International students share political perspectives

Graphic by MJ Routh | Multimedia Journalist

Emilee Edwards | Staff Writer

Bears returned to campus from all over the world this fall — some international students were born in the United States but grew up abroad. Living in different countries means living under different laws and a completely different political climate.

Abu Dhabi sophomore Reese Greenman, found his time living in the United Arab Emirates made him feel that everyone should question and be aware of United States foreign policy.

“In the Obama and Bush administrations, what the president would hail as a victory or a win for the country would sometimes have a harsh negative impact overseas,” Greenman said. “Many Arabs were frustrated with American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts. People from places like Syria, Lebanon and Jordan felt that it was an economic tactic by the American Government to control the middle eastern oil revenues.”

Houston sophomore Sadie Rodriguez lived in both Japan and Germany before coming back to Texas for school. Rodriguez kept up with American politics in high school because she was going to college in the US.

“In Germany [the government] is leaning towards liberal, very free, less restrictions” Rodriguez said. “Living in Germany during high school I could see everything going on pre-election and post-election [in America], so I knew what to expect when I got back and how to approach certain things.”

Rodriguez said the Trump Travel Ban, which included seven countries thought to be a national threat in America, brought an influx of refugees into Germany seeking asylum.

“With America not letting refugees in, it made them go to places where they were allowed in, things that America does has a large effect on other countries” Rodriguez said. “The Travel Ban, that was not a thing in Germany, same with not letting in refugees.”

The Woodlands sophomore Savannah Holmes lived in both Oman and Malaysia for the past eight years. Holmes found that the United States was far less corrupt than countries like Malaysia in her experiences.

“If I got pulled over for speeding [in Malaysia], I could slip the police the equivalent of 10 dollars and they would just let me go,” Holmes said. “That was normal there.”

Both Holmes and Greenman lived in total monarchies at one point of their childhood. Greenman found decisions were made by the government quickly in this type of governmental system.

“There is often a lot of delay in [American] government” Greenman said. “Governments in places like the UAE, there is efficiency in the way that it runs. It expedites the process because the king has total power.”

Rodriguez did not tour any colleges while going to school in Germany, so she chose Baylor on a whim. She said it was difficult to adjust to the social norms when she came back to America, but she felt as if the culture in other countries helped her to acclimate to the college experience.

“One of the benefits of living in a different culture was just being open-minded,” Rodriguez said.”I have always seen new things and met new people so I was ready to take college head-on like a new country.”