TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – This presidential election has sparked interest all over the world. People abroad are keeping a close eye on the United States’ election, including international students.
Foreign exchange programs have several positive aspects. First, they provide different perspectives in the classroom and on campus. Second, international students show a unique commitment to service and leadership. Third, these students also bring in a large amount of revenue because they pay two or three times in state tuition.
Amire Sako is one of 1,000 international students at Indiana State University. He’s traveled to the United States from Chad, Africa. Sako is a junior studying international business and public relations.
He’s not eligible to vote in the UnIted States but that hasn’t stopped him from paying attention to the election, especially the policies on immigration. He disagrees with Donald Trump’s policies on immigration. He says it’s not right for Trump to generalize an entire group of people.
“He’s said some crazy things about immigration and at some point we are all immigrants. Even those who have been here, even going back to his roots. His grandparents or great grandparents have come from somewhere else,” said Sako.
“There’s a lot of shock of the rhetoric being used in the campaign,” said Global Engagement Director Chris McGrew.
McGrew says it doesn’t matter if a student is from Brazil, Indiana or Brazil the country, the negative talk during this election has shocked several people.
With the negative talk surrounding immigration, international students may not be inclined to study in at an American university.
A survey by International Education Advantage and FPP EDU Media examined this topic. They surveyed more than 40,000 prospective international students. 60% of them said they would be less likely to study in the United States if Donald Trump is elected president. 4% said they would be less likely to study in the United States if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
“It might be a few years before we see the impact of the election because again students that have come this year probably decided a year ago to come here,” said McGrew.
“When you see the election you may get discouraged but at the end of the day when you come to a different country you learn more about the people and what American has to offer rather than the politics,” said Sako.
He plans to return to Africa after school so he doesn’t see the election impacting him directly. But during this heated election, he wants to remind people that one person doesn’t hold all the power.
“There are a lot of different people in America that you can learn from rather than one person that influences your decision at one point.”