International student services (ISS) provides services to help international students adjust to their new environment and become part of the Central College community.

Pre-departure Information

A packet of materials will be sent to you after you are admitted and before you arrive at Central containing information needed to apply for your visa and to prepare for your arrival on campus.


A representative from the college will meet students upon first arrival at the Des Moines International Airport or bus station (about 40 minutes from campus) and provide free transportation to campus. Cost for subsequent trips are the responsibility of the student.

Scheduled shuttle service is available to and from the Des Moines International Airport or bus station in Des Moines when leaving or arriving during breaks. Arrangements with Central drivers can be scheduled one week in advance and at the expense of the student.


Central College is a residential campus and requires students to live on campus.  Housing is assigned upon receipt of the initial deposit and a housing preference form.  The campus does not offer housing during the December-January break, but is open all other break periods.  There is an additional charge for housing during the summer.  Should housing be needed for flight arrangements, students may request to arrive two days in advance of housing opening or stay two days after housing closes. Learn more about housing.

Eating on campus

Students are required to purchase the meal plan. There are a variety of food options, including those with special dietary and vegetarian needs. See current menus.

Orientation Program

New international students will arrive early and participate in an orientation prior to the start of the semester and then participate in the college-wide Welcome Week activities with a designated SOS group. The orientation includes information that will help smooth the transition to being at Central College and the USA.  Some of the topics covered will include: maintaining your legal visa status, academics, cultural information, and student resources.

Academic Assistance

Students are matched with a faculty member as their academic adviser, who assists them in planning their course schedules. Once the student has declared a major, a professor in that department will be assigned as primary adviser.

The Tutoring & Writing Center provides a free peer-tutoring service to students who want to increase their skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening or studying, and for those who want help with specific courses. Trained student tutors help large numbers of students each semester. Tutoring is available on a drop-in basis or by appointment.

Transferring Credit

Degree seeking students with transfer credit from a university outside the USA need to have their transcripts evaluated by an international evaluation service. World Education Service is the preferred service. Select the comprehensive course-by-course evaluation. The cost of this service is the responsibility of the student.

If you are a currently a student at a university or college in the USA please contact Chevy Freiburger about transferring to Central and an analysis of your transcripts.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students. More information will be sent in your admission materials regarding the policy and price.

Career Center

The Career Center assists students in defining career goals, finding off-campus internships and job search strategies or plans for graduate school. Learn more about the Career Center.

On-Campus Employment

Degree-seeking international students are eligible to work part-time (up to a maximum of 20 hours/week; most students work between 3 – 6 hours/week) on campus during the academic year and full-time (more than 20 hours a week; usually around 40 hours/week) during the summer with appropriate approval.

Study abroad programs

Students are eligible to study abroad on Central College’s study abroad programs after completing their first year on campus and maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.5 out of 4.0. Learn more about Central College Abroad