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  • TCKs are the jet-setting citizens of the world
  • TCKs are the jet-setting citizens of the world
    Janssem Cardoso, Creative Commons (2014) ©

Third Culture Kids: growing up a global nomad

Where are you from? It’s a seemingly safe question to ask most people, but for Third Culture Kids the answer is not that easy. The discrepancy between where they were born and where they feel they belong is vast. Raised in an assortment of cultures, how do their backgrounds affect who they are?

Location Global

In the late 1950s, sociologist Ruth Hill Useem coined the term ‘Third Culture Kids’ after studying her children and their reactions to repeated international moves. TCKs are defined as those who have spent a significant part of their developmental years outside of their parents’ culture. [1] They have friends across the world, multiple passports, and consider a distance of 500 miles to be ‘very close’. [2]

According to the United Nations, there were 232 million people living outside of their home country in 2013. [3] These kids, with their global and mobile childhoods, ...



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