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Written by TCKid Admin

January 17, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Refusing to Be Erased

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Refusing to Be Erased:

Acknowledging the TCK Experience

[An exploratory opinion piece by Myra Dumapias.  Opinions shared in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TCKid as an organization, or its staff and volunteers.]


Source: Used with Creative Commons license

“Erase and Rewind” by Neys Fadzil

I love great conversation.  I love stimulating intellectual discourse, and I love passionate debates that stay within the boundaries of mutual respect.  However, there are some topics that are not up for debate.

If I had a conversation with colleagues about how I made my career decisions, most likely, they would not argue with me about it.  If I spoke about my influential teachers and role models, they probably would not debate me in response.  If I described the utmost significant relationships and events that impacted my life, people probably would not challenge me about it, and it would be unthinkable to minimize my expressions of reverence about family members who have passed away.

Most people would not scoff at matters close to another person’s heart or stories out of someone’s struggles, battle scars (literal or metaphorical) and victories. Yet, for some odd reason, there still seems to be a point that some people doubt, minimize or challenge:  the Third Culture Kid (TCK) identity and/or experience.

 It is as if the cause of what many TCK’s experience as adults cannot be due to growing up as a global nomad or in a mobile family.  The cause always has to be something else…


Throughout the years, I have heard the below responses that minimize the impact of a globally or culturally mobile childhood and adolescence, the first three of which I heard before I knew the term TCK:

“Yes, but I’m talking about real childhood struggles, like about money, gangs or drugs, not just emotions.”

“Maybe you’re affected this much about (best friend) leaving because you don’t have brothers or sisters.”

“But what does moving frequently have to do with romantic relationships?”

“You sure it’s not because you’re single?”

“Oh, I always wanted to travel and you’re complaining because you travelled so much?”

“You’re just being nostalgic.”

“Isn’t it just abandonment issues?”

“But I know some military brats and they didn’t complain.”

It is as if the cause of what many TCK’s experience as adults cannot be due to growing up as a global nomad or in a mobile family.  The cause always has to be something else: being overly nostalgic, sensitive, single, sheltered, abandoned, the list goes on.  Some people cannot seem to accept that the frequent relocations or good-byes, the ever changing cross-cultural environments, the occasional separation from one or both parents, the constant pattern of leaving and making new friends, the sheer impact of multiple losses and other experiences can lead to the struggle to belong, the risk for depression (and in some cases, risk for suicide and PTSD), the existence of certain attachment issues, the itchy feet, or the sense of isolation.


 …If adult children of parents with career paths entirely different from each other, but share the commonality of global or cross cultural mobility, have found validation among one another in ways other identities or experiences do not, then it is not an imagined correlation


Of course, the effects are not only negative.  There are also the gifts that are common, such as the tendency to be able to engage in dialogue or relate with just about anyone, global consciousness, innovative thinking, sharp observational skills, the ability to adapt to different environments, insight to cultural nuances, an ability to navigate language with advanced analytical and communication skills and other talents.  However, the negative impact is something that is either underestimated or just dismissed.

It is true that global mobility or mobility through different cultures is not the only cause of these traits or experiences. Non-TCK’s can also share certain traits with TCK’s.  However, if adult children of parents with career paths entirely different from each other but share the commonality of global or cross cultural mobility have found validation among one another in ways other identities or experiences do not, then it is not an imagined correlation. It should not be dismissed.

It is also true that in the grand scheme of everything within the scope societal problems, the struggles of TCK’s do not have the same impact as the struggles of youth born into forced slavery or trafficking, for example, or major illnesses or extreme poverty.  Still, for those who are affected, it can impact many things in life.  This is why the persons who know the impact of certain experiences should be experts of these experiences, rather than someone who never experienced them.


