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. 

TCK logo

Approximately 140 Third Culture Kids study at Lewis & Clark College each year. In this term, the “Third Culture” commonly refers to the combination of the expatriate culture in which the student often lives, the culture of their passport country, and the culture of their host country.

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 Global Nomad.

A few examples of Lewis & Clark TCKs include 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.

Programs for TCKs

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 Thursdays: 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’ and ‘Hellos and Goodbyes.’)
  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 Kiana Teh, the TCK Intern 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