Following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in December, winning the Presidency of the United States of America, students and educators alike worried for what his victory would mean for the reputation of America as a welcoming and safe country, as well as one in which work opportunities are available for all.
After all, one of Donald Trump’s main campaign promises was to build a wall across the border of Mexico and the US, both a literal and figurative barrier between America and the rest of the world.
In recent weeks, Trump’s administration has instigated a travel ban, seen it blocked and then reissued another, with the intention of limiting the number of refugee arrivals, and suspending the entry of nationals from a variety of Middle Eastern countries.
These moves, as well as Trump’s general intent to reduce immigration has left people worried, both in the US and abroad, that America is no longer receptive to arrivals from overseas and that therefore, the country will no longer welcome international students.
Even American students are now less likely to study in their home country, according to reports, with countries such as Canada now beginning to receive more applications as a consequence.
These reactions are completely understandable. But it is important to remember that Trump’s actions are not intended to reduce the number of students or qualified workers in the country. Trump’s messages are aimed at a group of people that Trump and his administration feel would be damaging to the United States.
Now whether their plan to do this is the appropriate one, or whether these plans are too forceful or not enough are not for us to say. Politics is a game of opinions and whether someone is right or wrong will depend on your personal perspective.
However, what we can reiterate is that America is and remains a safe and wonderful place for students from all over the world and that whether you love or hate Donald Trump, the people of America will remain welcoming and receptive to the international men and women who make America the phenomenal country, in many ways, it is.
Especially in terms of education. Whether the politics of America goes this way or that, America’s reputation as one of the best, if not the best, countries for an international education is very unlikely to change. And nor will the recognition of others to an American degree.
Many US universities are now beginning to engage in additional campaigns encouraging international students to join them. There is hope that to counteract any ill will, US universities may offer more lucrative scholarships and bonuses for moving there, so in fact, now may be a better time than ever to apply for an education there.
If you feel that you may be affected by any orders or laws relating to visa or freedom of movement issues, contact The Institute of International Education or The Catalyst Trust for Universal Education who have raised a new platform currently offering 600+ scholarships and programs for displaced university students.
Furthermore, the US Government website is also available to inform and aid in any way they can.