 Some Words for My Readers:

For my readers who may have thought or uttered statements similar to the above, I am not angry with you and do not hold anything against you.  I only ask that you try to “listen” to the rest of what I have to share, letting me be the “teacher” for once.  Questions from a place of curiosity are welcome, but please not from antagonism.  I do not presume to know more than you about your life and the significance of your experiences.  In return, I respectfully ask you to see how you cannot be the expert of my life experiences nor that of thousands of people who have benefitted from discovering they were not alone in our shared experiences.  I ask this from you especially if you interact with TCK’s or provide any services specifically geared towards TCK’s (military brats, foreign-service brats, missionary kids, corporate dependents, and others who grew up globally mobile).

For my readers for whom this may be new or more in-depth knowledge, I hope this will be somewhat informative for you.  I appreciate your time in even reading this far and am grateful for any support for the TCK tribe.  If, through your further discovery of other TCK topics, you find yourself relating to this identity, welcome to the tribe!

For my readers who may fit the TCK definition, but do not necessarily relate to how global nomads have connected with one another around their TCK experiences, I am grateful to those who support us nonetheless. To those who were alongside us on our journey at some point but “got over it,” I celebrate the diverse ways different people have moved on from the initial stages of discovering the TCK identity. Continuing to work in this field as it evolves is simply my way of “getting over it”

Last but not least, for my readers who can relate to my experiences above, may the remainder of this article remind you that your voice is valuable and that you are not alone.  To the early community leaders, artists, writers, researchers, speakers, educators and supporters out there, I would not even be here discussing this were it not for the hard work you have paved the trail with, which you blazed for us.  I am deeply grateful for your sacrifices.

Written by TCKid Admin

December 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Just How Big Is the TCK Population?

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  While thFeedbacQ World Expat Population (Aug 2013)is infographic, “World Expat Population: The Numbers” from FeedbacQ’s blog (as of August 2013) may not provide definitions or clarity about the age ranges of the population studied, it does provide a way to visualize just how big the expat population may be.  “Expats” as a term is also not synonymous with “Third Culture Kids” because, among other reasons, expats are not necessarily individuals who spent their developmental years with globally mobile lifestyles.


 Nevertheless, Here are some interesting numbers about the growing tribe of expats:


– In 1960, there were only 73 million expats.  As of 2013, there are 230 million expats!

– Expats make up 3.1% of the global population.

– If all expats were to form a human chain, they would circle the earth one time. This is a distance of 40,000 km or almost 25,000 miles.

– About half, 49%, of expats are women.

– The top 5 countries that receive expat remittances are (starting from the country that receives the greatest amount): India, China, Mexico, Philippines, and Nigeria.

–  The top 5 countries with the highest share of expats in their total population are:  Qatar, the U.A.E., Kuwait, Jordan and Singapore.

– There are 6.32 million “American expats” (presumably from the USA) and 4.7 “Brits” abroad.

– One expat moves every 44 seconds.


These numbers aren’t far from another source’s.  According to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are “232 million international migrants …living in the world today.”


In Pico Iyer’s TedGlobal talk, “Where is Home” in June 2013, he refers to a growing tribe of people “living in countries not their own” numbering 220 million.  Iyer visualizes this number in the following way: “… if you took the whole population of Canada and the whole population of Australia and then the whole population of Australia again and the whole population of Canada again and doubled that number, you would still have fewer people than belong to this great floating tribe.”   Iyer also talks about “the number of us who live outside the old nation-state categories,” a population that increased by “64 million just in the last 12 years, that soon there will be more of us than there are Americans.”


These are astounding numbers indeed about a “floating tribe” who represent, in Iyer’s terms, “the fifth-largest nation on Earth.”



Written by: Myra Dumapias, MSW, TCKid CEO, Nov 2, 2014.

No portion of this article may be republished without permission by TCKid or author.  All copyrights reserved to their respective owners.

TCKid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity.  Find out more about us.

