Heeseok Joo

Departure Date:
May 24 2015
Return Date:
Aug. 16 2015
Local Institution:
University of Virginia
Local Advisor:
Scott Ransom
Foreign Institution:
Foreign Advisor:
Laura Spitler
Student Status:
  • Q. What country were you staying in? Bonn, Germany
  • Q. What university were you attending/doing research at? Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
  • Q. How long were you there? 12 weeks. From Mid May to Mid August
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing? Data analysis and adding new features on a software for Fast Radio Burst detection
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing? think so. Since there were people at Max Planck working on single pulse analysis, I was able to get involved in this research.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad? The research topic was very fun and amazing, but the coolest thing about being abroad would be experiencing new culture, language, people, and most importantly, the food. Not only the trip taught me a lot about science, it also taught me a lot about German culture and language, which is extremely valuable for me.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language? There are a lot of them, but I have to say that it is “Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch”, which means “I speak German a little bit”. This is my favorite because whenever I say this, people become very generous and encourages me to try to speak more German. My other favorite word is “Einbahnstrasse”, which means “One way street”. My friend and I got lost because we thought this was a street name.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad? Getting used to different custom. The transportation system, restaurant etiquette, and people’s expectation of me were very different. It took me few weeks to understand them.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time? mostly spent my free time by traveling. Since Europe has very well developed transportation system, I was able to travel to various countries and cities.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? Cologne Cathedral was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen while I was abroad. Since Bonn is close to Cologne, I was able to visit Cologne quite a few times with my friends, but every time I see Cologne Cathedral, I just could not close my mouth.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done while abroad? was not yellow. My mother, who was visiting me, almost went onto the lane in opposite direction thinking it was just another lane.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others going abroad? Try to explore as much as you can. I understand that you will be tired from all the work, but during weekends and holidays, travel.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad? Programming in python, and German skill
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known? wish I had known more about methods of traveling. I could have visited more cities early on while I was abroad.