Admissions Process FAQs


Fellows traveling to both locations will be asked to scan the first page of their passport (which includes birthdate, expiration date, photo, signature, etc.) so that we can submit it to the staff at your program location to begin processing your student visas.  If you need to renew your passport, it is best to have it completed by June if possible. 

  • Traveling to Cairo – if you have an Israel stamp on your passport, you will need to renew it as soon as possible. 
  • Traveling to Amman – if you have an Israel stamp on your passport, with no previous security issues with travel to Jordan, then all should be fine. 

Student Loan Deferral: 

Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop making your federal student loan payments or to temporarily reduce the amount of your federal student loan payments. Check what options may be available for your specific type of loan with your loan company. 

If you have a federal student loan: Select graduate fellowship deferment request for the proper form, complete the form and send it to CASA to complete the final section before you submit it.  This should allow you to defer payments during the months of the program.


The CASA program is not responsible for making housing arrangements.  However, we will connect you with a Cultural Assistant, usually a former CASA Fellow, who can help advise you on neighborhoods and the best resources for finding a comfortable residence while you are in the program.  Typically, it is best to plan to find temporary housing for the first week (give or take).  There are usually several days between Orientation and the start of classes that work well for a housing search.   

Cultural Assistant(s): 

Each year we connect a Cultural Assistant or two with each cohort of incoming fellows in late July/early August.  The CAs are usually former CASA fellows themselves and can help answer many of your questions about living in Cairo/Amman.   


You are required to have both Travel insurance AND Health insurance during the program:

  1. Harvard Travel Assist (insurance) is required. This is TRAVEL insurance, not Health insurance.  The Harvard Travel Assist program provides 24/7 medical and security support (not healthcare) and evacuation services.  The fee was $570 for last year's program (9 months) and is subject to change.
  2. You are also required to carry health insurance that covers you in Cairo/ Amman. This means that if your current insurance does not cover you while overseas, then you need to purchase something that does.
  • If you do not currently have international healthcare coverage, the UnitedHealthcare Global plan is offered as an option that gives you basic coverage in the event of illness or injury and other major events. It is not likely helpful for check-ups or maintenance of pre-existing conditions, so make sure you take care of that before you go.  The Company will pay 100% of covered expenses up to $500,000 per covered injury of sickness (while you are away), with no deductible.  A current summary of benefits and policy will be shared with you as part of the admissions process.  The fee was $388 for last year's program (9 months) and is subject to change.
  • If your current insurance does cover you in Amman/ Cairo, then check the box on the Part II admissions form to opt out of UnitedHealthcare Global, and email that to me with your other forms.