CHICAGO (CBS) — The stunning vote by the U.K. to leave the European Union is hitting here in Chicago, and not just because of the plunge in the stock market this morning.

Expats from Britain appeared shocked by the results.

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“Everything is in flux, the pound is crashing,” said Abigail Anguiano, a Londoner living in Chicago. “I do not understand why we just did what we did.”

One woman who does medical research at the University of Illinois at Chicago said the vote will affect her career.

Monshell Sodhi recently visited her home in London and, earlier this week, she sent in her vote overseas, hoping the U.K. would remain in the E.U.

She had assumed the vote would go her way, and she was surprised to learn the result at 3 a.m. Friday.

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Sodhi, who does mental health research, said the decision could cut off billions of dollars in EU funding and will make it harder to recruit experts, including immigrants.

“Knowing my British passport won’t enable me to work in Germany if I choose is a problem,” Sodhi said.

“It’s a setback for science as a whole. What they don’t realize, is that we benefited from an open Europe.”

Britain is the first to leave the 28-member group, which had struggled to deal with the 2008 economic collapse and a surge in immigration in the past year.

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That led to a rise in nationalist, isolationist fervor, especially among people who felt financially displaced in an uncertain global economy.