From: International Student Services
Date: November 4, 2020
Subject: ISS News, November 4, 2020: Spring 2021 Info, Important End of Semester Reminders, Change in Advising Hours- Nov. 5, OPT & CPT Workshops, International Education Week, Trivia Night, Good Vibes, & More!


November 4, 2020


in this issue:

  1. OPT & CPT Workshops
  2. Features
  3. Campus Happenings
  4. Good Vibes Only
  5. End of Semester Reminders
  6. Spring 2021
  7. Change in Advising Hours- Thursday, Nov 5


ISS Staff is available to students, without an appointment, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during advising hours:

11am to 3pm- through virtual advising available online

There are no advising hours on Wednesday.


If you need to speak with an advisor outside of our advising hours, please send an email to to schedule an appointment. Please provide your full, legal name and a brief description of the nature of your appointment when you contact us.

cwru sign on binary walk way

Spring 2021

As we approach November and the transition to remote classes and exams after Thanksgiving, I know many students are also making plans for next semester.  Please be sure that you are reading all of the information that the university is sending to you by email related to Spring 2021.  In October alone, there have been a number of messages sent about everything from the academic calendar and flu shots to fall move-out and winter break housing.  If you miss a message in your inbox, you can always find it here on the COVID-19 Campus Communications page.

As of this writing, the spring 2021 semester will look very similar to this one in terms of dual delivery of instruction and reduced on-campus housing. As the university continues to finalize its plans, expect to receive more messages related to registration, accommodations for time zones, and other considerations.  There have been many lessons learned from the Fall and the university is actively seeking ways to improve students’ academic and co-curricular experiences in Spring.

Many students have asked about how they will maintain their status in Spring 2021.  ISS is still waiting for guidance from SEVP. We know that this lack of guidance adds to your stress levels and makes it very difficult to plan.  ISS staff members regret that we are unable to provide you with what you need to feel confident about your plans for the future. As soon as that information is available, ISS will share it with students. Please be sure to stay in touch with ISS. Remember, we communicate through email to your address as well- please, check it regularly- and will post messages to the Communication Corner, COVID-19 Updates, and ISSNews.

Because of the lack of SEVP guidance that exists right now, ISS strongly encourages students to consider remaining in the United States through winter break. There is also uncertainty about how the flu season will further complicate the effects of the pandemic; how lock-downs and entry restrictions will continue to affect students’ abilities to travel; and how limited service at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide may affect visa issuances. This combination of factors- could make it extremely challenging, if not impossible, for you to return to the United States in the near future. Please take all of these circumstances- the known and unknown- into consideration as you make a decision that is best for you.  ISS will be here to support you in any way that we can.

keep calm the semester is about to end meme

End of Semester Reminders

If you have thoughts about traveling abroad during the break, be sure to ask yourself these question:

Do I need to extend my I-20 or DS-2019? If you do, read more under the Frequently Asked Questions Section. Undergraduates, be sure to list your Dean in Undergraduate Studies on your request and graduate students, you should list you academic advisor.

Do I need to transfer my F-1 or J-1 SEVIS Record? If you do, read more under the Frequently Asked Questions Section.

Do I need to get a new travel signature on my I-20 or DS-2019?  If you do, you can read about that process and other factors related to travel and reentry for F-1 and J-1 students.


  • check the validity of the visa in your passport. US Embassies and Consulates have limited services available and there could be significant delays in visa issuances.  This delay could significantly affect your ability to return to the United States.
  • be aware of travel restrictions.  Travel restrictions are changing as the situation with COVID-19 evolves.  Unless travel restrictions loosen or lift entirely, it could be very difficult to leave your country and/or enter the United States.
  • make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months into the future at all times.  Many government agencies are reducing and suspending services. Passport issuance could be an issue in your home country.  Please prepare as early as possible if you need to apply for a new passport.

Do you have more questions that you need help answering? Get in touch with ISS staff during advising hours or by email before you leave campus.

schedule change written on post-it notes with blue push pin

Change in Advising Hours Thursday, November 5

Staff in ISS will only be available for advising hours from 11am to 1pm on Thursday, November 5.  Please make your plans accordingly.

