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Third Culture Kids / Global Nomads

Who are TCKs or Global Nomads?

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

TCK logo

The “Third Culture” refers to the combination of the expatriate culture in which the students often live, the culture of their passport country, and the culture of the host country.  Approximately 140 TCKs study at Lewis & Clark each year. Examples include a US student growing up in Malaysia because her mother and father teach at the international school; or, a Korean student who has lived in Singapore, Kuwait, and Vancouver because his father is in the Korean diplomatic corps.

TCKs are known by various names, including “biz kids” (whose parents work for international businesses), “MKs” or “Missionary Kids,” “army brats” (whose parents serve abroad with the military), “diplomatic kids” (whose parents serve with the foreign service), and so on. Some prefer the title of “Global Nomad.”

Programs for TCKs

Lewis & Clark established its TCK program in 1992 with the goal of recognizing and meeting the unique needs of TCKs. Today the program celebrates the unique contributions TCKs make on our campus.  Among other things, TCK activities include:

  1. TCK Thursdays - a biweekly social gathering at various venues on campus. These usually include activities, discussions, and delicious desserts.
  2. Ethnic 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,’ ‘Volunteerism,’ and ‘Hellos and Goodbyes.’)
  4. English Conversation Partners - a program that pairs proficient English speakers with students that are striving to improve their language skills.  If you are interested in signing up, please visit the “Other Resources” page.

Contact Information

If you are a TCK and have questions about the group, please email Amy Natori, the TCK Intern in the International Students and Scholars Office.  Her email is:

Join our Facebook Group: Third Culture Kid Club Official

Follow our 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
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road
Portland, Oregon 97219-7899
TEL 503-768-7305
FAX 503-768-7301