I’ve had four weeks of classes so I’ve had time to establish a routine for school week. Although each day usually brings something new and unexpected, I have a general routine, so here’s a snapshot of a day in my life in Salamanca.
I wake up around 8:00am to get ready for the day and have a light breakfast. A couple of pieces of toast with jam, a cup of coffee, and a glass of orange juice is what my host mom sets out for me. Breakfast is usually very light and could also include a fruit or something small. My first class is at 9:00am, and I’m in class most of the morning. If I have time before lunch I will usually do some work at the IES center or stop by a café but I make sure I’m home for lunch around 2:30pm. In Spain, lunch is the largest meal of the day and we will usually have one plate that consists of soup or pasta or something else, and then a second plate which could also have meat and salad or a vegetable. For dessert we have either fruit or yogurt, I usually alternate between an apple or an orange.
After lunch, depending on the day, I will either have a few minutes to rest before going back to class or else I’ll have time to take a real siesta. The siesta is a wonderful part of the culture here, because it’s time built into the day to take a nap before getting back to work. If I don’t have class in the afternoon I will rest for a while and then usually go to a café to do homework. The café I have been frequenting is called “Manolita” and it has lots of seating and couches and great coffee. It’s frequented by university students, and I’ll usually run into other IES students when I’m there.
Whatever I end up doing during those after lunch I go home around 9:15pm for dinner. We usually have something lighter for dinner, like pizza or soup or a “tortilla de patatas” (my favorite Spanish food, a potato omelette which tastes great with some peppers or cheese or by itself). Again, dessert is a yogurt or fruit. After dinner I take time to finish up with my homework, talk to people from home, and relax.
One of the best things about studying abroad for a full semester is that it’s not just a trip, I’m actually living in one place for four months. This helps me better understand life in Spain and make more long lasting relationships with people. I still won’t ever be confused for a native, but I’m getting there!