A “third culture kid” (TCK for short) is a term for someone raised in a culture outside their parents’ culture for a significant part of their life. Being a third culture kid generally means that you move around a lot, that you can swear in several languages, and that you have a special love-hate relationship with airports.
Even though both advantages and disadvantages to being a TCK exist, there is no doubt that being a TCK helps you with the transition to college. Keep reading for six qualities that third culture kids have that help them transition to university.
Because our friends come from all over the world, we are much less likely to be prejudiced. We tolerate and accept differences of race, religion, and so on. This comes in handy at university where we interact with people from many different walks of life.
Being around so many different people and moving around from place to place means we have a natural affinity for curiosity and exploration. We’re always looking to explore new places and understand different cultures and people. We are very likely to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Our curious nature inspires us to look for new experiences, which is what university is all about.
Living with diverse groups of people in so many different places worldwide means that we are open to experience and difference. We maintain and expand our worldviews and become more inclusive and open-minded global citizens in the process. Once again, this approach is welcomed on university campuses considering most campuses preach open-mindedness.
4. Capacity to Adapt
Because we have to adapt to new behavioral norms in every country we move to, we become accepting of different perspectives and become cultural chameleons, meaning that we adapt easily to new situations.
5. Cultural and Global Awareness
We know so much about different cultures and countries, and this knowledge comes in handy at university because we already know so much more about the world in general than many others do. Our exposure to a wide array of countries and people allows us to see the world a certain way.
Because we are so used to change, we often become much more flexible than our non-TCK counterparts. This is advantageous in a university setting because we are constantly meeting new people and making new friends means. At university, we have to be flexible and willing to make sacrifices and compromises.