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Talal Al-Johani, a high school student in Saudi Arabia, couldn’t imagine going to college anywhere else but the United States. For the last two years, the 17-year-old has been collecting university applications and making connections with admission counselors in an effort to land at a leading American institution.
But after American voters elected Donald Trump as president, Al-Johani is having second thoughts.
Leery of unclear policies and a potentially hostile social environment under a Trump presidency, international students may now be reconsidering higher education in the United States — and that potential “brain drain” could take a hefty financial toll on America’s education economy, international education experts say.
“I am concerned about how I’m going to be treated and how people will see me as a Muslim from Saudi,” said Al-Johani, a student at Dhahran High School in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. “I feel Trump has affected people’s social attitudes, especially towards someone like me.”
Last year, more than one million international students, a record number, came to America to pursue higher education — pumping $32.8 billion into the U.S. economy, according to the Association of International Educators (NAFSA)
Talal Tawfeeq Al-Johani
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