mmmforeword Foreword - The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition
The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition


This is a preview to the Foreword from the book The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition by Tina L. Quick.
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In the more than twenty-five years I have worked with Third Culture Kids (TCKs) – children who grow up in cultures outside their parents “home” or passport culture(s) – and the adult TCKs (ATCKs) they become, I have heard one major recurrent theme: among the many transitions and relocations of their lives, the most difficult one for most is when they repatriate long term to the country which their passport declares as home but in which they may not have lived for much or all of their childhood. While expecting to go “home,” they soon find that living a global lifestyle has shaped their thinking and outlook in ways that are different from their peers or educators who have lived in more traditional upbringings. The common greeting – “So where are you from?” – seems almost impossible to answer succinctly. Often TCKs soon realize there are cultural cues others assume “everyone knows” but they have no idea what they are.

Frequently, this repatriation, or re-entry time, is coupled with another major life transition experience – leaving home to begin university. While this time of being launched into early adulthood is an exciting period because of the promise of all that is ahead, combining these two major life events can also add unexpected stress as well. The unwritten rules and cultural expectations of this new environment are hard to operate by when you don’t know what they are. Parents who grew up in this land may assume you already know these things because they do and forget to spell them out clearly.

And so, whether you are a TCK returning to your passport culture, a TCK facing the added stress of entering one more cultural world because you have chosen a university outside your passport culture, or even an international student who is also making a cross-cultural move while beginning university, this book is written for you, not about you. Tina has faced this situation in her own TCK experience and as she has raised her children in a global lifestyle. She knows the simple, practical steps needed by all who are changing cultural worlds and beginning university as they navigate these sometimes wavy waters with clarity and strength. I invite you to read this book knowing that it is written because she believes in the countless gifts a cross-cultural experience offers and wants to see you use those gifts well, and grow from the challenges in the process.

As one who also grew up as a TCK, I, wish you all the best as you begin this wonderful journey into your university experience. Like most of you, I would not trade my experience for anything and I look forward to seeing you not only survive but thrive and this is one tool that can help you do that.

Ruth E. Van Reken, Adult TCK
Co-author Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (rev.)
Co-founder Families in Global Transition

"This book is filled with superb materials to help global nomads stay the course during their transition to university. Tina..."

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