Written by TCKid Admin

November 2, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Please Be Informed

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September 4, 2014

Open letter to the community –

It is with the intention of protecting our members and the general community to report that TCKid’s name and logo has been used in a way that promotes another organization without benefit for TCKid and until recently, without our knowledge.  Whether this was out of carelessness or ill intent is still under investigation.   Please be warned to look more carefully at the domains of the websites and emails that may be interchanged with TCKid’s name and logo. TCKid’s official domain for its website and emails is

As an effort to protect individuals who may have been led to believe they were sending contributions to TCKid  through another organization in the form of sponsorship or other support, please be informed that only the Paypal links directly on or its Why Support Us page, and occasional fundraising drives (ie. on GoFundMe), announced by TCKid’s operational management stafff are the only authorized channels of donations for TCKid.  TCKid’s operational management staff are Myra Dumapias, TCKid CEO and Erin Sinogba, TCKid Executive Assistant.  TCKid has not been receiving and were not previously notified of any donations collected outside these channels donors may have been told would benefit TCKid.  TCKid’s only partners at this time are Culturs Magazine, the Global Multiculture Magazine and Cross Cultural Kid, with Ruth Van Reken.   (Please click here about TCKid’s recognized partners and history)

Please inform us at with information about any websites, email messages or other communications or sources that utilize TCKid’s name, logo or likeness asking for support or sponsorship, offering free or discounted membership to another organization, interchanging TCKid’s name with other similar but slightly different names, or requesting for your information that is not directly on a website or not from an email message with as its domain (

Please also inform us if you have been receiving emails from an individual instead of TCKid as an organization or if it seems that TCKid has been interchanged with another organization’s name.  Any changes in TCKid’s name or logo will come from TCKid’s current staff or board members, Shannon Irby, Richard Klopp, Erin Sinogba and Myra Dumapias.   Updates to authorized staff, partners, logos or other matters will be maintained here (please click here).

Please click here for information on TCKid’s recognized partners, staff, clarification on previous partnerships and other updates.


You may email me at with any information related to the above.


Thank you for your cooperation. We apologize for any distress or inconvenience this has caused. TCKid is in the process of investigating this further.  If this was not intentional, the parties involved may be wiling to resolve the issue.


Myra Dumapias, MSW

CEO of TCKid

September 4, 2014

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September 4, 2014 at 10:08 pm

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“In memory of David C. Pollock: A Man Ahead of His Time” (Guest Post from Ruth Van Reken)

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In memory of David C. Pollock

A man ahead of his time

June 9, 1939 – April 11, 2004

Written by Ruth E. Van Reken

David C PollockFor many, many adult TCKs, our “aha!” moment when we realized we had a name came as we sat in Dave Pollock’s lecture on The TCK Profile or read one of his early articles about this topic. Although Ruth Useem, sociologist from Michigan State University, coined the term Third Culture Kids in 1960, Dave was the person who translated it from an academic idea to making a difference in the lives of those who were living it.

While living in Kenya near an international school in the 1970s, Dave heard many common themes from the students he interacted with from that school. In time Dave, a master synthesizer of distilling these recurring themes into easily accessible models, created his landmark TCK Profile and one of the first models of transition which he simply called The Transition Experience.  When he  returned to the States, Dave resumed leadership of an organization called Interaction, Inc. whose purpose was to help organizations sending families overseas to care for them well. He and Paul Nelson chaired the first international conference on matters related to TCKs in October, 1984 in Manila, Philippines.

Dave traveled endlessly to schools and organizations, including the UN, trying to create awareness of this growing phenomenon occurring in our globalizing world. Initially, he faced much skepticism both at the importance of dealing with issues of transition and identity development for global families, but also the question, “But it’s not that big a deal because not that many families are involved.” But Dave saw the big picture and where the world was headed. He persisted in not only raising awareness, but offering concrete strategies for how parents and organizations could help children grow strong in the context of a cross-cultural and highly mobile childhood.

