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Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  760 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Third Culture Kids speaks to the challenges and rewards of a multicultural childhood; the joy of discovery and heartbreaking loss, its effect on maturing and personal identity, and the difficulty in transitioning home.
Paperback, 333 pages
Published March 26th 2001 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing (first published 1999)
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Third Culture Kids by David C. PollockThe Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition by Tina L. QuickBringing Up Bebe by Pamela DruckermanA Place in the World by Cinda Crabbe MacKinnonThe Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
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1st out of 58 books — 11 voters
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Community Reviews

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Gives a good overview of what a TCK is, traits that define them/challenges they face and how they can be handled/overcome. It's not just for TCK's themselves, but parents of such people, those who want to know about TCK's and sponsoring companies.

I started this book several times, and read snippets. One time I started it for a paper, I ended up crying because I could relate to a lot of it, and it made me feel lonely. This time I got through it, I still ended up crying during several parts of it,
Wow. I finally get myself. A good read, although a bit repetitive and oddly organized at times. Still, a must read for anyone who has dragged their kids halfway around the world (or across the country) to live in a foreign culture or who has been dragged at some point.
Mar 29, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Judy by: Jody Conibear tangredi
Don't fit into your little white upper class suburb that everyone thinks is totally happening? Identify with a culture that is not your own? Need to get out of town every week? Keep wondering where you will go next? Not making friends because one day you might move on?

If you have lived overseas and immersed yourself in a culture as a child, chances are you are still carrying baggage from those adventures. Sit down, rest, read and you will discover yourself in these pages.
Rob and Liz
This is a book that has been on my "to-read" list for several years and I finally read it during our vacation to Zanzibar.

Third Culture Kids (TCK) is a must-read for parents, extended-family and supporters of kids who grow up in foreign countries or cultures in my opinion. The basic premise of the book is that kids who grow up in a different country (like our kids!) end up learning from both home and host cultures and yet never fully becoming part of either one. TCKs and Adults TCKs (ATCKs) hav
A startling book that was a complete eye-opener, helping me realise that I’m an adult third culture kid (ATCK), through and through. If you’ve ever struggled to answer the question ‘Where is Home?’ or felt internally exhausted at the size of your answer: ‘Umm, well, I’m an American citizen but I grew up in Uganda and studied in Singapore, but now I work in England...’ etc. then this book is for you. It explains how TCKs deal (or haven’t dealt) with unresolved grief from hidden losses that they’v ...more
Kiki Marriott
If you need a comfy sofa, 15 minutes, a stiff drink and an indulgent listener to give justice to the question "Where are you from?", then this is the book for you! Also for people raising cross-cultural children. Highly recommended!
Great book, it really helped me understand the mind set of my own kids.
I borrowed this book a few months ago to help create my personal project. Although I didn't actually read through it until recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is full of content that I can personally relate to. If you attend an international school, chances are you will also relate to this. This is great for adults who work with kids living abroad to get a glimpse of what life is like. What a great feeling it is to read something that explains so many of my experiences to me. An ...more
Joel Simon
Jan 27, 2008 Joel Simon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All expatriates
Shelves: self-improvement
This is a great book for expats. Although it is focused on children of expats (hence the title), it actually has many good points for the parents, or even adults who don't have kids as I found many of the issues relevant whether or not you encountered them as a kid or not. The writing style is straightforward and easy to understand and I found myself nodding in agreement through almost every story or revelation. The anecdotes that included from other people's actual experiences enrich the book g ...more
Linda A Janssen
This is the seminal book on cross-cultural kids (and for cross-cultural living, for that matter), and for good reason. It should be required reading for anyone who ever has lived or is living abroad, loves someone who did/does or aspires to do so themselves. Pollock and Van Reken explain not only the benefits and positives coming out of such intercultural experiences, but also the challenges and difficulties that can cause emotional pain. Filled with the stories of many different TCKs (some now ...more
Mirna Santos
Expats you talk to usually focus on the pros on spending time abroad with their families, a "golden time, full of opportunities and new experiences" for their children, but we are not very aware of the cons. This is a must-to-read book for parents or for youngsters or young adults who have spent time in a host culture, different from their own, or who are about to start a first time living away from 'home'. What struck me most was the sense of grieve and loss that we all would experience at cert ...more
Such an interesting subject for all us expats who either spent our childhood and/or youth in different countries or/and are now raising children in a country that isn't "ours".

Unfortunately the writing is quite dull and awfully repetitive so I couldn't bring myself to finish the book but we had a very lively, fun discussion at book club (all of us TCA or raising TCK) anyway.
I prefer the term 'global nomads' to 'third culture kids', but the odd phrasing does not take away from how great the book is. I picked it up thinking there won't be much new I'll learn, but I might as well read it. I was very wrong. Being a 'global nomad' myself, this book brought in a completely different perspective to my life and helped me see events in my own life in a different light. Well researched, well written, captivating and educational. A must read for anyone in a cross-cultural mar ...more
I was referred to this book by my friend's master's thesis, and was duly impressed. This is an interesting topic to me as many friends of mine have grown up overseas or are in the process of beginning careers working overseas with government, NGOs, or missions organizations.

I think this book is a great resource for anyone involved in any way with people raising families within multiple cultures. I'm interested to see if there is any research on the similarities and differences between growing u
Athan Tolis
Poetry this ain't. It's written in the style of self-help literature and it goes on and on.

