Husband-and-wife team Matthew Cable and Franziska Hertel co-founded AlienAid in 2017, having spent over a decade navigating the jungle of immigration issues in U.S. higher education and employment. Raised in the small Austrian town of Zurndorf, Franziska came to the U.S. on a student visa when she was 18. After meeting as freshmen at Dartmouth College, Franziska and Matthew spent a good part of the next ten years doing everything they could to allow Franziska to stay, study and work in the U.S., a task that continued to surprise them with its complexity, even as Franziska graduated at the top of her class at Dartmouth and once again at Columbia Law School.
On their own when it came to spotting potential issues and finding creative solutions, they decided enough was enough: if they felt so overwhelmed even with their pedigreed legal backgrounds, how could the more than one million international students training in other fields at any given time be expected to successfully navigate this jungle in a fully informed manner? Determined to make things easier for the next generations of international students, Matthew and Franziska launched AlienAid in 2017 to give back to the community and provide international students with the support Franziska and her peers never had. Learn more about what we do here.