Monday was my first official day and like most other first days was filled with form-filling and administrative tasks. One of these tasks was registering with “international programs” – a requirement of my visa. While there I learnt more about the International House, a shared house that the university runs for visiting international “scholars”. I’d read the little that was on the internet about it before I’d arrived but had assumed it wouldn’t be available as it looked like it got booked up months in advance but it turns out they had a spare room and that I could have it for a couple months if I wanted. I’d got fed up living in a shared house in Glossop but by the end of the day I’d asked if I could have the room as it meant I didn’t have to commit to a years lease for longer and it would also mean one less stressful thing I need to sort.
One of the other things I did that day was go and talk to the international payroll who told me that they couldn’t even get me on the system properly until I had a social security number. International programs had informed me that I’d need to wait two weeks before applying for a social security number so as to make sure that the fact that I was in the country legally had been passed to the social security people. Apparently if you applied before they had that information it could lead to all sorts of investigations and lead to not getting a number, and so not getting paid, for months. The payroll people suggested that I didn’t need to wait quite that long and so I decided to try to get it sorted before Thanksgiving as that would mean I wouldn’t miss a pay run. The payroll people did say that they could put me on the system as a guest which would allow me to get a KU ID card which would allow me to ride the buses for free and get in my buildings out of hours.
I also had a chat with my boss about the work I was to do and he also said that he was quite happy for me to go back to the UK for two weeks at Christmas and we’d work the leave situation out somehow. This was good as by Christmas I’d only have about 3 days leave so even with the extra holidays I wouldn’t have been able to get back to the UK for long. He also, finally, ordered my laptop.