So generally a typical day in my life in Milan is not as exciting as the weekends I have spent abroad. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have to wake up early for my 9 a.m. Italian class. I always struggle to get to this class haha. I typically set an alarm for 7:30 a.m. and snooze it once, especially if I was up late the night before. Then I quickly get ready and I eat breakfast. My homestay family always has coffee made for me in the Moka and the table is set for breakfast. I typically am eating after they have both left for work but it depends on the day. I typically eat cereal and have some coffee in the mornings and then I run out the door to make it to class. I greet the doorman to my building as I leave and walk to class. Luckily, I only live 15 minutes from the IES Abroad center. This walk is terrible on the days it is cold and I am struggling to get to class though.
I attend my Italian lecture from 9am-10:40am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Monday and Wednesday, I have two back to back classes and the first one starts at 10:55 a.m. so I typically leave my apartment a bit later. On Monday and Wednesday, I buy lunch at a grocery store because it is a pretty cheap option and it is fast so I can quickly eat in between my classes. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I don’t have back to back classes so sometimes I will go buy a nicer lunch.
After class, I typically head back to my apartment or to the IES Abroad library to do some work. If I don’t have much to do, sometimes I will go walk around Milan but I don’t love doing that if I am trying to save money because I always end up wandering into stores and wanting to spend money. On Tuesdays, I have a late class that starts at 2:55 p.m. so I typically hang around IES Abroad until that class starts. I often spend the time in between classes studying, planning trips, or hanging out with friends. On Thursday evenings, I go to a personal training session with my host mom.
I eat dinner with my host family around 8pm every night. This is a nice part of my day because I get to eat really good food and I get to hang out with my host family. They have cooked me a lot of different types of Italian food. It is nice to not have to cook for myself and to not come back to an empty house. I have really enjoyed doing a homestay.
Occasionally, I will make more exciting plans for the day in Milan. I will go get aperitivo with a group of friends, go to a Barry’s Bootcamp workout, go shopping, or go out to the disco. I would say my expectation of me being abroad was that I would spend sooo much of my free time outside of class going to museums and exploring the city when in reality I do a lot less on a day to day than I expected. I have found that I am often fairly tired from traveling on the weekends and although I do exciting things during the week sometimes, this is not an everyday thing. I would be exhausted and broke if I did a new fun activity everyday.
One other thing I wanted to mention about my experience being abroad is that I have found I am always on such a roller coaster of emotions. My highs will be really high. I will feel like I am living my best life and will get on such an adrenaline rush. Then there are moments that are like normal life but they seem so mundane and just feel like such a low. This was not really something I anticipated but I think it makes sense that this could happen considering you can have days where you do so many cool things abroad and then I think the lack of structure and permanency of this lifestyle can cause you to experience some interesting lows.
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Hi! I'm Paige Giordano. I am a junior marketing major at Santa Clara University. I am originally from the Boston area. I am studying abroad in Milan, Italy fall semester of 2023. In my free time, I enjoy working out, reading, cooking, and fashion.