Residential Life


Between four and seven students live in each of our five historic houses, located adjacent to Mystic Seaport Museum and the Mystic River. These 19th-century homes, where shipbuilders, mill workers, and fishermen once lived, are outfitted with wireless internet and the furnishings and comforts of a modern home. Our houses are equipped with a full kitchen, with everything from a coffee pot to cookie sheets and teaspoons. Each house also has a washer and dryer, as well as a driveway for student vehicles. Williams-Mystic staff members serve as house advisors, as a resource for all housing needs.

The atmosphere is warm and casual, yet intellectually invigorating, as you live and study with students from many different colleges. For example, an American studies major from Tufts University may be the roommate of a music major from Oberlin College; a marine biology major from the University of Connecticut may live with an English major from Carleton College; a Chinese major from Wellesley College may share a house with an engineering major from the University of California. The combinations allow unlimited opportunities for you to gain new perspectives.

Cooperative Living

Just as members of a ship’s crew develop an extraordinary bond through shared experience and mutual trust, your class becomes melded together by the dynamics of Williams-Mystic. Each house receives a grocery check every week that covers the costs of provisions. Students prepare family-style dinners together and share in all of the responsibilities of daily life, often inviting Williams-Mystic faculty, staff, and even Mystic Seaport Museum employees to share a meal. We do our best to consider every detail when placing students in their homes; for example, vegetarians often live together, early-risers may share a house, and night owls share another.


With frequent insights from students' experiences, Williams-Mystic is committed to increasing its sustainable living initiatives. We have several sustainability practices implemented on our campus, including composting bins and energy monitors for each house.

About Mystic

Mystic, Connecticut is a beautiful coastal destination for tourists, history buffs, boat-folks, and everyone in between. You can explore local tidal pools, wander historic streets, eat a lobster roll, or go sailing past Mystic Seaport Museum —with an ice cream break at the Drawbridge somewhere in the middle, of course.

For those looking to venture out a little further, Mystic has an Amtrak station with daily service across the northeast, as well as many other Amtrak and MetroNorth rails in surrounding locations. Students have been known to take the train for brief weekend trips to New York, Hartford, and Boston.