Gary Marchini

Departure Date:
Sep. 01 2012
Return Date:
Jan. 01 2013
Local Institution:
West Virginia University
Local Advisor:
Maura McLaughlin
Foreign Institution:
University of Manchester
Foreign Advisor:
Ben Stappers
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in? studied abroad in England.
  • Q. What university were you attending/doing research at? While in England, I attended the University of Manchester.
  • Q. How long were you there? stayed at Manchester for a semester (from September 2012 to December 2012)
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing? research involved investigating high-energy transient radio bursts originating from outside of our galaxy. I created an algorithm that searches large amounts of pulsar observation data for the presence of these short- lasting transient bursts.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing? had been conducting as undergraduate. I instead was able to investigate an aspect of gravitational wave detection, namely the events that could create such gravitation waves.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad? Probably the coolest thing about being abroad was experiencing a new culture, teaching style and research environment all in the same semester
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language? When I arrived in Manchester, a few weeks had passed before I was finally able to regularly use the British phrase “cheers” instead of “thank you.” The other phrase I adapted to using was “Alright there?” This phrase, which is roughly equivalent to “Hey, how are you?”, caused me a bit of head- scratching during my first week.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad? The most difficult aspect of studying abroad is adapting to a different culture all by yourself. It was rather frightening to me until I began socializing on a regular basis.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time? Other than working on my research, I often roamed around Manchester looking for parks and interesting buildings like museums. Manchester has a number of educating and entertaining museums.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? Although enjoying the night life and live music was really fun, the coolest thing I’ve done during my study abroad trip was working with some of the most respected scientists in the world on a project that was very new and unique. Every day had the potential of an exciting discovery!
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? Often when I told people that I am from West Virginia University, they would respond by singing the first few verses of John Denver’s “Country Roads” song. I was rather surprised that so many people were so familiar with our state’s song!
  • Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad? a fellow student who has decided to go abroad for a semester or a year, I would suggest that they talk to as many people as they can when they arrive at their new home. Doing so helps to both reduce the anxiety of being on your own and allows you to become more culturally aware. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad? The most important skill I learned while abroad was how to more effectively communicate my ideas, not only in an academic environment, but also in everyday interactions.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known? would have liked to pursue this research abroad experience during my junior year rather than my senior year. The semester start and end dates in European countries are often different than those in the United States. Thus, as a senior, I was only able to stay for a semester.