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A day in the life of a study abroad student

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SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

No one’s really sure what study abroad students actually do when they study abroad. Do they go to school? Do they just spend their days hanging out? Nothing has truly confused UC Berkeley students more than this exact question. No worries! We’re here to break down a day in the life of a study abroad student.

7:55 a.m. Wake up from the alarm you optimistically set and realize that you’re still slightly hungover from the night before.

7:56 a.m. Decide to stay in bed longer and to just get ready faster later.

8:08 a.m. Actually get out of bed.

8:10 a.m. Splash water on your face and decide that’s enough.

8:17 a.m. Look in your closet and have your daily realization that you brought way too many clothes, as you only wear one out of three cute sweaters and no one can see your outfit anyway since you’re always bundled up.

8:18 a.m. Proceed to put on one of your three cute sweaters.

8:20 a.m. Glance longingly into the kitchen and think of what a full breakfast might have tasted like if you had woken up earlier. Grab a piece of toast instead.

8:25 a.m. Do a quick check to make sure you have everything and then head out with your roommates to catch the next tram.

8:30 a.m. Miss the tram. But don’t worry, there’s another one coming in five minutes because the public transportation here is actually reliable.

8:35 a.m. Catch that good old reliable tram.

8:47 a.m. Transfer from the tram to the metro. Rush down the escalator only to realize that you have to wait another minute for the metro to come. Stand awkwardly at the platform while all the people who were chilling on the escalator make their way down.

8:55 a.m. Get to your metro stop and realize that you’re going to have to speed-walk on cobblestone streets to make it to class on time.

9:03 a.m. Make it to class late enough for your teacher to side-eye you, but not late enough for them to actually mark you as absent.

10:30 a.m. Get out of class and start making your way to the other school you take classes at because you were the one who also wanted to take classes at a film school.

11:47 a.m. Kill time before your next class by chilling at the film school’s underground café/music venue/bar. Debate getting a beer because, hey, you’re studying abroad.

12:30 p.m. Go to your film school class, where everyone is slightly trying to one-up each other on their cinema knowledge.

2:00 p.m. Before leaving, tally up how many times kids in the class said “mise-en-scene.” It’s always at least 12.

2:02 p.m. Wander around the city and take in the sights. Debate whether or not to eat local cuisine but always end up eating pho or Indian food.

2:35 p.m. Go grocery shopping at the giant Tesco near your school. Have the ambition to buy a bunch of fresh produce to be healthy but end up buying more bread and cheese.

2:50 p.m. Get lured in by the alcohol section right by the checkout area and decide just to browse.

2:53 p.m. See that there’s a sale on ciders (or vodka, wine or anything really) and decide to stock up.

2:58 p.m. Head straight to the self-checkout line because you only know two words in the local language.

3:03 p.m. Take a tram back to the first school for your last two classes of the day.

3:27 p.m.  Arrive at the bottom of the very steep hill of where your campus is and realize you’re about to be very late.

3:38 p.m. Burst into the classroom huffing and puffing only to see that the teacher hasn’t even gotten in yet.

3:53 p.m. Stare longingly out of a window with a gorgeous view of a river while you listen to a lecture that’s drier than a sponge in the Sahara.

5:00 p.m. Go to your next class and pray for the next hour and a half to go by quickly.

5:46 p.m. Briefly fall asleep while your teacher shows a black-and-white clip from some foreign film.

6:20 p.m. Remember that you’ve almost made it through the day and decide that tonight’s the night that you catch up on all your work.

7:02 p.m. Get home to make your standard dinner of bread and cheese and catch up with your roommates.

7:28 p.m. Realize that everyone is going out tonight at whatever the hot club of Monday is, or Tuesday, or whatever day it is.

7:33 p.m. Tell everyone that you’re not going out because you have so much work to do.

7:36 p.m. Take out your notebook only to remember all the alcohol you bought that day. It would be such a shame not to open any tonight. …

7:49 p.m. Procrastinate work by planning the next weekend trip with your friends.

8:32 p.m. Decide that homework can wait and watch a bad Netflix movie with your roommates instead, probably something with Noah Centineo in it. Crack open a cider or a bottle of wine and turn it into a drinking game.

10:08 p.m. Realize you might as well go out. Start to get ready and play hot potato with everyone on who is going to host the pregame.

10:27 p.m. Go downstairs with your roommates and make your friend who lives below you host the pregame by essentially inviting yourselves in.

10:36 p.m. Take a shot of a local liquor.

10:37 p.m.  Regret taking a shot of the local liquor.

11:01 p.m. Rush to catch the last tram that will take you to the club instead of paying $5 for an Uber.

11:07 p.m. Drunkenly talk really loudly with your friends to indicate to everyone else on the tram that you’re stereotypical Americans.

11:23 p.m. Arrive at the club and futilely try to prevent your already too drunk roommate from buying another drink.

11:36 p.m. Head over to the dance floor, where they’re exclusively playing EDM or ABBA.

11:47 p.m. Remember that you actually hate going out and wait for someone else to be ready to go home.

12:23 a.m. Stop by the 24-hour burrito place near your house and treat yourself to a delicious burrito, even though you are nowhere near Mexico. 

12:42 a.m. Finally, crash on your bed and vow to wake up early tomorrow.

Contact Julie Lim at [email protected].

SEPTEMBER 27, 2019