AMERICANS studying in Edinburgh have been left feeling “betrayed” over the US election result.
More than 1,000 students from the University of Edinburgh packed into the centre of the Scottish capital on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning to watch the battle unfold at an event dubbed by organisers as “the largest US election night party in the UK outside of London”.
The sold-out event in Potterrow, organised by Edinburgh University North American Society and the Edinburgh Political Union, saw TV screens beaming results live from across the Atlantic with experts from the school of history providing analysis on the results throughout the night.
However, the atmosphere, which started with optimism and excitement, turned to one of disbelief and numbers dwindled to around 100 students as results began pouring in from across the pond.
Proceedings were then brought to an abrupt halt at around 5.30am on Wednesday when organisers had to tell everybody to leave before a foregone conclusion due to licensing regulations.
Wendy Toscano, 25, from Texas, who is a marketing student at the university, said: “I feel a bit betrayed.
“I feel as an immigrant living in the United States that I had my own opinions and I respected other people’s opinions and I understood where they were coming from, but, at the end of the day, Donald Trump and what he stands for is hatred and racism and division and it doesn’t make sense. I’m shocked.
“It makes me feel like my peers and the people that I love in America and my friends who have had four generations of grandparents in the US don’t see me as their equal.
“It feels really weird and that I don’t belong. Going back home will be weird and a bit of an adaptation as here everyone just seems to get it.”
Edinburgh is the most popular university amongst UK-bound American and Canadian students and it has long-standing links with North America, according to organisers.
One of the last remaining hardcore election-nighters at the event was Ebba Engstrom, 21, a biotechnology student from Sweden.
Ms Engstrom said: “I’m not happy. I didn’t expect it at all, it’s kind of like Brexit.
“You think it’s not going to happen because it’s so radical but then it does and you realise how important young voters are in a sense because people aren’t voting.
“I was saying this morning that I thought it was like a practical joke almost if Trump won, but that’s what has happened and people have voted for the most misogynistic person to take over the office and it’s quite sad.”
The US Consulate General also held an eventat Edinburgh University on Tuesday night, with hundreds of North American ex-pats attending to see the results unfold.
Susan Wilson, principal officer for the US Consulate General in Edinburgh, said: “Tonight is our night to celebrate democracy in action. It’s our night to celebrate the 200 million voting Americans who are making their voices heard.
“It’s an exciting time. It’s actually one of the most exciting parts of being an American. You really feel alive and more American than ever. Especially when you are mailing that absentee ballot and being a part of your civic responsibility even overseas.”