When you are packing for Boston in the summer, please don't forget to include important paperwork such as your immunization records, which are helpful for many administrative issues such as hiring/payment, your own health care, and in some circumstances, for housing placement (if you are planning to stay in a dorm).
Also note that it gets very hot and humid in Boston during the summer, but can occassionally cool off at night quite a bit. For seasonal weather information, you can find monthly average temperatures and rainfall online on sites such as The Weather Channel. Note, however, that humidity in Boston in both summer and winter can make temperatures feel much hotter or colder.
For summer students trying to find housing in Boston, following are a few resources that may be of assistance.
Boston is not a huge city, but it does have many different neighborhoods with their own flavor. When looking at available housing in different neighborhoods, it is also important to figure out what is within walking distance of public transportation (bus, "T", or commuter rail).
Maps of the area
Students usually will be working in the "Longwood Medical Area", which you can see close up in this map of the HMS/Longwood Area, while other possibilities include Massachusetts General Hospital, nearby, and the Boston VA Health Center, which is in Brockton, MA.
The Google map tool can also give a good idea of where things are, and what's around:
link to our program address: 221 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA
Also very handy is this interactive map of the Harvard Campuses.
Boston public transportation: the MBTA (or, "the T")
Students are advised to find something within walking distance of a "T" stop, in which case they could live farther away from the HMS area, or near/on a bus route, in which case they might be happier with housing that is closer by. There are some very detailed .pdf maps on this site, and once you get an idea of where everything is, the "System" map can be very useful.
Harvard Medical School's dormitory, Vanderbilt Hall, fills up FAST, so make contact early.
Harvard School of Public Health's housing page has a lot of excellent resources for incoming students - check out the bulletin board, in particular, and the "housing guide" and "other sources for housing listings".
On the Boston Apartments website, search roommate-wanted ads in Back Bay, Fenway, South End, Brookline, Boston, Jamaica Plain, and Cambridge.
Our Home in Boston is a resource for affordable homestays for international students, medical fellows, and researchers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
On Craig's List, you may want to go directly to "rooms and shares", where you can limit your search by keywords and/or price.
Boston Furnished Apts seems to have good reviews online, as does Boston Roommate matching.
And another option might be the national roommate-finder web service at Roommates.com.