We conducted six pilot interviews with informants whom we considered "representative" of each one of our three thematic subfields: labor, historical culture and transcultural communication. The pilot interviews were conducted only with migrant men and women from Albania (the numerically largest group of migrants). We selected the informants for the pilot interviews on the basis of their age group and the extent to which their experience was relevant to one of the three thematic subfields.
Part of the interview format was common for all the informants and concerned their "migration story", their reception by the host society and their views about the future. The rest of the interview focused in greater depth on issues related to one of the three thematic subfields.
This phase of planning, conducting and studying the pilot interviews lasted from May to December 2004.