Sarah Henderson

Departure Date:
Jun. 6 2015
Return Date:
Jul. 31 2015
Local Institution:
Lafayette College
Local Advisor:
David Nice
Foreign Institution:
University of Bielefeld
Foreign Advisor:
Stefan Oslowski and Joris Verbiest
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in? Germany
  • Q. What university were you attending/doing research at? Universitaet Bielefeld
  • Q. How long were you there? months
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing? was working with Joris Verbiest and focusing on mode-switching is PSR J0332+5434 at 153.8 MHz
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing? Not particularly; I just used European data sets for my work
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad? Learning to function on your own and improve language skills (I was abroad for 5 months before coming to Bielefeld, and those were definitely the coolest & most life changing aspects)
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language? Doch! It’s a simple word with many implications, and it just sounds assertive :)
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad? Being in the unfamiliar, especially while being completely alone.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time? traveled every weekend & during the week, I would go on walks, work out, or just relax and watch netflix.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? The coolest thing I experienced was when I took a weekend to go to Bratislava, Slovakia. There was this club called Sub Club that was built into the base of a mountain. It used to be a soviet bunker, and it apparently connected to tunnels leading from the castle that sat on top of the hill. It was the coolest club I’ve ever been to, and they played awesome trap music.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? went to Amsterdam for a weekend. I think that speaks for itself, but seeing marijuana and mushrooms being sold legally in shops was really bizarre. Also, the Red Light District (I don’t want to particularly go into what I saw there, but it was strange).
  • Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad? Pack light and travel like crazy! Europe is incredible in terms of affordability and ease of seeing other places. Don’t be afraid to go out and explore, even if you can’t speak the language.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad? definitely learned how to live as an independent being, how to let go of a lot material things, learned a TON of German, and also learned how to book my own travels on a super modest budget.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known? just wish that I had traveled more!