Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Help: Another Third Culture Kid is Going to University/College!

This afternoon at 4 pm Dutch time there will be a TCKchat on twitter and the theme is advice for third culture kids going to university information can be found here. So while thinking on this topic I remembered a recent article I have read. It's on the experiences of third culture kids transitioning to university life in Australia. The article was published in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations and is written bij Lauren Purnell and Elizabeth Hoban. The lead researcher Purnell is an adult TCK who spent 14 years of her upbringing living in Botswanna, Vietnam and Nepal before moving to Australia after graduating from high school overseas.
When studying in Holland: you need a bike! Photo DrieCulturen
culture kids on going to university or college. These TCKchats (#TCKchat) are held every first and third Wednesday of the month.

During the research 12 in-depth interviews were held with Australian TCKs aged 18-27 years who had spent 3-18 years living abroad and had lived in Australia for 7 months to 9 years.

4 Themes emerged from the data and a TCK Transition into University Model was developed. This model included 4 Stages:
  1. Preparedness prior to transition
  2. Initial experience during transition (initial 6 months in passport country)
  3. Adjustment during transition (6 months to 2 yrs)
  4. Stabilization (2 yrs and beyond)
The key findings included participants who received preparation from their school and family prior to moving, had practical support in Australia and engaged in Australian social networks and university life experienced improved emotional health and made way for a positive transition.

My short conclusion is:
  1. Families and schools should prepare TCKs for the transition
  2. Parents should make sure there are friends or family available for practical help 
  3. TCKs should try and get involved in university life or other social activities.


  1. Thanks for spreading the word! Sea Change Mentoring and Bate Consulting are SO happy with the way #TCKchat is going and look forward to delving into more great topics!

    1. Hi Ellen, thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words. I am having a bit of a sabbatical on my blog but I have not let the topic go....I am hoping to do some research on TCKs in 2015, writing a reserach proposal at the moment. Keep up the good work at Sea Change Mentoring, interested to hear your stories, and keep up the #TCKchat, a good initiative.