November 20 Message to International Students: Spring 2021, Part II

To Our International Students:

I hope you are well as you embark on preparing for the end of the semester.  I know this semester has been challenging, but it is nearly over and you have a well-deserved winter break within your reach.

I am writing today with some important reminders regarding travel plans and Spring 2021.

I and the staff in International Student Services (ISS) understand that you are eager to reconnect with family and friends and that traveling abroad to do so might be a part of your plan during this winter break.  We urge you to carefully consider all of the risks that come with travel at this time- travel restrictions, visa issuance complications, local quarantine or self-isolation requirements, etc.  If you choose to travel, please be safe and take necessary precautions to remain healthy.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a Travel Information website related to COVID-19, and specifically recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3. Please note that these ratings can change rapidly and without warning.  The CDC also has a section with information regarding travelers who are prohibited from entering the United States.  This is also important information about which you should be knowledgeable as you make your plans.

While on break, whether you remain close to campus or fly across time zones, be sure to stay informed about what is happening on campus. Check your email address regularly and read all communications from the university and ISS. Remember, if you miss a message in your inbox from the university, you can always find it here on the COVID-19 Campus Communications page. ISS will post messages to the Communication Corner, COVID-19 Updates, and ISSNews.

To prepare for a smooth return to campus, please make sure you have the following before leaving Cleveland:

  • a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. If you need a travel signature, request one.
  • a valid passport.
  • a valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp.

ISS staff members will be available to assist you through Wednesday, December 23 and then the office will close as the university community celebrates the holiday season. The university and ISS will resume operation on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

As you already know, the spring 2021 semester, which is scheduled to begin on February 1, 2021, will look very similar to this one in terms of dual delivery of instruction and reduced on-campus housing. At this time, ISS is still waiting for guidance from SEVP regarding maintaining status in Spring 2021. As soon as that information is available and ISS has had time to thoroughly review it, we will send a message to students as well as post information on our website and in ISSNews.

ISS staff members wish you all a safe, healthy, and relaxing holiday season!

Best Regards,
Marielena Maggio, M.A.
Director, International Student Services, PDSO & ARO