Checklist for New Faculty and Staff
Important things to consider and do before and soon after you arrive in Lawrence.
Tell your new supervisor at KU when you will arrive in Lawrence. Your supervisor or department may wish to arrange to pick you up at the airport, have lunch or dinner with you, and provide other assistance. Your supervisor or department will also tell you when your first day of work will be, where to park, where your office will be, who to check-in with on your first day, when your orientation with Human Resources will be, and provide you with orientation and on-boarding information for your new job.
Learn more about moving to Lawrence and living in the Greater Kansas City area.
As a new employee, once you complete on-boarding it will probably be 3 weeks before you receive your first paycheck. This is because KU employees are paid every two weeks. So you will work for two weeks and then your paycheck is deposited in your account a week later. You can view the payroll calendar, by going to the Payroll website and then click on the menu and then Calendars.
If you do not have a social security number, you will also need to apply for a social security number before you can complete on-boarding. If you will use the J-1 visa while working at KU, then your SEVIS record must be validated before you apply for a social security number. If you apply before your SEVIS record is validated it will take significantly longer for your social security number to be approved and issued.
The suggested amount of money to bring is $2,000 - $3,000 USD.
You may want to let your home government know that you are in the United States. They may have a registry for citizens who are in the U.S. so that they can contact you in an emergency.
Here is a resource to find the embassy of your country that is closest to Lawrence. Many countries have embassies in Houston, Chicago, New York and Washington D.C.
There are many cell phone companies that offer service in the Lawrence area and nationwide. You can decide to sign a contract for one or two years with one company or you can buy a month-to-month service that you can cancel anytime. The U.S. has a law that requires cell phone companies to allow customers to keep their U.S. cell phone numbers if you decide to change companies. This is called "porting". If you decide to change companies, make sure you "port" your current cell phone number.
If you are unsure of which company to buy a cell phone plan with, you can buy a month-to-month or pre-paid cell phone at stores like Walmart and Target. You can decide later to change to another company and keep the cell phone number you have.
When you decide to buy a cell phone plan with a company, you may be able to continue using your current phone or the company may required you to purchase a phone through them. Companies will often offer cheaper prices on new phones for new customers. However, keep in mind that you may not be able to upgrade or get a new phone with the company until your contract period ends. Be sure to read the contract carefully before signing or purchasing services online.
The Whistle Out website provides comparisons between cell phone companies.
The University of Kansas is not affiliated with any bank in the United States. There is no bank location on campus. There are several banks in Lawrence. Contact the banks that you are interested in to find out how to open up a checking or savings account and get an ATM card. You may also want to ask about wire transaction fees to compare costs before deciding on a bank to use.
There are several ATM locations around campus.
The Burge Union has an ATM for US Bank.
Your supervisor or department will most likely give you an orientation schedule. This should include an orientation with KU Human Resources, but it most likely consists of events that will be within your department.
J-1 New Scholar Orientation
If you are in J-1 status, you will need to check-in with ISS and attend a New Scholar Orientation session.
Health care is very expensive in the United States and the U.S. government does not provide financial support for international employees. This is why it is important that you and your dependents are enrolled in a quality health insurance plan soon after your arrival to the US.
As an employee of KU, you may enroll in health insurance through the university using the State Employee Health Plan. During new employee orientation with Human Resources, you will be given information about the different health insurance plans and monthly premium costs (monthly fees). You must enroll in your KU insurance within 30 days of your employment start date.
Choosing a health insurance plan can be difficult and confusing, please contact the Benefits Office if you have questions about health insurance.
The U.S. social security number is required in order to be paid for work in the United States. Originally created in 1936 to keep track of the earning history of workers for social security benefits, it has become a universal identification number in the U.S. The social security number is used by telephone and cell phone companies, banks and home mortgage companies, home rental agencies, utility companies (gas and electric), cable and satellite television companies, doctors and hospitals, and many other companies and agencies in the U.S.
KU will need your social security number in order to pay you. Human resources will give you more information about this during orientation.
Identity (ID) theft is a crime where a thief steals your personal information, such as your full name or social security number, to commit fraud. The identity thief can use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name. You may not know that you are the victim of ID theft until you experience a financial consequence (mystery bills, credit collections, denied loans) down the road from actions that the thief has taken with your stolen identity.
All children in Kansas between the ages of six and eighteen are required to be registered in and attending school. In the U.S., all children are eligible for free elementary, middle school and high school education provided by the public school district in the city where you reside. Many schools offer after-school programs that provide homework assistance and organized activities. English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction is offered at many public schools.
Finding childcare for your young children can be stressful and expensive. Start early. Most childcare in the U.S. is not supported by the government and is privately owned.