Our mission is to encourage, support, and facilitate safe, healthy, and secure international travel for the entire Cornell community.
International Travel Health and Safety
International Travel Health and Safety (ITHS) invites all members of the Cornell community to turn to us before, during, and after your travels. As you pursue opportunities abroad, you can look to us for help in preparing for a healthy, safe trip. Once you are in-country, you can continue to rely on our assistance to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
Through all your travel endeavors, you can be sure that ITHS will be marshaling a wide range of expertise on your behalf. As part of the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, we coordinate with colleagues across campus, at institutional partners throughout the U.S., and agencies around the world. Our goal is to mitigate foreseeable risks to you, respond quickly when you need us, and provide practical and emotional support as necessary.
Register Your International Travel
All students, staff, and faculty are required to have their Cornell-related international travel plans documented in Cornell’s international travel registry. By supplying the registry with your itinerary, emergency contact information, and the purpose of your travel, among other things, you supply what Cornell needs to know to provide you with resources and assistance during an incident, crisis, or emergency abroad. Register as soon as you have your travel plans in place.
Cornell directed or supervised travel: Mission-related travel that is sponsored or supervised by Cornell and for which Cornell exercises oversight, for example:
Cornell course activities and programs that are supervised by, and fully or partially supported by Cornell, such as international Cornell faculty-led courses.
- “Cornell-in” study abroad programs.
- Travel that fulfills Cornell grants or contracts.
- Faculty, researchers, and officers traveling internationally on university business.
Cornell facilitated or supported travel: Travel by a member of the Cornell community for a specific activity that is not managed or overseen by Cornell, but furthers academic or professional objectives related to Cornell; is meaningfully vetted by Cornell; and is either arranged or funded by Cornell. For example:
Approved study abroad or exchange programs, with another university or outside organization, for which there is an active agreement in place.
- Cornell-arranged internships, for which there is an active agreement in place.
- International travel by graduate or professional students to do independent research for their dissertations, within absentia status.
Non-Cornell travel: Not related to Cornell business or programs, for example, independent student organization travel, most self-identified summer study abroad or internship experiences, travel tours open to the public, travel during a leave of absence, or personal travel.
Services for Travelers
We invite you to take advantage of the wide range of travel-related services offered by ITHS to anyone traveling abroad on Cornell-related study or business.
Before You Leave
- Predeparture Orientations: Cornell offers two short, online, and free orientations designed for students and Off-Campus Activity Leaders who are planning to travel internationally for academic business. These orientations provide baseline information and preparation to help you responsibly manage your own health, safety, and security while abroad.
- Travel Services at Cornell Health: Travel Services provides pre-travel consultations, immunizations, and health information for members of the Cornell community. During an appointment, medical professionals can assess your immunization and health care needs based on your itinerary and health history and provide relevant prevention and treatment information.
- Elevated-Risk Travel Review: If you are a student or faculty/staff traveling with students to elevated-risk destinations, you are required to submit a thorough description of your travel plans, as well as document your understanding of the specific risks and how you intend to mitigate them. Your petition will then be reviewed by the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART). ITART will ensure that you are prepared for your proposed undertaking and will work with you to make sure health, safety, and security resources and plans are in place before granting travel approval.
While You Are Abroad
- 24/7 Travel Assistance: If you need a medical referral, seek pre-travel advice, or experience a medical or security crisis, Cornell has a fully integrated program in place to help. Through the university’s partnership with International SOS (ISOS), the world’s leading medical and travel security services company, you can receive the care and expertise that you need, whenever and wherever you need it. ISOS offers you a 24/7 resource on-call, online, and via a free mobile app. You can reach ISOS by calling 1-215-942-8478 or using the app.
- Free International Travel Medical Insurance: If you are a registered traveler on Cornell-related international study or business, you are fully covered—at no cost to you—under an accident, sickness, and emergency care insurance plan that works in tandem with our 24/7 ISOS travel assistance.
- Emotional Support: As part of our partnership with ISOS, you also have access to mental health professionals 24/7 for short-term counseling services and psychological support via phone or teleconferencing while abroad. If you choose to take advantage of this resource, you can have five free sessions per incident, per year by calling 1-215-942-8478.
- Ongoing Communications: Once you sign up with the International Travel Registry, you will receive auto-email alerts and advisories specific to your itinerary if an incident may negatively affect your travel plans or your health and safety. In addition to these messages sent from ISOS, you can also self-register for destination-specific email alerts from ISOS via Cornell’s online portal.
- Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT): If you would like information about road conditions and traffic culture in a given destination, you can request an ASIRT Road Safety Report from ITHS by emailing email@example.com. If you are a student, please remember that you are prohibited from driving motor vehicles during Cornell travel.
- Export Controls: When traveling abroad, please be mindful of export control laws and regulations to avoid civil and criminal penalties or import restrictions in certain countries such as China, Israel, and Russia. Cornell’s Export Controls Officer can help you safely navigate such regulations.
When you Return
- Care and Crisis Services: Sometimes, an incident abroad has a lasting effect that carries over after you return to campus. It may even impact you if you never left Ithaca. Care and Crisis Services (CCS) provides on-call staff 24/7 to work with students in crisis. If you need emotional support and guidance, CCS will provide a helping hand when you need it.
You Can Depend on Our Expertise
ITHS is dedicated to keeping the Cornell community safe and healthy during travel. We join with a host of other travel experts to constantly monitor situations in countries around the world so that we can better serve you while you are abroad. Our expertise includes:
Dedicated Support Personnel in Ithaca: ITHS works with a network of colleagues at Cornell to monitor world events 24/7, maintains a travel registry to know where our travelers are, and coordinates Cornell’s response to a crisis. You can reach the ITHS team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Crisis Management Plans and Protocols: Cornell maintains a comprehensive International Incident Response Plan (IIRP). This plan is designed to guide responsible stakeholders at the institution with protocols and procedures for responding to a situation abroad that affects our travelers.
- Monitoring of World Events: Members of the ITHS team receive real-time safety and security alerts for all our travelers’ locations worldwide from several intelligence sources, including ISOS. The alerts are also supplemented by the U.S. Department of State, the CDC, various international government agencies, and a network of travel risk managers from 80+ higher education institutions.
- Travel Tracker: Once you register with the International Travel Registry, your itinerary and contact information is shared with Cornell’s Travel Tracking system. This tool provides ITHS with a comprehensive map-view of all Cornell travelers, the ability to select a subset of those travelers using geo-filters, and options to communicate directly with anyone abroad via text or email. This system also links directly to the "check-in" feature of the ISOS app.
- International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART): A group of senior-level administrators, known as ITART, meets regularly to discuss travel policies and ongoing situations abroad. They are on stand-by to convene and respond in the event of an emergency affecting the Cornell community abroad.
- ITHS Forum: The ITHS Forum is a network of over 70 Cornell employees with responsibilities involving the international travel of our community. The group meets twice a semester and is in regular contact regarding resource updates, current events, and travel crisis management policy and procedures. Participants are also responsible for the dissemination of critical information to their respective units. To join, please email email@example.com.
- Chris Cook, Associate Director of International Travel Health and Safety.
- medical referrals
- security intelligence
- travel advice
- lost document assistance
- pre-travel information
- legal referrals
- emergency evacuation
ISOS will collect specific information from you involving any international emergency and pass it along to ITHS. We will then respond as appropriate to support you.