New International Student Information

We’re very excited to welcome you to COD, and we hope that your final COD preparations are going well! As we get closer to the start of the start of the semester, here is some important information to keep in mind.


COD now works with International Student Placements (ISP) to arrange homestays for our students. They have an excellent local coordinator (Allyson) ready to assist you. View more information about ISP and read through the homestay application. Please note that two ISP fees are different (less expensive) for COD students:

  1. You will not need to pay the $70 service charge for Southern California.

  2. The optional airport pick-up fee for the Palm Springs airport is $80, not $120.

Homestays are not the only option for housing near COD. Many students choose to live in local apartments. Apartments near College of the Desert Listing

Course Registration

You have two big advantages as a COD student when it comes to course registration/class schedules. COD provides our international students with priority course registration each semester, which makes it much easier for you to schedule the courses you need. Also, we have an excellent counselor on staff who will create a spring course schedule for you before you arrive. He will also meet with you at orientation to help you make any scheduling changes you like before the start of the term. So no need to stress about your spring classes!


While we are excited to welcome students for the fall 2023 semester!  Most of our international student orientation program will be offered in-person. It will last from August 16-18, and will include workshops and information sessions from approx. 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. (PDT).  

Traveling to COD

Please let us know if you’d like advice on how best to travel to COD. One thing to keep in mind if you plan to fly here - even though we’re close to Los Angeles (LAX airport is 136 miles away), it’s often easier to make the Palm Springs airport (PSP) your final flight destination. PSP is only about 20 minutes by car from campus, and it’s a very easy airport to use. There are plenty of taxis available, and ISP has a pick-up service there.

F-1 Status

Please let us know if you are having any trouble obtaining an F-1 visa, if you have any questions/concerns about your I-20, or you’re unsure if you have everything you need to gain/maintain your F-1 status before you come to COD. When you travel to the U.S., make sure you have the following documents with you (easily accessible in carry-on luggage):

  • Passport/visa

  • COD I-20

  • COD acceptance letter

  • Copy of your proof of funds (bank statement/affidavit, financial guarantee, etc.)

  • It’s also helpful to have copies of your I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt and any I-20s given to you from other schools.

International Education Program Office

During the fall and spring terms, our office is open Monday-Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. In the summer, we're open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and closed on Fridays. Here's a link to our current hours of operation and contact information. The best way to reach us is by email at, but we’re happy to schedule a phone or in-person appointment at a time convenient for you.

Deferring Attendance

We know that sometimes things like late visa appointments, medical problems, family emergencies, etc. make it impossible to arrive in time for the start of orientation and classes. If you are not able to make it for the spring semester but would still like to attend COD, we’re happy to assist you with deferring your start date to January (spring semester) or whatever term is best for you.

Questions? Concerns?

Let us know! We want to make sure you’re well prepared for success at COD! ​​​​​​​​