If you are staying for up to 90 days: You may enter through the “Visa Waiver” Program. To do so, you must obtain an entry permit via ESTA:
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
If you are staying for longer than 90 days:
As a participant in a DAAD exchange programme you will need a J1 visa. This can be obtained from the US embassy.
Prerequisites for a J1 visa
Documents necessary for the visa application
(Please confirm in consultation with Harvard University that your details have been entered into the SEVIS system correctly. In addition to the visa application fee you must pay a separate SEVIS fee. For non-immigrant students with form DS-2019 the SEVIS fee is $ 180.)
You should first of all find out if your own health insurance can offer you a package covering your stay in the USA. You must remain insured in Germany so that you are covered whenever you return home.
Nearly all insurance companies offer foreign health insurance, rates for which you can find on their websites.
Since the USA belongs to the NAFTA bloc, premiums are somewhat higher than in other countries.
Here are some examples of insurance companies offering long-term health insurance (longer than 56 days) for the USA:
The company Mawista specialises in foreign health insurance for those studying abroad.
During your stay at Harvard University within the context of the PCD network's Mobility Programme you will receive support in the form of lump sum grants:
Simultaneous receipt of a scholarship
To take part in the PCD network's Mobility Programme, M.A. and PhD students require an informal letter from a mentor offering to supervise their research during their stay at Harvard University. A mentor should be a humanities professor at the host university whom you choose and contact on your own before your stay. An overview of the departments and institutes in the humanities at Harvard can be found here.
A mentor must not necessarily be a professor working in your own field. Nonetheless, you will be affiliated with the institute of your mentor during your stay.
PostDocs are asked to show that they have already established contact with researchers at Harvard University (e.g., with an extract from an email).
Employees of Freie Universitaet Berlin taking part in the PCD network’s Mobility Program should, for legal and actuarial reasons, apply to have their exchange recognized as an official business trip (“Dienstreise”). Under specific conditions, you might continue to receive your salary whilst undertaking your trip.