Teach the Earth > Early Career > International Faculty > Financial Challenges

Financial Challenges

As a foreigner, you will probably find it difficult to establish a credit history (which in turn makes it virtually impossible to buy a house or make other major purchases). You may have immigration expenses to deal with. At most institutions, your salary will be a "9-month" salary, which may take some getting used to. Here are some suggestions for meeting these challenges.

Image of the 1896 U.S. two dollar silver certificate. The diagram shows an allegorical figure of science presenting steam and electricity to commerce and manufacture.
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Not having a credit history

  • "Easy" ways to establish a credit history include getting a credit card (using it and paying off the charges every month), or taking out a bank loan that you don't need and paying it back. However, getting a credit card or a loan may be a difficult, time-consuming process, too.

Expenses related to immigration

  • Budget. Because the process of immigration usually takes several years, you have several years to save the money you will need to pay the associated fees. Start setting it aside now, especially if you have family members who want to immigrate as well.

Adjusting to a "9-month" salary

  • If your institution does not automatically do so, find out whether they will pay your salary out over a twelve-month period. If they won't, set aside one-third of every paycheck for later in the year.
  • Consult a financial planner.


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