Jump to content
  • 1

International students--Did Trump's election deter you from applying in the US?


Question

I'm an MA student in Canada waiting on 15 applications submitted to American PhD philosophy programmes. Since room for international students is typically limited, I'm curious whether there are any non-American students who were intending to apply to American schools but didn't, or who applied to fewer American schools than intended, with the surprise "election" of a living rape whistle to the office of POTUS.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

If I may briefly answer the original question here, if just to add another voice...

I live in the Philippines, and yes, Trump's election discouraged me quite a bit. A former professor even warned both me and my friend (who's also been applying) that something could suddenly happen to bar us from taking our MFA's there (he was speaking from experience; years ago he was accepted into Brown, but then 9/11 happened). My friend and I decided to apply anyway, just to see what happens. In all honesty, a little after November, I was actually feeling pretty good about going to the US; I figured it was true that the more qualified White House members would be able to keep Trump in line. But right now, seeing all that awfulness that's gone down just a week after his inauguration? I'm frightened all over again.

I'm still pushing through, though, because this is my dream. I think it helps that my study plans/proposals to US schools have all been about political commentary + protest in design/illustration (inspired by my own country's very similar President and violent current events). I think it would be good to establish a dialogue about fascism with American students, so we can see how it manifests in different parts of the world.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I am an international student and the election did not deter me from applying for several reasons:

1) I currently live in Turkey (although I am British) and living through a military coup the week before taking your GRE and having Facebook reach the point where the memories it brings up are statuses telling family and friends you are alive, has a funny way of putting in perspective what you want to do with your life. Things in the US are very worrying and I do not mean to demean there seriousness in any way, but there is far more room for people to respond and rebel against the government via legal channels and through freedom of expression there than there is in Turkey. Thus for me a move to the US would actually increase my personal sense of freedom and safety.

2) Due to some of my reservations about moving to the US (not all of which pertain to the government specifically) I chose to spend 5 weeks travelling across the country this summer. I spent time with friends and alone and I spent a lot of time in rural areas as well as cities and got on trains across the country too. This experience led to me having many conversations with people of all kinds of backgrounds and I found them to be unfalteringly welcoming people. I also was able to hold rational conversations with people across many different political spectrums and this reassured me that I could be happy in the states during my degree.

3) My desire to study for a PhD in education is based on my fervent belief that more people need to be involved in policy making and the fight against some of the decisions which governments such as the US and Britain (amongst many others) are making. I know there are many fronts on which people around the world want to make a stand and I also believe the other causes people are currently protesting for are critical, but I have taken the decision that we each have to choose the thing which we know most about and are most passionate about and fight on that front. For me this is education. I intend to spend my life trying to ensure that children (and adults) have access to equitable and fair education. Studying in the US is an invaluable way of working towards this goal and will enable me to work with incredible people who have faced many complex challenges in education. The current government does not change that fact, if anything the challenges it poses may even mean I learn a great deal more whilst living in the US.

Edited by mjl89
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I was a little rushed in preparing my applications and the deadlines for many of the US programs I was considering passed me by (plus I didn't have time for all that GRE nonsense). I wasn't expecting a Trump win and I'm a little relieved that I didn't apply, as it would seriously have impacted whether or not I accepted any offers. Whilst the rise in hate-crime and xenophobia is naturally a concern, the next four years for America are very uncertain (in my eyes) and I think a lot of us abroad are quite scared about what might happen - inasmuch that anything could. It doesn't seem particularly stable and living in the US seems not a little frightening. At the very least it will be interesting to see what happens and I'm grateful I have a year or two elsewhere to see what happens before I consider my PhD options.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Trump's election didn't deter me from applying, but his latest executive order has given me pause. My country is not one of the seven, but it is one that could easily be on his next list should he choose to extend the ban. He has already promised tougher visa rules for my country. I'm just on the fact that I've been to the US multiple times, including as a student, which should give me some credibility in the visa application process despite my nationality. Guess we'll have to wait and watch.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

It didn't deter me per se because by the time the election rolled around I had already finalized the list of where to apply for the most part so c'est la vie, but I know Brexit, alongside stories from friends about how difficult the student visa process in the UK was, the increasing limitation on the ability to work while studying, the potential breakdown of academic ties with the EU, etc, did deter me somewhat from considering more schools in the UK more seriously.

