The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition

What are some of the common challenges TCKs run into while making this transition?

Answer

Besides feeling different, TCKs have other common challenges when they make the double transition to college/university. It is a double transition because they are not only making an adjustment to a new life stage as an independent adult, but to a new culture as well. Even if it is their home culture, it will be foreign to them in many respects.

They may have grown up abroad answering the “Where are you from?” question by stating the country stamped on the front of their passport. But when they get back “home” they may feel anything but that nationality. They may feel more like an international. Pollock and Van Reken refer to them in their book, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds as ‘hidden immigrants.’ They may look and sound like their home country peers but they don’t think or act like them. This can be very uncomfortable because when you look and sound like the dominant surrounding culture there are certain assumptions and expectations made about you. This can be very uncomfortable. They may hold a domestic passport but feel more like an international student would feel. They really have a foot in both worlds.

Also, many times a global nomad has been lived in places where house help is an expected part of expatriate living and he has never had to wash his own clothes, cook his own meals, shop for himself or perform other activities of daily living. He may never have had the opportunity to work a part-time job and learn the responsibility that comes with it. He may have lived in places where it wasn’t feasible to have a bank account and learn how to manage money. In some places in the world, adolescents cannot drive until they are age 18. So the TCK may show up at college with very little knowledge about how to get on with life. The learning curve is very steep at a time when he is also trying to adjust to a new culture. My advice to parents is to be sure to teach your student these important life skills before they leave home. Start one or two years before they graduate secondary school. It is never too early to teach children the value of money and how to use it wisely.

Search result for 'not belonging' in The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition

"...fault of their own, global nomads often know more about other places, peoples, cultures and languages than they do their own passport country. This can lead to cultural imbalance, identity issues, and being misunderstood by home-country peers which can then lead to the feeling of not fitting in or not belonging which I talk about in detail in Chapter 5. ..."

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"... feel different from others who have not lived abroad as children, and especially from those who have had no international experience. - not belonging - In all the discussions, interviews and forums when I have asked TCKs what issues they struggled with at college or university, the issue ..."
"...In all the discussions, interviews and forums when I have asked TCKs what issues they struggled with at college or university, the issue of not fitting in/not belonging is what immediately surfaces. Global nomads feel different from their peers and therefore, aren’t quite sure where they fit or belong. They know they aren’t really American, British, German, or whatever their home country is, but they can’t really call themselves a foreign national even though they may feel ..."

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

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