From: International Student Services
Date: December 1, 2021
Subject: ISS News, December 1, 2021: ISS' Hours in December, End of Semester Reminders, COVID-19 Return Testing, Tax Information, Good Vibes, and More


December 1, 2021


in this issue:

  1. End of Semester Reminders
  2. COVID-19 Return Testing
  3. We're Here to Help
  4. December- Changes in ISS' Availability
  5. OPT & CPT Workshops
  6. Food Insecurity Resources
  7. Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year
  8. Tips for Staying Safe in the Evenings
  9. Features
  10. Campus Happenings
  11. Other Opportunities
  12. Good Vibes Only


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.

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 questions:

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 your 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.


  • be aware of all travel-related policies. Travel requirements are changing as the situation with COVID-19 evolves, including a new Presidential Proclamation requiring travelers to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the US.  Be sure that you are monitoring all requirements for entry to the United States and complying with university policies related to vaccination and travel to minimize the risk of disrupting your education at CWRU. **If you have any doubts or concerns about your ability to return to the United States by January 10 when the Spring 2022 semester begins, ISS strongly recommends that you remain in the United States during winter break and not travel abroad.**
  • 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.
  • make sure your passport is valid 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.  There are certain benefits for which F-1 students apply when they are in the United States and the agencies that oversee those benefits often require applicants to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months into the future.

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.

testing setup

COVID-19 Return Testing

Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break!  Don't forget to complete testing requirements if you're living on campus!

Good Luck with Finals written in multicolored chalk

We're Here to Help

The staff in ISS, University Health & Counseling Services (UH&CS), and hundreds of student service professionals across our campus are ready to help students. We all know that you are busy-- busy with finals and busy with life-- and that there may be things happening in the United States and throughout the world that are affecting you. 

We want you to take care of yourself and have the support you need to be successful.  Please don't forget that you can access mental health care through CWRU CareCWRU Care is a 24/7 mental telehealth care service that undergraduate, graduate and professional students can access from wherever they are. For more information about the program or to make an appointment, please visit

Not feeling well? Connect with our University Health Service staff.

If you wonder how your academics might affect your immigration status, reach out to ISS as soon as possible!

The university community is ready to help!
holiday hours clip art

December- Changes in ISS' Availability

ISS and the Center for International Affairs will have different hours of operation over the next few weeks. This schedule will be updated as needed to help you plan your visit to ISS.

Friday, December 3: The Center will close at 3 pm so that staff can engage in afternoon strategic planning meetings.

Friday, December 10: The Center will close at 3 pm so that staff can engage in afternoon strategic planning meetings.

Friday, December 17: The Center will close at 12:30 pm so that staff can engage in afternoon strategic planning meetings.

Thursday, December 23: The Center will close at noon so that staff can engage in afternoon strategic planning meetings.

Friday, December 24 - Monday, January 3: UNIVERSITY IS CLOSED

On all other days, ISS will operate and offer services as usual.  Please plan your visit to the office accordingly so that staff members are available to help you!

Note: ISS does close when the university closes for scheduled breaks and inclement weather. If you're ever in doubt about ISS staff's availability, we strongly recommend that you call in advance of visiting the office; we don't want you to be out in the cold, snowy weather if we're not available to help you! If you have an immigration-related emergency when we are not in the office, contact CWRU Security at 216.368.3300 and dispatch will know how to reach an ISS staff member.

OPT and CPT workshop branding telling students that workshops are available online

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.

food box clip art

Food Insecurity Resources

There are various food pantries for students who are facing food insecurity.  Take a look at the list of the different food pantries and other resources available on campus and in the community.

Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year

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Important Tax Info:
Make Sure You Get Your W-2

Every year, ALL individuals in F and J status must file taxes- including spouses, young children- even if they haven't earned any income!

The W-2 is a critical document for properly filing taxes. Every year between January and February, the university generates W-2 documents for individuals who have earned income from CWRU.

When your W-2 is generated, it's sent to your Permanent Address as listed in SIS. Please take a moment to verify that your correct Permanent Address is listed in SIS (make any updates as needed by December 15) to ensure that you'll receive your W-2.

If your Permanent Address is current, but you would prefer to have your W-2 sent to another address, it is necessary for you to include that address under the W-2 Override option in SIS no later than December 15. Using the W-2 Override function will maintain the integrity of your Permanent Address information and ensure that you receive your W-2 at the different, preferred address.

Please contact Payroll if you have questions about receiving your W-2.

Sprintax logo

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 will also be hosting two free open tax webinars for students who are authorized for OPT/CPT to learn more about their tax responsibilities as well.
walking on campus at night

Walking on campus in the evenings?                                      Get tips for staying safe


Cleveland Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings

roxboro school image from

Volunteer as Mandarin Classroom Assistant


Friday, December 3
Start End   Event         Location
12:40pm 2:15pm Flexible Serves: Mandarin Chinese Tutoring (Fridays 12:40-2:15pm) Meeting location: CCEL (Tinkham Veale University Center, Suite 165)
OL image

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.


Doc Opera 2021: GARLA La Land

Saturday, December 11
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115, United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Doc Opera is a fundraiser and musical production organized by the students and faculty of the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Drawing talent from multiple health graduate programs, all components of Doc Opera are written, choreographed, directed, and performed by students and faculty to create a memorable night of musical performances, skits, and dances about medicine, healthcare, and Cleveland. The performance draws hundreds of audience members ranging from students, faculty, and alumni of the participating programs to healthcare providers, patients, families, and other members of the Greater Cleveland community.

3MT flyer

Other Opportunities

SASS 500 Sec 103 flyer
Engl 146 flyer
Engl 147 flyer
Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge logo

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!

maccabeats sing about chanukah

The Maccabeats Cover a BTS Song and Sing about Chanukah

Happy Chanukah to all who celebrate!