I mean, in my case I have pretty good options at home in terms of doing a PhD on a purely academic level, and a big part of the motivation for going abroad is to gain more exposure and experience in a small field especially since I'm interested in very international topics. If the US/UK are becoming more xenophobic and parochial and drawing back from being migrant-absorbing countries, involvement in global processes, etc, (which will be reflected academically in funding for international projects in my general area of interest, I assume, and thats the geographical part...the technical side of what I'm interested in is public transport, which apparently is going to lose all federal funding as far as anyone can make out the administrations policy. And thats for actual, you know, getting the trains to run on time. I assume research is going to be deader than the dodo) that makes studying there at the moment less attractive academically/profesionally as well as on a personal level of realizing that being in Trump's America on a student visa will probably just be unpleasant (and expensive) in a lot of small (and big, depending on where you're from) ways. 

Taking into account Brexit wasn't a 100% conscious decision and I have academic reasons to favour the US style of PhD in general, but I imagine if the order of events had been reversed I might have found myself applying to just a few top US programs, and casting a wider net in terms of UK schools. (And I now regret not making more of an effort with Canada, but, yeah, small field so only about 3 programs there to consider none of which are an obviously good fit.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -1
39 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

I did read what you wrote carefully. In fact, I read it several times and also this reply several times to ensure I don't misunderstand. I'm glad to hear more clarifications though.

However, I didn't say you "presumed" to know what a stranger has to worry about. I said your actions were "presumptuous", meaning that I thought it was inappropriate or arrogant for you to declare that a stranger did not have to worry about X when you are not living their life. To be clear, I believe there is a difference in stating what your experience has been (not presumptuous at all) but I thought it did not make sense for you to then go on and tell a stranger what they should worry about based on your experiences only and not considering their experience.

In your second paragraph, you continued to do the same thing to me, another stranger. This time, you are indeed presuming that I haven't already considered the things you are saying. I'm not saying that one viewpoint is perfect and that one side is pure evil and the other is pure good. In addition, picking out individual cases that prove your point doesn't always show the big picture. On the other hand, in terms of basic human rights and threats to me and my loved ones, I see a lot more danger in the actual planned policy and actions of the current administration than the incident you mention. I will just give one example: the current plans to repeal ACA without a replacement** will kill tens of thousands of people. (**Yes, the platform is "repeal and replace", however, I see action taken on the "repeal" part but not on "replace", especially not whether the replacement will have the important aspects of ACA).

TakeruK, I don't understand--are you saying that I'm not supposed to disagree with someone who is a stranger? If I disagree with a stranger then I am guilty of presuming that they didn't consider what I'm saying? Can't I say exactly the same thing when you disagree with me?

Suppose someone says that he is afraid of flying on airplanes, and because of this fear he travels by car whenever possible. Then I would point out that, per mile, flying on an airplane is much safer than driving in a car. I would say this even though I am not "living [his] life" or experiencing his irrational fear.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -1
13 hours ago, TakeruK said:

I see two differences in your version of the events than what I read.
i) I read Person A's response as not feeling safe or not feeling comfortable on a plane, not that they believe planes are more dangerous
ii) Person B actually said, "I don't think you need to worry about the typical Trump voters" not "If X is the reason you don't like flying on airplanes, then your fear is unjustified"

However, let's move away from the specifics of the discussion and focus on your version of the analogy, because it seems like we are now debating why I responded the way I did and I can still explain that with your version of the analogy.

In your analogy, I'd focus on Person B's second statement (specifically, the phrase "your fear is unjustified..."). Why does Person B feel that they are able to say whether another person's fears are justified or not. Here are the reasons why I would think Person B is presumptuous/arrogant in their response:

1. Person A is a stranger and might not have provided all the information necessary to determine whether or not their fear is justified.
2. Person B is basically telling Person A how they should feel, when Person A has the right to decide for themselves how they should feel. I think it's very arrogant for Person B to make statements like this and basically claim to know what's best for Person A, even though Person B does not know Person A. 

