by Ben Church
American students studying in London are embarrassed by their country’s election race and feel they are being treated differently as a result.
Many college students are unwilling to share their views while studying in England’s capital and those who do, fear discrimination.
Supporters of Republican nominee Donald Trump are under particular pressure to keep their politics hidden according to Rob Ziegler, a current student on Boston University’s (BU) study abroad programme, who has already voted for Trump.
Asked why he likes to keep his opinions to himself, the 19-year-old student says he wants to avoid the animosity.
“It’s kind of hard to walk around and meet new people here, especially if you’re American because the first question they are going to ask is ‘who are you voting for?’. I sort of just kind of defer from the question.”
Despite an obvious admiration for the billionaire’s policy and outlandish nature, Rob is careful not to be pigeon holed in his new home.
“I don’t want the first impression of me to be ‘oh he is the Trump guy’. I’m going to be here [London] for a few months so I don’t want to be automatically known as the Donald Trump guy.”
Kelsey Loveless, a US citizen currently working for BU London, believes Londoners are blaming Americans for the rise of two such controversial figures.
“I always get the question of ‘why Trump, why Hilary?’ or ‘how have you got to that point?’. I don’t think any of us understand how we got to this point.
“I think we are being blamed as the people who have let it get to this stage and our students are now bearing the brunt.”
It appears Londoners themselves are concerned about the outcome of the result with a decision either way having distinct repercussions around the world.
22-year-old technician Lewis Martins says, “I’m a little terrified but I feel sorry for the US. Neither of the choices are who I would want to vote for.”
It appears the stigma associated with both candidates is making the decision difficult for a generation of first time voters, with the majority of BU students in London feeling a vote would be towards the lesser of two evils, a rhetoric which has marred the election contest from its outset.
Many students will be attending Boston University’s election party this evening as they brace themselves from the fall out of the decision.