Fall 2021 Plans

To Our International Students:

Our country’s significant progress against COVID-19 recently prompted Case Western Reserve’s leaders to announce plans for the university’s Fall 2021 semester to take place in person. As of this writing, the approach includes full occupancy of residence halls and a proportion of in-person courses similar to the semesters preceding the pandemic.

As much as we welcome this anticipated return to some form of normalcy, we also recognize that a portion of our international students may not be able to join us on campus this fall. Challenges in securing visas, restrictions on travel to the U.S., and other factors could keep them from reaching Cleveland in time for the semester’s start—all through no fault of their own.

We appreciate the frustration in facing more uncertainty after more than a year of disruption and disappointment. Please know that we are working with our national higher education organizations to advocate for federal agencies to act quickly to reduce hurdles within their control. In addition, our academic leaders have asked that we convey this message to you:

Case Western Reserve University will welcome our students to campus in Cleveland for in-person classroom instruction in Fall 2021, and a rich residential experience for undergraduates. We understand, however, that not all of our students will be able to reach Cleveland as a result of circumstances beyond CWRU’s or students’ control, including difficulties with visa appointments. The university is deeply committed to all of our students, and is developing pathways for students who must remain away from Cleveland in Fall 2021 to make progress toward their degrees, such as through remote instructional options. Additional details will be provided as they are available. 

Case Western Reserve’s Office of International Student Services (ISS) has begun issuing I-20s to help maximize students’ ability to obtain a visa. ISS will contact new students to start the process as soon as students confirm their enrollment with the university’s admission office.

For now, we want to emphasize our commitment to all members of Case Western Reserve’s community—no matter where they are. We will continue to press U.S. officials to assist in easing the process for international students to enter this country, and provide updates throughout the spring and summer. We wish you a fulfilling and successful rest of this semester, and very much hope to welcome you here in August.


David Fleshler

Vice Provost for International Affairs


Molly Watkins

Assistant Provost for International Affairs