Hi, it has been awhile since I’ve written. I absolutely love Spain. I have fallen in love with the culture, the people, and the food! I thought it would be interesting to post a typical schedule for a day studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain:
7:00 AM Wake up, shower, get ready, pack for the day
8:00 AM Head down for breakfast with my friends. Breakfast is not a huge meal in Spain, which took awhile to get used to. I usually just eat an apple.
8:30 AM Stop by the Croissanteria Paris on the way to class. This place is amazing!! I have at least one chocolate croissant every morning. The croissants at this cafe are the best I have ever eaten during my stay here, and easily one of the best desserts I have ever had. They also have savory croissants and other sweet croissants. I usually get chocolate or chocolate and white chocolate.
9:00 AM Spanish class starts. My Spanish class is taught only in Spanish. It usually takes me 10 minutes to get used to listening to rapid-fire Spanish, but eventually I catch on. Before I came to Spain, I was very good at reading Spanish but not so good at listening and speaking to it. My time here and my Spanish class have dramatically improved my ability to understand Spanish. However, speaking Spanish is a lot more difficult.
11:00 AM Spanish class ends. I usually walk to the bus station to buy tickets for a weekend trip, go to the market to buy cherries (I ate cherries for the first time in Spain, and I am in love!!), or buy another croissant if I am really in the mood for chocolate.
11:30 AM I power walk with my friends to our Neuroscience class which is held at the Neuroscience Institute. I absolutely love my walks to my classes. The classes are very far apart, but it works out well because it gives me plenty of time to take in the break-taking view and enjoy the fresh outdoors.
12:00 PM Neuroscience class starts. My neuroscience class is focused on learning and memory. The class is fantastic, and our professor is really great! Dr. Markus is a professor at the University of Connecticut, and he is a true expert in his field. The two hours of class usually fly by because of the fascinating material and the fun videos we get to watch. Typically the only reminder that time is going by is my rumbling stomach. 🙂
2:15 PM We get out of class and head towards our dorm for lunch. We are usually half walking half running to the dorm because of how hungry we get.
2:30 PM Lunch! Lunch is usually very good at the dorm. For some reason, there are french fries with every meal which I found to be funny because most of the world believes Americans eat french fries 24/7. My favorite thing to eat is the pollo (chicken) because it is very fresh and delicious. Today, for example, I had chicken and french fries, potato soup with meat, and some fresh crusty bread on the side. It was very filling! It is always fun to catch up with friends during lunch. I also like people-watching on the Spanish students. 😛
3:15 PM I head up to my dorm room and take a 30-45 minute break. The mornings are very hectic, and by the time I get back, I am very tired. During this time I talk to my parents and friends back home, check Facebook, download pictures, watch Youtube videos, listen to music, etc.
4:00 PM This is usually a very variable time. If I have an upcoming test, I am typically studying. If not, I walk around Salamanca with friends, go grocery shopping, go shopping (amazing stores and style here!), do laundry/housekeeping, or go sightseeing.
7:00 PM Tapas. Around this time, everyone is back from classes and well rested. Typically, we head towards the Plaza Mayor and enjoy tapas. I will explain tapas in a later post because I found it to be a confusing concept. My favorite tapa is patatas con huevos. It is served at Cafe Real, and it is basically scalloped potatoes, bacon, eggs, and cheese…it is amazing!
8:00 PM Salsa dancing/other fun activity. Tonight I am going to a salsa lesson at a local cafe with some friends. I am exceptionally uncoordinated so this should be very interesting… There is always something new and exciting to do in Salamanca at night.
9:30 PM Concert at a local pub. The International Music and Arts Festival is happening right now in Salamanca. Last night we went to the Liverpool Pub and listened to three great local Spanish bands. The music was great, and I even got a CD to listen to at home!
11:00 PM Ice cream/hangout at the Plaza Mayor. The Plaza Mayor in Salamanca is stunning. At 10:00 PM the lights turn on (a must see!) and the Plaza looks so magical and beautiful. I love sitting around on the benches at the Plaza and eating ice cream. There are two great ice cream stores located right in the Plaza, and both are very good. I am not a huge ice cream fan (more of a chocolate and cake type of girl), but the Ferrero Rocher ice cream is divine.
12:00 PM Head up to my room and get ready for bed. I always feel a little guilty going to sleep at 12:30-1:00 AM on a weekday because that is usually when most Spainards start their night! Sometimes I will take a siesta after class and stay out a bit later, but usually 1:00 AM is a good time to sleep.
Well that is a typical day for me! I feel very thankful to have the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. This experience so far has been truly life-changing. I have learned so much about the world, other cultures, and myself. Anyways, that is all for now. I have attached some pictures of Madrid and Salamanca. 🙂