International students baffled by U.S. politics

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Many college students are immersed in the U.S. political climate because of a controversial president.

International students, new to U.S. politics and media, are just trying to sort it out.

Politics are different in the U.S. and the media is a large part of the reason why, said Yousef Suede, a student from India majoring in political science at Michigan State University. News here is different than the news in India.

“It seems that everything is influenced by whatever is happening in politics at the moment,” Suede said. “It is almost like you can’t get away from it, you know? The news is constantly covering it.”

While he is going into the field of political science, Suede said he plans to attend law school and become a lawyer in the United States. “Politics today seems more of a source of entertainment instead of working on policy.”

Max Kim, a MSU student from China, also believes how politics is reported in the U.S. is odd. But he doesn’t pay much attention to it.

“I don’t know much about what is happening in the United States, but I know a lot of people are always talking about what is going on in government,” Kim said.

Kim, a supply chain management major, said that while uninterested in U.S.  politics, it is difficult for him to not be caught up with current political events.

“In some classes, we talk about what Trump is doing and what is happening,” Kim said. “I don’t know why students are talking about that. People talk about Trump a lot on campus, too. Always about what he has done. I still don’t understand too much of all of it.”

Matthew Filipovitch, an Argentinian, said that when he attended the University of Michigan from 1975-1979, politics were relevant but different than they are today.

“When I was a student, you had multiple students and even faculty protesting whatever was happening in government and politics at the time,” he said. “Almost everyday it was something new, and that was very odd for me to see as an international student.

 “Coming here from Argentina, I really didn’t know what to expect.”

As a former history and foreign relations professor at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan, Filipovitch believes international students today cannot help but be in the middle of what is going on politically.

“It’s hard to not pay attention to the government here in the United States, and especially if you find yourself on a college campus,” Filipovitch said. “It’s what numerous students are passionate about. Some international students have a difficult time understanding how impactful the government and presidency is here in the United States.”

But some international students simply do not care about American politics, he said.

“Politics isn’t for everybody and when you’re coming to a college as an international student, it’s quite possible you couldn’t care less about what is currently happening in the nation,” Filipovitch said.

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