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  • Byron Ellington

Exchange Student Still Dressed for Summer

girl wearing summer clothes in the winter

I’m sure we’re all grateful for how much Iowa City has been warming up since the first week of the semester, but don’t forget, it’s still winter! Snow is piled high, most of the river ice is still intact, and the highs have only been a few degrees above freezing. Yet for Argentine exchange student Alicia Feldt Muñoz, summer never ended in the first place.


Astonished by her donning jean shorts, a frilly top, and sandals this time of year, many of Feldt Muñoz’s classmates have written to The Doily Allergen to express their concern for the newcomer to North America, who reportedly had never left the Southern Hemisphere before flying into Cedar Rapids earlier this January. We interviewed Feldt Muñoz to get her side of the story.


The Doily Allergen: So, you’ve lived in Buenos Aires your whole life, is that right?


Alicia Feldt Muñoz: Yes, that’s correct.

TDA: Why did you decide to study abroad in Iowa City of all places?


AFM: For the writing programs. I know my own city has a huge literary scene and has produced countless great authors, but Iowa City calls itself the City of Literature — and since it’s in the U.S., that alone makes it more important! If you believe the U.S. about itself, that is, which I do for some reason.


TDA: Understandable. So Alicia, what’s the deal with the clothes?


AFM: Oh, these? It’s just the style I was wearing back home, so I mostly brought stuff like this. [laughs] In fact, I haven’t even unpacked the few winter clothes I brought with me yet!


TDA: Okay, but, like, it is winter. It’s barely above freezing right now.


AFM: No? It’s January. That’s summer.


TDA: Right, down south, but here—


AFM: I don’t know what’s so difficult to understand about this. Why is everyone always acting like I’m crazy?


TDA: Oh, we’re not saying you’re crazy, but—well, it’s 35 degrees outside!


AFM: I know! And I thought the summers got hot in Buenos Aires.


TDA: 35 degrees Fahrenheit.


AFM: [laughs] Oh, you North Americans are so silly with your measurement systems! I’ve never understood how to read the—how do you say the name again?


TDA: I don’t think that’s the biggest issue here. [pause] Look, Alicia, I think we’re all just a little concerned that you’re going to, I don’t know, spend too long outside on a windy evening and die of frostbite.


AFM: I know Iowa’s supposed to get cold in the winter. That’s why I packed a coat for when winter comes, like I already said.


At this point, we saw no viable course of action, and decided to save ourselves the brainpower. We turned around and left her to her fate. So long, Alicia, and if you’re reading this: If you do get frostbite, please tell us, because we’ll have to do a follow-up interview.


Update on the situation: Feldt Muñoz has passed away in our arms out on the frigid streets, our last words to her being “We told you so.” Another Iowa exchange student from Argentina, her acquaintance Emilia Lazzari, asked us to pass along this message to our readers: “I’m pretty sure she just forgot to pack any warm clothes and got embarrassed. Bummer.”

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