Study Abroad COVID-19 FAQs

The Office of Global Learning remains committed to providing Cornell students with a meaningful global learning experience. We understand that students and families have many questions about how global programs have been affected and will update this page as new information becomes available.


What criteria does Office of Global Learning use to determine when it is safe to resume international travel associated with its programming?

The Office of Global Learning is guided by travel criteria put forth by the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) and the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs.


What is the status of study abroad in academic year 2020-2021?

Cornell University has made the difficult decision to cancel outgoing study abroad and exchange for academic year 2020-2021, including remote study abroad, due to ongoing travel, health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Can I participate in a study abroad program independent of Cornell in Spring 2021?

Students may request a leave of absence from their college. While on a leave of absence, students may make independent arrangements to study abroad if the program is running and if it allows independent students without a university affiliation. Please note that if you choose to study abroad in this way, you do so without access to university financial aid or travel resources and will not be permitted to transfer credit back to Cornell.


Can students who applied to Spring 2021 defer?

As undergraduate travel is currently restricted, we have opted not to automatically defer Spring 2021 applications to Fall 2021. Education Abroad will contact all Spring 2021 applicants when applications are open for the next available term, and you will be given the opportunity to submit a new application.


When will Fall 2021 applications open?

At this point, undergraduate international travel is currently restricted and we continue to monitor the situation. The Education Abroad deadline for most fall and full year programs is March 1, 2021. Our decision to open an application cycle will consider the time needed for students to apply as well as what is known about health, safety, educational programming, and international travel.

Education Abroad advisors are actively advising students for Fall 2021 and beyond. Visit Get Advice for information on drop-in hours and advising by appointments.


Will incoming exchange programs run in Spring 2021?

Most exchanges are college-based. Each college can determine whether they are able to receive exchange students this spring.


Why can some students Study Away, while others can’t Study Abroad?

Study Away is a short-term offering for students who cannot return to Ithaca because of factors outside their control. These study locations are only available to students who are citizens of that country.


I studied abroad in Spring 2020 and I have questions about the grading option policy and/or the status of my grades and course return. Who can I reach out to about this?

To check whether your grades have been posted and how they will appear on your Cornell transcript, order an e-transcript from Student Center to be sent to yourself. Course titles and grades (S/U or letter grade, depending on what you chose) will appear on your official Cornell transcript, but they do not show in Student Center. As always, grades earned abroad do not factor into your Cornell GPA. If your grades have not yet been posted or if you have any concerns, reach out to your Education Abroad program advisor.

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