Frequently Asked Questions
When do I need to arrive in Lubbock?
If you received a TA or GPTI appointment, you need to be in Lubbock by the time the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) workshop starts. You can also refer to the academic calendar for more details.
When do I get my first pay check?
If you already have a social security number (SSN) and have completed all the required paperwork for employment, you will receive your first pay check on October 1st (for the Fall semester). Therefore, you have to make sure you will have enough money for all your expenses until you receive your first pay check.
How much money do I need until I get my first pay check?
Students should be prepared to have $3000-4000 ready to cover basic necessities such as tuition, textbooks, health insurance, (if required), rent, deposits, utilities, food, non-essentials until October 1 or February 1, (if arriving for the first time during a spring semester).
Regarding tuition however, you may choose between different payment options: 1) pay in full by August 21 st (if you are registered); 2) payment plan option - $25 administrative fee and you pay 50% by August 21 st and then the remaining 50% is spread out over October and November; 3) Emergency Enrollment Loan - $25 administrative fee. This is not a “loan” per se because you never receive the money, rather this is a “holding” amount that is placed on your account to keep you from being dropped for non-payment. If you are required to purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan this can also be included in the budget payment plan.
Will my TA salary cover all my expenses?
For most of the graduate students here that is the only source of income. The average rent is $300-$400/ month. The tuition is approximately $1300/ semester. You will receive a “waiver” for certain fees and this will also reduce out-of-state tuition to an amount close to the one mentioned above. You will also have to pay for the health insurance: $700/ semester. Many students elect to have a roommate to help share the expenses of an apartment, etc.
Am I required to have health insurance?
All international graduate students who are Graduate Part Time Instructors or Teaching Assistants enrolled in the Spanish MA or PhD program will be awarded the Charles B. Qualia Chair Scholarship to defray approximately 75% of the cost of the insurance they are required to purchase by Texas Tech University. This amount was $2,138 during the 2016-2017 academic year and is expected to increase in 2017-2018. The exact amount has not yet been set. As this money is awarded via scholarship, it will apply to your student account to pay what is owed to the university. Should you leave the program, this scholarship will be revoked.
Domestic students are not required to have health insurance but it is available if desired.
What are the first things to do once I get to Lubbock?
Our administrative staff will help you fill out the New Employee Benefits package. Please take care of this as soon as possible. This paperwork must be processed in order for you to be paid.
In order to get a Social Security Number (SSN) you need to obtain a letter of employment from the department and take it to the International Cultural Center (ICC). They will give you an official letter that you must take to the SSN office (together with any other document they may require).
What IS a Master's Degree in Spanish ?
- You will have three graduate classes each semester, all taught in Spanish, and in a seminar format (meaning that the class revolves around the students' discussion of the readings. The professor's role is to lead the discussion and offer some context for it). All readings, papers and exams (including the MA exams) are in Spanish.
- Be ready to work a lot. It is normal that a professor assigns the reading of a whole novel from one week to the next (most classes meet once a week for three hours). Besides exams and shorter assignments, most classes require a final research paper of 10 pages minimum.
- Have some knowledge and interest in literary analysis or applied linguistics. You don't have to be familiar with Spanish literature or linguistics from the start, but should be aware that most classes are based on literary, cultural, or linguistics studies, not language learning.