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Third Culture Kids (TCKs) are members of a tribe all their own. The third culture tribe. The have meaningfully interacted with two or more cultures in their developmental years - those years that shape who we are as humans. Their highly mobile, genuinely cross-cultural lives have made them different from those who have never left their home country or culture.

As they go about living their normal cross-cultural lives, they have no clue as to how they are being impacted. But one day they have an experience that wakes them up to the fact that they are different from others. This commonly takes place upon repatriation for college or university. What results is the feeling of cultural imbalance, not fitting in, inability to connect with their home-country peers. They feel like a “fish out of water” in their own country. This often leads to isolation and depression.

Some TCKs may never have lived in their “home” country before and so it isn’t really home to them. Others may have come and gone for a few years at a time and still others have visited regularly every summer and feel that they know their passport country well. It is a real shock when they come back and feel like an “invisible alien” or “hidden immigrant”, as Pollock and Van Reken call it. They may look and sound like their home-country peers and they may even speak and dress like them, but they do not think or act like them.

While international mobility has been a benefit for many TCKs, who end up with very minimal adjustment problems, just as many, if not more TCKs end up feeling lonely and depressed when this realization occurs and end up isolating themselves. Repatriation is three times more difficult than expatriation and it has to be taken seriously, especially for the teen or young adult TCK who has twice the adjustment – adjusting to college/university life and adjustment back to a culture that is foreign to him or her in many respects.

The Transitioning Successfully for University seminar does just that. The seminar addresses issues pertinent to TCKs such as:

  • How their internationally mobile lives make them different from their mono-cultural peers
  • How to fit in and get along with home-country peers
  • TCK identity development
  • The five predictable stages of transition and how to cope with them
  • Independent living and responsibility for self

Students come away with tools and strategies for not only surviving the college transition, but thriving in it as well.

Click here to download the brochure here for a more detailed description of the seminar.

International Family Transitions: (1) 781-439-8490

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