Olivia Young

Departure Date:
Return Date:
Local Institution:
West Virginia University
Local Advisor:
Maura McLaughlin
Foreign Institution:
Swinburne University of Technology
Foreign Advisor:
Matthew Bailes
Student Status:
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • Australia
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • Swinburne University of Technology
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • Two months
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • My partner and I worked on designing and generating data for the website The Swinburne Encyclopedia of Radio Pulsars (SERPS). The plots and data displayed on the website were compiled from both new and archived data.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • Not really, however, it did give me a good taste of what I think grad school will be like, and therefore confirmed that I want to go on to grad school.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • As someone who has never been outside of the states before this summer, one of the most interesting things about being in another country is how people from outside the states view America, both politically and scientifically. The scientific community is greatly revered, and the number of times I heard about how efficient and groundbreaking the work NANOGrav is doing was really awesome.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • Although it is a common one, my pronunciation of z has changed (from zee to zed).
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • Lemonade! They don’t have actual lemonade, so they use Sprite.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • We joined a local gym, did a lot of outreach and site seeing, and worked on our project even more.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • On a trip to see some of Austrialia’s telescopes, we went to Molonglo Radio Telescope, which is ran by students from Swinburne and the University of Sydney . It was really an incredible project and place.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • Nerd-cat Friday. It is a budding Swinburne tradition where one must dress even more nerdy (or cat related) than they did on a normal basis. Its kinda odd to tell people about it, but it made for a fun Friday!
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • Really prepare for the weather, and account for humidity when packing.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • I learned how easy it was to transfer money at banks, which was super nice.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • Except maybe pack a bit lighter, there isn’t really anything I would have changed about my experience.