To be clear, I'm not saying that you should not argue or debate. Person B makes logical and correct statements (assuming that Person B actually defines what they mean by "safer", whether it is in terms of fatalities per passenger-mile or whatever, but you left that out for brevity). However, being logical and correct is not mutually exclusive with being presumptuous and arrogant. In your analogy, if Person B's second line was "Oh, well I feel safe on airplanes because of [[insert statistics or facts that support their feeling of safety]]", then I think Person B has made a logical argument without being arrogant. Obviously, being arrogant isn't a crime and Person B can make these statements if they want. But other people will likely call Person B out on it.

TakeruK, there is a moral dimension to this that isn't captured by the fear of flying analogy. We are talking about whether someone is justified in fearing 63 million people (the people who voted for Trump) based on incorrect information. As I suggested to someone else in this thread, suppose someone claims to fear Jewish control of the government. In saying that he fears Jewish control, the person is painting a group of people (Jews) in a negative light. I think it would be fair to ask him to explain why he has this fear, to justify smearing a group of people. If he cites facts that I think are false, I would present him with information that I believe is correct. There may be some cases where "being logical and correct is not mutually exclusive with being presumptuous and arrogant," as you say, but this does not seem to be such a case.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -2
20 hours ago, andrewlavignio said:

I'm an MA student in Canada waiting on 15 applications submitted to American PhD philosophy programmes. Since room for international students is typically limited, I'm curious whether there are any non-American students who were intending to apply to American schools but didn't, or who applied to fewer American schools than intended, with the surprise "election" of a living rape whistle to the office of POTUS.

 

andrewlavignio, describing Trump as a "living rape whistle" implies that he is a rapist. There are no credible accusations of rape against him. As an aspiring philosopher you should recognize that it is wrong to make unsupported accusations against someone just because you don't like him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -2
5 hours ago, DBear said:

반갑습니다! There has been an uptick in hate crimes and I have heard from differ friends about some unfortunate incidents they've witnessed or gone through as a person of color. It seems some people feel emboldened under the new administration to act on their racism and being an Asian female, I'm a pretty easy target. I may be overreacting but in general, it seems that more people are concerned. When I told friends that I'm not completely comfortable going to the south years ago, they'd mostly say things like "it's actually really nice, you don't have to worry". More recently, the response to the same statement is met with "I understand". 

@Beals out of curiosity, may I ask, do you think the current atmosphere would affect how open you are about being a member of the queer community? 

Hi @DBear

I think it's very questionable that there has been an uptick in hate crimes since Trump's election. See here.

I grew up and went to college in a very liberal city in a very liberal state in the US. I know of dozens of anti-Asian hate crimes committed at or around my college, including one that led to a death (several years ago a young Asian student was chased into the street and hit by a car). 100% of these crimes were committed by black people, 0% by conservative Republicans. I don't think you need to worry about the typical Trump voters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -2
20 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

First, I think it's a little presumptuous to go around telling strangers to not worry about X. We don't know every aspect of other people's lives and what they have to worry about. So, why don't we let each person decide for themselves what to worry about?

Second, I do feel like I have my guard up around all Trump voters. Trump ran a campaign based on hatred and represented the antithesis of many ideals that are important to me. I recognize that Trump's campaign has some aspects that are not terrible that might appeal to some people. However, from my point of view, the people who voted for him only for these issues and claim to not support his racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-science/etc. stance are basically saying that they care more about their own issues than the basic human rights of other people in this country and on this planet. 

To me, people with this mindset scare me because if they are willing to put their own concerns ahead of other humans like this, even though they are not currently targeting me and my identity (Asian male) right now, why wouldn't they do so in the future? And while I may not fear for my own safety this instant, I care about my friends and loved ones who do identify as groups targeted by Trump's policies.

