Willie Kunert

Departure Date:
Jul. 07 2010
Return Date:
Nov. 1 2010
Local Institution:
Oberlin College
Local Advisor:
Dan Stinebring
Foreign Institution:
University of Sydney / CSIRO
Foreign Advisor:
Dick Manchester / George Hobbs
Student Status:
Undergraduate

I researched abroad in Sydney, Australia. There I spent half my time taking classes at the University of Sydney and half my time working at the Australian Telescope National Facility. I conducted independent research related to pulsar timing with some of the top experts in the field. I spent the first few weeks getting to know some background information as well as learning the most commonly used software. I ended up focusing on dispersion measure variations and the interstellar medium, and by the end of my time there had given a talk at a national pulsar conference and written a full paper on the work I had done. Beyond having this fantastic research opportunity I also got to explore Australia and meet many interesting and fun people along the way. I traveled to northern Australia where I was able to take tours of the rainforest and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. I traveled to the outback to see Uluru, the world’s largest rock. I spent a day whale ft! Studying abroad was a huge transition, and while it may have been a bumpy ride at first, in the end I came out happier, more confident, and more experienced in the professional and international world. It was definitely a positive life changing experience for me. Not only do I now have some incredible references and mentors to help me along the way to whatever path I choose, but also some incredible friends spread across the world. I’ve also gained an amazing amount of professional experience that I can tell will help me in the job world no matter what I end up doing. Perhaps most importantly though, I have gained social skills that helped me make new friends in new places that I know will always make my life easier and happier in the future. I found this program extremely useful and would definitely recommend it to others.