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A Day in the Life of a Gabelli School student: Justin Feinman ’19

Undergraduate | Dec 19, 2017 |

What does a typical Gabelli School student’s day look like? There are some common themes, but each one goes a little differently depending on the student’s campus location, major, extracurricular activities, and internships.

Justin Feinman, BS ’19, is a business administration major with concentrations in global business and sustainability who spent his fall semester in Madrid, Spain.

“I chose to study [there] for the same reasons that I chose Fordham,” he says. “I enjoy city life, walking as the main form of transportation, and always being entertained by what is around me.”

Read on for a detailed look at a day in the life of Justin Feinman.

A flea market in the La Latina neighborhood of Madrid.

9:00 a.m.
I wake up, get ready for my two classes for the day, and head down to the dorm dining hall for breakfast. I enjoy the dorm because of the increased independence but am jealous of the interactions other students are getting with their host families. Breakfast in Spain is not very common, and most of the choices include bread, fruit, and meats, such as salami and ham. On days with no classes my favorite breakfast spot is Café Federal because of the delicious eggs Benedict.

Once finished, I head to the metro for my 15-minute commute into the city for school at Syracuse Madrid.

10:00 a.m.
I have my first class, Spanish, for an hour and a half, and immediately afterward I have Doing Business in Europe. Spanish is mandatory at Syracuse Madrid, and the class meets every day. I have become a better speaker because of it, and I’ve learned a lot about Spanish customs and what is normal in Madrid.

Sunset at the Temple of Debod.

2:00 p.m.
I’m finished with class for the day and head to Kilometros for lunch. Kilometros has been my friends’ and my favorite lunch spot because of the pizza, which is our taste of home. A lot of the pizzas have a Spanish twist, with toppings such as salami, prosciutto, and tuna.

We expect to spend at least an hour or two for lunch—in Spain it’s typical to take a few hours to enjoy the company and relax before going back to work. Many stores are closed during lunch hours, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., because of the traditional custom to have a siesta, which is a nap.

4:00 p.m.
Because it is December, my friends and I are headed to the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor to do some gift shopping for our families. There are traditional Spanish Christmas ornaments, decorations, and religious figurines.

The plaza is full of Christmas lights, shopping booths, and people dressed up as characters, not unlike the characters in Times Square. Around Plaza Mayor there is great shopping, and Madrid’s Puerta Del Sol is truly comparable to Times Square.

5:30 p.m.
We head to Mercado de San Miguel, an incredible market filled with tapas ranging from Italian meats and cheeses to seafood, Asian foods, and even American food. My personal favorite is the Mozzarella Market so I can get the burrata.

Christmas shops in Plaza Mayor.

6:30 p.m.
After finishing at Mercado de San Miguel, we head to the Temple of Debod for sunset. It’s my favorite spot for bringing any visiting friends because of the breathtaking views of the sun setting behind the Spanish Royal Palace—it lines up perfectly with the ancient temple.

9:00 p.m.
Dinner at the dorm usually consists of pasta or rice, a vegetable, and either beef or fish. Chicken is not very common in Spain, so much of the meat is either beef or pork. It is normal in Spanish custom to eat dinner rather late, so 9:00 is actually on the early side, with most host families eating at about 10:00 p.m.

11:00 p.m.
I head out with friends for the night. There are so many different things to explore in Spain, from restaurants and clubs to shows and events. Flamenco shows are very popular, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a few Real Madrid games. It’s as if every game is the Super Bowl!

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