A Day in My Life (Abroad)

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Carmen Miller
February 20, 2024
A view of the Alhambra with rooftops in foreground and Sierra Nevada visible in the background

Hi everyone! Now that classes are in full swing and I’m properly settled into a routine, I thought I’d share a day in my life as an IES Abroad Granada student. Here’s a detailed look into what I did last Tuesday.

10 a.m.: Wake up! I got really lucky with my schedule in that I don’t have classes early in the morning, so I usually set my alarm for 10 am. Unless I was up really late the night before I’m almost always awake before then, though. Once I’m up, I get dressed and get ready for the day, and then I go into the kitchen for breakfast.

Breakfast: Spaniards tend to eat a pretty light breakfast or just have coffee, which is something I’m still not used to. In my homestay, breakfast is a sort of buffet affair, with options for cereal, toast, fruit, and pastries. Today I had a bowl of cereal and a banana.

10:30 a.m.: Leave for IES Abroad Center. My homestay is about 20 minutes away from the IES Abroad center, and it’s a nice walk, especially when the weather is good (which is most days). I like to leave a few minutes early so I don’t feel rushed and can peek into all the bakeries and see what they have in the window. 

11:00 a.m.: First class of the day. My first class today was Memory and Identity of Sephardic Jews. This is usually a combination of a lecture/discussion class, but today we were presenting poster projects we did in groups about a famous Spanish Jew. It was really interesting to learn about all the people my classmates presented on, and the presentation-style class was a fun way to get a lot of information across very quickly. Although I love all of my classes, this one is definitely one of my favorites. 

12:30 p.m.: Second breakfast. I have a 15-minute break between my first and second classes, and I usually use this time to eat a little snack, which my friends and I jokingly call “second breakfast.” I usually bring a pastry or protein bar from home, or sometimes we go to Galletanas, which is a cookie store next to the IES Abroad center. Given how long there is between breakfast and lunch, I find myself really needing a snack in order to make it through my next class. Plus, it’s nice to go outside, sit in the sun, and spend a few minutes catching up between classes. Today, I had a chocolate croissant I brought from home.

12:45 p.m.: Second class of the day. My second class today was Islamic Civilization in Spain and North Africa Before 1492. This is also usually a lecture class, but today we went on a field trip! We met on the plaza as a class, and then we walked to the mosque in the Albaicín neighborhood of Granada. There, we sat in the beautiful garden and had a conversation with a woman from the mosque, who told us about the more recent history of the Muslim community in Granada and answered lots of questions from the class. 

2:45 p.m.: Lunch. After class, I walked back to my homestay for lunch. Today we had cocido madrileño, a Madrid-style stew with noodles, potatoes, carrots, and chicken, along with a tomato and cucumber salad, fresh bread, and some melon for dessert. As usual, my host mom, my roommate, and I ate lunch together while we watched La Ruleta de la Suerte (Spanish Wheel of Fortune) and then the news, both of which are great for learning random vocabulary words and sparking conversation.  

Siesta: After lunch, there’s siesta, one of my favorite Spanish traditions. This is a few hours in the early afternoon when everyone takes a break – most shops close and people rest or hang out with family. I usually use this time to take a nap and/or work on homework, depending on how tired I am. Because of the presentations and field trip, I didn’t get assigned any homework today.  Instead, I had a really good nap (the sun shines through my window and lands on my bed right where my feet are, which is delightful), and then I worked on this blog post and did some paperwork for my summer job. 

6:50 p.m.: Leave for evening activities. I don’t have class in the evening on Tuesdays (I do on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday), so I usually leave the apartment a little later than this and meet people for dinner. Today, I had some errands to run, so I took care of those on the way to…

7:55 p.m.: Cata de aceite. In addition to the weekly yoga classes and soccer games, IES Abroad offers a bunch of different workshops that you can sign up for at the beginning of the semester. Today I went to an olive oil tasting, which was so much fun. We sampled three different kinds of olive oil and had a tapa (a little dish of food) with each one, designed to highlight the flavor of the olive oil and show what kind of food each one would compliment best. The guy running the tasting told us all about the process of producing olive oil and where each variety we tried was from, and the tapas were delicious – my favorite one was slices of apple with goat cheese and honey. Afterwards, I walked back to my homestay with some classmates, stopping for dessert on the way. 

10:30 p.m.: Home for the evening. I got back to my homestay, took a quick shower, and got ready for bed. Then I finished up this blog post, and I’m going to read for a while before I go to sleep. ¡Buenas noches! 

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carmen miller headshot

Carmen Miller

I’m a Comparative Literature major at Haverford College with an interest in how cultures and stories interact with each other. I love baking, writing, hiking, and exploring new places. And I can never resist the siren song of a good library!

2024 Spring
Home University:
Haverford College
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