- Departure Date:
- Sep. 01 2012
- Return Date:
- Jan. 01 2013
- Local Institution:
- West Virginia University
- Local Advisor:
- Maura McLaughlin
- Foreign Institution:
- University of Manchester
- Foreign Advisor:
- Ben Stappers
- Student Status:
- Q. What country were you staying in?
studied abroad in England.
- Q. What university were you attending/doing research at?
While in England, I attended the University of Manchester.
- Q. How long were you there?
stayed at Manchester for a semester (from September 2012 to
- Q. What sort of research were you doing?
research involved investigating high-energy transient radio bursts
originating from outside of our galaxy. I created an algorithm that
searches large amounts of pulsar observation data for the presence
of these short- lasting transient bursts.
- Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
had been conducting as undergraduate. I instead was able to
investigate an aspect of gravitational wave detection, namely the
events that could create such gravitation waves.
- Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
Probably the coolest thing about being abroad was experiencing a new
culture, teaching style and research environment all in the same
- Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
When I arrived in Manchester, a few weeks had passed before I was
finally able to regularly use the British phrase “cheers” instead of
“thank you.” The other phrase I adapted to using was “Alright
there?” This phrase, which is roughly equivalent to “Hey, how are
you?”, caused me a bit of head- scratching during my first week.
- Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
The most difficult aspect of studying abroad is adapting to a
different culture all by yourself. It was rather frightening to me
until I began socializing on a regular basis.
- Q. What did you do in your free time?
Other than working on my research, I often roamed around Manchester
looking for parks and interesting buildings like museums. Manchester
has a number of educating and entertaining museums.
- Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad?
Although enjoying the night life and live music was really fun, the
coolest thing I’ve done during my study abroad trip was working with
some of the most respected scientists in the world on a project that
was very new and unique. Every day had the potential of an exciting
- Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad?
Often when I told people that I am from West Virginia University,
they would respond by singing the first few verses of John Denver’s
“Country Roads” song. I was rather surprised that so many people
were so familiar with our state’s song!
- Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad?
a fellow student who has decided to go abroad for a semester or a
year, I would suggest that they talk to as many people as they can
when they arrive at their new home. Doing so helps to both reduce
the anxiety of being on your own and allows you to become more
culturally aware. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
- Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
The most important skill I learned while abroad was how to more
effectively communicate my ideas, not only in an academic
environment, but also in everyday interactions.
- Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d
would have liked to pursue this research abroad experience during my
junior year rather than my senior year. The semester start and end
dates in European countries are often different than those in the
United States. Thus, as a senior, I was only able to stay for