My name is Frances Carter, and I’m a current Psychology student at USC. During the second semester of 2017, I was granted the amazing opportunity to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams of studying in the United States at Rider University, one of the top institutions for Psychology in the country. During my time there, I made amazing friends, experienced the fast paced northeastern culture of both New Jersey and New York City, travelled throughout 11 of the 50 states, the nation’s capital, as well as Canada, and made many memories that I already cherish dearly.
As an avid adventurer, and wildlife lover, I found both the landscape and the wildlife absolutely intriguing. The endless number of parks, trails, and nature reservations kept my wild side satiated, while the engaging classes and assessments kept me involved in my academics. Another factor which made my stay at Rider very unique and enjoyable was the sheer accessibility of anything and everything I could think of wanting. Everything that I could possibly think to do was no more than a half hour from where the university was situated; bowling, shopping centers, trails, farms, restaurants, clubs, even an airport in the event that I would want to take a cheap flight to somewhere for a few days. One of my favourite places to eat, roughly 10 minutes from the University, was a small hotdog restaurant called “Paul’s Firehouse Dogs”. The people who own the place know their customers by name, and always know how to make somebody feel at home, even tens of thousands of kilometers away.
One of my favourite things about the US is the incredible number of opportunities that sit just around the corner from you at any given moment. One day I was hiking through the Canadian wilderness, then the next I was starring in a music video for a friend of mine I had met in class. The people are always looking to do something, to create, to inspire, to network, and I found that both simply jaw-dropping, and to be the complete norm of American culture.
My time abroad was life-changing in so many ways. I got to experience what it means to flourish in an environment of prospects. If you’re looking to gain lifelong friends who jump at an opportunity to work on something with you, Rider University’s students have got you covered. My creativity was never met with doubt or skepticism, but rather encouraged, and nurtured. I discovered passion, and adventure, and made real connections with both like-minded, and not-so like-minded people. My time abroad has inspired me to chase dreams that I’ve had locked away for many years now due to fear of failure. As my time at Rider University has come to a close, my mind remains more open than ever; to possibilities, opportunities, and most importantly, life.