Getting Started

Below is a number of resources organized within three different periods of time that we believe will be key in your transition to the Kennesaw State University community and Atlanta metro area. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your initial adjustment to KSU, please send an email to and we will be more than glad to help you. 

ksu students walking through courtyard on campus

Before Arriving to Kennesaw State University

The following set of resources will help you to have a better understanding of what KSU and the surrounding area can offer you, as well as some logistical considerations. We recommend reviewing the provided resources so you can make relevant decisions upon arrival. 

  • Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university located on two suburban campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, northwest of metro Atlanta. We are making an impact across the region, the nation and around the world. As of August 2022, we are the third largest university in Georgia with nearly 43,000 students enrolled in over 180 undergraduate, master’s, doctoral degree and certificate programs.


    KSU has two beautiful campuses, the Kennesaw Campus and the Marietta campus. Click the links to learn more about your college.

  • The area around KSU provides a variety of housing options, including apartments to rent or single family houses, condominiums, or townhomes to rent or purchase. 

    • Housing to Purchase: When looking for a home to purchase, most people use a realtor who can show them the options and assist with the purchasing process. Be sure to read reviews of realtors and check that they are licensed. Also be sure to check with the banks regarding their requirements for obtaining a mortgage, if needed.
    • Apartments: Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the Georgia Housing Search provides detailed information about rental properties and helps people find housing to best fit their needs. 
    • Utilities such as trash service, water, electricity and/or gas, and internet are an additional cost. A listing of utility companies for Kennesaw and Marietta here and here, respectively.
    • Big Owl Bus (BOB): KSU offers a free university bus system called the Big Owl Bus (BOB), which goes around the campus and nearby student housing and stores. Click here to find information about the routes and hours of service in case you need transportation and do not have personal transportation.
    • Driving in the U.S.: If a non-US citizen establishes residency in Georgia, he or she must obtain a Georgia driver's license within thirty (30) days. You can find more information on the Georgia Department of Driver Services website. This site shows the different locations in which you can get your driver license and the state of Georgia ID, and please check this website to learn about the documentation you will need to get your drivers license.  If you wish to purchase a car, be sure to do research about the car's comparative value, and also review its history by looking up the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Ensure that you receive a title for the car to demonstrate ownership. Once you have purchased a car, you will also need to register the car at your County Tag Office and receive your new car license plate.
    • Public Transportation: The Cobb County government operates a bus line called CobbLinc. Two buses stop at the Kennesaw campus, with other routes stopping nearby. Several other buses stop near the Marietta campus. Tickets are approximately $2.50 per ride, or $5 for the express bus. Click here for full details including schedules and routes. The MARTA also provides transportation closer to Atlanta via bus and train. The city of Atlanta also provides a list of resources for the Atlanta area here 
    • Additional Options: A list of clean commuting options including biking, carpooling, rideshares, and more can be found here.
  • There are two basic types of bank accounts in the U.S.:

    • Checking Accounts: With a checking account you can deposit your money in the account and access those funds using your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card or by writing personal checks. Most likely you will pay your rent and bills with your checks, but most stores do not accept personal checks for purchases anymore. The bank will provide you with a checkbook and checks (there may be a fee depending on how you want to personalize your order). The ATM card is provided for free, but there are often fees for using your ATM card at banks other than the one where you hold an account. Additionally, most checking accounts have a minimum balance requirement. If you go below the minimum, you will be charged a fee.
    • Saving Accounts: If you have money that you do not need to use immediately, you may want to open a savings account. The advantage of a savings account is that money in the account earns interest. You can usually deposit and withdraw money from a savings account as you wish. As with checking accounts, there is normally a minimum account balance requirement.

    When you go to open your account, take your passport and immigration documents along with any and all U.S. identification that you possess and proof of address. It is very helpful to get your bank account set up soon after you arrive so you can have your paychecks directly deposited into your accounts. 

  • The United States offers a variety of childcare and school options for children.  The Georgia Department of Education provides information about school options for elementary, middle, and high school-aged children that you can find here. We have also included a general summary below. Be sure to research the options well before making a choice.

    • Day Care: Usually for young children, day care is a childcare option for working parents or parents who need to complete activities without their children. Day cares are privately run and offer childcare from approximately 7am to 6pm. Parents can often choose how many days or hours they would like for their children to be in day care. In the U.S., day cares can be expensive.
    • Preschool: Preschool is usually for children ages 3-5. Preschool is generally more structured than day care, but is available for fewer hours per day than day care.
    • Public School: Public schools are available to all families, but students are assigned a school according to the area their family lives in. If you would like to place your child(ren) in a public school, be sure to research the school district and assigned schools for a particular area before choosing your accommodations. While public school is "free," there are some costs, which can include lunch, school supplies, and other miscellaneous fees and expenses.
    • Private School: There are a variety of private schools. The schools can be secular or religion-based. Private school tuition can vary from a few thousand dollars to over $20,000 per year. Private schools generally have admission standards.
parade of flags on ksu campus

During Your First Weeks at Kennesaw State University

The following set of resources will assist you in making informed decisions during your initial weeks at KSU.

  • Please contact Human Resources (HR) to sign up for the appropriate HR New Employee Onboarding Process. Email or call 470-578-6030. Completing the HR process involves completing the I-9 employment verification process and will will enable you to set up essential accesses such as your university ID, parking permit, email account, and Desire 2 Learn (D2L) course management platform for faculty.
    • Center for Excellence in Teaching (CETL): To reduce some of the pressures from transitioning to new surroundings, KSU's CETL coordinates a New Faculty Success Program to provide full-time & support faculty with an introduction to the university to help establish a strong foundation for your future success at KSU. Click here for more information.
    • Resource: The following clip may provide you with an idea of the implications and peculiarities of teaching in the United States of America: Teaching in America: A Guide for International Faculty
  • KSU and the University System of Georgia provide eligible employees with a variety of healthcare options, retirement plans, and other benefits. It is important for you to know the different options that are available since you will have to make a decision during your orientation week. Review the links to find out more. If you have questions, email

    • KSU's Benefits website
    • The University System of Georgia's Benefits website
    • New to USG webpage 
  • All KSU employees need a Social Security Number (SSN). KSU is a participant in the federal E-Verify program, which requires an SSN for each new employee. If you do not have an SSN, you must apply for one prior to your employment start date. Plan your arrival in the U.S. with enough time so that your immigration information can be updated in the government systems and you can apply for the SSN prior to your work start date. The Social Security Administration will issue you a confirmation letter that you must present to KSU’s Human Resources for your on-boarding. You will not be able to begin work without submitting this letter. Once you receive your SSN in the mail, you will need to return to HR so that they can make a copy of your card. KSU may be unable to issue your paycheck until a Social Security card is on file. The following resources will be of help in applying for your SSN. 

    Questions related with social security numbers or claims information should be directed to SSA's toll free service at 1-800-772-1213.


ksu mascot, scrappy, with flag on campus

During Your First Year at Kennesaw State University and Beyond

The following resources will help set you up for success in the months and years ahead.
  • Life is not complete without activities and programs to develop one’s social and personal life. Get to know interesting people, become a part of our community, and create a niche.

    • Taxes: Nearly everyone who works in the U.S. must pay federal income tax. Some states and cities including Georgia also collect income taxes. There may be a tax treaty between your country and the United States. Please review the resources below:Georgia Department of Revenue website 
      U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website can assist you with your KSU tax-related questions but cannot provide tax advice or assist with filing taxes
      Building Credit: This article provides information on why and how to build financial credit in the U.S.