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Dear New Student,

CONGRATULATIONS on your admission to Drake University for Spring 2020!  We are looking forward to your arrival!  The information on this website will help you prepare for your enrollment this fall.  Please read it carefully.


Please plan to arrive in Des Moines by January 22 to attend International Orientation on Thursday, January 23, 2020.  Please submit your Arrival Information Form as soon as you have made your travel arrangements so we know when to expect you (if possible, please send this information at no later than January 1st).  If we receive your information form at least two weeks before your scheduled arrival, we will arrange to have someone welcome you at the airport (or bus station).  

Please note that there are no currency exchanges at the Des Moines Airport.  You should have at least $200 US dollars with you when you arrive in Des Moines (in $20 bills or smaller) for meals and local transportation.  Also, 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. 

If for any reason, you do not see a Drake greeter at the airport when you arrive, don’t worry!  Just take a taxi to the hotel or your other accommodations.  Taxis are located just outside the baggage claim area of the airport. The cost should be about $30, including tip.  If you have difficulty, you may call or take a taxi to the Drake Security office, 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.


Temporary housing
in a residence hall and 3 meals per day can be made available to you for a fee of $55 per day for housing and meals starting at 10 am January 23, 2020 and ending at 1 pm on January 25, 2020. The residence halls will open at noon on January 25, 2020 for regular housing assignments for the term.

For individuals requesting this temporary housing, this fee would be assessed directly to your student account. (Most room placements will be in double occupancy rooms with a roommate.)

If interested in this housing option, please email by December 10, 2019 and place in the subject line “New International Student early arrival housing request.” Within the text of your email, please provide your name and your Drake ID number along with your request for temporary housing.

Once your request has been confirmed, you will receive an email with your housing assignment and check in information.  Individuals will need to have a photo ID for check in.

Individuals who are housed in temporary housing during new international student orientation, would need to remove their personal belongings and return the room key of the temporary room no later than 1 pm on January 25, 2020 and relocate to their academic year housing placement. Individuals who do not check out and return the room key by the designated time may incur additional fees, which may include but are not limited to an improper check out fee of $25 and a $50 lock change fee being assessed to their student account.

If you have any questions, please email

International students who do not wish to use Drake’s temporary housing will need to make their own housing arrangements. For students’ convenience, Drake University has reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express near campus between January 17-January 24, 2020. Students will be responsible for paying for their hotel rooms. Rates are approximately $112 per night.  To reserve one of these rooms, indicate that you want the Drake block at the Holiday Inn Express on the Arrival Form. 

NOTE: If you intend to live on campus, we urge you to return your Residence Hall Contract as soon as possible because space is limited.

Family members who travel with students are advised to use their travel agent to make hotel reservations.  For those who prefer to make their own reservations, see the section on hotels. Family members who intend to travel to Des Moines should make reservations as soon as possible.  Individuals who stay at hotels other than those close to Drake will probably want to rent a car or use a taxi to get to campus.  Anyone visiting Des Moines for more than a night or two will probably also want to rent a car.


International Student Orientation will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2020  from 8:30am-3:00pm. The location will be announced at a later date. Orientation is required for all international students who are enrolling at Drake for the first time (including both graduate and undergraduate students).  You will receive the schedule for orientation upon your arrival, but expect information about immigration regulations, special programs and services for international students, the mandatory international student health insurance program, and other information to help prepare you for life at Drake. The TOEFL exam will be given during Orientation (time and date TBD) for students who have not provided a TOEFL score demonstrating they have met Drake's English proficiency policy. 


Depending on when you arrive, you may have some free time before or after International Student Orientation. Use this time to get settled, open a bank account, find the International Center, get a Drake ID, meet your adviser, shop for things you couldn’t bring with you, meet new friends, and recover from jet lag! Classes will start Monday, January 27th. 

We look forward to meeting you in January. Have a safe trip!
Best wishes,

Stephanie Dana Ely, International Student Advisor

Kendra Hossain-Morehead, Director of International Student & Scholar Services


Please print this letter and pack it in your carry on luggage so you have easy access to the phone numbers and other information you may need while traveling.

During Business Hours (8:30am-4:30pm):
International Center: (+1) 515-271-2084
Toll Free (Within the US): 1-800-443-7253  Ask to be transferred to Admissions, International Center, etc

After Business Hours:
Drake Security: (+1) 515-271-2222