On the Outside Looking In: Foreign students speak up about American politics, Presidential election

Four students outside the U.S. who have studied abroad around the world answered the question: What does the election of Trump say to you about the United States and its future?

Flags from the European Union. Four out of the five students who submitted their responses about President-Elect Donald Trump are from Europe. (Olga Lednichenko/Flickr Creative Commons)

Bojan Jakovljević, Serbia – studying Cognitive Semiotics at Aarhus University, DK

“The American Dream is meant to be based around an individual attempt at happiness, but it is surprising to see how many Americans think this also entails hindering others from making the same attempt. I hope that all those who celebrate diversity will try to improve this situation in any way they can, not in four years, but today!”

Emmy Schoenmakers, The Netherlands – graduate from University of Groningen, NL

“(I’m) scared for the rest of the world... I mean, if [Trump] really doesn't believe in global warming, I'm scared for what he's going to do about it, or better said, not to do about it. And also, we're having elections ourselves in March, and there's a politician with similar ideas so I’m scared he's going to get elected because maybe people want to follow what happened in the U.S..”

James Neale, Australia – studying Economics & Finance in Sydney, AUS

“I think that this is a move backwards in terms of social change and progress. Hopefully the divides in American society will not grow bigger because it is worse than ever right now. I don't think this will cause drastic changes to the U.S., perhaps just stall change.”

Rolf Fugl, Denmark – studying Brazilian Studies at Aarhus University, DK

“From my perspective, the election of Trump, and the joy and frustration that came with it, represents the social diversity of the U.S. Maybe it is also a result of the powerlessness of part of the people. However, I did not expect this powerlessness to result in these political changes. It has changed my perception of America, as the country appears much more unstable than I thought it was.”

Peter Mano, Slovakia – studying Experimental Anthropology at UConn, US

“Although I think both candidates were very poor choices, to me Trump embodies very dangerous human sentiments and legitimizes hate speech, xenophobia and ultimate mistrust in institutional governance. As a European, I am all the more concerned about the effects this result will have on foreign politics, global security and environmental development.”