ISS wishes all students a very Happy Thanksgiving! Whether your plans include a traditional Thanksgiving dinner spent with loved ones sharing turkey and pumpkin pie or just spending some well deserved time away from classes, we hope that you enjoy your short break.
The office will be closing at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26 and will be closed on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28 in observance of Thanksgiving. The university will be closed on Thursday and Friday as well. All normal business hours will resume on Monday, December 1.
If you're planning to come into ISS on November 26, please be sure to do so before 3 p.m. If you have questions or concerns about our availability, definitely call the office prior to venturing out into the cold to visit us.
Again, Happy Thanksgiving!
Public Square, East Fourth Street, Playhouse Square and all around downtown Cleveland, downtowncleveland.com, Saturday, November 29: Downtown is the place to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving when Winterfest kicks off the season. In addition to first ever tree-lighting ceremony at Playhouse Square at 5 p.m., Winterfest will include a full day of family activities throughout the downtown area: a visit from Santa, ice sculpting, pop-up markets, live music, carriage rides, the Toy Soldier and Holiday Fairy Godmother show inside Tower City, the Cleveland Bazaar inside the 5th Street Arcades, fireworks and much more. Events begin at 9 a.m.
While Thanksgiving is generally a day reserved for eating with your friends and family, there are also many other activitiesthat can be tied into the holiday. Be it, volunteering or access to the Zoo, keep in mind there are plenty of things to do this week/weekend:
Volunteering on Thanksgiving
Many churches and charitable organizations around Cleveland and Northeast Ohio need help setting up, serving, and cleaning up from Thanksgiving dinners for the poor. If you'd like to help, consider the following:
Cleveland Thanksgiving Activities (updated for 2014)
- Thanksgiving at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo - Visit the zoo for free on Thanksgiving (November 27). The park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and special, festive events and animal demonstrations are planned. Parking is also free.
- Turkey Trot - an annual 5K race downtown that is a Cleveland Tradition.
In case you're worried about your I-94 expiring on 11/30/2014, don't be! The Expiration Date of 11/30/2014 that appears on the website when you access your electronic I-94 simply refers to the version of the form that the government is using. These dates frequently change as they create or recreate forms, like the I-94, and it has nothing to do with your visa status.
If you have questions or concerns, stop into ISS during walk-in hours.
Cleveland, universitycircle.org, opens Friday, November 28: Work off some of those Thanksgiving calories on the ice in gorgeous Wade Oval in University Circle. Admission is $2, skate rental is just $3, and the setting is
If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. during the break, please be sure to check the third page of your I-20 (if you are in F-1 status) or the lower right side of your DS-2019 (if you are in J-1 status) to see when your document was last signed. A travel signature is valid for up to one year with just two exceptions: (1.) If you will be traveling to Canada, you should have a travel signature that is no more than six months old. (2.) If you are currently approved for post-completion OPT, a travel signature is valid for only six months.) Please come to the ISS Office for a travel signature during walk-in hours. Keep in mind that the ISS Office will be closed when the university is officially closed during the holiday season. Be sure to check our homepage for closing dates. If you ever have doubts about our availability, we strongly recommend that you call the office before planning your visit.
TRAVELING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES?
Many students think that their passport and visa documents are needed only when traveling abroad. WRONG! If you are planning a trip within the United States by car, bus, train or airplane, to U.S. cities near or far, it is essential that you have your passport and visa documents with you (in a very safe place, of course!) In recent years, there has been heightened security not only at all border crossings, but also at bus terminals, train terminals, and airports throughout the United States. International students may be stopped and questioned randomly. Therefore, students should have their passport, visa documents (I-94 printout and properly signed SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019), and Case student ID card with them for ALL distance travel. A person without valid travel documents can be arrested, threatened with deportation and taken into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody. We certainly don't want any of these things to happen to you!
PLANNING TO TAKE A CRUISE?
Please be sure to refer to this very important information.
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network and is a convenient transportation option available at an affordable rate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for college students ages 18 and older, as well as members of the local community ages 21 and over.
The Zipcars will have designated parking spots located in the garage at 1980 Ford Road, and in the University Circle Inc. Lot at 10831 Magnolia Drive for convenient pick up and return. Zipcars are available on demand and can be easily reserved by the hour or by the day with rates starting as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day. Gas, insurance, and up to 180 miles of driving per day are included in Zipcar rates.
College students, faculty, and staff at participating universities in the area can join for university rate of $25 to access a set of wheels for as little as an hour or for multiple days.
Congratulations to Walter (Zhenglin) Huang, who is September's Global Perspectives spotlight student! Global Perspectives is a continuing feature on the Center for International Affairs website. Each month we highlight a student engaged on campus as a global citizen.
Walter is well known across campus. He's an active second year undergraduate engineering student involved in many clubs and organizations and just spearheaded a new club called the Chinese Culture Club. Walter's enthusiasm is infectious! He is always seeking knowledge about CWRU's resources and ways to further his understanding about U.S. culture. His unique perspective is always appreciated and we know Walter is, and has great potential to be, a true leader.
Nominations are being considered for future features so please consider nominating someone who exemplifies intercultural understanding and brings a unique Global Perspective! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
International undergraduate students - do you have questions about classes, registration/SIS, how to get involved in campus clubs and events, or general questions about navigating your first year? The SELP Mentors are second-year international students who can meet with you by appointment and help in answering your questions or direct you to the correct campus resources.
Log in to tutortrac.case.edu to make an appointment with a SELP Mentor.
For any student graduating in January who missed the OPT workshops, this is your opportunity to complete the required session. Being well informed about OPT before you apply is a must. ISS feels very strongly about this, which is why we're requiring all students to either attend a workshop or complete this online presentation module.
The online training module is available on our website. News about the training module's accessibility was sent out on October 31 and it went live on November 3. A link for the training module appears under the Quick Links heading on the ISS homepage or you can access it here. There are no other in-person workshops scheduled for January graduates to attend; if you intend to apply for OPT based on your January graduation, you must complete the required training module.
Once you complete the module, you'll hear from ISS within 2 business days with instructions about how to proceed with your OPT application. Please be advised, students have only one opportunity to complete this module, so be prepared to sit through the entire thing when you access it! Only students graduating in January should be accessing this module. If you complete this module now, but do not apply for OPT until Spring, you will be required to attend a workshop or complete the module at that later, more appropriate time.
Please remember that ISS will only accept complete applications (be sure to read all of the information carefully and prepare everything that's required for processing) from students who have either attended a workshop or completed the online training. OPT is a time sensitive application process, so don't wait too long to take the proper steps.
If you're a May graduate, future workshops will be scheduled and advertised through the website, ISSNews, and From the Director's Desk after the New Year. Every effort should be made to attend a workshop in-person!