Final thoughts for future SSFer’s

All good things must come to an end, and with the changing weather comes an ebb and flow of students in the Woods Hole community. Unfortunately, I am in the former since I will be leaving Saturday morning. For the next round of summer student fellows, consider some practical tips for living at Woods Hole in the summer:

  • Program dates: most students arrive from mid May to mid June and leave sometimes in August. In terms of the pros and cons of arriving/leaving earlier vs later, I’ve found that arriving in the middle of the pack was fantastic because of it maximizes the amount of time spent with other SSFers. However, if I had to choose between arriving later or earlier, I’d choose later because of the availability of advice for living logistics/getting settled in your project from SSFers who have already been there for a few weeks. Having said that, it does get lonely towards the end of the summer when most cohorts start leaving/taking their end of August vacations
  • Living tips: try to share supplies with roomates. The end of the summer not only brings me sadness in the friends that I will miss, but also at the dramatic amount of food and household supplies that are wasted by merely 30 people. A little bit of planning can save quite a bit of money down the road
  • no worries about the lack of things to do in a small town. It never fails to amaze me how busy I’ve found myself with work and recreational activities, so much so that I haven’t even opened the GRE books that I lugged from Canada with high hopes of studying. I would suggest planning to take the GRE’s at another time rather than the summer, since the summer on the Cape is much more enjoyable outside or meeting the wonderful scientific community rather than reading GRE books
  • many bikes are bought and left neglected since there are so many short-term visiting students in the summer. Ask around before purchasing one at your own expense
  • do not be afraid to speak with other scientists about their research or offer to volunteer in other scientist’s labs to gain more experience. WHOI is a refreshingly welcoming place, and the scientists take time to speak to interested students about their research
  • take time to make friends in this area. In addition to beautiful sailing trips they can take you on, the people are very kind and offer a potentially lasting network should you decide to return
  • Travelling tip: consider avoiding purchasing a return ticket from Peter Pan (just the one-way from Boston is enough). i. you do not get much of a discount with a return purchase (I think one way is $32, while return is $56). ii. their customer service is terrible – you cannot return tickets, and could only exchange them for a fee. Tickets are also non-transferrable. iii. there are many people driving out of Woods Hole at the end of the summer and it is incredibly easy to arrange a ride, since the housing arrangement is somewhat flexible as well. Should I have known this, I would have saved a decent chunk of money that could have been spent towards other more justifiable purchases (such as spending time at the Kidd!)
Last sunset at OP!

My last sunset at Oyster Pond!

This was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I’ve met a very diverse and intelligent bunch of scientists, fell in love with the community here, and found that this is a wonderful place to pursue graduate studies.


2 thoughts on “Final thoughts for future SSFer’s

    1. elaineluo Post author

      Hi Steven,

      That’s fantastic to hear – it’s a great program! I’m unsure as to whether you had specific questions regarding the statement, but generally I’d recommend that you highlight previous research experiences and motivation for wanting to do research in oceanography. I hope this helps! Feel free to email me at if you have further questions.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s