Laura Bauman – National Student Exchange in California

Name: Laura (Lo) Bauman

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.

Year: Senior

Major: Professional Communication & Emerging Media with a concentration in Applied Journalism and an applied field in Film & Digital Media Studies

NSE Location: San Bernardino, California at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB

Hey everyone!

I’m Laura (most people call me Lo) and I’m studying in San Bernardino, California on National Student Exchange! I’ve only been here for about two weeks so far (my school is on a quarter system) but I’ve already seen and experienced so much – which is what I’m here to share with you every month.

*For those who don’t know yet, National Student Exchange (NSE) is basically a study abroad program but in the U.S., Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, & the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can study for a semester or a year at schools across those regions.*

So far, what’s awesome about my time on NSE is that I am able to get a lot of cultural experience without being so far away from home (though the 13 hour total travel time to and from airports and expensive flights don’t always make it seem that way.) California has a huge Latino community and since coming here, I’ve been able to brush up on my Spanish and learn about a culture that isn’t as common in Menomonie. If you want to compare diversity, Stout is about 1.7% African American, 3.3% Asian American, .8% Hispanic, .5% American Indian & about 87% Caucasian. CSUSB is 55% Hispanic, 17% White, 7% African American, 7% non-resident foreign students, and 6% Asian. Clearly much more diverse, meaning that I can get a true cultural experience while staying in the US!

Since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to see Santa Monica, Malibu, Hollywood, Beverly Hills (pretty sure I saw Caitlin Jenner!), Bel Air (Will Smith wasn’t there unfortunately), Cal State Fullerton, downtown Los Angeles & this week we’re going to a USC game! But the greatest part about NSE so far – being somewhere warm! California is a warm-weather culture meaning that everything they do can be outside. Commons has an outdoor seating area, my dorm has a balcony, there are three outdoor pools on campus, and all the organizations set up tables and tents outside on the lawn to recruit members!

So far, my NSE experience has been all that I hoped for. I’m getting something completely different than what I’m used to, but I only have to deal with a two-hour time difference and I will be able to go home for Thanksgiving (unlike most study abroad students, sorry guys.) Since I haven’t really gotten too deep into classes yet, I’ll talk about that next month!

Enjoy October in Wisco, Stouties!

The view from my dorm:


Me at the Hollywood Walk of Fame:


View down Hollywood Blvd:


Santa Monica Beach:



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