US travel ban, boon for students

Donald Trump has completed his first month in the Oval Office as the president of the United States of America. During these initial days, one of the most significant decisions to have come out of the White House is the immigration ban imposed on seven countries (later modified).  While the immigration ban has been welcomed by some and has irked a few, the decision, ironically, spells good news for majority of international students studying in the US.

As of 2014, the immigrant population in the USA accounted for about 13.3% of its total population. These immigrants are employed in various fields and with the recently imposed immigrant ban, vacancies in these fields are set to witness a tremendous rise.

The space thus created will not only provide better work opportunities for those currently studying in the US, but also bolster the ambition of those aspiring to pursue academics there. With various students dropping out after the ban, students from other countries aspiring for international studies can now expect more visas and hence a better chance to study there.

In longer-run, the world can be rest assured of finding a dependable partner in the USA as Trump himself in his presidential campaign was quoted as saying, “Whether we like that or not, they pay but we educate a lot of people, very smart people. We need those people in the country.”

In other words, Trump is an open supporter of legal immigration and has clarified that students studying in American institutions won’t be kicked out `as the country needs smart people’. This provides an expansive, and more importantly an equal field, for all the deserving candidates.

The USA is undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest superpowers – if not the biggest. With the horizons of progress ever-expanding in the country, it certainly needs quality scientists, economists and even artists in the near future.

The country also holds immense potential for both individual and collective progress. With Indian student population being the second-highest there (after the Chinese), the availability of jobs for Indian international students is also set to rise to meet the nation’s needs.

The development of other nations, especially China, also spells good news for the foreign students in the US. With China witnessing colossal growth in the recent years, various working opportunities have opened up in the US and brought down the unemployment rate from 4.1 in 2015 to 4.02 in 2017. The growth rate of Chinese international students had already dropped to 8% in 2014-2015 from 23% in 2010-2011.

With this growth rate on a downward spiral, the space left by the massive Chinese student community in the United States is bound to find its occupants in form of other international students.

And with the recently imposed immigrations ban, the odds of getting a US student visa have certainly increased for a larger portion of the international community.

Another aspect in which immigrations ban may prove to be a boon for international students is that it will rid the nation of cheap labour.

The USA is a nation with a higher standard of living and per capita income. A practice which MNCs hence resort to in order to maximise profits is to hire cheap labour from foreign countries – Asian and African in particular.

Since these nations aren’t as wealthy as the United States, their citizens are willing to work at salaries that may be considered as surplus by them but meagre by the standards of the USA.

Immigration ban rules out some of these countries, ensuring better-paid jobs lined up for foreign students planning to find work in the nation itself.

In conclusion, the USA has always been a lucrative destination for aspirational students. With its capability to provide quality education, high standard of living, a better per capita income and a high GDP, the United States has always proven to be profitable for the students studying or settling there.

Now, with the election of Donald Trump as the president, these factors are bound to witness a tremendous growth and propel the USA into an even better era of economic prosperity. Hence, not only is Trump presidency a golden era for students studying abroad, it is also a golden opportunity for students aspiring for international education in the country.

(The writer is Founder, Abroad Shiksha)

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