This checklist is intended for faculty, staff, and graduate assistants who are leading a Cornell-sponsored trip.
Health and Safety Considerations during Program Development
- Plan your trip well in advance to prepare for health, safety, and security matters. You may need to propose your plans to the administrative unit supporting your trip 6-18 months in advance.
- Become knowledgeable about risks in-country. Visit these sites for researching your destination:
- Develop an emergency plan and be available 24/7 to travelers in case of an emergency during the trip.
- Do you have a back-up leader who can stay with a sick student or provide instruction in the event you are incapacitated?
- Do you know the emergency number (911 equivalent) in the locations where you will be traveling?
- Where would you go in the event of a crisis? Where is your backup location to gather the group together? How would you exit the country?
- Determine recommended or required immunizations and medications by contacting the Travel Nurse at Cornell Health.
- Work with the International Travel Health and Safety and/or your administering unit to develop an itinerary that is mindful of safety concerns. Cornell has access to country-based safety and security assessments through International SOS and road safety through the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) that you can explore directly or in consultation with International Travel Health and Safety.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance.
- Review the insurance for international travelers and your own policies.
- Consider purchasing insurance for property protection if a homeowner’s policy does not provide coverage while abroad. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (1-888-411-4911) is one option.
- Know what Cornell will cover and how the administering unit will pre-pay or reimburse for expenses in advance of the trip and while on-site.
Preparing to Handle Emergencies: What you need to know before you go
- Know whom to contact at Cornell in the event of a health, safety, or security-related emergency, including cases of sexual harassment or assault.
- Contact International SOS (ISOS) at 1-215-942-8478 and reference your membership # 11BSCA827281 for immediate 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, emergency evacuation, and to reach Cornell.
- Email email@example.com or complete the online international incident report form for situations requiring a timely institutional response (within 12 hours). For example, minor illness or injury, insurance questions, travel advice.
- Cornell resources include the contact information for relevant offices such as judicial affairs, academic advising, mental health, and for reporting sexual misconduct.
- Bias incident
- Understand how to use International SOS Assistance Centers to identify appropriate nearby health care and/or initiate emergency evacuation for health or security reasons.
- Verify your health insurance covers you while abroad, or you must purchase additional coverage.
- Make sure that you have a phone that will work where you will be traveling and test it once on site.
- Utilize the International Off-Campus Activity Toolkit to help design your program. In the toolkit, you'll find guides, best practices, templates, and connections to experienced potential collaborators. The toolkit provides advice and resources for designing off-campus student learning experiences in bite-sized chunks for the novice to the veteran.
- Complete Cornell’s Travel Registry. All travelers, including graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty and staff, must register. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
- Have students complete the online pre-departure orientation, International Travel Pre-Departure Orientation.
- If you plan to travel to an elevated-risk country, you must apply for International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) approval well in advance of travel. Allow at least 6-8 weeks for requests to be processed if this was not already completed during the program development process.
- Enroll your trip with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Provide program and location-specific information to students to help prepare them for the international experience. Cover academic, cross-cultural, and behavioral expectations. Address what students are expected to know, bring, or do to participate fully and appropriately.
- Spend time engaged in team-building and pre-departure preparation. Building a culture of responsibility, respect and accountability go a long way in mitigating challenges in-country.