International Opinions of President Donald Trump

WORDS BY: MATT TEEL

GRAPHIC BY: LAUREN GANDARA

 
 

Have you ever considered the outside opinion of American politics? What do people from around the world think of president Donald Trump?  

To find out, we interviewed three international students at CSULB. Two out of the three subjects requested anonymity out of fear of not being able to obtain further legal documentation to stay in the U.S., and the third subject did not want to risk facing discrimination.  

While watching the campaign of Donald Trump what kind of thoughts crossed your mind? 

"To be honest, I was in a political science class at the time and everyone, including our professor, thought it was a joke. We were all shocked. I wasn't that preoccupied until he implemented the travel ban. As a student of international business, in my opinion I feel like this decision and his mentality is going to ruin international relations. Trump comes up in every one of my classes. We talk about how the U.S is a very young country, and looking back on history, every civilization has its ups and downs, especially after a few hundred years. I think this is one of the first times the U.S. is going to go down. I'm not a political science expert but I feel like President Trump has not taken enough time to think and plan.”

-International business major from France

"So here’s the funny thing. I actually stayed with a very good friend on the East Coast, who is a Trump supporter, a Republican, and sure enough the guys I lived with back in Italy were mostly Trump supporters. It wasn't racist or social sentiment on their behalf; they argued that they agreed with his ideology. They didn't support gay rights for example, which is common in many cultures around the world, so at first, you know the rhetoric with Trump supporters is that they are racist, they are anti-gay, they are this and that, but at the same time I think it is an opportunity for conversation on their end. Not everyone is going to want a very social and liberal president. For me it really depends what are his actions are specifically and what will happen while he is in office.”

-International business student from Oman

“I honestly ignored it because I did not believe he had a chance at winning. I was shocked like many."

-Consumer affairs student, previous resident of several Middle Eastern countries

What do your family and friends think about you living in the United States? 

"My parents are very worried. My visa is expired and I have plans to go home to visit my family in France. But I'm worried because I will have to renew my visa over there, and I have one more semester to complete my classes. If I cannot get my visa renewed, I will be nine units short of earning an international business degree from CSULB. All of my time, money, and effort would go to waste. I’m very worried because I do not have a choice but to renew my visa back in France.

Furthermore, since I am on my last year here at CSULB, I am now wondering whether or not I will have the option to continue my life here after I graduate. I will try to apply for a work visa, which I thought was an option, but due to my Muslim background and simply my name, I believe it will be a little harder for me to stay here. I am becoming more worried that obtaining a visa will become more difficult due to my race and religion. I’m starting to think about what other options I have, what other countries can I go to and find work with my business degree. I don't want to go back home empty-handed, so I am thinking of other places to live, but I want to stay in California. It is more accepting, more liberal. My situation is getting tough and my parents grow more worried. " 

-International business student from France

"My parents say the typical, be careful, stay safe, but there is really nothing you can do to prevent things from happening in your life. The only thing is that I might not go back to Oman, just out of precaution with what’s going on with Trump’s travel ban. If I am not allowed back, there are many other great parts of the world to live in. California is very liberal. I am not too concerned.”

-International business student from Oman

"Since technically my family and I are citizens of the Philippines my parents are not too worried about traveling to and from the U.S. Our main concern is what we will do after I have graduated. We hope to stay here in the U.S., but now with Trump in office we are not sure how obtainable work visas will be. Even though my father works for the U.N., our background of living in different Middle Eastern countries could negatively affect our chances of getting work visas.  Who knows, Trump could completely get rid of H-1B visas. Our main concern is whether or not we will be able to live and work here legally." 

-Consumer affairs student, previous resident of several Middle Eastern countries

If you have a message for Donald Trump, what is it? 

"For Trump, I have no message. All I hope is that he changes his mindset. It is not a smart move to do what he is doing. Everything seemed to be going fine in America. Since he has actually been in office and started to implement drastic changes, such as the travel ban, it seems as though he just acts without considering the consequences. I know that across the world he is not the most appreciated. He's not necessarily someone people like. I can see how his business background could convince some people to believe in him to help the economy, but I don't see international business improving. I’m worried for the rest of the world. There are the French and German elections, which are coming up soon and we are seeing the gaining of power with extremely conservative parties. I’m a little worried, we will see a right-shift change in world politics.

I think this is only just the tip of the iceberg with Trump's presidency. I think it is going to get worse. It's only a few countries right now he has tried to ban, but who knows what will happen. It's a shame. I do more good for the country by working, bringing in money, and earning an education rather than causing harm. Yet I may not be able to continue my life here in California. It is unfair."

-International business student from France

"There is always going to be opposition and scrutiny over what you do, but it is important to keep the conversation open on both sides. Besides the fact that he can decide the course for the country, he really needs to involve everyone, not half the country. Being indifferent is more dangerous that not having a side. There are different sides and it is important to hear from both of them."

-International business student from Oman

“My main issue with President Trump is how he handles international relations. For example, his issues with the U.N.; would the U.S. really pull out of an organization they created? Does Trump not realize that the U.S. helped lead the creation of the United Nations to stop further war? He needs the UN to uphold relationships with other countries. I would be amazed if he could maintain these relations on his own.”

-Consumer affairs student, previous resident of several Middle Eastern countries