I had just arrived over the weekend and am pleasantly surprised at how organized WHOI is at accommodating us. The security guard at check-in is on site 24/7 and ready to give you a ride to the Oyster Pond houses, where 30 SSFers, 2 guest students, and 16 graduate students will be residing this summer. I love this setup as encourages the SSFers to easily get to know each other and instantly immerse yourself in a group of interesting individuals. The residences are also surprisingly clean and spacious (but I may be biased since I live in a tiny apartment in downtown Toronto). Every house comes with a porch, huge living room, TV, two bedrooms, one bathroom, and holds four people. Since the Cape is a popular summer vacation location, the rent here is ridiculously high – our housing bill is $177/week, which translates into about $2800/month for this two-bedroom complex. Thankfully, WHOI covers this!
Cape Cod is absolutely lovely. It’s also extremely windy – I am pretty sure I have sand blown in every nook and cranny of my clothes/shoes, and can really use some of my Canadian fall clothes right now. Nevertheless, the air smells of salt, the scenery is beautiful, and everyone seems to be enjoying their vacation homes in the Cape. For what a Torontonian is used to, the people are surprisingly friendly (greeting everyone you pass by on the streets) and the prices for staples are decently cheap (another fellow Canadian and I were gushing about our dollar’s purchasing power here relative to Canada). The closest town is Falmouth, about an hour’s walk away or 20 minutes by bike.
There are several settling in events planned for this week, including an orientation, housing check-in, making WHOI student cards, and for international students, a check-in with the international committee and an opportunity to rent a bike for only $15 for the three months! Once again, WHOI is very accommodating and the program is thoroughly-designed to make our time here as comfortable as possible. Looking forward to what the summer will unfold.