In order to receive your stipend at WHOI, international students must come under a J-1 exchange visa. The international committee completes a DS2019 form and pays for your SEVIS fee. Then they mail the form and payment receipt to you. You’d have to complete form SD160 and, as a Canadian student, simply bring all the forms to US customs for entry (in addition to this, non-Canadians are required to book a consular interview). I am very impressed with the organization of the international committee at WHOI and their speedy processing/explanation of US visa applications. It is definitely a better experience than that of my roommate’s, whose project was delayed for a month due to visa problems with another-US-institution-that-shall-not-be-named-here.
The program coordinator at WHOI, Michelle McCafferty, also made a SSF 2013 mailing list for the SSFers to contact each other. We made a facebook group and are sharing our arrival dates/majors/where we are from. Most people seem to be arriving around mid May to mid June and leaving sometimes in August. It is such a diverse group of people – can’t wait to meet them.
Ending on another happy note, I found a sublet for June 1st – September 1st (woo!), and booked my flights for those dates. This translates into 12 weeks at WHOI and 1 week of hanging around Boston/New York. Super excited… but for now, onwards to exams we go.