A (Realistic) Day in the Life of an American Student in Milan

Headshot of Abigail Stupar.
Abigail Stupar
April 25, 2023
"Mocktails" (they were smoothies) in Milan!


It all started with the Monday morning cleaners. As much as I appreciate a clean living space, having to be out of my room by 9 a.m. on a Monday is always a rather hurried way to start the week. But alas, I got up at 8 a.m. and began my morning routine.

First things first, I had to shower and get ready for the day ahead. I always find that a good shower helps to wake me up and get me ready for whatever lies ahead. For breakfast, I opted for yogurt and granola, as it's a quick and easy meal to make, and it keeps me full for the morning. Once I was fed and ready to go, I began organizing my room. I like to keep my space tidy, and with the cleaners coming through, I wanted to make sure everything was in its proper place. After that, I packed my lunch and headed out to the grocery store.

The grocery store is always an adventure when you're studying abroad. There are so many new and exciting things to try, and I always end up spending way more time in there than I intend to. But today, I just picked up a banana and some water for later and then headed off to my first class of the day.

Positive Psychology is a fascinating subject, and I always leave class feeling energized and ready to take on the day. As I made my way to my next class, I couldn't help but take in the beauty of Italy. The sun was finally warm on my skin and life felt pretty darn good.

Storytelling was next, followed by Mafia in Media, and both classes were engaging and thought-provoking. It's incredible to think about how much the media shapes our perceptions of the world, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn more about it. It’s also simply fascinating to delve into the history of Italy’s Mafias.

After classes were over, I met up with three of my closest friends to do a bit of shopping. We had all agreed that we wanted something to remember our time abroad, and so we went on the hunt for a set of four matching (or semi-matching) stuffed animals. It sounds a bit silly, but we wanted something that would remind us of each other when we were back home. Unfortunately, the stuffed animals we found were all a bit too pricey, so we decided to skip them and head to a nearby cafe instead. EL&N Milano is an entirely pink cafe, and it's the perfect spot for a quick pick-me-up. However, as soon as we walked in, we realized just how hot it was inside. I started feeling dizzy and nauseous, and I knew I needed to get out of there as soon as possible.

When I got back to my room, I took one of my friend's iron pills to see if it would help me feel better. I'm not sure what was going on, but I was just grateful to be back in my own space. I decided to call it an early night and get some much-needed rest.

All in all, it was a typical day in the life of a study abroad student. From classes to shopping to cafes, every day is a new adventure. While it may not always be glamorous or exciting, I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow in such a beautiful place.

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Headshot of Abigail Stupar.

Abigail Stupar

I'm Abigail, a junior studying English and music at Macalester College, and I'll be in Milan, Italy for the spring semester. This is my first time leaving the country, and I want to share my experience as a low-income never-traveled-like-this-before student with you. My interests include writing stories, making art, writing music, learning languages, and exploring the outdoors.

2023 Spring
Home University:
Macalester College
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