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David smiling in front of an arch in Madrid

A Day in the Life

by David O'Keeffe Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"I had a lot of fun as a Tourist in Madrid, but after three weeks, I am ready to start living here!" 

Routine. It may seem like a simple concept, but routine should not be taken for granted. It's new habits that suddenly become so familiar, like you've been doing them for years. It's what makes a new apartment feel like home after a long day of school. In short, routine is the difference between simply visiting a city, or actively living in it.

After 6 weeks in school I no longer feel like a tourist. After traveling for a weekend, arriving in Madrid always feels like coming home. So now that I am officially living here, I wanted to share a regular day in the life.


The metro Sol
The Metro Sol station


Most days I roll out of bed with enough time to hop in the shower, pack my bag, and grab an apple for the road. From my apartment, I take a 5-minute stroll to Puerta del Sol, the busiest town square in Madrid! From Sol, it’s about a 30-minute train to the University of Carlos III. The trains are never on schedule so it's always a fun game to see the arrival board every morning... either I sprint to the platform or must wait 20 minutes! From the station, it’s a 15-minute walk to campus. Even if I'm running late, I take my mandatory stop at the coffee machine. You can gauge my exhaustion levels based on how high I bump the Azúcar (sugar) levels!

A crowded subway platform
The Madrid metro


Mondays and Wednesdays are my long days with three classes from 10:45-17:45. My classes are International Organizations, International Human Resource Management and World Politics!

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my best day with only one class! I admit, on these days I usually sleep in... occasionally, I do wake up early though to go for a run past the Royal Palace! After I have class from 12:30-14:00, OTM in Spanish! Taking a class in a different language is difficult, but luckily my teacher understands.

After class I always head to the coolest library on campus! I know I won't be productive at home, so instead I stay and catch up on my to-do list which involves homework, my blog, and  searching the web for cheap weekend flights! Finally, I pop on a podcast and take the train home.

The university building with cobblestones leading up to it

A library with bookshelves in concentric circles
The coolest library!


Nothing better than coming home after a long day at school! I live in an apartment with 12 international students from all over the world (Netherlands-3, France-3, USA-2, England, Finland, Mexico, Argentina)! While we all have single rooms, there is usually someone home to eat dinner with and talk to. After, there is a variety of ways to spend a night in Madrid!

  • Fútbol - I am in two different group chats and manage to play twice a week.
  • Salsa nights- They are everywhere... however we've decided we need to try lessons first!
  • Champions League nights - If there's a Barca or Madrid fútbol match then you better find a local place to watch it in!
  • Enjoy a night in with friends or try out one of the other countless activities!