A Day in the Life of an IEDPer, Literally: How I spend my Wednesdays – Grad student’s life

One of the most frequently asked questions during virtual information sessions, email exchanges, phone conversations, etc. with prospective students is “What does your typical day at IEDP look like?” And too many times we struggle to provide crisp answer to that question mostly because our typical days look all very different! It depends on whom you ask, on what day of the week you ask and which point of the semester you ask. But with this series post, we are trying to give our best shot at this question.


Emi is a first-year student at IEDP on a Fulbright scholarship. After having worked in finance industry for several years, she decided to make a shift in her career path and follow her passion in education, especially accelerating girls’ education. Emi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She is currently enrolled in 4 courses (3.5 CU).

7:00 am – 8:00 am
Good morning! I’m not a morning person so waking up around this time works best for me.

beautiful morning!

8:00 am – 9:00 am
My morning routine begins. I have a cup of tea and yogurt with sliced banana and honey on top for my breakfast every day. While I’m eating, I watch online news videos or browse news articles.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
When I don’t have any class in the morning, I usually spend my time at home. I take advantage of this free time to do the readings and assignments. If there are events or workshops taking place on campus, I try to attend those.

career workshop with Dr. Neuman on the other day

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
I’m having a hand-made bagel sandwich and some fruits for my lunch today. I spend some time listening to music and reading online magazines just to relax before going to classes.

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Off to campus!

taking a stroll on campus

2:00 pm -4:00 pm
I’m in Dr. Wagner’s Technologies for Education and Development (a.k.a ICT and Education) class. I like how we have students from different programs and diverse cultural backgrounds. Class is relatively small so it’s very interactive!

Dr. Wagner’s ICT4D Class
Dr. Wagner gave us chocolates on Valentine’s day 😊 what a sweet surprise!

4:00 pm – 4:50 pm
After the class, I find a spot at the study lounge on the fourth floor of GSE building. I check emails and mark my Google Calendar for upcoming events such as Perry World House guest lectures and workshops held at GSE.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sitting in the near front row at Dr. Nakkula’s Topics in Psychology of Education class. I don’t usually mind where to sit in a classroom, but I try to find a spot near professor for classes taking place in the later evening! This is how I nail to keep my focus on a schedule-packed day like today.

7:00 pm
I’m done for the day! I’m heading back to home.

Houston Hall – I enjoy looking at these beautiful buildings on campus!
Hall of Flags

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Dinner time! I’m cooking some Japanese dishes tonight. I’ve recently found cooking as a good way to refresh my mind. I also enjoy going out for dinner with my friends.

8:30 pm – 12:00 pm
I try to catch up with the readings until my energy lasts. I browse internet for a bit and go to bed! (oh I feel like I’m with my laptop all the time…)

Wednesdays are the most packed day but still manageable. I feel much more comfortable with my work life balance this semester compared to last semester. After adjusting to a “grad student’s schedule/life,” I know how to pace myself better now!

on a snowy day with Shristi 😊

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