Chris Schiavone

Departure Date:
Return Date:
Local Institution:
Franklin and Marshall College
Local Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Trainor
Foreign Institution:
National Centre for Radio Astrophysics
Foreign Advisor:
Dr. Bhal Chandra Joshi
Student Status:
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • India
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • National Centre for Radio Astrophysics
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • 8 Weeks
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • I was working on a project using data from the GMRT to make radio wave images of the night sky. These images served as a map of all of the visible radio sources in the survey, and the goal was to spot new radio point-sources. These sources, hopefully, would be newly-discovered pulsars.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • Not necessarily.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • The coolest thing to me was learning and adapting to a new culture. I had never left the states before this past summer, and thus I had never been completely immersed in a new culture. It was a great experience.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • I can’t spell it phonetically, nor can I spell it in Hindi; it basically translated to “We’ve got this!”
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • The physical adaptations were rough. Adjusting to a new diet can lead to health complications for some, and it did for me. Other than that, being abroad was the first time I’ve felt truly homesick.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • We went on trips, went to local restaurants, and tried to see as much as possible.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • Sightseeing in cities like Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi was breathtaking. We saw various temples, including the Lotus Temple of the Baha’i Faith. We got to see the bustling streets of Old Delhi. We also were able to take a tour through the Taj Mahal.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • A monkey jumped on my back during a trek and stole a mango out of my pocket.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • Always have a plan, and always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • Aside from the technical things I learned (Linux, imaging, etc.), I learned better non-verbal communication skills. I also learned how to haggle prices with street vendors and shop owners.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • I would have better prepared for the research I was doing. I wasted a lot of time learning the fundamentals of my project, time that I could have spent producing images.