Throughout the course of the U.S. election campaign many Americans vowed that if the Republican nominee Donald Trump won, they would move to Canada. However, what of American students already in Canada. The Ryersonian asked students if the results of this election have changed their post-graduation plans.
“When I started here I wasn’t too sure about what my plan was,” said Kevin Siazon, a fourth-year journalism student from California. “I would like to stay here, all my friends are here, my professional connections are here, so it wouldn’t really make sense to go back right now.”
Students say they feel that their lives have become increasingly more integrated in Canada professionally and socially.
Siazon and Graeme Montgomery, a fourth-year professional communications student, both decided that they would stay in Canada after graduation: before the results of the election came out.
“I almost feel like it would be taking a step backward going back to Portland, even though I love Portland,” said Montgomery, who has dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S.
This is not the case for Emma Mclntosh, a third-year journalism student born in Ottawa but raised in Seattle. She has always thought she would return to the U.S. after graduation because it seemed like more job opportunities for journalists there.
However, the results from the hard-fought, bitter campaign that led to Trump’s victory in the presidential election have made her think more critically about the decision.
“They need young journalists there more than ever,” said Mclntosh. “The best way I can combat hatred and foster understanding would be to go there and do my job well. It is almost more of a motivation to move back and succeed there because I can make more of a difference.”
According to a recent study called Heading North, the experience of American students at Canadian universities, the No.1 reason for Americans to study in Canada is lower tuition costs. This was the reason for studying in Canada for all the American students the Ryersonian spoke to.
Ryerson received 185 applications from American students for the Fall 2016 semester, according to Charmaine Hack, Ryerson’s university registrar. For the fall 2017 semester, the registrar’s office has received 41 applications so far, but this is likely to increase greatly over the next few months.
Between 2011 and 2012, there were 46,500 U.S. students pursuing full degrees abroad, about 20 per cent of whom were in Canada according to stats from Heading North. This makes Canada the second most popular destination to host American students in the world, below the U.K.
According to Ryerson president Lachemi, it is too early to know if Ryerson will see an influx of American applicants, but it’s something the university anticipates.
Meanwhile, the uncertainty America’s future has caused U.S. students to wrestle with their relationship with their home country.
“The whole thing has been so upsetting honestly,” said Montgomery. He has always wanted to move to New York City and would like to think Trump’s America wouldn’t hold him back from fulfilling this dream, but he doesn’t know yet.
“When I lived there (America) I loved it, it was home for me, now it doesn’t feel like it would be that way,” said Mclntosh.