From: VISA Office
Date: January 26, 2022
Subject: ISS News, January 26, 2022: Think About Applying for OPT, Nominate for Global Citizen Awards, H-1B Workshop, Lunar New Year, Winter Driving Tips, Good Vibes, and More


January 26, 2022


in this issue:

  1. Graduating at the End of The Semester? Think About OPT
  2. New Students, Look Around Your New Homes
  3. Orientation with ISS
  4. Chat with ISS Staff During Advising Hours
  5. Features
  6. Campus Happenings
  7. Good Vibes Only
  8. Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year
  9. 6 Tips for Winter Driving in Northeast Ohio
  10. Winter Weather 101


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

11am to 1pm- through virtual advising available online

1pm to 3pm- through in-person advising in the office

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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Graduating at the End of the Semester? Think About Optional Practical Training

Being well informed about OPT before you apply is a must. ISS feels very strongly about this, which is why we require all students to complete a workshop. ISS will be offering Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other considerations.

A complete OPT Workshop schedule will be available shortly- check future editions of ISSNews for schedule announcements. Be sure to either register to attend your preferred advisor-led session or access the presentation online before you complete your OPT application.

Completing a workshop (in one of the formats- ISS highly recommends the advisor-led sessions!) during the semester that you intend to apply for OPT is required as part of the application process. You do not need to have a job offer or any definitive employment plans to complete a workshop or apply for OPT!

If you have questions, get in touch during advising hours. Remember, only ISS staff can advise you about the procedures for OPT!

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Chat with ISS Staff During Advising Hours

Have a question? Need Support? Connect with an ISS staff member during Advising Hours.

Virtual Advising is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., EST. The chat box (it looks just like the picture) will be available on our website.  Please keep in mind that the advisor may be assisting multiple students, so we do appreciate your patience.  During virtual advising, an advisor might determine that your situation requires a visit to the office or even an appointment to best serve you.  To learn more about virtual chat, check out the tutorial.

In-person advising is available 1 to 3 p.m., EST. Come by the office then (no appointment needed) to meet with an ISS advisor.

You can request an appointment by emailing Please be prepared to briefly describe the nature of your appointment when you contact us so that we can prepare. Same-day appointments are not generally available; an appointment for the next business day is typically the earliest we can schedule.

Outside of Advising Hours, students can drop off and pick up paperwork at the front desk, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.   Anything that requires interaction with an advisor needs to happen during Advising Hours, through whichever method is most appropriate.

Advisors are looking forward to chatting with you online and in-person!

don't forget written on post it notes

New Students, Look Around Your New Homes

Living spaces in the US may be very different from those in your home countries. Please pay attention to the differences to avoid problems with landlords or the University.

Common differences:

There are no drains in the floors of bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.

Water on the floor will damage carpet and wood floors

Water on the floor will likely go down the walls into apartments on lower floors and damage walls, ceilings, etc.

Windows may be sealed shut. If they are, do not open them

Walls are usually painted drywall, not cinder block and whitewash

Appliances may be electric or gas

Quiet hours may be strictly enforced

Heat may be controlled by the landlord or management company rather than by you

Pet policies are strictly enforced

You may be held financially responsible for any damage you cause, even if you cause it by accident

Lease agreements are binding contracts for the length of the lease—follow the terms of your lease agreements carefully

If you encounter a problems with on-campus housing, please notify your RA or the Housing Office immediately. If you encounter a problem with a landlord or management company, please feel free to contact ISS for help.

Tax Information for the 2021 Filing Year

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Important Tax Info: Get Your W-2

If you worked and got paid during the previous calendar year, you should receive a W-2 from your employer within the next several weeks. This W-2 is required to file taxes, which all persons in the US (international students too!) must do by April 18. More information about how to file your taxes will be made available on the ISS website in mid to late February. It is currently unavailable.

Current Students: If you worked at CWRU and got paid during last calendar year, the university will generate your W-2 and send it to the US W-2 address you listed in the Student Information System (SIS). You must make sure that that address is listed in SIS to ensure that your W-2 is sent to the proper address.

Alumni: If you received payment from CWRU during the last calendar year, you must also make sure that your address is properly listed in SIS to receive the W-2.

If you have not received your W-2, you'll need to contact Payroll by email to request an appointment to pick up your W-2 in person.

