Oct
04

What Hawaii Foreign Students Can Teach Us about America

American flags against blue skyThe United States is an amazing country, but many people who live here take it for granted.

Foreign students studying abroad in the US have a unique perspective of the US, one that many residents can’t easily see. Young people traveling to Hawaii from Brazil, Asia, Europe, or other parts of the world can provide lifelong Americans with a viewpoint on their own country that can be enlightening.

Hawaii Foreign Students Look at Democracy

For example, Americans tend to take democracy for granted. This year, this is especially true as there is a national presidential election, as well as a myriad of local elections for public offices.

In the US, everybody has the right to vote. Registering to vote is relatively simple, with few, if any, obstacles to overcome. While this has not always been the case — many of our forefathers battled mightily against foes both foreign and domestic to give us this freedom — today practically anybody can cast a vote for anybody they want without fear of retribution, exposure, or public pressure.

For many of the Hawaii foreign students studying abroad in the US, this right to vote is remarkable. In many foreign countries, not everybody can vote. And even if they can, elections aren’t always as fair and honest as they are here.

Hawaii Foreign Students and Other Constitutional Rights

Many foreign students coming to Hawaii to study are also amazed by our other Constitutional freedoms, including the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms. In some places, none of these things would be allowed.

People in many other foreign countries are persecuted for the seeking the very same freedoms many of us take for granted. So as US citizens, we can gain a new appreciation for our rights from Hawaii foreign students.

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