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Our Mission is to encourage, support, and facilitate safe, healthy, and secure international travel for the entire Cornell community.

International Health & Safety

Cornell’s commitment to international travel as an integral part of the interconnected educational and life experience of its community is inseparable from its commitment to the health and safety of all who pursue opportunities abroad.  Cornell stands as a leader in recognizing its duty of care for the traveling population and has, for many years, dedicated staff and resources to mitigate foreseeable risks, respond quickly when needed, and promote resiliency.

Today, international health and safety (IHS) oversight is positioned to comprehensively serve the Cornell community through its placement in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs.  A Manager of International Travel Health and Safety coordinates with colleagues across campus, at institutional partners throughout the U.S., and agencies around the world to ensure proactive measures and stand fast readiness are there for our traveler’s support.

IHS offers support through:

  • Being an initial point-of-contact for any international health and safety need.
    • Via for questions, concerns, or situations requiring a timely institutional response.
    • Via 1-215-942-8478 (International SOS) for emergencies that require speaking with someone immediately. 
  • Acting as an on-campus first responder when significant incidents abroad affect a Cornell traveler.
  • Managing the International Travel Registry.
  • Providing risk-assessments of international travel plans.
  • Recommending addition or removal of countries on the elevated-risk destination list to which student travel is prohibited without additional approval.
  • Conducting information sessions to prepare faculty, staff, and students for upcoming travel.
  • Creating field guides, work-flows, communication plans, and resources that promote consistent action and wise decision making.
  • Helping travelers navigate Cornell’s comprehensive support resources.
  • Liaising with Risk Management and Insurance.
  • Monitoring world events and advising potentially affected travelers.
  • Maintaining Cornell’s International Incident Response Plan.
  • Advising the International Incident Advisory and Response Team (ITART).
  • Coordinating emergency evacuations.

Contact Us:

During regular office hours

From 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, call the OVPIA front desk, 1-607-255-7993 or email

Chris Cook, Manager of International Travel Health and Safety, directly at 1-607-255-1591 or


Call International SOS 24/7 at 1-215-942-8478 and reference membership #11BSCA827281 for help with any type of problem regardless of the severity. For example, medical referrals, security intelligence, travel advice, lost document assistance, pre-travel information, legal referrals, and emergency evacuation.

IHS has developed a protocol with International SOS that guides the Assistance Center to accept calls involving international emergencies, collect specific information, and pass it along to IHS. IHS will then respond as appropriate and requested.

For further guidance

Refer to this flow-chart: Whom to Call When.