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International Students

Drake University expects all undergraduate students to attend classes at Drake in-person for the Fall 2021 semester.

In the instance that you cannot travel to the U.S. in time for the start of the fall semester due to visa and consular services in your home country being closed (or not fully operational), we ask that you inform Kendra Hossain-Morehead in the Office of Global Engagement (kendra.hossain-morehead@drake.edu) as soon as possible. We will then notify your College/School Dean's Office as well as your individual instructors that you have temporarily been exempted from receiving in-person instruction. You will also be asked to join International Student Orientation on August 24-25 virtually. More information about orientation will be sent to you by the end of May.

Enhanced Support for New International Students

Student Support

Working with college and school deans and faculty to ensure that international students who are unable to travel to the U.S. have enriching remote course experiences. Drake is committed to providing a high-quality, remote learning environment to students who are unable to attend classes in person.

Specialized Mentorship Experience

All entering international students (and global nomads) have been assigned an international mentor (called an IMAC). These mentors are here for you to ask questions that you have about life at Drake, starting your first semester, and your arrival at Drake, among other topics.

Your IMAC is typically a resource for you throughout the summer, but will now be available to answer any questions you may through the fall, as well.

U.S. Visa Services & Travel Restrictions

On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of State indefinitely suspended all consular visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the globe. Since that time, some consular visa services have resumed, but information varies from country to country. We encourage you to monitor your U.S. Embassy and Consulate information in your home country for updates.

Travel restrictions into the United States are in place for non-U.S. citizens who are coming from the following countries and regions: China, Brazil, Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, and Ireland. It may be possible for F-1 and J-1 students traveling from these countries to obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE) before they travel.

If you are present in the Schengen Area, UK, or Ireland before your travel to the U.S., and you have a valid F-1 visa, you do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek NIE for travel. If you do not already have a valid F-1 visa and are granted an F-1 visa, you will also be automatically considered for an NIE.

If you are present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa before your travel to the U.S., and you have a valid F-1 visa, you may only qualify for an NIE if your academic program begins August 1, 2021 or later. You do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek NIE for travel.

Your country may have also enacted COVID-related travel restrictions at this time. We encourage you to check with your government for the most up-to-date information about exit restrictions and exceptions.

Next Steps

Drake intends to return to in-person instruction during the fall semester and expects all undergraduate international students to register for and attend classes in-person on Drake’s campus.

If you are able to obtain an F-1 visa before the start of the Fall 2021 semester and travel is possible from your country to the U.S., you should plan to arrive at Drake in time for International Student Orientation on August 24-25 (for new students) or in time for the start of classes on August 30 (for returning students).

In the instance that you cannot travel to the U.S. in time for the start of the fall semester due to visa and consular services in your home country being closed (or not fully operational), we ask that you inform Kendra Hossain-Morehead in the Office of Global Engagement as soon as possible at kendra.hossain-morehead@drake.edu.

International Student Orientation will take place in a hybrid format. Information about Drake, the Des Moines area, and important pieces of your experience at Drake as an international student will be given through an online pre-orientation via Blackboard over the summer. We will also host our International Student Orientation in-person on August 24–25, 2021. Some information sessions will be held virtually. More information will be sent out to all new international students in the near future about this orientation.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers regarding other aspects such as Immigration Status or Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the detailed FAQ. This section contains the most current information.