From: VISA Office
Date: September 14, 2022
Subject: ISS News, September 14, 2022: ISS Virtual Advising, CPT & OPT Info, New Students- Look Around Your New Homes, Study Abroad Information, Safety Tips, Film Screening of The History of Cleveland's Chinatown, Welcome to America Dinner, Good Vibes, and More

ISS news header

September 14, 2022


in this issue:

  1. Navigating ISS Virtual Advising
  2. CPT Workshops
  3. New Students, Look Around Your New Homes
  4. Graduating at the End of The Semester? Think About OPT
  5. OPT & STEM OPT Students- Follow These Simple Steps for Reporting Updates
  6. Tips for Staying Safe
  7. Sprintax Offers an Introduction to US Taxes Webinar
  8. Features
  9. Campus Happenings
  10. Other Opportunities
  11. 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.

virtual advising image

Chat with ISS Staff During Virtual Advising Hours

ISS offers virtual advising on-demand to answer quick questions from 11 am - 1 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Watch this video to find out how to access virtual advising and talk to an advisor through our online chat!

cpt flyer

CPT Workshops

ISS is offering Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other important considerations. The workshop schedule is now available on our website.

Being well informed about CPT before you apply is a must. ISS feels very strongly about this, which is why we require all students to complete a workshop prior to applying for each CPT authorization. ISS will not accept CPT applications from students who have not completed a workshop in a timely manner.

For more information about completing a required CPT workshop and other details about CPT, visit our website and scroll down to the CPT section. Please be sure to very carefully read all of the information there.

clip are of house and magnifying house

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.

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

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!

opt wordle

OPT & STEM OPT Students- Follow These Simple Steps for Reporting 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. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your visa status is protected!

safe 8 flyer
Sprintax logo

Sprintax Introduction to US Taxes

The staff members in ISS are not tax experts, so the office partners with Sprintax to help students get all of the tax-related information that they need.

In this online session, Wednesday, September 21, 12:30 p.m. EDT, the Sprintax team will be providing an introduction to US taxes for new and incoming international students, scholars, and professionals.

Topics covered will include an outline of filing obligations for nonresidents, tax information around working in the USA, and other resources to help nonresidents to understand their tax obligations while in the USA.

We hope you'll consider attending so that you feel prepared for the upcoming 2022 tax filing season. At that time, ISS will notify students about Sprintax tools that are available for use.


ISAC onboarding survey flyer

Study Abroad Information


Joint Session: Study Abroad Scholarships - Writing Workshop (Virtual)

Thursday, September 15
4:00pm - 5:00pm
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Come learn some of the winning strategies behind the FEA, Gilman and more!
Cycle encompasses Spring 2023, Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Academic Year 2023-2024 programs (Deadline: October) or, use this to plan ahead for success!

Workshop will be in conjunction with the Writing Resource Center.




Career Benefits of Study Abroad

Wednesday, September 21
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Tomlinson 135, Center for Intl Affairs, Tomlinson 143 (7031) Case Western Reserve Univ 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
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Did you know that study abroad can help you land a job? That study abroad participants are happier in their job and nationally earn more than their peers? How can you utilize your study abroad experience, in the planning stage, during and after to the benefit of your career? Come learn and bring your resume!


Campus Happenings


CWRU Innovation Week 2022

Monday, September 12 at 12:30pm
to Friday, September 16 at 3:00pm
TVUC and Thwing Center, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
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Celebrate and engage in Case Western Reserve University’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship during our inaugural Innovation Week, Monday, Sept. 12, to Friday, Sept. 16. All interested faculty, staff, students are encouraged to attend. Free lunch is included at all events!

During Innovation Week, attendees will learn more about:
- Case Western Reserve’s amazing success stories of innovation and their impact on the world;
- Innovation and why it is a crucial element of academics and research;
- Mechanistic activities that comprise invention disclosure and patenting;
- The value and importance of working with external entities, third-party collaborators and industry partners; and
- Support programs and protocols for applying for innovation funding.

Events will include five daily lunch sessions (lunch is free!)—including a kick-off panel discussion featuring advice from venture capitalists Monday, Sept. 12—as well as a celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, to honor our top faculty innovators. All students and postdocs encouraged to enter the Pitch-Your-Poster Contest on Friday, Sept. 16 for a chance to win one of up to ten $1,000 awards!

