall,” “Harvard College will allow returning international students to transfer credits from an accredited university in their home country to Harvard this fall…The plan comes with caveats, however. Those considering the study away option must first complete their local university’s application process and discuss courses they would like to apply toward their concentration with their department’s director of Undergraduate Studies or head tutor. Undergraduates may only enroll in courses that Harvard considers in line with a ’liberal arts and sciences curriculum.’ Harvard will not count pre-professional courses in law, medicine, journalism or other communications, business, and most food and agriculture related fields for credit.”

Harvard’s Decision to Accept Coursework from Local Universities for International Students is Fair and Logical

We support Harvard’s efforts to make it easier for international students to complete their college degrees from home. Some of these international students, understandably, may not wish to come to the U.S. because their homelands have significantly lower COVID-19 cases than here in America. In the weeks to come, we anticipate that other American universities, including several if not all of the Ivy League institutions, will follow Harvard’s lead for international students and accept coursework from accredited universities around the world. Since schools like Harvard are decreasing the number of students on campus at a given time, it seems not only fair that they would allow their international students to study at other universities around the world but logical as well.

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