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Student Blog

Day in the life of a Computer Science student in Venezuela


Written by
Sebastián R.

Spend a day with Sebastián, a Computer Science student in the Venezuelan Andes! 

Hi, I’m Sebastián and I live in Mérida, a city in the core of the Venezuelan Andes. Currently, I am a full-time student starting my second year in the BSc Computer Science program offered by Goldsmith’s, University of London in partnership with Coursera.

My routine on weekdays changes a bit when I attend webinars hosted by the tutors or when I participate in the sessions of a local Conversation Club; otherwise, it is more or less the same.  

7:00 AM: My alarm wakes me up. The first thing I do is check my phone and read some articles online. They can be about technology, science, curiosities or simply the daily news.  

7:30 AM: I get up, make my bed and go downstairs to eat breakfast. I’m having an arepa today. An arepa is a dish made of corn dough that is grilled or fried. Arepas are flat, round and can be filled with meat, chicken, eggs or ham, cheese and butter like mine. They are a signature dish in the north of South America and they can’t be missing from Venezuelan tables!  

Ham and cheese filled arepa

8:00 AM: Now it’s time to get started with my studies! I turn my computer on, get my notebook ready (I prefer to handwrite my notes), enter Coursera and start watching today’s lectures. This morning I’m studying Computer Security.  

10:00 AM: I exercise three days a week and today is one of those days! I run for 22 minutes before doing some push-ups. While exercising, I listen to some podcasts. When I’m done, I take a shower.  

11:30 AM: Time to practice Italian. I’m bilingual as I speak both Spanish and English fluently, and now I want to become a polyglot. I currently have a 453-day streak in Duolingo. L’italiano è una lingua molto bella! (Translation: Italian is a beautiful language) 

11:50 AM: I take the first break of the day. I might continue studying Italian for a few more minutes or check the messages in the Computer Science Slack server. It’s a great community, and I have had the chance of meeting classmates from all over the world. It’s amazing to get the chance to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures!  

1:00 PM: Time to eat lunch with my family. This is the moment where we get together and talk about what we have done so far during the day.  

2:00 PM: I read the articles I left earlier or that have been published throughout the day. I may watch a video I have found interesting on YouTube.  

3:00 PM: I continue studying. Depending on the day and workload, I continue studying my UoL modules. Perhaps completing some exercises or doing the essential reading. If not, I use my spare time to explore extra-curricular courses. 

Desk with computer, open book and stationary

5:00 PM: Time to pick up a book! I find history a compelling subject. Currently, I’m reading ’The Splendid and The Vile’ by Erik Larson. It talks about Winston Churchill and his life during the first years of World War II. It’s riveting to read how day-to-day activities went in 10 Downing Street during those times of turmoil, and how the then Prime Minister dealt with the challenges that war brought. It’s also been an opportunity to learn about those supporting Churchill, like Lord Beaverbrook, minister of aircraft production, and Frederick Lindemann, aka the Prof, who provided important insights.  

6:00 PM: Practice makes perfect, so I do a few more Italian lessons. Then, I take another break.  

Sunset on a mountain range

7:00 PM: I play ball! Baseball is my favourite sport and if you ask me, I would say it’s the best one in the world. It caught my eye as a kid and I never miss a game of my favourite teams (The New York Yankees in MLB during the summer and Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, LVBP). Tonight, the New York Yankees are visiting the Houston Astros. It’s the first game of the ALCS and the one who wins the four games advances to the next round of the postseason. I hope the Yankees start on the right foot!  

10:30 PM: Time to call it a day. I make a little retrospective on what I did today, plan what I’ll do tomorrow and get ready to go to bed. 

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