Long Commute? Try Podcasts!

When you take three classes at the University of Alcála de Henares, it means you need to commute, a lot. I have thinking about how much time I spend traveling to my classes and realized that I waste about eight hours a week sitting on a bus or train getting to and from the university. So, in order to make my commute more efficient, I started listening to podcasts to keep my mind engaged throughout the day.

Growing up, my parents always had the radio on at breakfast which meant I woke up to NPR and other news stations pretty much every day. Since going to college, radio hasn’t remained a part of my daily routine because A, I don’t own a radio and B, even if I did own a radio, I don’t wake up early enough to catch the morning news nor am I organized enough to keep track of the schedule of any shows. Thankfully, podcasts exist and have solved these problems for me. There are tons of podcast apps in the Apple Store and Google Play Store which means podcasts are accessible on pretty much any mobile device. Since episodes are uploaded weekly, I can listen to them whenever I want and I can download them beforehand if I want to listen to them on the bus without using data to stream.

I’m still pretty new to podcasts but here are a few of my favorite shows that are definitely worth a try:

NPR Hourly News Summary – Exactly how it sounds. Listen in if you just want a quick 5-minute update on what’s been happening in the world (but mostly in the U.S.)

NPR Politics Podcast – Great podcast to stay updated on the politics in the U.S. with in-depth analysis of current events

Planet Money – If you don’t like economics but want to be informed about the global and domestic economy, this podcast is amazing. They use super interesting, real-world examples to explain economic policy change, trends and so much more.

Code Switch – This is an amazing podcast run by POC that provides weekly debates and perspectives on pop culture, social justice and various current events. I highly recommend it if you are someone who wants to learn more about race and intersectionality.

Embedded – A more serious podcast that focuses on a recent news story and digs deeper in to bring it to life. They are currently running a powerful section focused on police videos in the U.S.

Now you’ve probably noticed that all my recommendations are NPR shows so, here’s a short list of non-NPR programs that are also worth a try:

BBC Global News Podcast – A longer podcast that runs about 45 minutes but gives you a very wide range of international updates on global events.

WSJ Your Money Matters – A good podcast to keep you updated on global market news, the economy and personal finance.

Danielle Osborne, student blogger

Black Girls Talking – I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to this podcast yet but it’s highly recommend for those interested in learning about black womyn’s perspectives and insights on current events, pop culture and feminist movements.

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