How Will the U.S. Elections Affect International Educators?

From experience I’ve come to realize that people around the globe know more about U.S. politics than most Americans. It’s truly embarrassing when my Romanian neighbor quotes unfamiliar events in U.S.-international politics and then waits to hear the ‘special’ insights and opinions of a ‘real’ American. No matter where I travel in the world I meet people preoccupied with American policies and as I’ve learned, what America does at home extends far beyond its borders and into the lives of even our most distant neighbors.

...As the U.S. primary elections progress, each of the potential candidates, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, look to be solidly in the running and yet extremely polarized in their views. No one knows what surprises lie ahead, and in the words of Bob Dylan, “He who is first may later be last.”

As one of these candidates becomes the next supposed ‘leader of the free world,’ I am concerned. How will a new U.S. President’s political outlook on world affairs affect International Educators living and working as guests in foreign countries? I’d love to hear what the international teaching community is thinking.

Keep up the good work, ISR!

Signed: (name withheld)

23 Responses to How Will the U.S. Elections Affect International Educators?

  1. Anonymous says:

    ISR – this politcial discussion is misplaced on your forum. At this time when teachers are tired and stressed I would think something more uplifting would be apropos. We are seeing enough of this in every other forum and news channel.


    • Got my fingers crossed says:

      Really? You must be kidding. Are you proposing we act like everything is hunky-dori. Such discussion as in this blog are essential in helping us all formulate plans and ideas. I suggest you go over to the Disney Blog and click the Tinkerbell link.


      • Anonymous says:

        Your response could have been “it is appropriate for many of us as this kind of discussion helps us formulate plans and ideas. Thank you ISR.” Instead you follow the example of certain presidential candidates by belittling and trying to make someone feel small . Not necessary and disgraceful coming from someone who works with children. If you intention was to make the writer feel small doubtful it worked. You simply revealed yourself to us.


  2. China Teacher says:

    It won’t, thank god! That’s why we left the USA to teach overseas in the first place — political interference with education has ruined the profession there. Outside the US, we’re allowed to be professionals and thus we deliver an amazing product.


  3. Ben says:

    (This is not a comment on which style of gov is best, but merely a cursory look at one factor: how American expats are financially effected)

    When Americans take their business overseas (whether an individual or a business), this is how the two parties typically react:

    – Big government policies punish expats by making it hard to invest and increasing tax reporting difficulties. Over the past eight years, all US investment firms have passed rules that they will no longer do business with Americans abroad. This is due to the IRS hounding them if they do. For this reason, it has become onerous for an American to live abroad and build a retirement portfolio. This is how “big government” policies work: come home or be punished. Government calls the shots.

    – Small government asks the question, “What can we do to make businesses WANT to come home?” In this scenario, the government is just another player in the free market, and it exists to server you. If they lose your business, they need to change their product. You, the individual, call the shots.


  4. Anonymous says:

    This is my 2 cents on this discussion. Of course US politics can (and will) impact upon foreign teachers at international schools. This is because US foreign policy is invasive in many parts of the world. As a side note anti-US sentiment is sharply on the rise in the region in which I live. The locals constantly ask me if I am American and when I say no, I’m from ‘X’, they are happy and somewhat relieved, and I’m relieved as well not to be an American :).

    However, this current presidential campaign is very worrying. Clinton’s role in Benghazi and her email leaks should have lead to a prison sentence, not a future Democratic party nomination for president. Anyone who argues otherwise is a Democratic partisan and / or bereft of cognitive faculties. Bernie Sanders is a better option than Clinton but he won’t secure the nomination, Clinton has him covered. Trump, whilst speaking his mind (which is very rare in the world of politics) is clearly misanthropic, xenophobic and racist. I personally think that the powers that be will align to bring Clinton to office. Trump has fractured the Republican party somewhat and I do believe this, along with his outrageous public statements will push people to vote for Clinton even though many don’t like her.

