Andrew Clark

Departure Date:
06/25/2019
Return Date:
09/07/2019
Local Institution:
WVU
Local Advisor:
Maura McLaughlin
Foreign Institution:
university of Kwazulu-natal
Foreign Advisor:
Kalvin Moodley
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • South Africa
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • University of Kwazulu-natal
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • 06/25 - 09/07
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • At the University of Kwazulu-natal I am studying fast radio bursts, which are mysterious signals of unknown origin. I conducted a survey on the Hirax interferometer array that is being built to determine how many new fast radio bursts it will detect.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • Being abroad and experiencing the early stages of the Hirax array development was an amazing experience.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • The wildlife! Everyday we could see monkeys on campus and around our Airbnb.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • A plastic bag is a packet and a pickle is a gherkin.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • Driving on the left side of the road.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • The food in Durban was mush cheaper then in the US and I was able to go out with some students and the Airbnb host to some very nice restaurants to eat.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • I went to a nature reserve and got to see rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and other animals up close.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • On the drive from the airport to the airbnb on the first day I saw a small pickup truck stacked impossibly full with tires. Amongst the tires were two men, sitting on thrones of rubber, laughing and enjoying food and drinks. I could only think that, to them, riding on a comically tall stack of tires on the back of a truck barreling down the highway was a normal occurrence.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • Don’t take my word for it, go see it yourself.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • I think I got much better at cooking, although the other students might disagree.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • I wish I had practiced driving stick before I left. It’s too stressful worrying about learning stick while driving a rental and learning the rules of foreign roads.