From the early 1980s, Dave set up reentry camps each summer to help repatriating TCKs learn how to successfully navigate these often rough waters so they wouldn’t be caught in the unexpected rapids which sometimes swirled around. He saw early on that issues related to internationally mobile families was a global topic, not just a Western one. Dave worked diligently to help organizations from non-Western countries develop his signature “Flow of Care” for those they sent overseas and to think through the potential cultural changes their children might experience as they attended international schools rather than local schools. By the end of his life, Dave was also focusing his attention on refugee communities, understanding that in living outside of their original cultures these children faced many of the same challenges as traditional TCKs did.

When my friends and I had the idea of organizing the first Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference in 1998, I called Dave to see if he would be willing to come and help us launch our dream. With less than eight weeks notice, he agreed and because he came, attendees came from many places to hear him and FIGT became reality. Dave was the plenary speaker for the first two conferences and did workshops for us regularly after that.

In the end, Dave literally gave his life in and for the worldwide community he served so well. In 2004, although he did not feel well, Dave embarked on what was to be one more tour through Europe, Africa, and Asia. In one of his first stops in Vienna, he went from the stage at the American School to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis from a blocked bile duct. They performed surgery that night to remove the offending gallstone but the next morning he had a cardiac arrest and died 9 days later on Easter Sunday.

The loss of such a thought-leader in our community staggered me. How would we all go on when he was such a strong, passionate, and visible advocate? Soon after I received the news that his death was imminent, however, I attended a Good Friday service and pondered in the silent darkness the great “But why?” question. “Why Dave? Why now?” And then the verse came to mind from John 12:24, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” I saw then that there were countless people all over the world in whose lives Dave had planted many seeds. Even though the one who had led and mentored so many of us was soon to be gone, all those seeds now scattered globally would take root and grow in new places. The topic had become too big for anyone person to carry alone. We all had to do our part.

And so it has been. FIGT is one of those trees that has grown from the seeds Dave Pollock planted in not only me, but in so many who have been instrumental in helping it grow. All who have ever attended or gained from this organization are in a real sense tasting the fruit from one of the trees he helped to plant in this world. It is right that on the tenth anniversary of his death, we stop and give thanks as we remember a truly great man who shared his pastoral heart with the world.  Many of us will never be the same because of him. Thank you, David Pollock. I’m sorry you aren’t here to see what so many seeds you planted have become. And thanks to you, Betty Lou, and your family for sharing him with us and today we recognize your personal loss of husband, father, and grandfather as well as our communal loss. I am grateful the FIGT Board established a David C. Pollock Scholarship Fund in his honor and memory so that his contributions remain fresh in our minds – as they should.

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April 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm

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TCKid 2013 Year in Review

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The TCK and Cross Culture Community 2013 Year in Review

by TCKid 

[The first year in review for the TCK  and Cross Cultural Community]

Since the coining of the term “third culture kids” (TCK’s), credited to Dr. Ruth Hill Useem “in the 1950s while a member of the Sociology Department at (Michigan State University),” there have been many more developments in the study of, insights on,  discussions on,  and resources for  TCK’s.  Throughout the decades, TCK’s have created a distinct voice as a community.  What was once a marginalized field of study or population identity has slowly been emerging out of the shadows with continued pioneering work.  Early pioneers include researcher Dr. Ann Baker Cottrell who worked with Dr. Ruth Useem and Families in Global Transitions co-founder Ruth Van Reken, who in addition to other publications, co-authored “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds” with the late co-author David C. Pollock.  It was through Ruth and David’s work that the definition of  “third culture kid” began to have more consistency that the rest of the world began to widely use.   The work of people like filmmaker Donna Musil and her film BRATS, which was featured on CNN, NPR and 178 countries worldwide on the Armed Forces Network Television have brought the TCK identity closer to mainstream attention.