    I will say that I don’t consider US foreign policy friendly towards the interests of myself as an individual or my family. However, I would rather Trump come to power as at least I know what I’m going to get. He is far more transparent than Clinton, who truly is an uniquely horrible individual and politician.


    • Anonymous says:

      you have no idea what you would get with Trump. He has changed his positions numerous times for political expediency. Transparent? Hardly. Hollow would be more like it. No love for Clinton either,and Sanders won’t get the nomination. Fortunately, in my 16 years abroad, most non-US citizens I encounter can differentiate between me, the individual, and me, the US citizen…unlike most US peeps I encounter in the US.


    • J.H. says:

      America needs a change, it is called a train wreck! Or we continue with the same, same, Trump is ‘transparent”…well said Anonymous


  5. Mike says:

    As an international educator from Australia, i would like to take this debate on a slightly different approach. I dare to say that who ever comes to power in the USA, there will be some repercussions anyway to western citizens in other countries as usual. However, when we assess the current situation vis-a-vis the ISIS trend and other sect motivated troubles, with a Trumph administration, we as expat teachers may find it more hostile out there particularly in countries most affected by his actions. On a more positive note, I believe that Trumph is certainly a very different character altogether and that he brings some actions, and colour and debates among the US people of different creed as well as fear from other nations of the unknown. The US have had a chance of pro workers presidents, and pro women presidents and pro war presidents, and pro black presidents and now we shall have a pro Americans presidents. Isn’t that a good thing to stimulate change in the current status quo? Why stay stagnant with no evolution. We must not fear change and we take risks everyday. Crossing the road is a very high risk and we do it everyday. Eating junk food is a very high risk and we do it often, Taking medications and supplements is risky and we do it everyday so why should we fear Donald Trumph legacy. Relax yourself and stop thinking of things that we cannot change because it is a very high risk that we are taking in worrying about Trumph being what we do not want him to be. Surely foreign teachers have been and will continue to be the target of multiple groups of haters but as teachers we are on a mission to educate the future generation to be different of the very phobia that clutters our own imaginations.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Trump is a white supremist. Plain and simple. I live in Saudi Arabia as an educator and I already feel the change in Muslims regard for me when they learn I am from the US. Trump makes all Americans look bad. It is true the the president’s power is very much limited by the congress, but not many people from outside the US know or see it that way. It is simply an embarrassing time to be American. I have to constantly make it clear to anyone who will listen that I abhor the platform of Trump. If he wins, that will be 8 years of shame for the US.


  7. Mr.WiseGuy says:

    As a Kenyan – obviously admiring Obama – I think that American Democracy is on trial when it comes to the coming elections – and the judge is ironically DEMOCRACY itself.

    Finally, I think America had one of the best times internationally during the Obama years – the guy was a rock star wherever he went – even in China !


  8. omgarsenal says:

    Please don’t forget that the President rules on the whim of Congress and Senate so even if the Drumpf wins, he’ll be constrained by both houses and by public sentiment as well in international affairs and policies, even if he doesn’t care a whit about that. On the other hand, when it comes to internal policies and issues, he’ll do his best to wreak havoc on social and health care programs,women’s rights, immigration and the general economy for a start! This may drive more teachers overseas, as he decimates education, social insurance and worker’s rights for a start.


    • Lupe Pina says:

      I beg to differ on one point. Don’t forget that Bush did whatever he wanted with carte blanche from the Congress and Senate, as they are majority of Republicans. I do agree that should Drumpf win (and God help us if he does), he will wreck havoc on the points you mentioned. I don’t know about you but each time I returned back to the US, I was placed under close scrutiny. What’s your purpose in coming to the States? Why are you living in Egypt? How long have you been in Egypt? You would think that I was a master criminal from they way they grilled me. Should Drumpf make it to the House, I see coming to the States getting more difficult for Americans living abroad. I am hoping that you are right and that those nitwits in Congress and the Senate put a muzzle on the Drumpf with regards to international affairs and policies. Dark days are coming my friend if he wins the election. Pray that he doesn’t.


