Fernando Cardoso

Departure Date:
May 21 2012
Return Date:
August 15 2012
Local Institution:
West Virginia University
Local Advisor:
Maura McLaughlin
Foreign Institution:
McGill University
Foreign Advisor:
Victoria Kaspi
Student Status:
  • Q. What country were you staying in? Canada
  • Q. What university were you attending/doing research at? McGill University, Montreal Canada
  • Q. How long were you there? Three months
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing? worked on compiling a list of known pulsars re-detected by the PALFA survey in preparation for the upcoming proposal. Additionally, I timed a few newly discovered PALFA pulsars.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad? The coolest thing was definitely the culture. Even though I was in Canada (and expected most things to be similar to the US), I experienced quite a culture shock. This is not only true because Montreal is a large city, but because it is a mesh of English and French/European culture.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad? The hardest thing was not being able to speak French. While most people you meet are bilingual, they do prefer to speak in their native language. Ordering food from a French menu is not too straightforward either.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? The coolest thing I saw were the student protests. There were literally thousands of people protesting in various parts of city, advocating for no tuition hikes. You could hear pots and pans banging everywhere!
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? The weirdest thing I saw were naked protesters in the middle of crowds.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad? Dealing with cable/electric/gas companies and landlords is quite complicated while you’re abroad, especially without phone access. Make sure everything is dealt with before heading out of the country. Aside from that, keep an open mind and enjoy your experience abroad!
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad? learned quite a few French phrases, which was really useful. I also learned how to use BiXi (“public” bikes which you can rent all through the city). They’re very convenient/addicting and I wish we had them here in my home institution.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known? Not really. I think I was able to balance getting a lot accomplished and experiencing Montreal.