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Elections create lasting impression

October 25, 2012

Diyah (left) and Munira (middle) together during the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.

As the 2012 presidential candidates hope to create a lasting impression on voters, KL-YES exchange students from 40 countries are forming their very own first opinions of the United States presidential election process.

Although the 800 students have only been in America for three months, the elections are growing nearer and the campaigning and advertising is unavoidable.

So what do students from Nigeria, Tanzania and Indonesia think about it? IRIS asked three students living in Iowa for their input.


“I see the advertisements through TV, internet, posters, mail and billboards,” said Diyah, an Indonesian student living in Ankeny, Iowa. As a music enthusiast, advertisements on sites such as YouTube delay watching the actual videos.

Munira from Nigeria says she likes the advertisements because they give her the chance to understand each candidate. “I think it’s a good thing to listen to.” She is beginning to get a good impression of each candidate, but thinks some issues may be taken too far.

“The same-sex marriage and abortion stuff might affect votes, especially from young ladies,” she said after watching the debates in Burlington, Iowa.


Although the advertisements and debates may get in Diyah’s way, both she and Munira claim to like the American voting process. Diyah says it is similar to Indonesia because “the voting process in my home country is very confidential and safe, where citizens can vote freely for which candidate they like.”

James, a Tanzanian student in Grundy Center, admires the effort Americans put into encouraging people to vote.

“The election process is a little different from Tanzania because America is a huge country with many states, so it takes a lot to figure out who is going to be the president of the whole nation,” said James.


He says it’s “cool” and “fair” that everyone gets to vote and prefers the American way to that of Tanzania’s because “many people from the entire country attend and get to vote for a good president.”

Before arriving in Iowa, James said he didn’t have much of an opinion of the United States presidential elections because he “thought everything was right.” After living in the United States for 2 months, his opinion has altered and he now tries to keep up with the candidates as much as possible.

James believes President Barack Obama and former Massachusets Gov. Mitt Romney are good candidates and said, “they would both be good presidents, but I hope there is one who is better and can make a change in America.” 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2013 10:00 PM

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