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Dear New Student,

CONGRATULATIONS on your admission to Drake University for Spring 2014!  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 between August 17-19 to attend International Orientation on Wednesday, August 20 and Welcome Week for the rest of the week.  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 August 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).  If you do not need to be welcomed at the airport, please inform Carlyn Marron at  Your welcomer will have a packet of information for you when you arrive.  Among other things, the packet includes orientation and registration information, your room assignment (if you will live on campus), an apartment listing (if you will live off campus), and the schedule for your first few days at Drake.  If you are not greeted at the airport, you may obtain this packet at the International Center during office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.  

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.  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.

Housing on campus will be open for move-in after 5:00pm on Sunday, August 17.     Students who arrive before the move-in date, students must arrange accomodations at their own expense. To make this easier for you, the International Center has reserved a block of rooms for $50 per person per night, double occupancy at the Holiday Inn Express near Drake. Please contact Carlyn Marron to reserve one of the rooms at the Holiday Inn Express preferably by July 15th, but no later than two weeks prior to your arrival.  Make your reservation as soon as possible because Des Moines hotel rooms are in short supply at this time. 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 Wednesday, August 20, 2014 from 9:00am-4:00pm in the Olmsted Student Center on the 2nd floor. 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 in your welcome packet, 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 at 8:30 AM on Thursday, August for students that 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, August 25th. 
I look forward to meeting you in August.  Have a safe trip!

Best wishes,

Carlyn Marron
Assistant Director of International Programs and 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:
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