Register for each Innovation Week event below.

community dialogue workshop flyer
ccel scholars image

Become a 2022-2023 Civic Engagement Scholar

The Civic Engagement Scholars program, hosted by the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL), promotes meaningful student involvement in the community. Scholars complete 30 civic engagement hours in their choice of direct service, advocacy, philanthropy, political involvement, and more over the academic year. They also participate in educational events to enhance their understanding of Cleveland and social change. Upon successful completion, Scholars earn a Certificate of Distinction recognizing their commitment to community. Open to undergraduate and graduate students; many students participate multiple years.

The Scholars enrollment form is due by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, September 18. Visit the Civic Engagement Scholars website for more information.

Welcome to America Dinner

Graduate Students, You're Invited to ISF's Welcome to America Dinner

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Learn about Timely Care and Other Wellness Offerings from University Health & Counseling Services

Tuesday, September 13
Start End   Event         Location
12:00pm 1:00pm T.H.I.N.K. Suicide Prevention Training (Virtual) Online Event
Wednesday, September 14
12:00pm 1:00pm T.H.I.N.K. Suicide Prevention Training (In Person) Samson Pavilion 149
Thursday, September 15
1:00pm 2:00pm BIPOC Support Space Online Event
Friday, September 16
12:00pm 1:00pm T.H.I.N.K. Suicide Prevention Training (In Person) Samson Pavilion 149
Monday, September 19
9:00am 1:00pm Flu Clinic HEC Room 119
1:00pm 1:00pm #FindYourSpace CWRU Scavenger Hunt TBD
3:00pm 4:00pm BIPOC Support Space Private Location (register to display)
6:00pm 7:30pm I'm Fine, It's Fine, Everything is Fine. Thwing Cleveland Room
7:00pm 8:00pm T.H.I.N.K. Suicide Prevention Training (In Person) TVUC First Floor Conference Room
Tuesday, September 20
2:00pm 3:00pm Express Yourself: A Beginner's Guide to Exploring Emotions Online Event


Farm Harvest Festival

Saturday, September 24
1:00pm - 6:00pm
University Farm, Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms, Hunting Valley, OH 44022, United States
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FHF is an annual event held at the University Farm.
Open to all members of the Case Western Community!
The purpose of FHF is to educate members of the CWRU community on sustainability, show students the farm, and have fun!
Activities include: hayrides, beeswax lip balm making, cornhole tournament, planting herbs, composting demonstrations, free food, live entertainment, tons of volunteer opportunities, and so much more!

career fair image

Upcoming University Career Fairs

Engineering, Technology and Science Virtual Career Fair
Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT

Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students and alumni who are seeking careers in the fields of engineering, computer science, natural sciences, and more.

Business, Arts and Service Virtual Career Fair
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT

Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students who are seeking careers in the fields of business, social sciences, law/government, public service, art, and more.

Virtual Career Fair
Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022 | 2 to 5 p.m. EDT

Through Handshake’s virtual fair platform, you'll meet employers through scheduled one-on-one meetings and group information sessions.

Stay up-to-date on all career fair details on the Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education website.

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Free Access Program

See What Cleveland Has to Offer - Free for CWRU Students

community service fair attendants

Community Service Fair

The Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL) will be hosting the Community Service Fair in the Thwing Ballroom on Friday, September 30 from 12:30 to 2 pm. Stop in to explore volunteer opportunities with 45+ nonprofit organizations; including Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Holden Forests & Gardens, Hunger Network, and more. The fair is open to all CWRU students, staff, and faculty and free pizza will be provided!

Click here to view the full list of organizations in attendance.

Other Opportunities

History of Cleveland's Chinatown flyer

The History of Cleveland's Chinatown Screening at Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival

Join the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival on Sunday, September 18, 4:30 pm, at Atlas Shaker Square (Atlas Cinemas Shaker Square 13116 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120) for OCA Greater Cleveland (OCAGC)'s screening of the documentary The History of Cleveland's Chinatown.

The History of Cleveland's Chinatown is an oral history documentary about the Chinese living in Cleveland, Ohio since the 1800s. For over 150 years, Chinese people immigrated to Cleveland and helped build a rich, diverse city.

Tickets are available here:

OCA Greater Cleveland serves the AAPI community of Northeast Ohio to promote cultural heritage, active participation in civic and community affairs, securing justice, equal treatment, and equal opportunity. With a grant from Cleveland Foundation’s Minority Arts and Education Fund, Margaret Wong and Associates, and many individual donors, OCA Greater Cleveland produced this documentary.

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!

Cats posing like they own the place

Check Out These Cats Acting Like They Own the Place

If you would like to promote your event or opportunity through ISSNews, please make a complete submission (including flyers, images, details, etc.) for consideration by noon on Monday to ISS cannot guarantee that all submissions will appear in the newsletter, as space is limited, but staff will review all timely submissions for consideration.