Luke M. is currently a junior at SYA Spain and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. He comes to SYA from Milton Academy in Massachusetts.
Before coming to SYA, nobody knows what it is going to be like. Although friends and perhaps even family may give advice, the true experience only feels real once you are here. Therefore, when I was first accepted, I went through the blogs on the SYA website looking for one that may give me hints on how the students experienced life here on a day to day basis. I felt like I was able to step into the shoes of these then current students and go into the SYA experience with a slightly better understanding of what I might do here. Consequently, here is a day in my life:
I wake up at seven every morning which may seem very early to some kids. To be honest, it is pretty early compared to SYA standards. When kids tell me how their alarm clock set to fifteen minutes before school is annoying, I jealously chuckle. Anyways, I hop out of bed, eat a quick breakfast with whoever in my host family is at the table, and then get ready for school. I live a bit farther away from school as well, in the northernmost part of the city, so I have to leave the house at five of eight in order to arrive on time.
Over the past five months spent here, I have gotten used to the tranvía, and figured out that one comes around this time every morning. Sometimes, I see other SYA kids waiting for the tranvía. The tranvía arrives, I use my card to scan in, and grab something to hold onto. I travel about nine stops which goes by pretty quickly but the tranvía sometimes fills up around the center. I hop off at Plaza Aragón and make the quick walk to school.
Our first class starts right at eight thirty so most kids will be in the classroom a few minutes early. On Mondays, I start with English. Most days in English class are class discussions about the book we are reading or maybe a short story we had to read for homework. This class is taught in English, of course, and serves as a nice way to stay connected with English curriculums back at home.
My second class on Monday is Math. Also taught in English, Math is a completely student based course here at SYA, and students spend classes working with each other on whatever has been assigned to us. These classes are very rewarding yet fun, and are a great way to get ahead.
Right after Math class, I have a free period in which I can do whatever I want. Students are allowed to leave the school at any point in the day so a lot of kids will go out to grab a coffee. However, free periods are also a great time to get a head start on homework since the school is always much quieter.
On Mondays, we always have a mini assembly just before eleven. During the assembly, teachers and students will give everyone a heads up on things happening around the school and even the city. Afterwards, we have our descanso period which is basically a recess. A lot of kids treat it like a free period and since everyone has this time, it is always a great time to say hi to friends.
After descanso, I have my first elective class of the day, the History of Contemporary Art. All electives are taught in Spanish and are super fun. I love art class because my home school has nothing like it. For example, I am able to learn about Francisco de Goya and then go to his museum that afternoon. This period is also our longest period (basically a double period), so field trips to see and do important activities around the city are frequent.
Next, I have my second elective for the day, Spanish Civilization. In this class, we learn a lot about Spanish culture and what it means to be ‘Spanish.’ Also, since a new president was recently elected, we were able to see the effects the political climate had on the city around us.
Now for one of my favorite times of the day: lunch! At SYA Spain, we are allowed to choose one of five local restaurants to go to for lunch every day. All five are great and have a wide selection of food. However, what makes lunchtime so special is that it is an amazing time to hang out with friends for a bit.
With a full stomach, I head to my third elective, the History of Spain Through the Lens of Cinema. This is another amazing course, and I love learning the history of a country I previously knew almost nothing about. Also, watching movies in Spanish in order to understand how film represents a time period is always extremely gratifying.
My last class of the day is Spanish. In Spanish, what we are doing always changes. Of course we learn every day, but we do it in numerous manners. For example, we recently completed writing eBooks about a subject that interested us. We worked for about a month while still holding normal classes. This class is always super energetic and fun and a great way to end the day.
I usually end up heading out of school a little bit after my last period free block is over since I have cross country practice on Mondays. I hop on a bus right outside of school and make my way across the river to La Jota. There, I meet up with my team and we all do our workout for the day. Hanging out with my Spanish friends is always extremely fun and feels much better than simply heading home and doing homework.
After cross country, I arrive home at around eight-thirty. Therefore, I almost always have time to finish all of my homework from the day and shower before we eat dinner at nine-thirty. For the first time all day, my entire host family comes together at the dinner table and has a loud dinner. We talk the entire time about whatever may be happening in our lives and sometimes heated debates break out. Not to mention, the food is delicious and I truly do not know how I will survive in the USA without bread!
At eleven, my host family and I always watch a bit of TV. We always watch a bit of a Spanish late night show called El Hormiguero but then put on a series. I love hanging out on the couch at this time, both relaxing and practicing my Spanish by hearing it spoken on the TV.
I get to bed every night at the same time and have a few minutes to hang out by myself. Finally, I get to bed after a long day in order to rest up for all the fun that awaits me as soon as I open up my eyes.
- Campus Reporters
- SYA Spain