With TCK’s described as the “prototype citizens of the future” in 1984 by Ted Ward, then a sociologist at Michigan State University, it is worth noting not only how prominent TCK’s such as US President Barack Obama, as referred to by Ruth Van Reken in a 2008 Daily Beast article, have impacted the world, but also how the field of TCK studies and the community of organizations and service providers that cater to the TCK or expat community have evolved.  As such, significant milestones have occurred with the passing of each year.


TCKid reviews some significant milestones for the cross cultural, TCK, or expat community from 2013.  Here are some of them:


TCK JT McInnis, while watching a film at a cinema, makes a connection between his teen years and the film he was watching, Argo, which won multiple awards.  JT McInnis realizes there was a part of the story the world did not know and writes about his involvement with the hostage situation in Tehran 1979 in his blog.  A central Texas television network journalist takes the opportunity to interview him in February.

(Please click here for the full KVUE interview)


Families in Global Transition (FIGT) introduces “IGNITE Sessions” in its annual conference program and in March of 2013, FIGT  offers seven engaging IGNITE Sessions.  With the concept, “enlighten us but make it quick,” the six-minute-forty-second maximum sessions are designed to generate awareness and stimulate discussion.  Check out the topics of the 2013 FIGT Conference IGNITE Sessions and be sure to register for the 2014 conference, The Global Family: Redefined!


Aga Alegria decides to expand on the stories shared in her short film, “Les Passagers” which led to the vision behind “Where is Home?,” a documentary examining the experiences of TCKs and their search for “home.”  Aga and her production team — Producer Paul Saltzman, an Emmy Award-winning film and television producer and director, and Production Assistant, Alethea Wang, also a TCK – start a successful campaign that ended in March 2013 to gain support for “Where is Home?”   Their campaign was featured in a TCKid interview with TCKid Executive Assistant Erin Sinogba .  The “Where is Home?” campaign and Aga’s work was also referred to by the International New York Times in “Where is Home for a Third Culture Kid?”

With timeless value, here is her short film again:



Paula Vexlir , a psychologist who has been counseling since 2002, launches Expat Psi, an online psychology resource for Spanish speaking expats.  Paula also embarks on the elaborate task of translating psychology and counseling resources and materials into Spanish, opening up more avenues for the TCK community, expat families and those who serve TCK’s.  Find out more about Paula’s work, which she wrote about in France-based Expatriates Magazine, and be sure to go on their Facebook page for announcements, such as a Spanish blog for expats that Paula will start in 2014!



Elizabeth (Lisa) Liang opens the Stage Left Women at Work Festival in NYC on September 24 & 25 after a successful 5-week run in May at the Asylum Lab in Hollywood, CA with Alien Citizen: an earth odyssey, a funny and poignant one-woman show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England.  Lisa, a writer and award-winning bilingual actress who has worked in theatre, television, and film for more than 25 years, including a recurring role on ” The West Wing,” co-hosts the podcast “Hapa Happy Hour” and is published in Writing Out of Limbo.



Al Jazeera streams an episode on June 5 on  “Cultural Chameleons,” pushing TCKs further into mainstream consciousness.  A TCKid Washington DC Group Leader, John Liang, a contributing author of anthology Writing Out of Limbo, shares a comment to the streaming episode  (you may still access the page, but the video is no longer viewable in certain countries).


Pico Iyer, author of “Global Soul” and other books about global travel, tackles the question challenging for all global nomads, “Where is Home?” at Ted Global on June 13.  In his Ted Talk, Pico estimates that the number of people living in countries not their own is now around 220 million. Pico Iyer also points out that this “great floating tribe” or those who “live outside the old nation-state categories is increasing so quickly, by 64 million just in the last 12 years, that soon there will more of us than Americans.  Already, we represent the fifth-largest nation on Earth.” (Please click option on video to read full transcript from Ted)

Pico Iyer was also notably FIGT’s 2013 conference welcome keynote speaker in March.



