Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Baja un Cambio

Disclaimer: If you just want to watch a video, scroll down! :)

It means, “Take it down a gear!” Or, as Americans like to say, “Chill!”

I first learned that in the States, actually, before I came here. My friend Dave was helping me practice my Spanish and prompted me to look up Buenos Aires slang. I figured I’d use this phrase a lot with nervous American students studying abroad.

I arrived in Buenos Aires on the morning of February 12th.. Some notes about the plane: there’s a interactive gaming system/tv/radio/map/info guide on the back of the head rest and a remote in the arm of the chair!!!!!!! Why was I only just introduced to the amazingly convenient and entertaining personalized system for passengers?! Whoa. I had the 10 year old next to me explain.

Other highlights? My UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING sister did the kindest thing for me by giving me a going away present that I will keep for a very long time. She handed me an envelope that said “CONFIDENTIAL” on it and told me I couldn’t open it until I was on the plane. I saved it for after I woke up on the “red-eye” flight and was delighted to find my ‘Mission Details’ explaining how it was an envelope of best wishes and notes from loved ones. I’ve only opened two so far (I’ll open 1 every couple of weeks) but they have definitely helped remind me of who I am and have given me the support I need! I’m constantly amazed at how ridiculously kind people can be sometimes.

And now, ladies and gentleman, a brief list of the coolest observations/weirdest thoughts / and maybe not that important highlights of my first couple days in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

1. Airports are fun because it’s like a city of people who feel important. You’re traveling somewhere for a reason, does anyone know that it’s NOT to chill in a palace? No. Therefore, you’re flying internationally to a palace. Also, I’ve decided that the best place in the WORLD is the arrival gate at every airport. Don’t believe me? Watch ‘Love Actually’. It’s obviously true.

2. While I was getting on my flight to BA, I just kept smiling as I walked to my seat. I was obviously one of the only Americans on the flight, but I’d be coming back to USA being a little more Argentinean. It was a cool feeling. Or maybe they were looking at me because I was smiling so much…who knows.

3. People are people no matter where you are.

4. It’s kind of weird how hearing Spanish all the time here is not that weird. I wish I could explain better, but I was surprised because I haven’t gotten too exhausted listening or thinking or speaking. If I can say it, I’ll say it. If I can’t, I’ll try another way. Sometimes it’s awkward, or not right, or embarrassing, or frustrating especially for others, but baja un cambio!

5. Spanish sounds the best not from a tall, tan Porteño, but from a squeaky 3 year old like my host mom’s granddaughter. There’s nothing better.

6. Nope. No peanut butter.

7. The city is beautiful and different and really  nice. I’m blessed to be in a wonderful part of the city full of parks and very close to the famous Recoleta Cemetery (I call it The City of the Dead.) The music and markets in the park are phenomenal and I love empanadas!

8. My host mom’s husband just died last month. I hope I can be an excellent, helpful addition to the home that so tragically got a little emptier.

9.Yes, I got lost on my first day but it was fine! There are so many countries represented in this city. Lots of foreigners! The people here are very paciente with us :)

10. Okay, I keep accidentally letting guys hitting on me because I say “sí” and “claro” too much. 3 times in the last week–3 times when I didn’t realize I was being hit on! Darn filler words.

The people in my program and in general, the culture, the FOOOOOOD, the language, the city–everything is so rich with interesting components to explore!

In terms of the exploring you can do at your computer, here’s a tour of my new home! I feel so cool having to go through 6 doors to get to my apartment…no idea why…but it feels grown-up, ya know?


In case you’re wondering, I do use the phrase, “baja un cambio” a lot. Not because people are anxious, but because we should all take a breather and realize what we’re doing. I so look forward to the adventures ahead. Not just the pictures, the ticket stubs, or the facebook statuses, but as a wise man once said…..

study abroad should be about “good travels, fine encounters, and wonderful memories.” It’s what I’ll constantly strive for and I hope you do too.

Nos vemos! ¡Ciao!





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