At the CFDD, we want to make the transition to Brigham and Women’s Hospital as smooth as possible for our international faculty and trainees. We offer an array of programs and resources to help internationals and their families to navigate the city of Boston, feel at home in our community and understand US immigration and tax laws.


Arriving & Thriving Series: The ORC offers programs and courses that provide career support and training for international researchers and physicians pursuing careers in the US.  Open to family members and administrators as well as professional staff, the series includes sessions on challenging issues for internationals such as traveling while on visas, taxes, immigration, and English skills.

English as a Second Language for Scientists (ESL) Course: The CFDD and the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) are pleased to offer English as a Second Language.  The course is geared toward postdoctoral fellows. Other BWH researchers may apply and will be accepted as space allows.

Brigham/Harvard Resources
  • The Newcomer’s Almanac (a monthly newsletter for newcomers to the United States):
  • Partners Office for International Professionals & Students (PIPS) provides immigration services to all professional international staff.  They conduct a monthly orientation program for newly-arrived internationals.  Immigration overviews, tax seminars and other relevant programs are offered at various times during the year. In addition, the PIPS advises on travel requirements, changes to and extensions of visa categories, medical insurance, pay and social security issues, attorney referrals, and green cards.
  • Harvard Neighbors is a Harvard University-based volunteer organization that aims to enrich the lives of members of its community.  In addition to activities and programs specifically for newcomers, they offers special events to build a sense of community and groups to bring together people with similar interests.
  • The Society for Internationally Trained Women Faculty and Fellows is a networking group for women physicians and scientists who were born or trained outside of the United States. Members of the Society are invited to networking lunches to share experiences and meet new people. This group has also sponsored events for internationals, including Presentation Skills and CV review sessions. Please e-mail the Office for Women’s Careers for more information.

External Resources
  • The Interchange Institute is a not-for-profit research organization that works to smooth intercultural transitions, with the mission of helping others understand us and coming to understand others. The Institute conducts research on the process of intercultural transition, produces publications to assist newcomers to the US, designs and delivers specialized cross-cultural training workshops, and trains and consults to professionals in the field.
  • The Arabic Family Center (AFC) is a non-profit organization, based in Boston, which seeks to help fellow Arabs who are coming to the USA either for Residency, Education or Medical Treatment. The Center offers free assistance in the following areas: finding housing, getting to know life in Boston (transportation and public services), helping with document translation, locating English lessons and editing resumes.
  • The Worcester Islamic Center is the second largest Islamic center in New England. In addition to 5 daily prayers, WIC also provides an Islamic K-8 school, a library, Ramadan Iftaar, funeral preparation services, and social support for the local community. A multitude of convert, youth, outreach and interfaith programs are also offered on a regular basis. Please see our website for the most up-to-date schedule of events and activities.
Print Resources
  • International Postdoc Survival Guide: Guidance acclimatizing to life as a scientist in the U.S. from the National Postdoc Association.
  • Welcome to Boston: A Guide for International Newcomers: A guide book for internationals adjusting to life in Boston from the Interchange Institute. The ORC provides each new postdoc with a copy of this book at orientation.  If you did not receive a copy, email:
  • The Family Resources for Ethnicities Seeking Home (FRESH Start Guide) is designed to help you transition into a new job and work environment, and to help your family adjust to life in a new city. The FRESH Start Guide includes information on Boston organizations that can help you stay connected to your home country and culture while settling into your life here.
  • A Smooth Beginning – This book is designed to help you and your family feel settled in your new country of residence. It offers helpful tips on establishing routines, helping your family stay connected to home culture, building connections in your community and preparing for culture shock.
Housing Resources
  • BostonBrick Investments: This company provides information about different housing options, assists you in moving, and will put you in contact with a local rental agency.
  • Sabbatical Homes: This website caters exclusively to the international academic community and provides a resource for renting, buying, selling or exchanging homes.
  • Partners Housing Search Site: This website is an online bulletin board where you can search for apartments, houses or sublets to rent or share.
  • Harvard University Housing (HUH): The HUH offers a broad range of housing and real estate services to the University’s graduate students, faculty, and employees. Learn why living with us is a great way to expand your Harvard experience.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord and Tenant Rights: This is a helpful guide which explains terms of tenancy, lease agreements, eviction, state sanitary code, housing discrimination and other complex issues related to rental housing in Massachusetts.
Tax Information Resources
Other Resources
  • Diversity Lottery – US Department of State information on the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program