Linda A. Janssen publishes The Emotionally Resilient Expat – Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures (Summertime Publishing, July 1, 2013), which helps readers understand how the key to successful transitions and beyond “lies in emotional resilience to adapt, adjust or simply accept.  Linda combines candid personal stories from experienced expats and cross-culturals, with a wealth of practical tools, techniques and best practices from emotional, social and cultural intelligence, positive psychology, mindfulness, stress management, self-care and related areas.”  Expat Arrivals wrote a book review.


Ema Ryan Yamazaki, documentary filmmaker follows ups her earlier film “Neither Here Nor There” with “Monk by Blood,” a film about a young TCK  that juggles his many worlds as the next in line to take over his family’s 800-year-old temple.  Al Jazeera streams her new film “Monk by Blood” in July.


Alaine Handa, founder and artist director of A.H. Dance Company, brings her dancing and choreography talent to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with Habitat Project.   Alaine, TCKid Singapore’s Group Leader who was also active in the New York group, was interviewed by The Thread in November.



James R. Mitchener, speaker and author of The Illusive Home, contributes to the understanding of TCK’s by offering this illustration and definition of a TCK on his site, Third Culture Kid Life, on Sept 5.  Read the definition and other interesting topics, such as his perspective on TCK’s and relationships, the importance of having TCK’s in leadership, etc. at Third Culture Kid Life.











Erin Vignali eloquently addresses the topic of race and her experiences as a TCK, the perspective of which many TCKs can relate to. She writes on Cecilia Haynes Sept 20 blog page, Unsettled TCK, “It’s a bizarre twist of the TCK life that the racism experienced overseas will never make you feel quite as lonely as not fitting in in your supposed home country. For me, growing up as a white TCK, no matter how long I dealt with the discrimination, I always held out hope for people to see me like I see myself – no race, no accent, no nationality.”


Rahul Gandotra officially releases his Academy Award shortlisted film The Road Home on Sept 20.  Rahul invites everyone to watch his film and receive goodies by staying in touch with him, as he continues his work and starts preparing for other film projects.



Lois J. Bushong publishes what may be the first book specifically written for therapists and counselors who work with TCK’s, Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile (Mango Tree Intercultural Services, September 23, 2013). A licensed marriage and family therapist, Lois delves into this previously, unexplored world of how to effectively counsel clients raised outside of their parents’ home culture.   Expat Book Shop wrote a review of her book.


Dr. Paulette Bethel, international speaker, breakthrough coach and international adjustment expert launches the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit with Havilah Malone, TV celebrity and media spokesperson, in October.  Together, they host live interviews with  visionaries such as bestselling author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth Van Reken, Academy Award Shortlisted Director, Rahul Gandotra, renowned Etiquette Maven and International Protocol Consultant, Cynthia Lett, Tina Quick, Jo Parfitt, Julia Simens, Joseph Tomeo, Donna Musil, Byron Rodgers, Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius, Gary Loper, Dr. Katrina Burris,  and others.  On the second day of the live interview series, TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, also social work professor, discusses her vision and plans for the future direction of TCKid.  Please contact Dr. Paulette Bethelif you are interested in the full line of speakers and how to get a hold of any available replays.












TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids launches TCKid Talks: An Interview Series Featuring Movers and Shakers from the Third Culture and Cross Culture Community on October 26 with an interview with FIGT co-founder and author Ruth Van Reken and Michael Pollock, director of Daraja and son of the late author David C. Pollock.  The interview is landmark event, the first time both were ever interviewed together.  They discuss how the field was like prior to the publication of The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up Among Worlds published in 1999 and later retitled Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (as of the latest edition), as well as helpful information for both TCK’s and non-TCK’s from the book.  A few other highlights: Ruth dives into the importance of telling your story and her grief journey in her book Letters Never Sent and Michael, who will be interviewed about his work with Daraja later, discusses where we are now after the work of his father and the vision he had. You can find the full interview on



Sea Change Mentoring, founded by its CEO Ellen Mahoney, provides valuable presentations for students and parents in the Hague, Brussels and London in October.  Sea Change provides short-term guidance and professional mentors to third culture, global nomad and expat students in high school and university through evidence-based mentoring.


