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​New Student Arrival Information


Confirmation of Enrollment:

Once you have received the F-1 visa, please confirm your enrollment at College of the Desert or the Intensive English Academy by emailing:  Please include your:
  • Full name (first name, last name)
  • Country of citizenship
  • Program at our college:  indicate "College of the Desert" or "Intensive English Academy" 
  • Date of F-1 visa approval.  
It is important that we receive this information as soon as possible as your confirmation of enrollment must be on file before we can finalize your housing assignment.  Even if you will not require housing assistance, please submit this information so that we can prepare for your arrival.

Health Clearance Requirement:

Students who have been admitted to College of the Desert or the Intensive English Academy are required to submit a completed Health Clearance Form upon arrival.  This will be required before the student is allowed to register for classes.
Students must bring the completed Health Clearance Form with them to the orientation program.  College of the Desert does not have facilities on campus to provide these tests.  Students will have to arrange for testing which can cost $200 or more if tests are not completed before arrival in the USA.  Students will not be able to register until these tests are completed which can adversely affect your ability to register for classes that you want.
Please make sure to complete this requirement BEFORE you arrive in the United States.
Please click here to download the Health Clearance Form.


New students at the Intensive English Academy and College of the Desert must attend our International Student Orientation Program.  During this orientation, you will learn important information about class registration, American education, American life and US immigration law.  Students will also take the English and/or math tests that are required for course placement.

College of the Desert students
Fall 2014 Orientation Dates:     August 18 - 20, 2014
Students must arrive in Palm Desert before August 18 in order to be eligible to attend fall 2014 classes. 

For more information about Orientation, please review the Fall 2014 Orientation Schedule.
In addition, all newly enrolled international students on the F-1 visa are required to enroll in an 8 week orientation course in their first semester at College of the Desert.  The course is listed as COUN-061:  College Success for International Students.  This .5 unit course will help you in your transition to an American education. 

Intensive English Academy students
March 31, 2014 IEA Orientation:  March 31, 2014.
Students must arrive in Palm Desert before March 30.
For more information about Orientation, please review the March 2014 IEA Orientation Schedule.
June 2, 2014 IEA Orientation:  June 2, 2014.
Students must arrive in Palm Desert before June 1.
For more information about Orientation, please review the June 2014 IEA Orientation Schedule.
Fall 2014 IEA Orientation:  August 29, 2014.
Students must arrive in Palm Desert before August 29.
For more information about Orientation, please review the Fall 2014 IEA Orientation Schedule.

Traveling to Palm Desert: 

We are happy to offer FREE airport pick-up service from the Palm Springs Airport.  The Palm Springs Airport is located only a short drive from our campus.  Students can transfer to a domestic flight from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and other international airports in the US.  Airlines that fly into Palm Springs Airport include:  United Express, American Airlines, Delta, Alaska Airlines, Continental, and America West.

In order to reserve our airport pick-up service, we ask that students request this service at least 1 week prior to arrival.  Airport pick-up can be requested by sending your full flight information (all flights from your home country to the Palm Springs Airport) to  Please make sure that you include your complete flight itinerary (airline name, flight number, time of departure and time of arrival) - from your home country to the Palm Springs Airport.

Please note:  College of the Desert hours are Monday – Friday 9am- 5pm.  We are closed on Fridays during the Summer.  College of the Desert is not open on the weekends.  If your arrival is on the weekend, after hours, and airport pick- up service has not been confirmed by our office, please take a taxi to the Fairfield Inn.  Please do not come to College of the Desert when the campus is closed.

We recommend the Fairfield Inn as it is close to the College of the Desert campus. Taxis are available directly outside the baggage claim area at Palm Springs Airport.  Please ask the taxi driver to take you to:
Fairfield Inn by Marriott

72322 Hwy 111
Palm Desert
(760) 341- 9100

Please let the hotel staff know that you are a student at College of the Desert when you check- in.
From Los Angeles Airport, take the 405 Freeway North. Change to the 10 Freeway East towards San Bernardino.  Continue for about 2 hours until you reach the Palm Springs area.  Exit at Monterey Avenue and turn right on Monterey.  The entrance to the College of the Desert campus is on the left side of Monterey Avenue.  The International Student Office is located in the Cravens Student Services Center which is the 2-story building that you will see when you enter the campus.  Please download our campus map for information on our location and parking.


We are happy to provide our international students with assistance in finding either a host family or off-campus apartment.  In order to access our housing placement services, you must pay the non-refundable $30 housing application fee.  Our Housing Coordinator, Ms. Darlene Peceimer will assist you with placement into either option.  Please contact her directly at for assistance. 
For detailed information about our Host Family Program, please visit the Housing Information page
We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful city!