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Your Arrival in Des Moines and Transportation

Your Arrival 
*Please plan to arrive in Des Moines by January 22, 2020 in order to attend International Student Orientation on Thursday, January 23. See your welcome letter for more details.

Airport welcomers and taxis. 
All new students should complete the arrival form so that the International Center knows when you will be arriving in Des Moines and where you will be staying.  If you do not need a welcomer to greet you, please complete the arrival form anyway and indicate that you do not need to have a welcomer arranged. Students who wish to have someone greet them at the airport should complete the arrival form at least 2 weeks prior to arrival. If you miss your welcomer, you can take a taxi to the Drake Campus Security Office at located at 1221 25th Street (515-271-2222). The Drake Security office is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and is prepared to assist new international students.


Buses are not recommended transportation from the airport due to infrequent schedules. The International Center will provide you with Des Moines bus schedules after you arrive.


Download a copy of the Drake Campus Map.  

Notes about Traveling to Des Moines:

There are no currency exchanges at the Des Moines Airport, so you must have at least $200 US dollars with you when you arrive in Des Moines (in $20 bills or smaller) for meals and local transportation. If possible, you should obtain some US dollars in your home country before traveling to Des Moines. You may also exchange money when you first arrive in the US at your first Port of Entry (i.e. Chicago, LA, New York, etc).

Because of the large number of connecting flights students may have in order to reach Des Moines, it is not uncommon for baggage to get delayed en route. We suggest you bring at least an extra day's worth of clothing and any essential personal items (medications, etc) with you in your carry-on luggage in the event that your luggage gets delayed. Pack all of your immigration documents in your carry-on luggage as well.

Toll-free (in the US): 1-800-44DRAKE (ask to be transferred to the International Center)  
International Center Phone:  (+1) 515-271-2084 (during business hours)
E-mail: or 
Business hours at Drake are Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM