Brittany Johnstone

Departure Date:
May 2015
Return Date:
August 2015
Local Institution:
West Virginia University
Local Advisor:
Duncan Lorimer
Foreign Institution:
McGill University
Foreign Advisor:
Kevin Bandura
Student Status:
  • Q. What country were you staying in? Canada
  • Q. What university were you attending/doing research at? McGill University
  • Q. How long were you there? months (May-August 2015)
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing? worked on designing a low noise differential amplifier which will be used in future Radio Astronomy Surveys.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing? Definitely!
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad? There was always something going on in Montreal whether it be a festival, the Womens World Cup, Formula 1, etc. It was really awesome having access to events that I would not have had the opportunity to go to if I wasn’t abroad.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language? It’s not a phrase but I found a newfound appreciation for Poutine, it’s amazing!
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad? The hardest part about living in Montreal was not knowing French because everything there is written in French. Luckily, most people spoke both English and French.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time? explored the city and tried to go to as many events in the area as possible!
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? coolest thing I did was I went to the Montreal Formula 1 race. I’ve been a huge fan of Formula 1 for a couple of years now and having the opportunity to watch the race in person was incredible. I will never forget how it felt to see the first car zoom by me!
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? The weirdest thing I saw was packaged horse meat at the grocery store.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad? lived at an apartment that was very close to where I worked and public transportation. This definitely made my stay in Montreal much more enjoyable so I would recommend trying to do the same. Also, I’d make some friends and explore the area you are in and just enjoy yourself!
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad? learned how to use programs such as Advanced Design System and Altium. I was able to improve my soldering skills, mine were a little rusty since I hadn’t done it in a while. Also, I learned how to use a Network Analyzer and a Noise Figure Meter.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known? wish I had learned French before going to Montreal because that would have made my experiences when I explored the area much more enjoyable.