International Perspective on the Election by Meleena Leon

“We’re scared, actually. We don’t know what we want to do, if we’re going to stay here, you know?” Following the recent presidential election, international students from Notre Dame de Namur have commented on Donald Trump being elected the 45th President of the United States and how they feel Trump’s entry into the White House will affect their lives.

Allison Yang, an international student from China, expressed her concern regarding the election stating, “About that news, I think everyone is just really surprised.” When asked whether or not she felt that the international community within NDNU paid close attention to the election, she commented, “We’re more focused on their presentations, and we focus on the reactions on the stage.” Zhanara Baisalova from Kyrgyzstan explained, “I think it’s important as a student of a college, you have to think about your graduation, your internships, where you want to work, and after the situation with Trump, it’s kind of makes things difficult.”

While neither explicitly said whether or not they supported Hillary Clinton, both voiced their concerns regarding the changes that may or may not occur during Trump’s presidency. In addition, both explained that Trump’s actions have had a negative effect on the international community’s perspective of the American people. Yang explains, “The behavior of the president is important; when you talk to another country as the American President, you don’t want to make a joke of it.” Parallel to Yang’s sentiment, Baisalova stated, “As international students, we want to stay in America. Now, you don’t because how the president looks and behaves, what he says, it’s like a direct definition of the country, even if it’s only for four years.”

The post-election uncertainty has both students wondering how their future will unfold, and both agree that they aren’t sure if they wish to stay in America during the four years that Trump will be in office. Baisalova explains that this is an untimely event in her life, as the next four years are vital to her education and the beginning of her career.

Yang explained that as a foreigner in the United States, she fears that as a part of the international community, she as well as others, may encounter a larger degree of prejudice. She explains, “Especially as students, we’re thinking of our education and if it’s going to be changed or not. And we feel like we aren’t too safe now. We see the news, the violence against people who come here.”

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