“Now that Trump is President, I don’t want to go to the US”

College students talk about their foiled plans of studying in the US due to Trump's antics

Clockwise: Aditya Naik, Tanisha Mayekar, Gaurav Vaidya,Shreya Ganpule, Tanisha Mayekar,Gitali Rodrigues

India has been influenced by two events since November 8, 2016: the first, being more closer to home,  is the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000  notes; and the second one, which is at a more global level, is the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Both incidents are, in themselves, very complicated and multi-faceted. These cannot be solely categorised as strictly economic or political, as it affects all spheres of society.

Although demonetisation is currently affecting our daily lives, we also cannot ignore the election of Donald Trump. It would be naive to assume that the effects would be limited to the United States.

It is a well-known fact that many people, especially college students, aspire to study abroad or even settle down in other countries. Even though there are other options available, the US still remains the number one option for many.

After Trump’s victory, has this changed? After all, Trump did make some bold statements in his campaigns that would be enough for someone to rule out the US as an option after he was elected. Bearing this in mind, we at Bayside Journal set out to find what college students had to say.

Gitali Rodrigues
Gitali Rodrigues

The first question we posed was whether they had ever considered going abroad, especially to the US? Most of them answered that at some point in their life, they had aspired to go abroad. The reasons ranged from their parents’ insistence to simply liking the concept of living abroad independently.

While all of them were aware of racial prejudices that prevail in the States, there were a few who were willing to be subjected to these prejudices for the sake of their studies. These were the ones who wanted to go abroad for their ambitions. ”I’m willing to deal with any racial prejudices for the sake of my work,” claimed Avishkar Rajeshirke, 19, from Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga

Shreya Ganpule
Shreya Ganpule

Students, who were planning to move on their parents’ insistence, were more reluctant now. ”My mother always wanted me to go to the States, but I wasn’t so sure before. I don’t think I want to go now,” said Tanisha Mayekar, 18, from Ruia College. Pragnya Senapati, 19, from Government Law College, was considering it previously, but has changed her mind now. ”I would have gone there if I got into a good school, but after the elections going there just feels unsafe.” Shreya Ganpule, 18, from K.J. Somiaya was of a similar opinion. ”I wanted to go, but his election made me re-think if I wanted to go study in a country where people have elected a racist, sexist and homophobic man.”

However,  Chanikya Iyer, 18, from Wilson College, seems to be rethinking her decision of not going. She says, ”I am encouraged because Trump seems to be going back on all his promises made during the campaign; but I still feel like all his racism has been validated. I still have time to decide as I am in FY and will be going – if I choose to – in the last year of his presidency”

Aditya Naik

On the other hand, some students remained impassive about the whole Trump-affair and did not change their outlook towards moving to the State. A few believed that Trump’s victory was not something that would be very consequential and might even end up being beneficial. They said that Trump’s victory neither changed their outlook towards the States nor did it have any impact on their decision to study in the States. ‘”I mean he’s not that bad and he has been elected. Plus, he hasn’t done anything drastic yet,” says Aditya Naik, 20, from Ruia College. Gitali Rodrigues, 18, from St. Xavier’s said that Clinton and Trump were equally bad, ”It’s like choosing between the Devil and the deep blue sea in any case.”