A Day In The Life Of A Study Abroad Student

Every year, I pick one day during which I keep track of anything and everything I do… then I turn it into a blog post so that you get a peek at my life! I started doing this my sophomore year of high school, and you can read previous “a day in the life” posts here if you’re interested.

The version you’ll read today is extra-special because I decided to keep track of one of the days I was in Ireland studying abroad!

The day I chose to keep track of was Monday, June 19, 2017. I carried a pen and small notebook in my backpack and purse all day that day in order to jot down how I spent my time. I highly recommend that you try this at least once – even if you don’t put it on your blog, it’s still fun to see how you spend your time!


6:45 AM – I’m awake. I still have a few minutes until my alarm goes off, though, so I burrow more deeply into my blankets and doze off for a while.

7:00 AM – My alarm blares and I get out of bed. I use the bathroom, take my meds, and put on my exercise clothes. Before I leave, I raise the blinds and open the window for some fresh air.

7:20 AM – I head outside to exercise. I stretch, walk a bit to warm up, run, do jumping jacks. I do some of this on the rugby (?) field, some of it on a trail that winds through trees to the back of a building on the campus, and some of it in a neighborhood that I’ve been dying to explore anyway. (The houses are so tiny and cute compared to American houses! They have doors in their garden walls! Ahhhh!) On my way back, I pass possibly the cutest dog ever and my day is already made. THE GOODEST BOY.

8:35 AM – Back in my room, I shower and get dressed. Bopping around to my summer playlist work-in-progress, of course.

9:10 AM – Breakfast! Today I have tea, cornflakes, and a banana. I also check social media for the first time.

9:30 AM – I wash my dishes and leave them to dry while I’m away.

9:35 AM – I brush my teeth, tie my shoes, and grab my backpack.

9:40 AM – I walk to class, my summer playlist still going.

9:55 AM – I get to the classroom with a few minutes to spare, so I use that time to talk to my friends.

10:00 AM – My writing class begins. Since the weather is beautiful and today is a workshop day, we take a quick vote and opt to work outside. The class divides in two groups of eight and we sit in a circle on the grass giving advice, praise, and constructive criticism. About halfway through, I twist the cap off a smoothie I bought the other day because I’m feeling hungry. It’s absolutely disgusting, but I make myself choke it down anyway because I spent €2 on it… and besides, I’ve always been uncomfortable with wasting food. (It was carrot-mango, which should have tipped me off to its taste, but I was taken in by the prospect of eating a fruit and a vegetable at the same time because #adulting is hard.)

12:05 PM – Class gets out five minutes late because we spent the last ten minutes back in the classroom recapping what we discussed while workshopping, as well as making a game plan for the next few days of class. My friend Savannah and I walk over to the little restaurant in the health science building nearby but since there’s a huge line for some reason, we decide to get food at the library cafe instead. I get a chicken and bacon sandwich, salt & vinegar chips, and some sort of weird blue drinks that reminds me of Gatorade.

12:5o PM – After finishing lunch, Savannah and I sit by one of the lakes on campus. We talk, she listens to music, and I read a few pages of Ballyturk by Enda Walsh, a play we’ll be reading soon in our Contemporary Irish Drama class.

1:15 PM – We walk back to our classroom and hang out there until class begins.

1:30 PM – Our afternoon class today is The Irish Novel. We discuss Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann and The Gathering by Anne Enright and learn about polyphonic narration.

3:30 PM – I walk back from class.

3:50 PM – I take my laptop, notebooks, et cetera out of my backpack and get everything all set up so I won’t have to go looking for things once I sit down to study. I also get some snacks since I’m feeling particularly hungry that day: Tea, water, dried pineapple chunks, and a square of this yummy yummy orangey-flavored chocolate bar that one of my roommates bought to share.

4:00 PM – I do research for a paper I have to write on Patrick Kavanagh for Irish Poetry. I also outline the paper and write a few hundred words of a first draft. I’m using the Pomodoro system to get this all done and watch YouTube videos made by popular studyblr accounts during my breaks. AHH THEY’RE SO MOTIVATING I’M ADDICTED.

5:55 PM – Break time! I stretch, use the bathroom, respond to texts from my mom, tidy my desk, take some pictures to use in this post, and update my list of what I’ve done today.

6:15 PM – I decide to have pasta for dinner, so I cook some noodles and heat up tomato sauce, mixing it with sweetcorn to get more veggies in my diet. While waiting for everything to be done, I take care of the dirty dishes crowding in around the sink. I eat dinner, then realize I’m getting awfully close to the time when I’ll have to leave if I want to make it to tonight’s play on time. I end up leaving in kind of a rush, without having done my own dirty dishes. Oops…

6:50 PM – I walk to the bus stop and wait for my ride to arrive.

7:00 PM – On the bus, I read some more of Ballyturk and continue to update the log of all I’ve done today.

7:30 PM – Having arrived at the nearest stop, I walk to the Peacock Theatre, where we’ll be seeing tonight’s play.

7:40 PM – I hang out with my friends as everyone mills around outside the theater. After a while, they start letting people in, so we find our seats and continue our conversations.

8:05 PM – Time for the play! This night it’s Postscript, a semiautobiographical play about a woman who was born in one of Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes, was subsequently put up for adoption, and is now trying to find her birth family.

9:05 PM – Immediately after the play, a small group of friends and I head to a nearby bus stop to wait for the next bus since we’re all pretty tired and don’t feel like hanging out in the city tonight.

9:25 PM – We board the bus.

9:50 PM – The entrance to UCD is the very last stop on this bus route, so we get off there and walk back to our dorm.

9:55 PM – I use the bathroom, check my phone, and spend a while taking pictures of the sunset, trying to capture how beautiful it is tonight.

10:05 PM – I finish washing the dishes while listening to Hozier.

10:15 PM – I update this list, put my school stuff in my backpack, and fill up my water bottle.

10:25 PM – I brush my teeth and then get distracted watching another studyblr video.

10:35 PM – Time for a shower.

10:45 PM – I put on pajamas, text some friends, and make a to-do list for tomorrow.

11:05 PM – I read a few chapters of Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection by Derek Landy, which I started just the day before.

11:30 PM – I pick out the clothes I’ll wear tomorrow, close my window, lock the door, finish making this list, plug my phone in so it’ll charge overnight, and check to make sure that my alarm is set for 7:00 the next morning.


Well, that was honestly a pretty normal day during that time in my life. Some days were more productive, others less so, but in the end it all evened out. Some days I never left campus; other days there was a play to see for class or an author talk to attend (!). Some days I visited places in and around the city, either by myself or with friends. Always something going on! I’m so glad I thought of doing this for a Study Abroad Day™ because it will be great to look back on someday when I’m missing Ireland!


If anyone wants to steal this idea, I don’t mind. What are your days like?

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Nevillegirl's Travels, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Day In The Life Of A Study Abroad Student

  1. Mahima says:

    This is so fun to read!
    Is the orange-flavoured chocolate bar Terry’s?
    Which studyblr youtube accounts/videos do you love? I need to get psyched for school and I’d love to watch them.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ahhhh thanks! 🙂

      My roommate did buy some Terry’s, but I don’t think that was the brand I ate on that particular day! The packaging looks different…

      Ahaha I am more than happy to help! Some of my favorites are:
      -Mariana’s Study Corner
      -Ruby Granger
      -UnJaded Jade

      Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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