From: International Student Services
Date: April 22, 2020
Subject: ISS News, April 22, 2020: Executive Order, End of Semester Reminders, Please Report your Current Location, Scams Related to COVID-19, Global Citizen Awards Event, Good Vibes Only, & More!


April 22, 2020


in this issue:

  1. End of Semester Reminders
  2. ISSNews Summer Schedule
  3. Featured Events
  4. Campus Events
  5. Good Vibes Only
  6. Please Report Your Current Location
  7. Outbreak of Scams Related to COVID-19
  8. New Opportunity for Students to Talk with University Counseling Services Counselors
  9. Important Stimulus Payment Information
  10. Travel Restrictions Extend for the US, Mexico, and Canada
  11. President Trump's Plans for Executive Order


ISS Staff is available to students, without an appointment, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during virtual advising hours,11am to 3pm.

There are no virtual advising hours on Wednesday.

Appointments through Zoom or by phone can be requested by emailing Please provide your full-name and a brief description of the nature of your appointment when you contact us.

logo for White House

President Trump's Plans for Executive Order

As you may have heard, President Trump has announced plans to implement another executive order regarding immigration.  The news came via his Twitter account late in the evening on April 20.
The Office of International Student Services (ISS) is following the situation carefully.  Right now we can only speculate about what the order might say as no order has yet been made public. In his tweet, the President said nothing about students. We know this is incredibly frustrating and stressful for you. We will keep you informed and help you to prioritize as best as we can as more information becomes available.
Please stay in touch with ISS- We are here to help!- and continue to check your email addresses regularly.  Feel free to email us at

keep calm the semester is about to end meme

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.

image of a roadmap with "where are you?"

Please Report Your Current Location

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) knows that many students decided to leave campus when the university made the decision to deliver courses remotely for the remainder of the Spring semester.

ISS wants to ensure that we can still get in touch with you as needed and that we are doing everything possible to help you maintain your visa status while we are apart.

ISS has prepared a brief form and we are asking students to voluntarily self-report their current location during this time.  Please make sure you are logged into your CWRU account on your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and then click on the link directly  If you have any difficulties, please email

Thank you for your assistance.  Take care of yourself!

stimulus check image

Important Stimulus Payment Information

The Economic Impact Payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are being sent to individuals who are determined to be “resident aliens for tax purposes only.” International students in F-1 and J-1 status can be considered “resident aliens for tax purposes only” once they have been in the United States in F-1 or J-1 student status for more than 5 calendar years.

“Resident aliens for tax purposes only” are eligible to file taxes like US citizens and permanent residents and often use software such as TurboTax.  Turbo Tax generates the tax form 1040, which is what prompts the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) to generate a stimulus check, in conjunction with other qualifying criteria.

If you believe you filed your taxes improperly and/or received a stimulus payment in error, you must consult with a tax professional, like a tax consultant or accountant; a tax professional will be able to advise you about how to correct the situation- what you need to do now or what you will need to do in the future.  If you used Sprintax to file your taxes, ISS recommends that you contact Sprintax for assistance. Sprintax has also made this helpful information available. You can also search on the web for local tax assistance based on your location/zip code.  H&R Block is one of many services available.

ISS staff members are not able to advise you on your tax-related questions or concerns; we are not tax professionals and we do not have formal training or expertise on this complicated subject matter.

psychological assistance

New Opportunity for Students to Talk with University Counseling Services Counselors

To learn more, you can read about this opportunity in the daily

puzzle pieces depicting US', Mexico's, and Canada's flags

Travel Restrictions Extend for the US, Mexico, and Canada

To learn more, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.

summer schedule text with bright yellow sun in background

ISSNews Summer Schedule

After Commencement, ISS will continue to publish and send ISSNews to all international students, but not every Wednesday since campus activities slow significantly during this time of year; however, 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 new Fall semester!

scam spelled out on keyboard

Outbreak of Scams Related to COVID-19

The Ohio Attorney General recently posted a warning about COVID-19 related scams. ISS wants to make sure that international students are aware of these scams- you can read more about them here- and know how to protect themselves.  Our website has other information that we hope you will find helpful.

Featured Events


Global Citizen Awards Ceremony

Thursday, April 23
2:00pm - 2:15pm
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The Global Citizen Awards honor outstanding students, faculty or staff, campus partners and student organizations that enhance the international student experience, create a sense of community and champion internationalization at Case Western Reserve University.

Typically, the winners of the awards are announced at the Center for International Affairs' International Achievement Luncheon. Since we are unable to host that event this year, we will be announcing the winners in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 pm EST.


We hope the Case Western Reserve campus community joins us to celebrate the winners and recognize them for their contributions.

For more information about the awards and the categories, visit:

study abroad scholarship flyer

Scholarship Applications Due April 30

Students can apply here.

Friday Forums Flyer

Study Abroad Launching Friday Forums April 24!

Students are invited to connect with the Office of Education Abroad every Friday starting April 24 for the new Study Abroad Friday Forums. The forums will answer various student study abroad questions and highlight specifics about study abroad experiences every Friday at 1 pm via Zoom.

The forums will feature a different topic each week! They begin April 24 with helpful tips on study abroad basics including how to search for a semester program, an overview of the entire experience from applying to returning home, how to get course approvals and details on the financial models for different programs.

In May, the topics include Germany and all you can study and do in Deutschland, how and why pre-med students can and should study abroad, how to tap into the career success study abroad alumni enjoy, how to find--and win--study abroad scholarships, and considerations for LGBTQ students studying abroad.

All CWRU students are welcome to attend. The link to participate can be found on the Study Abroad CampusGroups page:


Study Abroad Photo Contest Winners Unveiling

Friday, May 1
2:00pm - 2:15pm
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The Center for International Affairs will host a virtual unveiling event to announce the winners of the 2020 Study Abroad Photo Contest! Typically, the winners are unveiled at the International Achievement Luncheon, but as we are unable to host that event this year, we hope you'll join us online to celebrate the winners!

We'll share details on the CWRU Study Abroad Facebook page:

You can learn more about the contest and the categories here:


Campus Events

Spoken English Seminars


Hudson Relays at Home

Wednesday, April 22 at 8:00am
to Saturday, April 25 at 5:00pm
Virtually anywhere!
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COVID-19 will not stop the time-honored tradition of the Hudson Relays! Although this year’s race won’t be held on campus, current classes, graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni will still have a chance to participate with each other virtually.

Wednesday, April 22 through Saturday, April 25: walk, run or take part in other physical activity.

Send photos,video clips or narratives of your activity or share Hudson Relays memories by posting on Instagram and tagging it #HudsonRelaysAtHome or #HudsonRelays or by emailing to These submissions must be completed before Friday, April 24 at 5 p.m. to be included in the webcast scheduled for Saturday, April 25th.

Saturday, April 25 LIVE webcast at 2 p.m. EST: featuring presentations from President Barbara Synder, Provost Ben Vinson III, team captains and members of the Hudson Relays committee. There will be live drawings from contests generated by registration information and submitted photos or video.


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!

cleveland international film festival logo

Enjoy the Cleveland International Film Festival at Home

CIFF Streams will offer subscribers access to many of the films slated to be part of the CIFF44 line-up!

vanderbilt melodores from

Vanderbilt Melodores Sing Lizzo Medley

The Melodores are Vanderbilt University's internationally-recognized all-male a cappella group.  A cappella means they perform without instruments; all of the sounds you hear are made from their voices! The Melodores perform a medley of Lizzo's hits while quarantined!

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Get creative with 30 days of LEGO building ideas!