From: International Student Services
Date: October 7, 2020
Subject: ISS News, October 7, 2020: Orientation with ISS, Court Decision Stops Implementation of New USCIS Fees and Forms, Networking for International Students, Homecoming, Good Vibes, OPT & CPT Information, & More!


October 7, 2020


in this issue:

  1. Orientation With ISS
  2. OPT & CPT Workshops
  3. Court Decision Stops Implementation of New USCIS Fees and Forms
  4. Features
  5. Good Vibes Only
  6. OPT & STEM OPT Students- Follow These Simple Steps for Reporting Required Updates
  7. Updating Address Information in SIS
  8. Culture Shock


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.

uscis logo

Court Decision Stops Implementation of New USCIS Fees and Forms

On September 29, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction and stay that will stop this new form and new fee from being used until a final decision is made. These fees and forms were supposed to go into effect on October 2. You can read more about the court’s decision here.

Until a final decision is made, you should continue to submit the current Form I-765 with the August 25, 2020 edition date printed on it and a fee of $410 for your OPT and STEM OPT petitions.  This is true of any other USCIS petitions being submitted as well- use forms that are currently available and submit fees currently posted on the USCIS Fee Calculator.

ISS anticipates that there might be some confusion at  USCIS Service Centers during this transition. If you have questions or concerns about any correspondence you receive from USCIS regarding your application, please get in touch with ISS right away and we will assist you.

change of address text with mailbox clipart

Updating Address Information in SIS

Federal regulations require that all international students report their current address to SEVIS and any changes within 10 days. It is also important that the university has your current address on file at all times.

The best way to ensure that you are complying with federal regulations and university policy is to check your address for accuracy in SIS and report any changes through SIS. Information in SIS is shared with ISS' system (Terra Dotta) and then ISS can report changes of information to SEVIS.

Ensuring that information is always reported to and updated in SIS ensures that you will always get the information that you need from CWRU and that you are properly maintaining your status as a student visa holder. Failure to report your address properly is a violation of status that can have serious consequences.

clip are of people holding up the letters to culture

Culture Shock

This is the time of year when culture shock begins to settle in. Please pay attention to your stress levels and your emotions. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods, and taking at least the occasional break from your work to relax. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, sad, or any other negative emotion that you'd like to talk about, you are welcome to visit ISS. We have some resources on our website that you might find helpful too.

Remember that University Health and Counseling Services are free and you can go there as well. We care about you and hope you learn a great deal and develop your resilience while you're here!

opt and cpt workshop branding telling students to complete a workshop

OPT & CPT Workshops

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 3-5 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.

Virtual OPT workshops led by an advisor have been scheduled and information about required registration, attendance, and the application process can be found on our website under the OPT section. ISS staff is still planning the virtual CPT workshops with an advisor and more information will be shared through ISSNews when it is available.

opt wordle

OPT & STEM OPT Students
Follow These Simple Steps to Report Required Updates

Reporting related to your personal contact and employment information is a critical part of maintaining status while authorized for either OPT or STEM OPT. Here are instructions for you to follow to ensure that both ISS and the U.S. Government receive the information that they need.

ISS has been notified that the "...Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is conducting a review of SEVIS records for OPT participants and is mailing notices directly to students who have not reported employer information and have exceeded 90 days of unemployment. The notice informs students of their lack of employer/employment information and provides an opportunity for them to update their records either through their DSO or directly through the SEVP Portal. If the student’s SEVIS record is not updated, SEVP will set the record to “terminated” to reflect the lack of employer information and the potential that the student may have violated their status either by failing to timely report OPT employment or by exceeding the permissible period of unemployment while on OPT."

By following the simple steps that ISS has provided, you will be taking the necessary steps to protect your visa status. 

world map from orientation presentation

Orientation With ISS

Did you miss orientation materials provided by ISS?

The orientation materials review the most fundamental rules and regulations in order to help you maintain your visa status as well as resources that ISS provides to enhance your time at Case Western Reserve University

If you have not viewed the information already, be sure to do so now by logging into Terra Dotta here.  Information about culture shock is also available to students who would like to learn more.


study abroad north star experiences flyer

Explore Study Abroad’s North Star Experiences

The Office of Education Abroad is offering three North Star experiences for students to expand their global and intercultural learning virtually. The topics include digital storytelling, exploring global learning, and exploring intercultural knowledge and competence.

These experiences offer students opportunities to engage in virtual research and fieldwork, to cultivate a more understanding and empathetic community, and to think critically about one's own identity, perspectives, ethics, and community.

Each experience runs for three weeks and they all start this semester. Find out more on the Study Abroad CampusGroups page.

flyer for Friday Forum

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!

CLE Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings

people networking

Networking for International Students


You have landed a phone call or coffee chat with someone who works at your dream company. Now what? How do you prepare for the conversation? What do you say?

Join Annabel Khouri, International Student and Employer Engagement Specialist, and Kwan Segal, human-capital consultant with over 15 years of professional experience at global organizations like BMW, Accenture, and Deloitte. Coach Kwan is the Founder and CEO of ICAway /i-see-a-way/, an empowering community for international students to find jobs in the U.S.

This workshop will include a role-play of effective approaches to talking to professionals. Students will also have the opportunity to practice in small groups.

The Zoom meeting link will be shared upon registration.


Virtual Game Night at KSL

Thursday, October 8
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Zoom link
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Welcome to the Virtual KSL Game Night!

flu shot sign

Get your Flu Shot

Faculty, staff and students are welcome to come to a free Flu Shot Clinic on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings in the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center Fieldhouse.

No appointments are required, but all participants need to bring their CWRU ID. In addition, wearing an outfit that allows the upper arm to be easily exposed is suggested.

The dates for the Flu Shot Clinics are:

Wednesday, October 7
Start End   Event         Location
8:30am 12:00pm Flu Clinic Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center Fieldhouse
Thursday, October 8
8:30am 12:00pm Flu Clinic Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center Fieldhouse
Tuesday, October 13
8:30am 12:00pm Flu Clinic Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center Fieldhouse
Wednesday, October 14
8:30am 12:00pm Flu Clinic Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center Fieldhouse
Thursday, October 15
8:30am 12:00pm Flu Clinic Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center Fieldhouse
sparty on a homecoming float

Homecoming Weekend
October 8-11, 2020

Each fall, the Case Western Reserve University community gathers to celebrate the achievements of those within our ranks, exchange ideas, and reconnect at a tradition known as Homecoming. CWRU is committed to providing virtual experiences so that the members of the CWRU alumni community can share their pride for their alma mater and the milestones achieved together.

This year, like many before, get together to celebrate Case Western Reserve University through virtual events!

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!

Sport Science!

lebron and sports science

featuring basketball great, Lebron James

abby wambach

and Olympic gold-medalist, Abby Wambach