Jeff Ouellette

Departure Date:
May 17 2015
Return Date:
Jul. 08 2015
Local Institution:
Cornell University
Local Advisor:
Jim Cordes
Foreign Institution:
University fo Cagliari
Foreign Advisor:
Delphine Perodin
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in? Italy
  • Q. What university were you attending/doing research at? was at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari.
  • Q. How long were you there? weeks
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing? was working on the backend instrumentation at the SRT with regards to pulsar timing.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing? Yes, in a way. While working at a telescope was indeed a fantastic experience and I learned a lot, I realized that I would rather not work on instrumentation in the future.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad? The coolest thing is being able to walk down the streets of another country and just get totally lost in the fact that you’re so far from home.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language? “Ti piscio” - literally translates to “I piss you”, which means exactly that in most of Italy. However, in Rome its a rude way to say that you are leaving someone (as in walking away). It was a fun phrase one astronomer taught me my first day there.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad? The hardest thing is definitely being away from your family and friends at home, similar to when you move across the US for example. Except no one speaks the same language as you.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time? really liked to just walk around and explore the area. All you have to do is start walking in some direction. The beach was gorgeous as well.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? The coolest thing by far was being allowed to point a giant metal dish around. Astronomy is cool, folks!
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? suppose the weirdest thing was smelling the streets of Venice. They were beautiful and ancient, so naturally they stink to high heavens!
  • Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad? don’t know about advice to people going abroad, but in general if you’ve already decided on not going abroad, then consider it again. You should definitely give it a chance if you can.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad? language skills improved a lot! I already knew some Italian before, but I can definitely speak a lot more fluidly now.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known? wish I’d stayed longer! I definitely should have asked for a plane ticket a month after finishing instead of immediately.