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Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds Paperback – March 26, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (March 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857882954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857882957
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. R. Bates on May 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. It should be read by everyone who is living and working overseas, away from their home environment, especially those who have their children with them. Succinctly, with erudition, and with an easy-to-read style it examines and explains the problems experienced by a person who spends, or has spent, a significant part of his or her development years outside their parents' home culture. It contains much practical advice on how to deal with these problems. The term third culture was coined in the 1950s by Drs John and Ruth Useem, when they made a study of Americans who lived in India as foreign service officers, missionaries, technical aid workers, and business representatives. It was realised that there were expatriates from other countries who were undergoing similar experiences even though from different origins, styles and social stratification systems. There was a shared common lifestyle that was different from either their own or their host culture. The book is a result of much research that the authors have undertaken since that time into the effects of this third culture on the children of overseas serving ex-pats. However, the experiences so neatly described pertain not only to what they call third culture kids (TCKs) but also to adult TCKs. Furthermore, the wisdom and advice displayed in this delightfully readable book is also fully appropriate for those working and living overseas without children. It makes it clear why so many people who do a spell overseas get "bitten by the bug," and are drawn back to the place where they did their tour, often permanently. An overseas duty can be an emotionally exciting experience, but it can also be and emotionally disturbing one. This book explains why this is so, as well as explaining how the disturbances can be dealt with.
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Format: Paperback
My husband and I have been international educators since 1988 and both of our daughters were born overseas. As parents who intend to remain abroad throughout our children's educational career we have found this book to offer valuable advice as well as points to ponder. However, the authors do us a favor in not romanticizing the prospect of raising children abroad. Indeed, perhaps the most beneficial information can be found by paying heed to the potential pitfalls outlined that may impact the uninformed.
Additionally, through reading this book our professional observations gained while teaching in four countries on three different continents have been taken on greater significance. The insight the authors share regarding issues hitherto acknowledged have contributed to a better understanding of the challenges that our students face as second- and third-generation Third Culture Kids (TCKs).
I highly recommend this book for all parents and teachers living abroad as well as TCKs who are wondering if their capacities as `cultural chameleons' means that there is something wrong with them.
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Format: Paperback
After growing up overseas (in Saudi Arabia) for all of my early childhood memories and then leaving abrubtly (in 1986)as a freshman in college... it was devastating to try to figure out what was going on with me! It was bizarre because I looked American, sounded American, ACTED American, but I felt so different and I definetly saw the world through different eyes. I felt so out of step and just couldn't quite get a grip. At the time there wasn't much information out and a friend contacted me a few years later with a few articles put together by this author and eventually Mr. Pollock wrote this book. When I first read it I swear it was a turning point for me. It felt like a total "lightbulb" moment! It all made sense finally and it was as if it freed me up to realize who I really was. (It probably sounds hokey, but ... it's true.) I am actually married now and strangely enough living back in Saudi Arabia where I have been doing Third Culture Kid seminars for the parents of TCKs. I think the most important thing that parents can understand about TCKs is that when they tell their kids they are moving back "home" - they need to realize that for a child that's grown up overseas.... they are LEAVING the only home they have ever known sometimes. 10 years to an adult might be nothing, but to a child who moved overseas at 4.... it is a lifetime of memories and friends.

I can not say enough about this book. It explains so much and any parent who is living overseas and raising children should be required to read this book before making a big move. (In some more severe cases, it could even be a literal life saver.)

If you have a child who has grown up overseas and seems to be floundering... isn't sure why they aren't making friends, is depressed but can't explain why... this book might be the best place to start. Like another reviewer said "it's really cheap therapy!"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a Third Culture Kid and I found this book helpfull in understanding who I am 40 years later. (I found the TCK phrase awkward but could think of none better.)
I also think this would be of use to people whose childhood was similar to the TCK's. Especially children who had little stability while growing up. Divorce, parential deaths, and especially children shunted off to boarding schools.
Many boarding schools provide a fairly good life and a substitute family, but when it's over, it's over. and then who am I?
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