From: International Student Services
Date: May 5, 2021
Subject: SS News, May 5, 2021: End of Semester Reminders, Vaccine Verification Platform, Celebrate APIDAA Month, CWRU Alumni Event for Students, Summer Courses, Tax Information, Good Vibes, & More


May 5, 2021


in this issue:

  1. We Hear Your Questions
  2. Tax Information for 2020 Filing Year
  3. OPT & CPT Workshops
  4. Commencement 2021 Updates
  5. Beware of Scams
  6. Features
  7. Campus Happenings
  8. Other Opportunities
  9. Good Vibes Only
  10. End of Semester Reminders
  11. COVID-19 Vaccine Verification Platform
  12. Students in Distant Time Zones
  13. ISSNews Summer Schedule


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.

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End of Semester Reminders

If you have thoughts about traveling abroad during the summer, be sure to ask yourself these important questions, visit the links if you need to take action, and take the effects of COVID-19 into consideration as you make your plans:

Do I need to extend my I-20 or DS-2019? If you do, read more under the Frequently Asked Questions Section.

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

Am I fully prepared to travel during the break so that I can return to campus smoothly?  In addition to having your I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel, which you can read about here, if you’re an F-1 or J-1 student, please:

  • check the validity of the visa in your passport. US Embassies and Consulates have suspended services worldwide 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 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.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Verification Platform

CWRU will be launching an online module that allows users to enter the dates of their vaccine doses and upload pictures of their vaccination cards.  You can read Interim President Cowen's and Provost Vinson's message to learn more about this initiative.

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We Hear Your Questions

ISS has been receiving many emails over the past few weeks and the most popular topics on your minds right now are:

  • vaccine policy
  • housing
  • quarantining
  • visa Issuance
  • maintaining status.

We hear you!  We want to know more about these things too and to be able to give you better answers than “we are still waiting for information” or “we do not yet know.”  Truthfully, there is a lot that we just cannot answer definitively right now.  We know this is frustrating to hear.  It is frustrating for us to tell you too.

Please continue to keep in touch with ISS throughout the spring and summer.  We will continue to do our best to answer your questions and support you.  As we learn more, as policies become finalized, and as plans become more concrete, ISS will continue to share information with you.  We will send messages directly to your email accounts, we will include information in ISSNews, and we will update our website.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!

Tax Information for 2020 Filing Year

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Tax Deadline Extended to May: Forms & Sprintax Availablity

Sprintax is a tax-return-preparation software program designed primarily for international students and other educational visa holders. It can help you prepare your U.S. federal income tax return and assist you in preparing Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.  In a recent blog post, Sprintax staff explain the IRS' tax filing deadline extension to May 17.

You may access Sprintax and begin preparing your tax return by following these steps:

  1. Register and follow the simple instructions
  2. Complete the online questionnaire
  3. Enter Case Western Reserve University’s unique code.  This code was sent to you via email on February 17.
  4. Sprintax will prepare your tax return

If Sprintax determines that you are required to file state taxes, you will have the opportunity to prepare those state taxes. You are not required to use Sprintax to file state taxes but, remember, it is your responsibility to comply with the law and properly file all taxes.

If by now, you haven't received your W-2 from CWRU, contact Payroll at If you were authorized to work for another employer, you should contact their payroll department.

For more information regarding the 1098-T, please visit Financial Services website to download the Nonresident Alien 1098-T Request Form.

1042-S forms were prepared in mid-March and sent to students by Payroll. Please contact Payroll if you have questions about the issuance of your 1042-S.

For more information, visit our Information on Filing Taxes page and if you have any questions, the Sprintax team will be happy to help via their 24/7 live chat function or email ISS staff members cannot advise you on your questions, which is why we partner with the experts at Sprintax.

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Sprintax Offers Tax Webinars to Prepare for Tax Filing Season 2020 

ISS partners with Sprintax to provide international students, who are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes, with expert assistance when filing their US taxes.

The Sprintax team will be hosting a series of free open tax webinars to provide helpful information around non-resident tax filing obligations.

You can find the details and registration links below for each (these are all in EST). 

The informational webinars will cover the same topics on each occasion:

  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2020 US tax return
  • What income forms students/scholars may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • We cover terms like FICA, ITIN and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file, or misfile
  • State tax returns
  • IRS stimulus payments
  • Sprintax overview
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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 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 and CPT sections.

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Students in Distant Time Zones

Provost Vinson sent a message about the university's plan to address the academic challenges that living in distant time zones pose for our students.

Please be sure to review the message and to reach out for assistance if you need it.  Staff in ISS and many offices across campus are here to support you!

