A Day in the Life in Sevilla, Spain

Sofia Ciprian, CSSH'21

Hi! I'm a third year political science and communications major with a women, gender and sexuality studies minor. My combination of majors/minor calls for a lot of writing, which shows just how much I love it. This semester I am studying in Seville, Spain and hope to fully immerse myself in the culture and share all the stories online here.


Most of my days in Sevilla consist primarily of a lot of walking. But if you want to know a bit more detail than that, I can give you a rundown of what a typical day looks like for me.

Most days begin at around 9am. I will wake up and get ready, to go to class, or if I don’t have early classes I go to the gym. My breakfast is usually toast or yogurt with granola, both very common Spanish breakfasts. A necessary staple for the Spanish breakfast is a “café con leche.”

The day really begins when I have my morning walk. My house is about a 15-minute walk to school. However, the locals here walk at what my friends and I call the “Spanish pace.” This means that my morning walk usually takes about 20 or so minutes to allow myself time to stroll and enjoy the views.

Eventually, I arrive to my university. In my program with CIEE we have the option to take classes directly through CIEE or take them at a local university in Sevilla. I chose to take classes only through CIEE, so all my classes are in this one building. It’s hard to feel stressed about school when you get to walk out of class into this beautiful patio.  I usually have a few classes back to back, so I spend most of my mornings in the CIEE building.

Once classes are done for the morning, I head back home for lunch and siesta time. Yes, siestas are a real thing here. Lunch is usually at 3pm and most days I eat lunch with my host mom and host siblings. After lunch everyone goes back to their rooms to spend an hour or so napping or just relaxing. Sometimes I nap, but most days I just get started on my homework. Siesta time ends once I need to return to CIEE for my afternoon class. After my last class of the day, I head to a nearby café or the library to get some work done or just hang out with friends.

There are multiple cafes on every single street in Sevilla, which means there are tons of new places to explore every day. In Sevilla, friends do not often hang out at each other’s houses, instead everyone goes out when they want to spend time together. This is why cafes and bars are so popular here, since they are the perfect locations for friends to meet up after work or school. That being said, it can sometimes be hard to find a place to sit when I go to a café in the afternoon. However, once I find a good spot to hang out at for a few hours, I get my work done. Homework here consists of some readings, but also a lot of interactive assignments where we have to interview locals or our host families. Busy cafes are a great spot to find people to talk to these assignments. Once homework is done, an afternoon snack is usually necessary since dinner is not until 10pm. Since I live with a host family, I do not get to eat out in Sevilla often. So, when I do go out, I make sure that I always try a new place and check it off my list! Churros and chocolate are a very popular snack in Sevilla, thus my afternoon snack is often a plate of churros and chocolate. My friends and I have made it a challenge to try the churros from all the local places that serve them.

Sevilla really comes alive in the evening. Afternoons are so hot that most people stay inside or in the shade, but once the temperature cools down a little bit everyone is outside. Evenings are when most of our CIEE activities occur. My CIEE program offers different events and tours for us that we can sign up for most days. So a typical evening for me would consist of meeting up with some of the people in my program and going on a tour or hanging out at different spots in Sevilla. Some of the activities we have done in the past include a tour of the Cathedral of Sevilla, a Graffiti Tour, and a trip to a contemporary art museum. On the graffiti tour, they even let us do some of our own graffiti.

 

After evening activities, I usually head home for dinner with my host family. Dinners are usually pretty small, since we eat so late. After dinner, it is normal to go hang out in a nearby plaza with friends. I live near a plaza called Alameda, that is always full of people every single night of the week. Most of the bars and restaurants have outdoor seating so Alameda is always packed with people standing or sitting outside with their friends. One of my typical spots to go hang out after dinner is Alameda. While out, it is very common to see some kind of religious parade that consists of a big float of the Virgin Mary being carried around the streets surrounded by lots of people and incense being spread in the air.

After spending some time with friends wandering the city, it is time to head home and do it all again tomorrow. The lifestyle in Sevilla is a lot more laid back and relaxed than anything else I have ever experienced. Everyone works hard, but they take their relaxation very seriously as well. I have slowly been adjusting to this new style of living by taking my time to enjoy my days, taking breaks to spend time with friends and of course to appreciate all the amazing views.