Adam Jussila

Departure Date:
05/21/2016
Return Date:
08/5/2016
Local Institution:
Oberlin College
Local Advisor:
Dan Stinebring
Foreign Institution:
Foreign Advisor:
Rene Breton
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • England
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • University of Manchester
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • 11 weeks
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • I was writing code for the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory that was aimed at optimizing the viewing time of the telescope (using python). It was designed in a way that it would use a base set of functions that could be generalized and later used by anyone at essentially any telescope and changed to fit the specific parameters of a project. I didn’t finish, but I now have a well documented code that should be very easy for people to pick up and build off of.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • It gave me a good perspective of how international much of the research efforts that I am involved in are. There are people all over the world working toward what we are doing, and the people in other countries are contributing to our science as much as many people within the United States. It was also a very valuable experience for me personally to see what it is like to live abroad and do science.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • I really enjoyed exploring the scenery in England and South Africa (I was there for a 2 week conference). I also absolutely loved trying interesting foods and getting to experience the other cultures in every way that I could, whether it was food or any number of other things.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • “Cheers, mate.” -mumbled by every nervous person in the UK in passing when I acknowledged them-
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • Being 8-9 time zones ahead of my family and being totally on my own without the ability to contact my family when I was feeling down or something.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • I called home for the first few weeks when I had free time, but later on I would go out and hike either alone or (later on in my trip) with friends from the University.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • I saw wild penguins in Hermanus, South Africa. I didn’t think I would ever get the chance to do that. Also, I saw a giraffe, but I think I enjoyed the penguins more.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • The most strange thing that I saw is probably an old man shouting in Afrikaans at a group of hyrax (sort of like oversized hamsters that hop along the rocks on the shoreline) while he fed them bananas and one bit him, but he just kept feeding them.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • When you feel stressed and anxious, just know that you’ll make it through. We all felt like that when we got there. And the ones who claim they didn’t are probably in a situation
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • I think more than anything I learned that I am capable of being abroad and handling myself alone with navigating foreign places, making friends, feeding myself, etc. I think I could do all of that before, but this just helped me improve my skills.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • I think I am happy with the way things happened.