Regular advising hours will resume on Friday, November 6.

opt and cpt workshop branding telling students to complete a workshop

OPT & CPT Workshops

Virtual, advisor-led OPT and CPT workshops have been scheduled and information about required registration, attendance, and the application process can be found on our website!

ISS is offering Optional Practical Training (OPT) and CPT Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other important considerations.

Being well informed before applying for either authorization is extremely important and applying early is critical!

USCIS is publishing that it takes 4-6 months to process submitted OPT applications. Plan to complete a required OPT workshop as early as possible to be best prepared. Remember, you do not need to have a job offer to apply for OPT!

You do need to have a job offer before applying for CPT authorization and you are not eligible to begin your experience until you have proper authorization in place. It can take several days to become authorized.

For more information about OPT and CPT workshops- online workshops are also still available for students' convenience- and other details about these authorizations, visit our website. Please be sure to very carefully read all of the information there.



CWRU International Education Week 2020!

Monday, November 9 at 2:00pm
to Friday, November 13 at 3:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

International Education Week is a national celebration of the benefits of international education and global exchange.

During this special week, the Center for International Affairs works with various partners on campus to provide programming that highlights international activities and opportunities at Case Western Reserve University. We hope the events will help to stimulate cultural understanding and foster an inclusive worldview.

Case Western Reserve will be celebrating International Education Week a week early in 2020, from November 9 - 13. 

This year's events include a #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU face mask giveaway, a week-long Virtual Study Abroad Fair, an opportunity to hear from CWRU alumni about how developing a global perspective can help you find career success and much more!

Visit for the full schedule of events!

We'd like to thank all of our campus partners for their help in creating a wonderful week full of opportunities to celebrate international education!



From Bystanders to Upstanders: How We Stand with Our Asian Students, Staff and Faculty

Tuesday, November 10
3:00pm - 4:15pm
Video Conferencing Link
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As America reckons with systemic racism, xenophobic attacks against Asians studying, working, and living within our borders are increasing. With vitriolic messages about “the Chinese flu” coming from political voices and social media, the students, staff, and faculty of Asian origin on our campus are reporting greater fear and a rise in racist incidents. Join Xinyuan Cui and others to hear first-hand stories and explore how we stand together - as a campus and as individuals - and affirm that they do indeed belong here.

Co-Sponsored by the Center for International Affairs and the Sustained Dialogue Executive Committee

CLE Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings


Civic Acts of Kindness Week

Saturday, November 7 at 9:00am
to Friday, November 13 at 5:00pm
Meeting link
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As part of the focus in November on Philanthropic Giving as a form of Civic Engagement, the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL) will host a Civic Acts of Kindness Week.

During the week students will be able to participate in a variety of virtual and on-campus, in-person service projects and educational programs to highlight how giving a person's time, talent, and treasures demonstrates philanthropy, kindness, and generosity.

Philanthropy - “A philanthropist is a person who donates time, money, experience, skills, or talent to help create a better world. Anyone can be a philanthropist.”

Kindness - “Giving, helping, or caring for the well-being of people, animals, and the planet.”

Generosity - “The giving of good things freely and abundantly.”

leadership series flyer- dr. Dana Lawless-Andric
voter submitting ballot in box
feedback with colorful thought bubbles

Tell GSC

GSC wants to hear from you. Each month we release a very short survey on a specific topic. Fill it out anonymously, or enter your Case ID for a chance to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards.

This month, GSC wants to know how you're doing. Stressed? Help us figure out what you need.

You can find the survey here.

pretty pink flower and mindfulness hour information
anxiety tool box flyer


Virtual Game Night at KSL - Trivia Edition

Thursday, November 5
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
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Welcome to the Virtual KSL Game Night!

getting stuck flyer
leadership series flyer- P.J. Jones

Good Vibes Only

During this very challenging time, ISS staff wants you to know that we are thinking about you- hoping you are safe, healthy, staying positive- and sending out good vibes!

In this section, we are including some things that we hope will make you laugh and smile, help you relax, be entertaining, give you something to do, etc.

This is a good vibes only section!

covid tattoos

People are getting COVID-19 tattoos and here are some creative ones.