A Realistic Day In My Life Studying in Madrid

By: Ella Schneider

Hey everyone! I'm Ella, currently a student at Tulane University. As my semester abroad is ending, I wanted to give you a glimpse into a typical day in my life. Being someone who thrives on organization and loves having a set schedule, adapting to European habits took a bit of getting used to. So, I thought I'd share my experience to help future students understand what to expect!

My mornings usually start around 9:00 AM. With class scheduled from 10:45AM to 12:15 PM, I head to the metro around 9:30 AM. Along the way, I always make a stop at either Real Coffee or Monkee Coffee. Fortunately, my shared apartment provided by CIEE is ideally located, allowing me to explore local spots in my neighborhood rather than sticking to the more touristy areas of Madrid. After reaching Canal Stop, I take the metro to Sol, transfer metros, and complete the journey to Universidad de Carlos III Madrid in Getafe, where my school campus is. All four of my classes meet twice a week, one being a lecture and the other a smaller, interactive class. Since my classes are spread out, I typically have two per day, with only one on Thursday and none on Friday, making weekend travel much more convenient. My courses include Digital Marketing, Digital Business, Marketing and Sales Management, and Organizational Design. 

I return from class around 1:30PM, and on my way back, I always swing by the fresh chicken butcher and vegetable stands located right below my apartment to grab ingredients for dinner. One of my favorite aspects of studying in Madrid is the abundance of little fresh markets. I've learned the importance of timing, given that most places close from 3PM-5PM for Siesta. So, I ensure to shop either before or after this period to avoid disappointment. During breaks between my classes, I usually go for a run and explore El Parque de Santander, just a five-minute walk from my apartment. Afterward, I shower and indulge in my own siesta, often taking a midday nap while things are temporarily closed before my night class.

At Tulane, I'm accustomed to customizing my schedule as I like, but with limited business courses available abroad, my schedule took a different turn. I've never taken classes past 4 PM, so having a night class from 7:45 to 9:15, including a lengthy commute, was certainly an adjustment. After resting, catching up on work, and some downtime, I head to my next class at 6:30 PM. I usually don't stay on campus between my classes, but on Tuesdays, I have an awkward break, so I spend that time in the library, getting ahead on work.

Around 10 PM, my roommates and I return to Madrid. We cook dinner together and typically end up eating around 10:30 PM or 11 PM. If we decide to try a new restaurant, we usually go straight from class to save time, as we are all usually very hungry. At the end of the night, we are usually exhausted and ready for bed, but occasionally, if we're up for it, we venture out to explore Madrid's vibrant nightlife.