A long way from home

Since globalisation has opened up possibilities for international residence, the number of Third Culture Kids have grown and so has awareness of the challenges facing them.

They have often missed out on a national pastime here, a popular television show there or entire pieces of a shared culture that they never grew to know. They have a high degree of cultural adaptability and skill, but the flip side is an inability to answer that most basic of questions: Where are you from?

Whether you’re concerned about your child growing up far away from home, or you are adjusting to life back in the Netherlands after spending years abroad, a good spot to find useful resources from those who share your experience is the internet. You can find tools that help both children and adults maximize their experiences as Third Culture Kids, and cope with the challenges.

The global network

The Foreign Service Youth Foundation offers virtual link-ups to clubs and volunteer opportunities, as well as a great list of books, websites and articles on how to cope with the lifestyle of a 'Global Nomad'.

A few blogs and networks worth following:

Third Culture Kids, the book

Not specifically about the Netherlands, Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds (David Pollock & Ruth E. Van Reken) examines both the psychological challenges and benefits of a child's upbringing without a definable homeland to call their own. Issues of identity, adaptability, cross cultural enrichment and more can weigh heavily on a child's development.

For more information visit Cross Cultural Kids.