International Programs Office: COVID-19 Information

International Programs Office: COVID-19 Information

(This page was last updated at 3:30 p.m. on March 24, 2020)

The health of our students, including our study abroad and international students, is our highest priority.  The International Programs Office, along with our university partners abroad and our colleagues at SUNY Office of Global Affairs and the other SUNY campuses, are closely monitoring the unfolding events worldwide related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are carefully tracking guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, the New York State Department of Health, and local agencies. 

Below we provide an update to our Spring 2020 students abroad and to those who have applied for Summer and Fall 2020 study abroad programs:

To date, the following actions have been made regarding our international programs:

  • March 4, 2020. Governor Cuomo announced that all SUNY and CUNY programs in the highest impact countries (CDC Levels 2 and 3) are cancelled, and students who return home must begin a 14-day quarantine either at home or in a designated dormitory, per New York State Department of Health recommendations.  To date, several SUNY Cortland students studying abroad in these countries have returned home.
  • March 4, 2020. In light of the Governor's announcement, the President's Cabinet has made the difficult decision to suspend the Gospel Choir's spring break trip to Barbados and the Spring 2020 German Sport University (GSU) program prior to students' departure for Germany.  GSU program students are currently working with their associate dean to create new academic plans.
  • March 5, 2020.  The International Programs Office, with President's Cabinet endorsement, has notified all students who are abroad that if they wish to return home from CDC Level 1 countries, we will assist them in minimizing academic disruptions. 
  • March 9, 2020:  We have contacted students who have applied to Summer or Fall 2020 to inform them that currently, we are moving forward with planning summer programs.  The COVID-19 situation, however, is quickly evolving, and program status might change.
  • March 10, 2020:  SUNY instructed "all program participants in all countries to return to New York or to their home in the US immediately,” in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  
  • March 16, 2020:  SUNY Cortland canceled all Summer 2020 study abroad programs and Fall study abroad programs that were due to begin before August 1, 2020.
  • March 19, 2020:  SUNY cancelled all Summer 2020 study abroad programs system-wide.

Please use the following guidance on precautions to take and to stay healthy and well while abroad:

  • Please stay informed by keeping in touch with the SUNY campus administering your study abroad program and your local host institution and reading all of their communications to you.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact the SUNY administering your program for the most up-to-date information.  Follow any instructions provided by your SUNY administering campus and host institution.  
  • Use standard safe hygiene practices recommended by the CDC, including the following:
    •  Avoid contact with sick people. 
    •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.  
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for more than 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer often.
    • If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical advice, informing your medical provider of any travel within the past few weeks. 
    • Avoid contact with others and do not travel while sick.

Please contact us at if you have questions.