From: International Student Services
Date: November 18, 2020
Subject: ISS News, November 18, 2020: IMPORTANT End of Semester Reminders, Thanksgiving Hours, End of Semester Success, OPT & CPT Workshops, Good Vibes, & More!


November 18, 2020


in this issue:

  1. End of Semester Reminders
  2. Features
  3. Campus Happenings
  4. Good Vibes Only
  5. ISS' Thanksgiving Hours
  6. OPT & CPT Workshops
  7. Spring 2021 Information
  8. COVID-19 Testing for Travel
  9. Prepare for Final Exam Success


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.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving text with cartoon turkey

ISS' Thanksgiving Hours

On behalf of the Office of International Students (ISS) in the Center for International Affairs, we want to wish all students a Happy Thanksgiving (November 26).

The university (including ISS and the Center) will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 25; Thursday, November 26; and Friday, November 27. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, November 30. Please plan accordingly for this break and the upcoming winter break.

During the week of Thanksgiving, ISSNews will not be sent out.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

clip art of passengers flying in a red airplane.  it looks like a child's drawing.

COVID-19 Testing for Travel

University Health and Counseling Services has a website about testing for travel.  Take a look and plan accordingly!

prepare for final exam success infographic
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.

OPT and CPT workshop schedule

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.


CLE Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings

pretty pink flower and mindfulness hour information
Wednesday, November 18
Start End   Event         Location
1:00pm 2:00pm Mindfulness Hour Video Conferencing Link
Wednesday, December 2
1:00pm 2:00pm Mindfulness Hour Video Conferencing Link
Wednesday, December 9
1:00pm 2:00pm Mindfulness Hour Video Conferencing Link


Anxiety Toolbox

Wednesday, November 18
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Anxiety Toolbox is a fast-paced, 3-session seminar intended to help increase understanding and knowledge about anxiety. The goal is to provide students with some skills to recognize symptoms they may be experiencing. Must attend all 3 session 2PM - 3PM | November 4, 11, 18.
Open to all CWRU, CIA, CIM and KSU Podiatry undergraduate, graduate and professional students in regardless of where you are currently residing.



Getting Unstuck

Friday, November 20
11:00am - 12:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Getting Unstuck is a fast-paced, 3-session seminar intended to help increase your understanding and knowledge about depression. The goal is to provide you with some skills to recognize and manage symptoms you may be experiencing. Must attend all three sessions (you will be automatically registered for all three).
Open to all CWRU, CIA, CIM and KSU podiatry students regardless of where you currently reside.
zoom link sent after registration.
Dates: November 6, 13, 20


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!

Comedian Kevin Hart and Animal Encounters

kevin hart and falcon

Kevin Hart struggles to keep his fear in check as teen wildlife conservationist, Robert Irwin, brings out animals to show him and Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.

kevin hart, jimmy fallon, and rabbits

Kevin Hart and Jimmy compete in a trivia game where a right or wrong answer results in them getting fluffy bunnies to snuggle.