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Click Here for Commencement 2021 Updates

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Beware of Scams

During the spring, particularly around tax time through university commencements, scams are common. 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.

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ISSNews Summer Schedule

After Commencement, ISS will continue to publish and send ISSNews to all international students, but not every Wednesday since activity slows significantly during the summer.  Please continue to check your CWRU email regularly and read through any ISSNews publications that we do send out. They will include information that is important to be aware of as student visa holders!

ISS will resume its weekly ISSNews publication in August as we all prepare for the Fall semester.


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Celebrate Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi, and Asian American Heritage 

Case Western Reserve University is celebrating Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi and Asian American Heritage throughout the month of May!

Student organizations, campus offices and community partners have come together to organize a calendar full of events to help the university community celebrate, learn and better support students, staff, faculty and alumni of Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi, and Asian American heritage.

Join the celebration by participating in the events and activities here:


APIDAA Heritage Month - The Classroom, The Boardroom, Every Room: Asian and AAPI Experiences at CWRU and Beyond

Friday, May 14
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Private Location (rsvp to display)
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Engage with a panel featuring Case Western Reserve University Asian and AAPI students, faculty/staff, and alumni to learn more about their experiences.

The panel includes:
Grace Zhang - a student studying biochemistry in the School of Medicine and international studies in the College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita - an alumnus and founder and CEO of Quality Electrodynamics
Ashley Lu - a staff member, alumna and Master of Accountancy program manager in the Weatherhead School of Management

The panel will be introduced by Robert Soloman, Vice President for the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and moderated by David Fleshler, Vice Provost for International Affairs.

This event is hosted by the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Center for International Affairs and Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence as part of CWRU's celebration of Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi & Asian American Heritage Month.

Details about how to view and participate in this session will be posted here soon.

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Campus Happenings

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Day of Remembrance

The Day of Remembrance is set to be on May 7. It will be a reflective time to remember the loved ones lost since March 2020 as well as the meaningful events missed and ongoing activities stopped altogether. Throughout the day there will be a series of activities from a memory wall, virtual panels, and campus community sessions. You can read more about upcoming details here in a message from President Cowen and Provost Vinson.

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wine event

19th Annual Wine & Wildflowers present by the CWRU Austin and Houston Alumni Chapters

Tuesday, May 11 from 5:00PM - 6:00PM CDT
Location: Zoom event

CWRU Connect, this is an early access opportunity for an exciting CWRU discussion. Secure your spot before it becomes available to the rest of the alumni population!

The bluebonnets are in bloom in Texas, but we'll be discussing a different kind of "STEM" during the 19th Annual Wine & Wildflowers event. The Austin and Houston CWRU alumni chapters present an exclusive, virtual discussion with Case Western Reserve's Great LakesEnergy Institute (GLEI).

19th Annual Wine & Wildflowers

Tuesday, May 11
6 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. CDT

Nearly every Texan was impacted by the once-in-a-generation winter storms this year. From this crisis "grew'' many questions about renewable energy and storage, but did you know that CWRU plays an important role in the …

View this event in CWRU Connect | The Alumni Career Network

Other Opportunities

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Rethinking Youth Justice

This 1 credit hour course is open to students across majors and does not have any prerequisites.

This class will discuss some of the most pressing issues that face the juvenile justice system, especially during the pandemic, such as racial/ethnic disproportionality in the juvenile justice system, substance abuse, mental disorders, and the school to prison pipeline. Through participating in various class activities (e.g., case studies, group discussions, videos, and mini-lectures), students will develop an insight into the role of social work in juvenile delinquency prevention and treatment. This course will also bring an international perspective with an overview of social work practice in different countries.

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UNIV 401: Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching

Registration for Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching (UNIV401) is open now for all graduate students and post-docs.
Anyone interested in a future as a faculty member or educator at the university level should consider this free course.

Taught by experienced teachers, this course offers participants the chance to learn more about the theory and practice of teaching and learning. The course will feature small group discussions about the theories of teaching and learning, opportunities to observe experienced university faculty, and practice through micro-teaching sessions.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion.

This course will take place on Tuesdays during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Two sections are available.

Participants will be expected to read assignments, complete weekly journal assignments, develop a course outline and syllabus, plan and teach a mini-lesson, and participate fully in all discussions and online sessions.

This course is open to students, post-docs, and research scholars.

Enrollment is via the Student Information System.

If you have any additional questions, please email
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Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Trail Challenge, a guest led program where you discover new trails throughout Cleveland Metroparks on your own, move to better health, discover the wonders of nature, and earn awards along the way! 

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!

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Adorable Toddler Recreates Uncle's (a Professional Model) Poses.