But I had one "aha" moment after the other as I was reading it.

It describes precisely how I felt as a five-year-old with inadequate English at the American Community School in Athens: because I was uncomfortable with my language skills I ended up befriending the other marginalized kids. When my mom volunteered to be a "tour guide for a day" the only two suspended kids in the whole class were in my group of
Ryan Greer
A comprehensive look at the life of those who live between worlds. This book never gets old for me, even as I revisit it as an adult. It's a great read for anyone who has or continues to struggle with their own identity as a third culture kid, as well as their loved ones.

If you're going to raise a family overseas, or want to understand someone who has been a part of that, I highly recommend this book.
Apr 17, 2011 Borna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has lived outside of their home country while growing up
Recommended to Borna by: A friend with a similar background as myself
Shelves: sociology
In short I loved this book because it showed me what I was feeling and why. I have been feeling lost for a long time since returning back to my home country and I didn't know why. A friend recommended this book and after reading it I found out what and why I was feeling the way I was.
It also helped me ease the transition of returning home and integrating into a mono cultural society.
If you live overseas for any period of time with children, you need to read this book. I see so many people doing their kids a huge disservice by not recognizing the impact living overseas has and will have on their kids. I think it can be a wonderful experience for kids if you are aware of the issues, and this book clearly states what they are.
A decent read, with some good insights for expats with kids. Looks like I read the 2001 edition...will have to have a look at the 2009 new edition which hopefully has some 21st century insights and new research...
Oct 14, 2008 Natalia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who have lived in multiple cultures growing up
Recommended to Natalia by: Rachel Winer
Through this book, which I read for a course I audited, I learned that I belong to a unique group of people studied by sociologists: Third Culture Kids. It helped me understand myself better.
A great, informative read for expat families. Maybe a bit too technical with stats and studies to hold my interest...but overall gives good insight into what my kids are experiencing.
Jan 08, 2008 Mandy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: International Teachers
This book is critical for anyone working with children in the international community. It lays out a good mix of theoretical and practical information.
So affirming to have words put to one's experiences. I love to tell new friends, "You think I'm weird? Read this book and you'll understand why."
A good book to help one relate to their childhood experiences, especially if you spent your life moving around the world growing up.
May 13, 2009 Crissie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Crissie by: Pat Martin
Great book - so good to have this for the next generations. Explains a lot about me! Now I just have to process all this!
Joan Newcomb
Great book! Really opens ones eyes to the unique attributes of people who've grown up in multiple cultures.
A must read for any third culture kid or those raising them.
This was a really great handbook for anyone who had spent any significant time overseas. Even if you don't think you clarify as a TCK the international community is full of them. This book lays out clearly the advantages and disadvantages of growing up overseas and some of the underlying causes for the unique worldview this provides. As a ATCK (adult third culture kid) I found the book helpful in verbalise much of my own experiences, but I think it's strength is in educating parents of TCK's and ...more
Robert Guerrera
A fantastic look into the bouncing transient world of international families. I have moved my family twice overseas and found this book to give some excellent information and insight on the effects of children with international moves. As an international teacher, father, and husband, I can now feel more equipped at understanding my children's needs ans well as my international students' needs in a fast paced, Third Culture world. I recommend it to anyone who is planning or has already moved aro ...more

I sat with my host mom in the car on our way to pick up my host sister and cousin from their extra lesson, when she brought up the topic of this book. Third Culture Kids. Children who have been raised in cultures different than theirs and their struggles with readjusting to their home culture, host culture, family life, everything.
This book basically describes my oldest host brother in a nutshell. He spent most of his defining years in Cairo at an international school with peers like him and th
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
MK & TCK Book Club: Chapter 19: It's Never Too Late 19 27 Oct 05, 2015 02:28PM  
MK & TCK Book Club: Final Giveaway Alert! Win a TCK book! 4 31 Aug 31, 2015 09:37AM  
MK & TCK Book Club: Chapter 12: Unresolved Grief 58 56 Aug 27, 2015 07:48PM  
MK & TCK Book Club: Chapter 16: Enjoying the Journey 10 28 Aug 26, 2015 06:34AM  
MK & TCK Book Club: * Welcome! Get started here: 14 87 Aug 21, 2015 08:23PM  
MK & TCK Book Club: Chapter 15: Meeting Educational Needs 36 33 Aug 15, 2015 05:51AM  
MK & TCK Book Club: Chapter 17: Coming "Home": Reentry 22 24 Aug 15, 2015 05:13AM  
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“When we think of the word culture, obvious representations such as how to dress, eat, speak, and act like those around us come to mind. But learning culture is more than learning conformity to external patterns of behavior. Culture is also a system of shared concepts, beliefs, and values. It is the framework from which we interpret and make sense of life and the world around us.” 0 likes
“Anthropologist Gary Weaver suggested looking at culture as a kind of iceberg: one portion is clearly visible above the surface of the water, while the much larger chunk of ice is hidden below. The part above the water can be considered surface culture––what we can physically see or hear, including behavior, words, customs, language, and traditions. Underneath the water, invisible to all, is the deep culture. This place includes our beliefs, values, assumptions, worldview, and thought processes.” 0 likes
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