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International Programs & Opportunities

Academic Programs with an International Focus

A growing number of majors, minors, concentrations and certificates with an international create opportunities for every Drake undergraduate student to prepare for responsible global citizenship.

International Relations Major

Offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, the international relations program is designed to prepare students to take part in the global community. With emphases on political, economic and security affairs, the curriculum offers students an opportunity to explore both the sources of international conflict and the necessary conditions for enhanced peace and cooperation among nations. For more information, go to:

International Business Major

Drake is one of a limited number of universities offering a degree program in international business. The major draws on the disciplines of economics, marketing, management, geography, politics, history and world languages to enable students to develop an international perspective on world business opportunities. For more information go to:

World Languages and Cultures

Drake offers students the opportunity to learn languages in a unique environment. Our faculty and staff are committed to helping students develop skills that will allow them to communicate with the language they study, not simply to learn about the language.  Students may study Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish. For more information go to:

Certificate of Competence in Language and Culture

The Certificate of Competence in Language and Culture is designed to allow students to demonstrate competence in a language other than English and a competent understanding of the cultural contexts in which that language is spoken. Undergraduate students from any school or college are eligible to apply.  For more information go to:

Global Ambassador Certificate

The Global Ambassador Certificate complements a student's central program of academic study. Undergraduate students from any major are eligible to apply. The Global Ambassador Certificate provides students with the intercultural skills that will allow them to make the most of future international opportunities in business, the professions or public service. For more information go to: /international/cgc/ambassador.php

Concentration in Global and Comparative Public Health

A concentration in Global and Comparative Public Health prepares undergraduate students to be active participants in improving the health of their own and other communities worldwide. Students will gain an understanding of the determinants of the health of populations, the available options to improve the health of populations, and the evidence demonstrating the efficacy of these options.  For more information go to: /international/cgc/globalhealth/index.php


Center for Global Citizenship

The Center for Global Citizenship educates students to function effectively in different cultural contexts, and to see their own culture from the perspective of others. The Center also works to ensure that global perspectives and issues are an integral part of the intellectual and cultural experience of all members of the Drake community by offering:

  • ongoing international events and activities
  • a resource directory for students and faculty
  • faculty development opportunities
  • the Global Ambassador Certificate
  • the Concentration in Global and Comparative Public Health

For more information go to:


Chinese Cultural Exchange Program

The Chinese Cultural Exchange Program facilitates exchanges of faculty, students, and recent graduates between Drake University and a network of partner educational institutions in China.  For more information go to: /international/ccep/

Drake’s Teach in China Program offers recent graduates from any academic background the opportunity to live and work in China for a year. Up to twenty-five graduates will have the opportunity to teach primarily English at the secondary or university level in one of Drake’s partner institutions across China.   For more information go to: /international/ccep/teach/


Fulbright Scholarships

Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Drake seniors have a record of success in receiving post-graduation scholarships through the Fulbright US Student Program.  For more information, go to:  Enrolled students may contact the department of Politics and International Relations for advising regarding the Fulbright application process.


Intensive English Program  (English as a Second Language)

The IEP is an academic support service designed to help non-native speakers of English enhance their academic success by improving their English language proficiency and increasing their familiarity with US culture. Small classes and individual attention characterize Drake's IEP, where intermediate and advanced level courses are offered year-round.  Although courses are designed primarily for international students seeking full enrollment in Drake degree programs, other individuals also enroll to satisfy personal and career-related goals.

To benefit from Drake’s IEP, students should have satisfactorily completed beginning-level English as a Second Language study and have the equivalent of a US secondary school diploma.  IEP admission does not guarantee admission to Drake University and may be granted with or without admission to a Drake degree program.

For more information, contact the IEP at 1-515-271-2084 or go to:


International Internships, Service Learning and Career Planning

Students seeking hands-on international experiences may consider opportunities for internships, volunteering, and service learning abroad.  A wide variety of opportunities are offered through Drake’s study abroad programs.  Recent students have interned with the British Parliament, worked on a magazine in New Zealand, volunteered at a soup kitchen in Italy, and interned in marketing/PR for an architecture firm in China. For more information go to:  /international/study-abroad/programs/internships.php

The College of Business and Public Administration also offers highly competitive international internships with multinational companies based in Des Moines.  Selected students complete local internships during their junior year in preparation for summer internships abroad.  For more information, contact Professional and Career Development Services for the College of Business and Public Administration.   /career/index.php

