Third Culture Kids / Global Nomads

TCK logo Who are TCKs or Global Nomads? 

Approximately 140 Third Culture Kids study at Lewis & Clark College each year!

Third Culture Kids are known by various names such as Biz Kids (whose parents work for international businesses,) “MKs” or Missionary Kids, Army Brats (whose parents serve abroad with the military), or Diplomatic Kids (whose parents serve with the foreign service.) Many students prefer the title Third Culture Kid or Global Nomad.

Third Culture Kids (TCKs) or Global Nomads are individuals who have spent a significant part of their lifetimes outside their parents’ cultures.

We also include people who grew up in households with multiple cultures, such as migrants or people with parents from separate countries- who are sometimes called Cross-Cultural Kids (CCKs).

The TCK identity is based more on the ability to adapt well to any circumstances due to our common experiences involving change, loss, culture shock, and more.

An example of a Lewis & Clark TCK includes an American student who grew up in Malaysia as her mother and father teach at an international school and a Korean student who lived in Singapore, Kuwait, and Vancouver because his father is a Korean diplomat.

The concept of Third Culture Kids is constantly growing and changing too! Don’t doubt your TCK identity if you do not fit the traditional definition of one- we are eager to connect with you and talk more about it!

Support Programs for TCKs at Lewis & Clark College

Lewis & Clark College established its Third Culture Kid Program in 1992 to recognize and meet the particular needs of TCKs. Today, Lewis & Clark celebrates the unique contributions TCKs make on our campus.

Lewis & Clark Third Culture Kid activities include but are not limited to:

  1. TCK Tuesdays: a bi-weekly social gathering at various venues on campus. These usually include activities, discussions, and delicious desserts.
  2. Dinner Trips: group outings to international restaurants or stores in Portland.
  3. TCK Symposium: a Keynote and Panel discussion that focuses on a specific topic within the TCK realm, held every spring semester. (Past topics include: ‘Career Development,’ ‘Storytelling,’ ‘Hellos and Goodbyes,’ and ‘Home’)
  4. English Conversation Partners: a program that pairs proficient English speakers with students that are striving to improve their English-language skills through the AES Department on campus.

Contact Information

If you are a TCK or have any questions about the group, please email the current 2022-2023 TCK Intern Gillian Watts, in the International Students and Scholars Office, at

Follow us on Instagram: @lc_tck

Additionally, you may contact:

  • Brian White, Associate Dean of Students/Director of International Students & Scholars
  • Bridget Flaherty, Associate Director of International Students & Scholars.
  • Paola Dennis, Administrative Specialist of International Students & Scholars.

International Students & Scholars
Lewis & Clark College
615 S Palatine Hill Road
Portland, Oregon 97219-7899
TEL 503-768-7305
FAX 503-768-7301