Study Abroad / Travel
Traveling is one of my favorite ways to learn. As an undergraduate, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in two study abroad programs. The first was a summer research program in China, and the second was a semester study abroad in Scotland.
Ocean University of China (Qingdao, China)
After my sophomore year, I participated in a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program in Marine Science and Engineering offered by Clarkson University. For the program, the other participants and I worked with mentors and research groups at Chinese universities in Qingdao and Dalian. I worked with a group in the Department of Marine Meteorology at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao. For more details about my research project, read the abstract (here).
This experience gave me an opportunity to not only expand my knowledge about tropical cyclones and variability in the climate system, but also to learn about Chinese culture from my lab-mates and other students at the university. While the working language for the program was English, I picked up enough Mandarin over the summer to complete basic tasks such as ordering food, asking for directions, or making purchases.
As part of our cultural exchange program, the other American students and I participated in a panel for undergraduate students comparing the American and Chinese educational systems, and hosted a 4th of July celebration for students in our departments.
University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK)
During the spring of my junior year at Brown, I participated in a study abroad program at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. Despite having winter weather I would describe as "like Seattle but colder", I really enjoyed spending the winter and spring in Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh is just south of the Old Town in Edinburgh and the city is very walkable with lots to explore. I took a course in Meteorology and I launched a weather balloon off the roof of the building named after Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell. I also studied Geomorphology and wrote a paper about morphological evidence that liquid water helped sculpt the landscape of Mars. I also took a course in "Scottish Ethnology" in which I learned about the legacy of Sir Walter Scott and read Scots poems and songs.
During the semester I explored Scotland beyond Edinburgh, including spending a night in a highland castle and catching a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster . I also had the opportunity to travel in Europe during the spring and summer breaks, covering nine countries and six currencies.