From: International Student Services
Date: October 28, 2020
Subject: ISS News, October 28, 2020: CIA Writes Letter Opposing Proposed Rule Eliminating Duration of Status, Important Spring 2021 Information, Change to Advising Hours on 10/29, OPT & CPT Workshops, Extension Requests, Scam Alerts, PhDs- Give Feedback, Mindfulne


October 28, 2020


in this issue:

  1. OPT & CPT Workshops
  2. Features
  3. Campus Happenings
  4. Good Vibes Only
  5. Beware of Scams
  6. Request an Extension for I-20 or DS-2019
  7. Information about the US Presidential Election
  8. Daylight Saving Time Ends November 1
  9. Change in ISS' Hours- October 29
  10. Spring 2021 Information
  11. CIA Letter Opposing Proposed Rule Eliminating Duration of Status


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.

opposing elimination of Duration of Status
schedule change written on post-it notes with red push pin

Change in Advising Hours Thursday, October 29

Staff in ISS will only be available for advising hours from 11am to 1pm on Thursday, October 29.  Please make your plans accordingly.

Regular advising hours will resume on Friday, October 30.
flyer about voting featuring joe and don clip art
clock with fall back message for daylight saving time

Daylight Saving Time
Ends November 1

In the United States, Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 1 at 2am.  That means that we will set out clocks back (or fall back) by 1 hour, making the time 1am.  

Please make sure that you are aware of how this change will impact your classes and appointments!

Enjoy the extra hour of sleep on November 1!

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.

scam spelled out on keyboard

Beware of Scams

ISS wants to make sure that international students are aware of these scams and know how to protect themselves.  Visit our website for more information.

red sign that says Attention Read Me

Request an Extension         for I-20 or DS-2019

If your I-20 or DS-2019 will expire at the end of the semester, but you're not ready to graduate, you need to request an extension before your document expires (and within plenty of time for ISS to process your request).  Initiate your request through Terra Dotta and identify an advisor who will then be contacted to upload information on your behalf. Undergraduates should list their Dean in Undergraduate Studies.  Graduate students should list their academic advisor.

ISS advisors will review all of the material and contact students by email when their new, extended document is ready.

For more information,
F-1 students visit:
J-1 students visit:


October Study Abroad Friday Forums

Explore opportunities to take your education around the world with Study Abroad Friday Forums in October!

The forums begin on October 9 with how and where to study abroad as an engineering student. On October 16, the forum will focus on study abroad options for students needing accommodations. Then, take a trip “down under” on the 23 to explore programs in Australia and New Zealand, and end the month by discovering business programs available in Europe on October 30.

Each Study Abroad Friday Forum begins at 1 pm on Facebook Live - and most of October’s events are co-hosted by the departments and schools that will be featured!

Make sure to follow CWRU Study Abroad on Facebook at so you don’t miss out!

flyer for Friday Forum

Campus Happenings

voter submitting ballot in box


Mindfulness Matters Week

Monday, October 26 at 4:25pm
to Friday, October 30 at 1:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Mindfulness Matters Week October 26-30
Ever wonder what mindfulness was all about? Or what place it has in a campus community? Mindfulness Matter Week will explore answers to these questions. Participants will gain useful skills to maintain their well-being as well as insights to manage stress related to the pandemic, social injustice, and the election. The week of October 26 will be your opportunity to explore it as we observe Mindfulness Matters Week virtually with a keynote address and four workshops. All sessions are available for faculty, staff and students and will be offered via Zoom. Zoom links will be emailed 24 hours before each event. The event is supported by a Nord Grant from the UCITE.

credit 1010 with pnc flyer

GRADS: Credit 101!

This year, GSC's annual Professional Development Conference has been revamped in a different format! Instead of a one-day event in the spring, we are creating monthly virtual seminars, each with a different subject of discussion. The hope is to give graduate students flexibility and to build on professional development over the course of a year. Our third workshop in the series is coming up this week, Wednesday, October 28th at 6 PM EST, and we would love for you to join us. If you're looking to learn more about the basics of credit, this seminar is for you!

Register on Campus Groups here and the join via Zoom.

hands typing on a laptop keyboard

Practice your pitch and interviewing skills with Big Interview

Have an interview coming up? Big Interview will help you practice and get feedback as you prepare. Did an interview get scheduled with little time to prepare? Big Interview is available 24/7 so you can practice when you need to, from the comfort of your bedroom.

Big Interview is an interview curriculum and practice tool available to all Case Western Reserve students. You can record your practice interviews, play them back, and even share them with a trusted advisor, faculty member or friend. There’s also a new AI feature which will give you feedback on your interview performance.

Build confidence. Practice interviews for your specific interest area and industry. Once you complete a basic mock interview, you can move onto specialized practice sessions, including interviews by industry, graduate and professional school admission, government employment and more.

Avoid surprises. Big Interview sources information and questions about job interviews from experts across the U.S. By practicing with Big Interview, you’ll walk into your next interview knowing exactly what to expect and how to answer questions.

Land the job. Use the built-in feedback tools to get objective analysis on your progress. Get feedback from Big Interview and you can use this feedback for more detailed analysis when you meet with a career and internship consultant in Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education.

Get started with Big Interview.

feedback with colorful thought bubbles

PhD Candidates: Feeling of Belongingness Survey

This is a survey for a doctoral research methods class investigating feelings of belongingness in graduate students at Case Western Reserve University. It will take about 7 minutes to complete the survey. Your answers will be treated anonymously and will be kept confidential. The results of the study are expected to be presented as a class exercise and shared with CWRU staff.

This survey is for a required research methods class for Gaby and TC's (the researchers) PhDs at the Weatherhead School of Management. The goal of the exercise is to develop our own survey, collect data, and analyze it. Gaby and TC wanted to make this exercise meaningful by trying to understand belongingness for graduate students at Case Western Reserve University.

Please reach out and contact if you have any questions or if you would like any other information. We really appreciate your help!


Political Polarization: Finding a path to solve problems together

Wednesday, October 28
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
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Every election cycle seems like the most polarized, divisive campaign season ever—but 2020 is something else. For supporters of both candidates, the stakes feel incredibly high.

But when this election is over, no matter who is declared the winner, we're going to need to live and work together. We're going to need to solve problems together. Finding a path forward begins before the votes are cast. It begins with you, our network of courageous peace-makers and community-builders.



Understanding Local Politics (virtual panel discussion)

Friday, October 30
4:45pm - 6:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
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The Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL) student Executive Council will be hosting a virtual panel discussion open to the CWRU community about how policy change is shaped at the local level and the role of local politics in our day-to-day lives. Join us as CWRU faculty and staff, representing different disciplines, share how they’ve been involved in the community outside of campus, including in local politics. Please check your CampusGroups reminder email that you’ll receive after registering for the Zoom connection details.

Panelists include:
-Ayesha Bell Hardaway - Assistant Professor at the School of Law and Co-Director of the Social Justice Institute; current Shaker Heights Schools Board of Education Vice President
-David Miller - Associate Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences; past City of South Euclid President of the City Council
-Lou Stark - Vice President for Student Affairs; past Marion City Council member in Iowa

pretty pink flower and mindfulness hour information
anxiety tool box flyer
leadership series flyer- dr. Dana Lawless-Andric
getting stuck flyer

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!

Happy Halloween!

little boy dancing with yard blow up decoration

Halloween is a centuries-old tradition that is celebrated today by wearing costumes, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, and eating sweets and treats!  People have even begun decorating their yards and here is what happens when a toddler comes across Jack Skellington!

The Adventures of OwlKitty

owlkitty and madalorian
owlkitty and lord of the rings