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About Franz Strasser

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Franz Strasser | 20:49 UK time, Tuesday, 13 July 2010

In 1998, I visited the United States for the very first time as a teenager traveling along the West Coast.

I then returned as an exchange student in 2001 for one year to live and study at an American high school in northern Florida.

Franz StrasserEver since the first visit, this country has had a certain effect on me - so much of an effect that I chose American Studies as a field of study at my German university and New York as the place to receive my graduate degree.

Now I work and live permanently in Washington, DC, and get the chance to talk to recent fellow immigrants about their experiences thus far in the US.

I want to highlight the diversity of this country with stories from and about immigrant pockets across the nation.

What is America all about today? What and how are these new immigrant groups contributing to society? How are they shaping the country's identity?

I want to know how they view themselves in this ever growing mix of cultures that is the United States of America.

This trip is supposed to tell America something about itself that it did not know before - about the makeup of its society, about the dreams and fears of its newest members.

The blog will be updated constantly, and you can follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr to get even more updates.

I want to read about your experiences as well, so feel free to share them on any of these outlets, or in the comments section below. I'll be sure to check them frequently.


  • Comment number 1.

    Dear Franz,

    Would be very curious as to the equipment you are using for your video blog. That is the camera make and model along with microphone and lighting etc.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey franz this is your your anerican family. I pray for you to have a safe journey and that I think that this is a wounderful story to share with the world. Love you and we are so looking forward to seeing you soon.

  • Comment number 3.

    You ought to take the time to contact Prof. Wayne Cornelius at UC San Diego. He is the authority of legal/illegal immigration on the southwest border. More importantly, he might provide a personal look into the hardships faced by immigrants on both sides of the US border. I only mention this because he is moderately accessible and a potential resource. Good luck. I look forward to seeing where your adventure takes you.

  • Comment number 4.

    Having graduated from a high school in North Florida ( Jacksonville - Terry Parker) decades ago, I have to wonder if there is some familiarity with the style you chose to use in English with that area of the world.......anyway, after somehow reading a bit of this blog in a different subject area.....I find I am enjoying it very much......

  • Comment number 5.

    @ DocA: I will do that in one of these blog posts for sure!

  • Comment number 6.

    You should consider visiting Los Angeles and Orange County. I can't imagine many other cities in the US, with as varied and rich a immigrant base.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    As someone who came to the US in my teen years and never left, I find your reports captivating and very well done... Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 9.


    Thanks, for the second edition of your journey across the United States..And, you are able to get informative stories from the immigrants....


  • Comment number 10.

    Déjà vu of the vanity project...

    As reassuringly mediocre as it all is, the funding of such vanity pieces is not without interest. Auntie cares not for such questions, lambs to the digital slaughter.

    Whilst a prime example of the need for the BBC to reduce online activity. I wish you luck in your little pet project that has been covered a thousand times before. The things the Beeb will peddle to appear relevant, truly boggling!

    Above all else take solace from the fact that you are American based. Were you in the U.K. you would find yourself subjected to the delights of BBC3 with such tripe.

  • Comment number 11.

    I really like what you are doing with this blog. I grew up in Kentucky near Louisville, the state's largest city, which actually ranks pretty high in terms of diversity yet people living there are often unaware of the culture right outside the door. We have our own culture as well as an influx from other nations and I am glad your blog will show how this is mirrored throughout the nation. I have always been more interested in other countries than my own, but I think this definitely sounds interesting!

  • Comment number 12.

    Dear Franz,

    You are such a beautiful human being. Your openness to American people, desire to understand and increase cultural knowledge, the fact that you right off the bat made it a point to highlight US diversity (we are used to being stereotyped and receiving hurtful comments) But you are a ray of sunshine in a dark world of misconceptions and nationalist hatred. Sorry to get mushy on you, but it is people like you who are the hope of the world's future, I feel truly honored to follow your journey!! Wishing you the best, with lots of love from Chicago! :)



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