    • MH says:

      What nonsense. A complete misrepresentation of Donald Trump’s views. Maybe you have been away from the USA too long to know what a disaster Oback Obama has been as the 44th President of the USA.


      • Anonymous says:

        Trump is reprehensible. He appeals to the lowest common denominator, and no one knows what his core beliefs, if any, may be. Even conservatives are firmly int he #NeverTrump camp.


      • Anonymous says:

        Hard to misrepresent his misogynistic, anti-Muslim, anti-poor, xenophobic, white supremacist views. He’s very clear on those points. If you believe otherwise, it would seem it’s you who have been away too long. That, or you share his views, thereby finding them acceptable.


  9. Exulting w/a Brain says:

    Ultimately, our political and economic strength- and decisions that we make during elections, are vital to our futures as international educators. For one, as an American, I am teaching while standing on the shoulders of my grandfather and his fellow comrades who fought and won WWII, giving both the US and English the status possible to establish so many international schools. Yes, there are German and Japanese international schools (out of sheer economic strength of these nations), but the numbers thereof is dwarfed by English-speaking ones, whether US, Australian, British, or others. That sermon aside, I do sense that there might be some visa cancellations out of retaliation, at least in the short term, should the Donald win. Whether that might take us out of our classrooms in China (as is my case) is yet to be known. My concern is that, should Mr. Trump enact his draconian taxes on US companies that move abroad (itself not too good for us), what would stop him from next saying “Our competitors, such as China, are benefiting from US teachers who are teaching them mathematics [as this writer is]. How dare they work against us! From now on, any math or science teacher who aids the students of other lands, and not our own, will be subject to a 70% tax and/or immediate repayment of student loans.” Perhaps this is just a mad fantasy, but who can know. Yet, I am not at all sure whether Hillary would be good for our future nation, one that maintains the status worthy of so many international schools staying in business. Ultimately, I believe that it will be the spiritual and moral state of the nation that will decide things.


    • Exulting w/a Brain says:

      Punishment of overseas teachers and schools would be extraordinarily foolish because we, more than perhaps any others, are the cultural ambassadors to the future rulers of currently “hostile” countries. We impart ideals of fair play, of freedom, and of equality (among many others), and show the true faces of our nations, not the gun-toting, violent, lurid images that they see from our media. To withdraw here would be penny-wise – yet dollar foolish.


      • Judy says:

        Very well put. When my husband and I were living in China, our local friends were more than shocked when they discovered we didn’t own a gun and had never shot one. They figured we all did and that we all had several guns. As Rick Steves says, “Travel as a Political Act.” Traveling to unfamiliar places gives us a better idea of the world and lets others get to know us. We can all dispel some stereotypes.


    • Anonymous says:

      China is too pragmatic, and able to play the long-game and see past Trump’s “long-con” to do anything that will harm its long-term self interest. American voters on the other hand…


  10. Judy says:

    I am an American Hillary fan and really hope she wins. I think if she does, it will show that we Americans still possess common sense and a strong worldview. If Trump wins? Yikes! That will be a different story. I worry about the reaction around the world. In every country I’ve lived in and visited people are very aware of U.S. politics and it’s been nice having 8 years of Obama. Most everyone has had nothing but positive things to say about Obama and as a result are very positive towards Americans. It wasn’t that way with Bush was president and if Trump is president – I don’t even want to think about it. I already have friends overseas who are emailing me asking “What the heck is going on over there?”


  11. Got my fingers crossed says:

    I must say that as an American I am disgusted with the campaign. I fear that if Trump wins we will soon be unwelcome in many places around the world. Clinton….we’ll I don’t trust her. She frightens me. Sanders….he’s the voice of reason. I do hope he makes it. I think he will be a good ambassador for the United States and as such help keep the welcome mat out for international educators like me.


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