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Welcome to WHOI

The International Committee welcomes you to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). This committee provides support and assistance that can help you to become acclimated to the Institution and to the community. We have a variety of volunteer services that can be found at our Community Helpers link on this site and we will keep you informed of upcoming functions sponsored by the committee, and encourage you to attend these fun and informative events where you will meet other members of the WHOI community and other international friends.

This website is a helpful tool for finding information about the assistance, resources and activities available through our Committee and in the Woods Hole/Falmouth area.

We have a group of volunteers that can provide assistance to you and your family during your stay. Our volunteers can provide opportunities for conversational English, carpooling, and tours of the local area.

International scientific exchange is important to oceanography providing opportunities for interactions between the world's scientists, access to data around the globe, and literature and theories developed within diverse cultures. There are currently close to 200 foreign nationals at the Institution adding to this process of scientific exchange. While you are here you will learn not only from your colleagues but also from your contacts with other American people and institutions. We hope you take advantage of the opportunity to learn about a society and culture which may be new to you, and to teach others about the society and culture you represent. Your sponsor at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will be your main contact for information.

The purposes of the International Committee and this website is to provide information about offices and people at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who can help you with a variety of services, to introduce you to the town of Falmouth (in which Woods Hole is one of several villages), and to explain some of the United States government regulations which will affect you during your stay at WHOI. We hope that many of the questions you may have when you arrive in Woods Hole will be answered by these resources.

We provide a short list of emergency phone numbers and helpful WHOI phone numbers. If you have any questions during your stay at WHOI which cannot be answered by your sponsor or this website, please contact your department committee representative. We will help you, or refer you to someone who can.


Many changes have occurred within the US government regarding the responsibilities of foreign visitors after entering the country. For up-to-date information please visit the immigration section of the Human Resources department at WHOI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the government. You should sign in at the Human Resources Office no later than 3 days upon your arrival within the United States. Failure to do so can result in the invalidation of your visa. For important WHOI information regarding these matters please visit the Foreign National Office in Human Resources.


An additional resource for visitors to Woods Hole has been provided by the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee; a joint project by WHOI, MBL, USGS, SEA, WHRC, & NOAA. Please see their site for more details.

Another great resource is the WHOI Community Wiki, or WHOIKI.  Open to all WHOI employees, the WHOIKI aims to become a hub for sharing non-scientific, ‘everyday life’ information useful to both new employees and current employees. Like any wiki, WHOIKI relies on input from the community, with sections to cover all aspects of daily life outside of work such as Home, Health Care and Recreation we hope that WHOIKI will become as wide-ranging and diverse at the WHOI community itself.  So please take a moment to “read a post / write a post,” share your favorite kayaking spot or the contractor that did a great job on your kitchen!

Our visitors' national flags

A glance at Woods Hole

A selection of images from Woods Hole and Falmouth