What is a Third Culture Kid (TCK)?
Coined in the 1950s, the term “third culture kid” or “TCK” describes “children who accompany their parents into another society.” These children include students at international schools, children of diplomats, “military brats,” and children of missionaries.
TCKs are different. Sociologists David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken described the TCK phenomenon, noting that the “TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” Having grown up exposed to many nationalities, they tend to be multilingual and multicultural, and have more in common with one another than they do with non-TCKs from their passport country.
No matter how long they live in a country, they do not assume that nationality; instead they move further and further into the role of TCK and find that as they grow older they no longer have a simple answer when asked “Where are you from?”
John Cabot University, an American university located in the heart of Rome, Italy, is the perfect fit for third culture kids. Offering an American education, an international student community, and a location in one of the most historically and culturally famous cities in the world, global nomads would feel in their element at John Cabot.
John Cabot has 1000 students from over 60 countries: including many third culture kids who don’t claim a single nationality. Students from all over the world interact not only in the classroom but also socially, creating life-lasting bonds. With such an international atmosphere, TCKs finally find their element: an American environment in the heart of Rome with classmates who are also global citizens.
As a third culture kid who grew up in Ethiopia with an Italian mother and an American father, I am passionate about creating a home for the world’s third culture kids at John Cabot University.
Danette Anderson, MBA
Director of Marketing and Enrollment Manager
John Cabot University
Tel: 1-855-JCU ROMA