Most people who study abroad (myself included!) are guilty of talking about all the amazing things that they do on the weekends, like traveling to Paris or buying last-minute flights to London. I should probably stop now before I get carried away. That being said, some of my favorite moments of study abroad have come from the ordinary daily life, and that is the part that is not talked about as frequently. So today, I’m here to bring you a peek into the extraordinary ordinariness of a day in Spain.
Depending on the day, I get up for my first class at either 9:00 or 10:30. Unlike Northeastern, which is conveniently located right in the middle of the city, my university in Sevilla is outside of the city center. By metro, it’s a half hour from my apartment, but I decided to rent a bike (fun fact: Sevilla is the 3rd best city in the world for biking!) and so it’s a 20-25 minute bike ride. This also helps me feel better about the massive amount of bread and gelato that I eat here. (In case you think I’m exaggerating, I had three ice creams yesterday. It’s a problem).
I go to class until either 1:20 or 2:50, and then it’s time to come home for lunch! At first, it took some getting used to since Spanish people eat so much later, both for lunch and dinner, but now it’s not strange at all to wait until 3:30pm for lunch. My senora works during the day, so she makes lunch in the morning and leaves it either on the stove or in the fridge for me and my three Spanish siblings to eat whenever we get home. The two 10-year-old girls usually get out of school right around when I do, so we eat together and then play Mario Kart or watch TV before my favorite time of the day: siesta!
Siesta has become less of a thing in parts of Spain, but in Andalucia in the south, it’s still very relevant. Even if I didn’t want to take a nap in the middle of the day (but really, who wouldn’t?), most businesses and shops are closed between 2-6. This is the hottest part of the day, and especially in summer, being outside during that time is not enjoyable at all. Now that it’s getting cooler, more businesses are open, but for the most part, tradition holds.
After siesta, I’ll do a little homework, and then go out with friends to sit at the bar or explore Sevilla. Since large families live in small homes, it’s not at all typical for people to go over to each other’s houses. Socializing here happens outside of the house, so any time we meet up, it’s at a park or a bar or a café. Mondays and Wednesdays, I tutor three little Spanish girls in English, which is so much fun because they’re adorable, and I love teaching them and doing their homework together. Their whole family is so nice, and they live right around the corner from me so it’s an easy walk!
I’ll come home and hang out until dinner around 9:30pm, and either do homework, watch TV, or go back out to hang out with friends. Some nights we do more exciting things, like go to a futbol (soccer!) game, or find free concerts by the river. Days are busy and full, but I love every second of being here in Sevilla.
I miss Boston and Northeastern, but I’ve found lots of things to do here to make me just as busy as I would be at home. I fully believe everyone who said that study abroad is the best experience of your college life. Northeastern has so many opportunities for students. If there’s one thing that I recommend you do in your time here, it’s study abroad.
I’m off to go out to this multi-cultural fair that’s in one of our parks this month with my friends. There’s food tents from over 50 countries, and last time we went I tried zebra. For the curious, it tasted like really chewy steak. We’ll see what adventures we embark on tonight.