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International Faculty Members

If you are not a United States citizen, but you are staying in the U.S. as a faculty member, you will face challenges beyond those of academia in general. U.S. citizens educated abroad may face a few of these challenges, as well. The resources and suggestions on the following pages, gathered primarily from international faculty members, can help you to identify challenges and choose how to tackle them before they arise.

Prajukti (Juk) Bhattacharyya. Photo courtesy of Juk.

Jump down to Challenges in teaching * Challenges in research * Social challenges * Immigration and citizenship issues * Financial challenges * Other challenges


Challenges in teaching

Beyond all of the usual challenges in teaching, you may also be learning about and adapting to the "classroom culture" and "popular culture" of the US, teaching in a foreign language (English), and finding out what you can (or can't) expect your students to have learned in previous classes. Read about what your peers have found helpful in these situations.


Challenges in research

Even more than your colleagues who are US citizens, you may face challenges in funding your research, travelling internationally, or recruiting graduate students. But there are some strategies for overcoming these hurdles.



Social challenges

Moving to a new place is never easy. However, there are ways to reduce your feelings of isolation and distance from your family and other social networks, to deal with cultural ignorance you may encounter, and to establish healthy working relationships with your students.


Immigration and citizenship issues

While we are not experts on the laws governing citizenship and immigration, we have gathered some advice on becoming a lawful permanent resident, waiving the foreign residence requirement for J-1 visas, international travel, and sending non-citizen, non-resident children to college.



Financial challenges

Immigration is expensive; so is buying a house and settling down. Being on a 9-month salary and not having a credit history can complicate your finances. Here's some advice from international faculty members on what has worked for them.


Other challenges

How can you get a social security number? Find out what is expected of you in your new position, and also what resources and support are available for you? Adjust to the culture of self-promotion that permeates academia in the U.S.? See this page for suggestions.

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