For advice on how to explore international careers, internships and job opportunities, let Drake’s offices of Professional and Career Development Services introduce you to The Big Guide, an extensive on-line resource for career advice and planning.  For more information, go to: /career/student/overseas_employment.php


International Student and Scholar Services

Drake is home to over 300 international students and scholars from more than 60 countries. To facilitate their success, International Student and Scholar Services provides:

  • pre-arrival communications
  • volunteers to greet new students at the airport
  • orientation tailored to the needs of international students
  • advising and workshops regarding immigration regulations and employment issues
  • programs to aid in adjustment to life at Drake
  • activities of the International Students Association and other student organizations
  • monthly electronic newsletters to students
  • economical, mandatory group health insurance
  • a host family program (not live-in) coordinated by community volunteers
  • opportunities for international students to share their cultures with local schools and community groups

For more information go to : /international/students-scholars/

For information about admission to a Drake degree program, contact:

Office of Admission, Drake University

Des Moines, IA 50311-4505

Toll-free: 1-800-44-DRAKE, extension 3181

Local/outside the United States: 515-271-3181
 Fax: 515-271-2831


For more information go to: /advantage


International Student Organizations

Drake students may participate in any of a wide variety of organizations and activities related to their interests.  For information on the International Student Association and other multicultural interest groups at Drake, go to:


Model United Nations / Model European Union

Each year Drake students participate in regional and international Model United Nations and Model European Union simulations.  Participants enroll for credit through the International Relations department and may be able to seek financial assistance through the Center for Global Citizenship.  The Drake Model European Union team won a “best delegation” award at a recent EU simulation.


Partner Universities / Exchanges

Drake has partner universities in Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa and Spain.  These relationships allow for student and faculty exchanges and other mutually beneficial interactions.  For information on Drake’s partner universities in China, go to: /international/ccep/ccep_host_institutions.php  For other partner universities, go to: /international/exchanges/index.php


Study Abroad (Undergraduate)

Drake's offers undergraduate students a wide variety of study-abroad opportunities in more than 60 countries. Students may choose among programs ranging in duration from a few weeks to a semester or full year. Study abroad may also include independent study, internships, service learning, language immersion or direct enrollment in partner universities. Short-term programs abroad taught by Drake faculty vary each year and are especially attractive options for summer study.

All credits taken on affiliated programs in which a student earns a C grade or better will transfer to Drake, but students must work closely with their advisers to ensure that courses meet specific degree requirements. Early planning is recommended. Many students believe that junior year is the best time to spend a semester abroad; but a growing number find that sophomore year is a better time to go.

Admission requirements and costs vary by program but students can usually find a study abroad opportunity that meets their academic and financial needs.  Students are advised to speak with Student Financial Planning prior to completing their application.

For more information about Study Abroad including affiliated program offerings, faculty-led International Study Seminars, and Drake exchanges go to:

Phone 1-515-271-2084  (local) or 1-800-44-DRAKE  (US toll free)

Fax 1-515-271-4588

Or visit the International Center at 1331 27th St., Des Moines, IA 50311


International opportunities for graduate students

Business and Public Administration graduate courses abroad

Graduate students in the College of Business and Public Administration may wish to explore course offerings that include international travel for on-site study and observation.  Contact the Graduate Programs office of the College of Business and Public Administration for current offerings and enrollment information.

Law School – Summer in France

Drake Law School's Summer in France Program gives law students a chance to earn six credits in comparative and international law subjects, taught in English at the University of Nantes.  For more information go to:

Pharmacy Rotations Abroad

A limited number of international locations (Australia, Belize, Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa) may be available for PharmD students who wish to do one of their rotations abroad.  Students admitted to the College of Pharmacy may inquire in the Experiential Office about opportunities for a rotation abroad.


The International Center

Located in the center of the Drake campus, the International Center is home to:

  • Chinese Cultural Exchange Program
  • Drake Exchange Programs
  • International Student and Scholar Services
  • Intensive English Program
  • Study Abroad programs


For more information about these or other international opportunities at Drake go to:

Phone 1-515-271-2084  (Local, or outside the US) or  1-800-44-DRAKE  (US toll free)

Fax 1-515-271-4588

Or visit the International Center at 1331 27th St., Des Moines, IA 50311



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