Summer Student Program: Bar Harbor, ME

The Summer Student Program at the Bar Harbor campus offers a unique residential program with abundant outdoor activities in a Maine summer vacation hotspot.

At a Glance

  • Live in a converted estate with onsite dining; housemates include ~32 other Summer Students in doubles, triples, and quads, plus 4 residential staff. The residence is located roughly 2.5 miles from the Bar Harbor Village Green. The Bar Harbor shopping district caters to the needs of tourists; it is a 30 minute drive to Walmart and other larger stores.  Bangor is the nearest transportation hub.
  • Stay active outside the laboratory. Evening and weekend activities emphasize outdoor pursuits with a focus on hiking in Acadia National Park. Non-outdoor pursuits include hanging out with friends at Highseas (conversation, movies, games), and visiting the many shops, restaurants, theaters, and attractions in and around Mount Desert Island and the nearby the village of Bar Harbor. Medium to small group activities tend to be the norm.
  • Get around by foot, bicycle, JAX van, the Island Explorer Bus, or your own vehicle (if you drive). Taxis are expensive and inconsistent. Public transportation and Uber/Lyft are limited.
Photo of Bar Harbor Summer Students Roberto, Pura, and Amey
2019 Summer Students (L to R): Roberto Rodriguez Cartagena (Univ. Puerto Rico - Mayaguez), Pura Arroyo (Univ. Puerto Rico - Mayaguez), and Amey Maley (Univ. Illinois Urbana-Champaign).



Students at the Bar Harbor campus reside at Highseas, a 40-room home with a curious history converted to residence hall located about 1 mile from JAX. Highseas is located in a quiet, wooded setting, with expansive ocean views. Students are typically assigned one to four roommates. The house has many shared spaces including a large common living room, dining room, library, TV/game room, and laundry room. While students should expect to interact with others on a frequent basis, people can readily find quiet and private places to study, read or be alone.


Breakfast and dinner are served daily at Highseas. Lunch is provided in the Roscoe’s Café, at the research laboratory. Weekend meals are prepared by a rotating ‘kitchen crew’ of 4-5 students and staff (everyone will take their turn) who also clean the kitchen after each meal during the week. Kitchen crew can prepare something simple and easy or get a bit creative to highlight certain dishes that are special to that team. Highseas is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions, with the exception of strict Kosher preparations.

Residential Program

Highseas is Living Learning Community with co-curricular programming to build teamwork, scientific communication and intercultural communication skills. The residence life staff, made up of a Residence Supervisor, and three Residential Advisors who are alumni of the Summer Student Program, provide oversight and guidance at Highseas, organizes group activities, and provides general help and assistance to students throughout the summer. Staff host activities for small groups of students ranging from short hikes to mini golf to movie nights. 


The Bar Harbor program emphasizes active outdoor pursuits. Many students enjoy hiking the flat to challenging trails in Acadia National Park. Students also enjoy running, boat trips to see wildlife including whales, and swimming. Non-outdoor pursuits include hanging out with friends at Highseas (conversation, movies, games, Netflix), and visiting the many shops, restaurants, theaters, and attractions on MDI. Medium to small group activities tend to be the norm. 

Students have 24/7 access to the JAX fitness center on the research campus.

We welcome student-led activities. If you are passionate about something in particular...bring it to the program!