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Survey Results from U.S. Students Watching the Election from Austria

Survey Results from U.S. Students Watching the Election from Austria

Hardin-Simmons University business major, StephanieTeoh, was one of several students who recently spoke about the U.S.presidential election with an Austrian radio station. Teoh is one of several studentsfrom across the United States earning college credit this semester in theSalzburg College study abroad program. One of the interesting things about Stephanie,however, she is already an international student at HSU. Being from Malaysia,she already speaks English, Mandarin, and Malay. After a semester in Austria,she can add German to her list of languages. Stephanie, and some of her peers at Salzburg College,Americans, recently discussed their thoughts on the election on AntenneSalzburg, a radio station that can be heard in the U.S. via an app calledTuneIn Radio. {{more}} Phoebe Mayer, director of Salzburg College, askedsome of the students if they would respond to questions from Hardin-SimmonsUniversity regarding their thoughts on the presidential election. Survey results indicate that the students, watchingthe presidential campaign from their perspective outside of the United States, regardthe election with varying degrees of interest. Beloware the responses from the students at Salzburg College… 1. What was it like watching theelection from afar? Is it the same as following it in the U.S. or is itdifferent? If different, then how? “Itwas a lot different because I didn’t really get all the hype like it normallyis when you’re at home.” 7.11.20121:51 PM “Beingwith American students so much of the time meant that I was still exposed toconversation topics that had to do with the election. Even my host mom broughtit up the election a few times because she reads the newspaper every day. Europe,in general, seems interested in American politics. That being said, it stillseemed different than usual – it was nice missing out on the campaigncommercials on television!” 7.11.20121:46 PM “Ifelt a bit detached from the entire process–because I was not constantlybombarded with political advertisements, I felt somewhat freed from the entirething.” 7.11.20121:40 PM “Muchdifferent, there is much less radicalism to it. You can get a better view ofthe candidate. It’s no longer about sides, but how level-headed the candidateis.” 7.11.20121:14 PM 2.Influenced by your European experience, have your views on the candidateschanged? “SinceI consider myself a democrat, some of my pre-existing views were solidified,such as that of social security. I like seeing that people are taken care of inAustria, I can see myself living in a country with a system more like this.” 7.11.20121:46 PM “Notreally–my family members are all staunch democrats, as am I, and watching fromafar in Europe made me realize how unfounded the Republican fears of”socialization” are.” 7.11.20121:40 PM “Ibelieve so, Obama was a much clearer choice after being here and seeing howwell their social safety net works. Also Romney seemed to lack empathy for theaverage American, which was a huge turn off for me.” 7.11.20121:14 PM 3. How didyou follow the election as it unfolded? “Becauseof the time difference, I didn’t watch the results as they happened. When Iwoke up, I looked on the Internet at the results and when I checked my Facebooknewsfeed everything was about the election.” 7.11.20121:51 PM “Ichecked up on online news sources periodically. And talking to my peers in theprogram helped, too. Especially our political science major!” 7.11.20121:46 PM “Mostlythrough word of mouth, but I followed the debates through the internet.” 7.11.20121:40 PM “Ijust heard some of the comments made by Romney, especially after HurricaneSandy, that really made me switch sides.” 7.11.20121:14 PM 4. Did youhave any predictions? “Mypredictions were mainly based on my intuition, which is that Obama was morelikely to win the elections.” 7.11.20122:58 PM “Myinitial prediction was that Romney would win the popular vote, but that Obama wouldwin the electoral vote.” 7.11.20121:51 PM Notreally–the way the news had sensationalized the tight race that was to unfold,I could not be sure of anything. 7.11.20121:40 PM Yes,I always figured Obama would win. 7.11.20121:14 PM 5. What wasyour general impression about the election? “Theelections are very important to the economy and I wish I was more interested inpolitics. My impressions about the elections is that it was something that hadto happen and it was interesting to listen to everyone’s opinions.” 7.11.20122:58 PM “Themain thing that hit me was all the crude comments on Facebook. The Republicansare bashing the Democrats because they think their candidate should have won. Ifeel like all that happened is stirring up the emotions of the people of America.Unfortunately, we are not a very unified country anymore.” 7.11.20121:51 PM “Allsensationalism, little substance. The addition and influence of SuperPACs inthis election has totally convinced me that money plays a bigger role inpolitics than the actual candidates themselves.” 7.11.20121:40 PM “Thestatus quo remained the same. America wasn’t ready for the social extremismRomney brought to the table.” 7.11.2012 1:14 PM