@TakeruK, please read the thread more carefully. I did not presume to know what a stranger has to worry about. I asked DBear what she was worried about--why she would feel she would need to be more vigilant of her surroundings in the light of Trump's election. She responded by saying that there has been an uptick in hate crimes against people of color, and she feels that she would be an easy target as an Asian female. I pointed out that (1) there has not been an uptick in hate crimes and (2) hate crimes against Asians are overwhelmingly not committed by Trump voters.

I would encourage you, as an Asian, to reconsider whether liberals or conservatives care more about your "basic human rights." I went to one of the most liberal colleges in arguably the most liberal city in the US. Hate crimes were regularly committed by blacks against Asians. The liberals on campus always refused to recognize these as "hate crimes" no matter how obvious it was that race was a factor. When an Asian student was chased into the street and killed (by a black person), there was an article in the student newspaper saying that we shouldn't judge the perpetrator harshly, and he didn't really mean to do what he did. One night a group of blacks walked down the street attacking every Asian they came across, and the liberals refused to call it a hate crime.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -2
41 minutes ago, stereopticons said:

Personal anecdotes =|= evidence. Just because you had this experience does not mean others fears, concerns, or experiences are invalid. 

stereopticons: (1) When I claimed that there was no uptick in hate crimes, I linked to a source with empirical data. (2) DBear did not say that she had experienced racism in the US after Trump's election--she is currently in Korea. So I did not deny her experience. (3) Clearly, certain concerns are not valid. If someone says that he is concerned (e.g.) that Jews are controlling the government, he needs to provide evidence to justify this. Otherwise, we would say that his "concern" is morally unjustified. Similarly, if someone claims to have "fears" or "concerns" about 63 million Trump voters, they should provide evidence to justify those feelings.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -2
54 minutes ago, stereopticons said:

You linked to a blog. A blog is not an empirical source. Try https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch

We do, in fact, have evidence. And it's the subset of Trump supporters who now feel it's acceptable to commit hate crimes that we are afraid of. 

You keep insisting that hate crimes against Asians are commited only by black people but you've only provided anecdotal evidence. And tbh, is pretty racist in itself.  

stereopticons: (1) A blog is an empirical source if it has empirical information on it. (2) It is a logical fallacy to dismiss an argument because of it's source (or because it is a "blog"). (3) Reason is a print newspaper, not a blog. (4) If you read the article, you would see that it discusses what's wrong with the SPLC report.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • -2
6 hours ago, TakeruK said:

Let's take your airplane example and break it down. Here's the difference, in my opinion:

What I'd consider a reasonable response when one disagrees with a stranger:
Person A: I don't like flying on airplanes because I fear for my safety, so I prefer to travel by car whenever possible.
Person B: Here, look at this statistic that shows there are less fatalities per passenger-mile in a plane than in a car. What do you think? (or Person B can say something like "This is why I feel safer on an airplane" etc.)

What I'd consider an unreasonable/inappropriate response when one disagrees with a stranger:
Person A: I don't like flying on airplanes because I fear for my safety, so I prefer to travel by car whenever possible.
Person B: Here, look at this statistic that shows there are less fatalities per passenger-mile in a plane than in a car. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about when traveling on an airplane.

What if Person A feels claustrophobic on an airplane due to tight spaces? What if they have a fear of that feeling you get during take-off and landing? Or maybe they had a really bad previous experience on a plane (extreme case: they survived a plane crash). There are a lot of things that Person B doesn't know about Person A's experience, so why would Person B feel they have the authority to deem that Person A does not need to worry. Person A can decide for themselves whether or not they need to worry about their safety.

TakeruK, your case 2 is not analogous to my exchange with DBear. The following would be analogous:

Person A: I'm afraid of flying on airplanes.

Person B: Why are you afraid of flying on airplanes?

Person A: I am afraid because I believe that airplanes are more dangerous than driving.

Person B: If that's why you don't like flying on airplanes, your fear is unjustified because airplanes are safer than cars.

TakeruK to Person B: "It's a little presumptuous to go around telling strangers to not worry about X....So, why don't we let each person decide for themselves what to worry about?"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.