More information:

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Sprintax Offers Tax Webinars to Prepare for Tax Filing Season 2021

ISS partners with the tax experts at Sprintax who offer tax filing services to international students that are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes. 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:  The informational webinars will cover the same topics on each occasion:
  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2021 US tax return
  • What income forms students may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • Terms like FICA, ITIN, and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file or misfile
  • State tax returns
  • Sprintax overview
Sprintax also released a new blog, How to Prepare for the 2021 US Tax season, which you are welcome to view.
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Orientation with ISS

Did you miss Orientation with ISS? The orientation session reviews the most fundamental rules and regulations as well as resources that ISS provides in order to help you maintain your status and enhance your time at Case Western Reserve University

Log into Terra Dotta (, find your Check In Record marked "Committed," and then look for the item called "ISS Oreintation Presentation."

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Winter Weather 101

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6 Tips for Winter Driving in Northeast Ohio


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CWRU Lunar New Year 2022

Monday, January 31
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Tinkham Veale University Center, Tomlinson Hall, Room 143 , United States
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Celebrate Lunar New Year 2022 with CWRU by enjoying sesame balls and a fireworks display over Freiberger Field! We'll also have free giveaways for CWRU students to celebrate the Year of the Tiger!

Giveaways and sesame balls available at 6:00 pm while supplies last; fireworks at 6:30 pm.

All CWRU students, staff and faculty are invited to attend!

Learn more about Lunar New Year here:

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Cleveland Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings

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Calling out to all international graduate students and international graduate student organizations!

GSC in collaboration with ISAC is looking to begin a roundtable for international graduate student organizations and one or two events this semester focused for international students. If you have any interest in either of these, please fill out this short form!

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Spring Career Fair Events Hosted by
Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education


Career Conversations (In Person)

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Career Conversations is an on-campus networking event at Case Western  Reserve University. Held the week prior to the career fair, this event is an in-person opportunity for employers to meet CWRU students and alumni face-to-face.
Employers will be recruiting students of all majors for all kinds of opportunities, including internships, co-ops, practicum experiences, full-time jobs, and more. Employers typically send CWRU alumni as representatives, so this is a great networking opportunity, even if you're not in the market for a position.

Learn more and register in Handshake.

Get Experienced! Career Fair (Virtual)

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 — Noon to 4 p.m.

Get a jump start on your semester by registering to attend the CWRU Spring 2022 Get Experienced! Virtual Career Fair. This event is open to all majors.

Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students and alumni who are seeking careers in all industries and interest areas. Participants who attend this event will learn important information on internships, co-ops, practicum, and full-time employment. This event will also serve as a great opportunity to network with CWRU alumni and industry professionals.

Learn more and register in Handshake.
RA flyer
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Sears think[box] is Hiring

Sears think[box] seeks motivated and innovative students of all skill levels to join its 2022-2023 Student Technician team.

At our world-class makerspace and innovation center, Technicians are trained to use cutting edge prototyping and equipment in order to support research, entrepreneurship, and community projects.

Technicians receive 24/7 access to think[box] as well as a variety of personal and professional development opportunities.

Learn more about the position, RSVP to an information session, and submit an application at are due at 9:00 a.m. on January 31, 2022.

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Apply to Become an Orientation Leader

Share your excitement and knowledge about Case Western Reserve University with new students and their families as a 2022 orientation leader.

Learn how to become an orientation leader and register for an information session.

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Rethinking Anxiety and Depression

February 2, 9 & 16

A fast-paced, 3 session workshop intended to help increase understanding of Anxiety and Depression. The goal is to provide students with some skills to recognize and manage symptoms. 

Students should be able to attend all three sessions. 

Workshop is held virtually. Zoom information sent after registration. 

To register:

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Koru Mindfulness
February 3, 10, 17 & 24

Koru Mindfulness is a four session course that will teach you a wide variety of mindfulness skills in a group learning environment. These skills will help you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life so that you can experience the benefits of less stress, better sleep and improved self-compassion. Please make sure that you can attend all four sessions, as registration is limited to fifteen participants. 
Brought to you by the Office of Student Advancement and University Health & Counseling Services. All sessions will be held virtually. Zoom link will be sent after registration. All times are Eastern Standard.

Register Here


Creating a Wellness Self-Care Plan

Wednesday, February 9
12:00pm - 12:45pm
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In this virtual Wellness Wednesday participants will learn how to create a wellness self-care plan that focuses on their unique needs and goals. Come away with tools and resources to keep you on track all semester.
Zoom link sent after registration
Open to all CWRU, CIA, CIM and KSU podiatry students.
Brought to you by Office of Multicultural Affairs and University Health & Counseling Services.

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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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The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Lion Dance