Studying abroad in a foreign country for an extended period of time usually implies that you will fall out of current events happening in your home country, whether it’s the news or music, you miss what’s happening in your homeland. But because the US is always in the news, and everyone listens to American music, I don’t usually feel like I am missing that much.
Brussels is one of the most political cities in the world, definitely comparable with Washington DC and these last few weeks have been focused on the election. In all my classes we have been discussing the state of the US and what different candidates will mean for Europeans.
I went to an Election party Tuesday night, expecting to meet all Americans. As I do not follow any foreign elections, I didn’t believe there would be that many foreigners interested in American elections. But I only met Europeans; I did not see one American, who wasn’t in my program. It is interesting that the rest of the world really believes America’s leaders have impacts on their lives.
During this campaign season, I believe it is increasingly difficult for anyone to be republican. Because Belgium, and Europe for that matter, is extremely liberal, the idea of conservative views is hard for Europeans to grasp. My host sister asked me if we had a prominent socialist party in the US and I told her that Socialism is something the US doesn’t support and is somewhat of a faux pas or something you do not want your name associated with. She was extremely confused, she didn’t understand how the Republican Party is so popular or in existence at all. The best part of witnessing the American elections here in Belgium is that I get to hear the political opinions from people all over the world. So far I believe they are pleased with the outcome. When it comes to foreign affairs, Obama has a very high approval rate with European countries. Over all it has been an interesting week here in Brussels.