Surprisingly, a lot of people ask me about what I do on a daily basis while I’m here in Spain. The answer, honestly, is not much different from how my life is back home. Despite what a lot of people think, I’m pretty busy while I’m abroad. If you’re curious as to what my days look like, keep reading.
8 a.m.: I wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast. Breakfast here is pretty simple. I eat a piece or two of toast with butter and marmalade every day, along with a cup of “leche con chocolate,” which is kind of like hot chocolate. Afterwards I brush my teeth and head out the door with my umbrella in tow. You never know when it will rain here.
9:15 a.m.-2 p.m.: I have classes at USC. In the morning, I have three hours of a Spanish language class, which is broken up by the “descanso,” or break, around 11:15 a.m. During this break, students and professors take time to get coffee, fresh orange juice or other snack and relax. I like to walk around outside if the weather is nice. My last hour of class is my culture and civilization course, which is really intriguing. I have class every day of the week from now until the beginning of March. Once March is here, I won’t have class on Fridays. My classes will eventually change as time goes on as well.
2:15-3 p.m.: Lunch hour! I’m usually at home for this, even though there are some days when I’ll go to a cafe or restaurant with some friends. Lunch is the largest meal of the day in Spain, which means there’s usually a soup or salad, followed by the main dish with bread and ending with dessert, either a fruit or pastry. Let me tell you, the post-lunch food coma is real in Spain.
3-4:30 p.m.: I have a small block of free time before my afternoon starts. I either relax, walk around the city or work on planning trips either around Spain or around Europe. In Spain, this is also known as the time for a “siesta.” Yes, that’s the post-lunch nap. Yes, people do take one. And yes, it’s lovely. America needs to adopt this practice.
4:30-7:30 p.m.: On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work at my internship. During these three hours, I edit writing submissions, sit in on and help in English classes, welcome new students on their first day of classes, and do some language translation research. For those who know me, this is basically my dream job. When I am not working, I have cultural activities on Wednesdays during this time, which can be anything from tours to learning how to salsa dance.
7:30-9 p.m.: Usually, this is my dinner hour. Dinner is a smaller meal, so it doesn’t take as long to make or eat. I also spend a little of my time catching up with some friends back home.
9 p.m.-midnight or 1 a.m.: Each night of the week there’s something interesting going on. There are language exchanges with other students and Spanish natives, going out for drinks, watching fútbol with my host parents, going to clubs, or just having a night in. This is one of the things I like the most about Santiago: there’s always something going on. You are never without plans here.
1-2 a.m.: The only thing on my mind during this time is shower and sleep. Once I fall asleep, I get up and do the same thing all over again. Even though the routine stays the same, each day continues to remain an adventure.