A message from CAU's director

As we at CAU plan our 2021 study tours, we feel it’s important to share our thoughts regarding the future of travel.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and the widespread distribution of a vaccine remains far-off, we recognize that planning for international travel may seem like a daunting task. Be assured your health and safety remain our top concerns. We’re taking the necessary precautions and adopting new policies to promote the well-being of our participants during this evolving public health crisis.

Many of you have been closely monitoring the status of domestic and international travel. CAU and Cornell University follow the travel guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State, and New York State.

In accordance with these guidelines, Cornell has mandated that all non-essential, Cornell-related travel be prohibited through the 2020–2021 academic year. As such, we plan to launch CAU’s first overseas trip when the fall semester begins in August 2021.

We’re working closely with our seasoned tour operators to follow best practices and address the uncertain nature of travel in 2021 and beyond. Every one of our participants will need to determine for themselves the level of risk they’re willing to accept when traveling.

As you consider your decision, please familiarize yourself with the extra health and safety measures stated below to be implemented on future study tours.

And please review our new refund and cancellation policies, detailed on each study tour’s price page.

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns.

As always, we remain grateful for your support and look forward to resuming our education vacations in the summer of 2021.


Lora Gruber-Hine, director, CAU

CAU's health & safety measures

Please note: These guidelines are subject to change as we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on travel and public safety.

Please be assured that Cornell University and Cornell’s Adult University (CAU) are closely monitoring the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the risks involving travel, as are our colleagues at Cornell's Office of Global Operations and International Health and Safety, our designated tour operators, and our partners on the ground in the countries we visit.

Given the uncertainties of this rapidly evolving situation, we encourage you to visit the Cornell coronavirus website regularly for updates and information.

Cornell is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for decisions about travel and programming abroad, including their Travel Health Notices.

CAU is working with our tour operators and in-country service providers, whether a hotel, a motor coach operator, museum, or restaurant, to adopt new health and safety protocols to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Screening and health requirements for CAU travelers

  • Before departure, each participant will receive a COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire. This questionnaire will include verification be provided in advance of departure of a negative COVID-19 test. Results may be required two weeks prior and one or two days prior to departure. It will require that travelers agree to compliance with the defined health and safety protocols.
  • Participants must wear a face mask throughout the trip.
  • Participants will be advised to follow all screening procedures.

Safety measures provided to CAU travelers

  • Participants will be pre-registered with each hotel, avoiding the need to stand in line for check-in.
  • Participant's luggage and belongings will be disinfected at the hotel entrance by staff.
  • Tour vehicles will be disinfected and will carry less than half of their seat capacity. Groups will consist of no more than twenty four guests utilizing fifty three-seat motor coaches.
  • Drivers and tour guides must have a COVID-19 test two weeks before their assignment and two days before their duty.
  • Drivers and tour guides will wear face masks.
  • Each participant will be provided with a sterilized audio device for the tours and excursions that aids not only in hearing the guide but also in practicing social distancing.
  • Body temperature measurements of participants, guides, drivers, and field staff will be taken each morning using touchless thermometers.
  • Approved hand sanitizers will be stocked on motor coaches.
  • Access to bottled water will be provided during excursions.
  • Restaurants will be chosen with COVID safety in mind, giving priority to those with outdoor dining, proper spacing between tables, waiters who wear masks, and high sanitation standards.

Travel suggestions

We encourage all participants to follow the guidelines implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and CDC at security checkpoints at airports.

We suggest all participants research airline carriers prior to booking flights. Many airlines are enforcing policies to prevent the transmission on planes, including passengers all wearing face coverings, leaving the middle seat open or limiting the number of passengers on the plane, enhanced cleanings between flights, temperature checks at the gate, and the use of air filtration and circulation systems to minimize virus spread.


If there are no Level 3 CDC warnings ("Avoid Nonessential Travel") and Cornell goes ahead with a trip, but you opt to cancel, you will be subject to the refund and cancellation policy outlined on your individual program's "Prices" page.

If you have independently purchased Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance, you may be eligible for a refund on your trip.

If CAU is forced to cancel a trip for which you have registered, CAU will notify you of the options available, which may include rescheduling the trip, applying payment to future tours, or receiving a refund.

For more information

We encourage you to visit Cornell's health update web site for the most up-to-date coronavirus news, resources, and FAQs.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Please contact us if you have further questions.