ELECTION 2020 | WIU international students reflect on 2020 Presidential Election

By DYLAN SMITH, NEWS3 News Reporter

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — After a historic 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, much still lies ahead of what has been an unprecedented year. 

From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial injustice, 2020 has been a unique time for not only American citizens, but those who have come to the states to receive higher education. 

“In our media, we talk a lot about Trump and what’s going on in America,” Irina Widmer, a WIU student from Switzerland, said. “In the media, the U.S. is very important, and I kind of got a good idea about who he is, and I’m not surprised that it ended up like this, and especially this year is so crazy anyways that I wasn’t surprised.” 

“It’s a very unique experience for me in the case that I can monitor every object and everything from my home,” WIU graduate student Bishnu Neupane said. 

For international students experiencing a U.S election for the first, or maybe the second time, comparisons can be drawn between their home countries elections, and confusion can occur for many.  

“This is a lot more extreme in it’s own way because there are two parties here, and everybody, well most people, vote for these two parties, so it’s very much divisive,” said Widmer. “Back at home you have a lot more parties, there is a bigger spectrum, and the consensus that you should compromise. Compromise is very important.”

“I was very confused because there were states that I was expecting Trump to win, but went blue,” Jeremie Bokota, WIU freshman from the Congo, said. “ It was a very interesting election. Some people are claiming voter fraud. I don’t know if that’s true or not. It was very interesting the way it turned out.” 

By the end of election week, concerns about the future began to rise. 

“It’s very important that the U.S. can find a way to get together again,” Widmer said. “It’s very important for the world that somebody is there that is a stable person that can really lead a country.”

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