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What young Americans living in EU would change about Europe (5 images)

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Cafebabel ENG (NS)


16% of young Americans are unemployed, 7% less than their battling European counterparts (22.8). Nevertheless the studious expats continue to make their way across the ocean, and will not be in the US for the presidential elections on 6 November, which will decide whether democrat incumbent Barack Obama will be successfully challenged by republican candidate Mitt Romney. Five young voices describe what they’d most change about the EU

Bryan, 27, Philadelphia - Rome

'I'd change how Europeans view themselves amongst other EU members. I'd like to see more unity and public policy that allows each country to be viewed as equals' (Images: a pair of Philly cheesesteaks (cc) Dave Hopton and the typical saltimbocca alla romana (cc) multipel_bleiben/ flickr; Bryan by the Pantheon in Rome)

Evan, 22, Richmond (Virginia) - Barcelona

'I wish people didn't assume that I agreed with everything that the US government does. Most Americans don't even follow politics or talk about it so how should I know everything! I also wish it would be cheaper- stupid exchange rate' (Images of Virginia and Barcelona 'B' registration plates: (cc) Sixes & Sevens and woody1778a/ flickr), with Evan by a metro station in Barcelona)

Natalie, 24, New York - Paris

'I would change immigration and foreigner work policies and make them more lenient for Americans because global exchange is important! Actually, not only for Americansm but for everyone who wants to work in Europe. If you are qualified that should be the determining factor, not your nationality - we can't help where we were born' (Images of travel guides: (cc) and bepatou via flickr, with  Natalie by the 'Ile de la Cité in Paris)

Natasha, 22, Sarasota (Florida) - Maastricht

'If I was to change one thing about Europe, it would have to be regarding some of the perceptions that I encounter about Americans. Almost every person I meet here comments that I am not the usual American, even going to the extent where they make a negative comment about Americans and then go, 'well Natasha you are not the typical American'. Especially with the elections coming up, one of my chief wishes is that people in Europe understand that there is no such thing as a typical American. The beauty of our country is in the unity, despite the spectrum of diversity regarding practically every characteristic under the sun. I don't like when people in Europe insist that I am not the way I am supposed to be as an American. It may seem like a bizarre desire for a change in Europe, but especially with the hype about the American election it is frustrating to be told you don't belong to your nationality because you don't epitomise someone from the American Pie' (Images of Dutch stamp from 1994 inspired by Piet Mondrian 's painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1943) (cc) La Haye American embassy and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida stamp (cc) Fifth World Art/ flickr; with Natasha in Maastricht)

Rachel, 22, Livingston (New Jersey) - Barcelona

'The education system in Barcelona compared to at Richmond was hard as hell but we learned a lot and have homework every day, whereas in Spain you can pass a class by just showing up to the final exam at the end of the term and the professor never knows your name. But that might also depend on the school, and not be a Europe-wide thing (Images of Steel Pier at Atlantic City (New Jersey) (cc) Holly Brown Ford and Barcelona's Tibidabo theme park (cc) jsantander/ flickr; Rachel at the Parc Güell in Barcelone)

Translated from Jóvenes estadounidenses entre nosotros: ¿qué cambiarían de Europa?