Student Life

“Coming to Woods Hole for a semester was a nice change of scenery and a welcomed escape from extra-curricular obligations at school. We worked hard, but when the work was done, the beaches, trails, and scenic roads were there for relaxing.” ~ Stephanie Oleksyk, SES class of 2006

SES students reside in the Brick Apartment or Brick Dorms, located on the MBL campus in the immediate area of the classroom, laboratories, library, and dining hall. The Brick Apartments and Dorms are accessed by ID cards by residents only. A short walk brings students into the heart of Woods Hole Village and to the local swimming beach, park and tennis courts.

Sunset from dorm room

Sunset from dorm room

Depending on the yearly availability, there may be two options for housing in apartments or dorms. Each apartment consists of two double rooms, a bathroom, living room and kitchen, as well as a screened porch. The alternative is a single room or a double room with shared bathroom in one of the MBL dorms. Dorm rooms may be furnished with a bed, dresser, small desk, chair, phone and sink. Closets provide additional storage space. Ebert Hall includes a first floor lounge area with fireplace and first floor sun-porch for social and recreational gatherings.

Other features: Credit-card operated laundry facilities are available to students within the Brick Apartments building and in the basement of Ebert Hall. Students with bikes may lock them at one of the many outdoor bike racks on the MBL campus, or obtain card-access to an indoor secure bike storage facility which offers locker rooms and additional showers. MBL may have bikes available for students to borrow during the term depending on the number of students and other course needs. Parking stickers for local MBL parking lots are provided for students that bring cars to Woods Hole.


Bioluminescence in Buzzards Bay

Dining Facilities 
The Dining Hall is located in the Swope Center, across the street from the dorms and overlooking scenic Eel Pond. There is a private dining room provided for SES students. The meal plan offers three all-you-can-eat meals a day during the week, plus brunch and dinner on the weekends. Meals for vegetarian and other special diets are available.

Other features: Cafe, outdoor eating area, 6 public computers, 6 public data ports, public television, lounge area, coin-operated laundry room.

In Woods Hole, there are also cafes, restaurants and a year-round market, which sells sandwiches, fresh produce, and packaged foods.

Guest Services
In the MBL-WHOI Library, which is located on the MBL campus, students have access to a wide array of publications.  The library also offers many quiet and comfortable study spaces. While at MBL, SES students have wireless internet in both the classroom and their dorms. Parking passes for the MBL lots may be acquired by students with cars.

The Village of Woods Hole offers restaurants, coffee shops, galleries, a waterfront park, a post office, a bakery, clothing and gift shops, and Woods Hole Library and Historical Museum. There are major scientific institutions based in Woods Hole, besides the Marine Biological Laboratory: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Sea Education Association,  and Woods Hole Research Center. Woods Hole is one of eight villages of the town of Falmouth. The population in Falmouth year-round is 32,000; the population more than triples in the summer.

A beautiful day on the Shining Sea Bikeway in Woods Hole. Credit: David Tian

A beautiful day on the Shining Sea Bikeway in Woods Hole. Credit: David Tian

Students are able to use Stony Beach on Buzzards Bay, which is about a five-minute walk from the MBL campus.  The campus is also a short walk to the four-mile bike path that runs from Falmouth to Woods Hole, and to the Steamship Authority, the ferry service that runs from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard.

For information on the MBL beach, bicycle storage, computer access, laundry, mail and other MBL guest services visit the MBL Housing website.

For driving information, maps, buses, airports and local hotels go to MBL Travel Information.

Field Trip and Events
Students participate in a variety of SES hosted events throughout the semester.

~ Plum Island
~ Provincetown MA Whale Watch
~ New England Aquarium
~ SES Halloween Party
~ Cape Cod Marathon
~ Research Vessel tours

Pumpkin carving after marathon, 2016. Credit C. Neill
2016 SES Cape Cod Marathon Relay Teams. Credit C. Neill
Sea Captains on whale watch off Provincetown, MA. Credit T. Doursounian
Humpback whale. Credit Luke O'Brien.
Jellies - New England Aquarium. Credit O. Bispott
Creative pumpkins by SES students, 2018. Credit S. Pope
Plum Island LTER kayak trip, 2017. Credit: M. DeGiuli
RV Armstrong Tour at WHOI, 2016. Credit H. McMonagle.