TCK Resources - Books
The Third Culture Teen by Jiwon Lee, published in July 2020. Currently available for $0.99 on Kindle; we hope to obtain a copy in the Office of International Students and Scholars soon.
I’m from … Earth? by Carissa Gobble, published in February 2020. Available for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Third Culture Kids: A Gift to Care For by Ulrika Ernvik, published in May 2019. This book contains TCK stories, advice for TCKs and parents of TCKs, and activities to delve deeper into your TCK identity.
The Means That Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg, published in July 2019. This novel depicts the struggle of returning to one’s passport country, a place that everyone says is “home.”
The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition by Tina Quick, published in June 2010. This book is recommended for all new incoming TCKs at Lewis & Clark College. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Notes from a Traveling Childhood, Readings for Internationally Mobile Parents and Children by Karen McCluskey, published by the Foreign Service Youth Foundation in 1994. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Military Brats, Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress by Mary Edwards Wertsch, published by Aletheia Publications in 1996. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Strangers At Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming “Home” to a Strange Land by Carolyn D. Smith, Editor, published by Altheia Publications in 1996. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up Among Worlds by David Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken, published by Intercultural Press, Inc. in 1999. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Waking Up American: Coming of Age Biculturally by Angela Jane Fountas, published by Seal Press in 2005. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global a collection of works, edited by Faith Eidse and Nina Sichel. Published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing in association with Intercultural Press in 2004. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
The Expert Expatriate: Your Guide to Successful Relocation Abroad. Moving, Living, Thriving by Melissa Brayer Hess and Patricia Linderman. Published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing in 2002. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali. Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2004. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Hidden Immigrants: Legacies of Growing Up Abroad by Linda Bell. Published by Cross Cultural Publications, Inc. in 1997. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
No Such Country: Essays toward Home, by Elmar Lueth. Published by the University of Iowa Press in 2002. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
Educating Citizens for Global Awareness edited by Nel Noddings. Published by Teachers College Press of Columbia University in 2005. A copy is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars.
More listings of Books for TCKs and their Families.
Following are notes from a “brainstorming” session conducted by Norma McCaig at a TCK workshop held at Lewis & Clark. Students were asked to list some of the benefits and hardships of growing up as TCKs. Four catagories were considered: Education and Language, World View & Cultural Identity, Relationships & Family, and Mobility & Leave-taking.
Education & Language
- college papers and class discussions are easier because of our rich experiences.
- easier to learn languages
- risk of losing your own language
- comfortable with hearing other languages and accents
- difficult to understand American TV talk
- languages are important in our education
- different schools - international, American, religious - all add to our experiences
- different language usage (non-American slang)
- uncomfortable with casual American approach, i.e. calling professors “Bob” and “Judy”
- Being a TCK is a learning experience in itself in terms of culture and heritage.
- TCKs have an opportunity to learn a language in a short time
World View and Cultural Identity
- have a broader view of the world
- learn to appreciate diversity
- hard to filter out different cultures and become who you are
- create their own identity that may be difficult for others to understand and appreciate
- understanding American culture, i.e. TV, shopping, movies, music, is WIERD!
- Hard to connect the different cultural experiences (who we are essentially) to our friends - others can’t relate or understand unless they’ve been there too.
- Having a world vision is mind-opening
- the world is smaller and more simple for us to travel and experience
- TCKs aren’t afraid of trying new things out
- Cultural identity is adaptable to anything thrown at them
- always an outsider
- ambiguous loyalties/ identity - being able to speak different languages allows you to switch back and forth and allows a different identity to come to the surface.
Relationships and Family
- not many long-lasting relationships and friendships, yet relationship between TCKs become very valuable as a result of common experiences
- easier to make friends with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and languages
- families living apart can lead to stronger or weaker ties
- parent(s) traveling a lot
- it is not uncommon for TCKs to marry inter-culturally
- multicultural issues within the family arise, i.e. religion, language
- As a result of intercultural marriages, parents are left in a dilemma as to which culture their children should adopt.
- Friendship circle sometimes small, just a best friend or fewer friends because of the desire for closeness - but TCKs adjust!
- don’t know how to progress in relationships beyond a certain point
- relationships can be long-distance, but they can work!
- some TCKs are very close to their family because it provides the only fixed connection. On the other hand, moving around and insecurity can cause a lot of strain for a family.
- often feel isolated from people and sometimes even family
- making friends with Americans is intimidating
Mobility and Leave-taking
- abrupt endings seem natural
- quick adjustments
- restlessness; desire to move on
- ability to take social initiatives
- ability to pick up new customs and imitate mannerisms
- regarded as
- afraid of making good friend(s)
- not too attached to belongings
- everything seems so temporary
- “Rootlessness” - no traditional sense of ”˜home’
- when we move, it’s quick!
- we get tired of saying good-byes, they don’t feel final
Ideas for Future Activities/Events for TCKs
- be a cultural interpreter for incoming TCKs
- design peer orientation
- film festival
- career night
- collaborate and take an active part in the International Fair
- presentation of papers
- work with study abroad
- be a language buddy