Laura Bauman – National Student Exchange in California

This is my last blog! Sad!

I’m back from my quarter/semester in California and I’m freezing! It’s been crazy in California since I last posted so I’ll try to fill in the details in as little space as possible.

Since I didn’t have a car out there, I rented pretty often. The first time I rented, the guy at the rental place asked me if I wanted to upgrade to a *sports car* for $20 more. I obviously said yes so my friends and I got to drive around SoCal in a 2016 Dodge Challenger! We also tried a few local hikes but California has something against trail signs so we got lost – a lot.

One of the cooler things I got to do during the last half of my NSE experience is go and tour Auto Club Speedway. For those who don’t know, that’s one of the most popular race tracks in the country and is home to many NASCAR races. At CSUSB, I joined the Public Relations Student Society of America and with that organization we got to learn all about Auto Club’s PR strategy and how communications works at the race track.

Luckily, I was able to go home for Thanksgiving, but the day after I got back to California, there was a mass shooting in San Bernardino. The shooting was pretty far from campus but we were on a minor lockdown and everyone was on edge all day.

Aside from that, the last half of my NSE experience was just as incredible as the first. When I decided to go on NSE, I wanted to take classes I couldn’t take at Stout, learn from a new variety of professors, travel, explore options for careers and grad schools, and just explore a different culture. Although California is in the states, the culture is still so different. I loved the Hispanic culture as well as the entertainment industry influence, despite the fact that California was extremely expensive and San Bernardino was not the safest city in the world.

My advice to anyone looking to go on NSE: DO IT! Don’t let anything get in the way. I know it’s scary to go somewhere completely new and leave your friends, family, and comfort behind, but it’s so worth it.! Take a chance and try it out – it only has to be for a semester!

And now it’s time to be back and graduate! Adios mis amigos!

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