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It's Never Easy to Leave

Third Culture Kid on the Front Page

A major newspaper recently ran an article entitled "Caught Between Cultures." The article discussed many of the issues that Foreign Service brats deal with, such as moving back to the United States for college and figuring out exactly where you are from. The article accurately depicted the story of a typical American teenager living overseas.

The main subject of the article was a 17-year-old girl who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The daughter of missionaries, she has lived everywhere from Turkey to Britain to Kyrgyzstan. Yet, like so many of us, her imminent return to the United States will be the most difficult move to prepare for. She's not sure what kind of kids she will relate to, and she doesn't know what to say when asked where she's from. Other Third Culture Kids (TCK), as they are dubbed in this article, talked about keeping friendships from all the places they've lived, fitting in with other kids their age, and dealing with ignorant Americans' questions. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

The article then went on to discuss the growing numbers of TCKs. More and more American corporations are going international, sending employees, with their children overseas. There are the usual missionary, government, and military brats, as well. The article also discussed the fact that many TCKs are not Americans, telling the story of a Brazilian who had just returned home from living in Miami. It further touched on what is being done to ease the homecoming process and what parents can do.

It's great to see that TCKs are finally getting some attention. Generally, Americans have little idea what it's like to move here from overseas, and the article did a good job of expressing this kind of anxiety.


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