Jay Rose

Departure Date:
05/28/2018
Return Date:
7/23/2018
Local Institution:
Hillsdale College
Local Advisor:
Tim Dolch
Foreign Institution:
NAOC
Foreign Advisor:
Zhu Weiwei
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • China
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • NAOC and FAST
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • Two months
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • Worked with the signal processing backend for the FAST telescope. I learned the basics of the FPGA’s used to process incoming signals.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • Yes, being at the FAST telescope site allowed me to interface directly with the FPGA’s in the control room.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • Experiencing a new culture was the coolest thing for me. It was my first time leaving the United States and I was blown away by some of the cultural differences as well as the similarities.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • “我想要这个” meaning “I want this”. This was the easiest way to order food or go shopping with my limited knowledge of Mandarin.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • The hardest thing for me was the feeling of isolation. While I was never alone, it was difficult to interact with others across language and cultural barriers.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • While at the FAST site I spent most of my free time playing basketball with the telescope staff. My height advantage allowed me to be the best player on the court, and it was fun to be good at basketball for once! When we were in Beijing we spent our free time visiting the tourist sites and exploring the city.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • The coolest thing for me was hiking in the mountains and seeing the villages surrounding the telescope. It is something that many tourists are unable to see and it was nice to visit parts of China that are not flooded with tourists.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • nan
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • To try new things (especially food), and to not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Doing this led to my best experiences.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • I learned how to communicate with others without using words, how to navigate (somewhat) Beijing’s subway system, and how to use chopsticks.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • I wish I would have had a better understanding of Mandarin. Knowing some more Chinese would have allowed me to be much more independent and I think that would have enhanced my experience.