International students wonder how President Trump policies will impact their lives


International students, who have a sizeable presence at the Boston University, are concerned about the statements made by Donald trump on the campaign trail and wonder if they this rhetoric will translate to reality post the swearing in of the new president and how his policies will affect them.

These international students, represent a sizeable chunk of  the students on campus-in Fall 2015 they numbered 8452; approximately a quarter of the BU student body.

William Grimes, associate dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, said he expects the incoming president will bring in changes in rules on immigration that will definitely affect immigrants, but legal international students would not have anything to worry about.

However, he felt that the growing specter of xenophobia could be a matter of concern to such students and could prevent students from considering coming to the US for studies and also affect the trend of students coming to the country.     

Many students, Grimes felt,  might have concerns on how they would now be treated in the US and also that many of such students who harbor the hope of  living and working in the country after graduation would now have a rethink on their prospects.

In a placatory statement that aimed to assuage any concerns of international students Grimes also reiterated that the University will continue to ensure a safe and protected environment for everyone.

Alejandro Beristain, a senior in the College of Communication and secretary of the Mexican Students Association, felt that the recent election has changed many international students’ perception of the US as a place that thrives on equality and diversity .He said that Trump’s recent statements had given them a feeling that they were not appreciated or welcome, unlike earlier on.

Roshni Shukla, president of the BU International Society while agreeing that the election had caused unease and distress among international students urged them to remain positive. She reminded these students that they have entered the country legally on their F-1, J-1, or M-1 Visa and should not have any cause for concern and reaffirmed her strong belief that U.S. will still be a country of immigrants and one that still provides so many academic and economic opportunities.

Patricia Arribas, a junior in COM, and Julia Bighetto, a freshman in the College of General Studies and an international student from Brazil, were among the students who are now worried and apprehensive about the long term effect of Trump’s policies that will have a direct bearing on them. They feel that their status as international students would protect them to an extend but felt that this would not prevent growing discrimination.

They both agreed that BU was a wonderful and an amazing place to study they said they had already seen several reports of harassment towards immigrants and advised students that  while they shouldn’t be too worried they should at the same time remain cautious.

Tuan Nguyen – Social Media Assistant

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