I am just half way through with my time abroad and most Hoyas are already wrapping up the semester. Sad to miss the beloved Georgetown Day but forever grateful to skip out on finals.
To be honest, I was having a bit of a hard time of choosing something to write about for this month’s blog (it seems to be a theme for me). I started thinking about what I would have wanted to know when I decided to study abroad. My main concerns about going abroad weren’t anything big. I pretty much wanted to know what I would be doing everyday, would I be “Georgetown busy” or would I be bored. So I decided to jot an entire day’s activities here at PUC-Rio. “A day in the life” for those future study abroad students who, like me, have no idea what to expect.
7:00 AM – This is always the point of my day where I am the most Georgetown-sick. For the past three years, I have been able to get up 10 minutes before class, get ready and walk over to class on time. Here in Rio, I have to be on public transportation at least an hour before my class. So, I am up two hours before my class eating breakfast that my host mom leaves me, usually bread and fruit like watermelon or caqui.
8:00 AM- I was super lucky in my host family placement. My apartment is right across from the metro station and the bus pickup. It is a pretty happening area, with the motorcycle-taxi stop outside my door, a handful of food stands of cookies, fruits and tapioca and an antiques galeria nearby. For just a two minute walk to the metro, I see a ton of action for 8 o’clock in the morning.
9:00 AM- My first class of the day is History of the Church 2, which is a lot more lively than it sounds. I am the youngest student in the class by probably twenty years. There is a sweet 80-year old woman with big round glasses who sits next to me in class and another woman doesn’t mind when I whisper questions about words I didn’t understand (a lot!). Definitely something I have not experienced at Georgetown yet. Another first (ashamedly) is that it is my first class with a Jesuit professor!
11:00 AM- Portuguese is the class where I speak the most English in surprisingly. Half the class is from the United States and England while the other half is from a mix of European countries. When the professor isn’t talking, there is a mix of English, French, German and Italian in the room. It is a good class to rest my brain because the focus is on learning Portuguese only, not learning another subject IN Portuguese.
1:00 PM- Lunch time! There are plenty of options around PUC for lunch, a snack or just a cafezinho. The Bandejão (the cafeteria) isn’t at all like Leo’s. There are a couple line options that change everyday and the ever-present rice and beans. If you are feeling a bit tired of rice and beans, you can head out to these little barracas that sell cheese bread, coxinhas or açai ( featured below ). Many days I opt for the 400ml cup of açai because you only study abroad once!
3:00 PM- By this point in the day, I’m honestly a little beat and I have two more classes, Publicity and Propaganda and Development of Favela Communities. There are both great classes, that involve a lot of group projects so I’m constantly using my Portuguese and not just listening to it. I really like the variety of classes that I am taking because I get to meet different people from the adult students in Theology to the freshmen in Communications. In Brazil, you take all the same classes with your major so exchange students are lucky to take different classes with a variety of majors.
7:00 PM- I head out of PUC around this time on the Metro Bus. On Thursdays, I get to go home and pass out after the long day but on Tuesdays, I head off to volunteer with a children’s theater group through my local church. It may seem that I am constantly busy but it is only twice a week! The other days you can find me taking full advantage of the beach life in Copacabana.
If you are interested in learning more about the day in the life of other study abroad students, check OGE’s Snapchat or Youtube account for #TakeoverTuesdays!