Quenby Wilcox, founder of Global Expats, recognizes Third Culture Adults, a term Dr.Paulette Bethel coined at a FIGT conference, as Unsung Heroes in a Huffington Post article in November. Quenby writes, “The trailing spouse of today needs to be given a voice, as well as an active role, in producing and delivering solutions to what everyone in the global mobility industry agree is their number one challenge; the adaptation and integration of the expat family.” She refers to the work of Robin Pascoe, or the Expat Expert, to refer to as a voice of spouses who follow their partners with foreign assignments, or expat homemakers.


TCKid receives its IRS letter of determination in November, grant it a 501(C)(3) public charity status. All donations to TCKid since Dec 2011 can now be claimed as tax deductible. Please email if you need a more formal receipt for your donation to TCKid. TCKid can now apply to be fiscal agent/ lead organization in collaborative projects with other organizations sharing a similar mission/vision and submit grants and applications for corporate sponsorships.  Find TCKid’s nonprofit report and upcoming programs on Guidestar!   You can still make a last minute tax-deductible donation to TCKid at our old donations page before we  update it.  All staff are voluntary, with the exception of our contracted web developer.


The Journal of Cross-Cultural Family Studies, announces its first call for papers in December.  The goals and objectives of the journal are to promote and publish research centered on cross-cultural families for the expansion of understanding and practical application.  The Journal of Cross-Cultural Family Studies, with Dr. Emily Hervey as the chief editor, is the first known academic, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to cross cultural family studies that is multi-disciplinary in nature, involving psychology & mental health, sociology & anthropology, and education & communication.  Find out more about the journal at Worldwide Writings and be sure to spread the word about their call for papers.


Written by Myra Dumapias, MSW

If you would like to send a story for TCKid’s Annual Year in Review, please send a message to

No portion of this article may be republished without permission by TCKid or author.  All copyrights reserved to their respective owners.

TCKid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and does not advertise for for-profit business purposes. Mention of any entrepreneurs and small businesses in the context of this 2013 Year in Review is for educational purposes and serves to depict TCK’s in leadership positions and relationships TCKid has with supporters that contribute to TCKid’s mission.  

Written by TCKid Admin

December 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

The Person Behind TCKid’s Organizational Development: Dr. Paulette Bethel Interviews TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

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Posted November 25, 2013

The Person Behind TCKid’s Organizational Development: Dr. Paulette Bethel Interviews TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit


TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, MSW was one of the experts interviewed by Dr. Paulette M. Bethel on October 23, 2013 for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit.

Dr. Paulette M. Bethel has brought together 28 world class authors, entrepreneurs, mentors, visionaries, and global life experts from around the globe share their insights and offer solutions for the Lost in Transition  Global Telesummit, running from Oct 22-26, Nov 11-14, and Dec 2-6.  This Telesummit includes visionaries such as bestselling author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth Van Reken, Academy Award Shortlisted Director, Rahul Gandotra, renowned Etiquette Maven and International Protocol Consultant, Cynthia Lett, Tina Quick, Jo Parfitt, Julia Simens, Joseph Tomeo, Donna Musil, Byron Rodgers, Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius, Gary Loper, Dr. Katrina Burris,  and many more.  Click here for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

The TCKid Executive Director accepted the torch of leadership from Founder Brice Royer in 2011 and has since been developing TCKid’s organizational structure and sustainability to strengthen its impact on the world’s understanding and appreciation of Third Culture Kids.  Daughter of a second generation Foreign Service Diplomat and Third Culture Adult mother born with itchy feet, her developmental years are colored with memories of walking on water in an imperial garden in Beijing, eating freshly made Roti for breakfast on Sundays in Kuala Lumpur, observing the human spirit of Romanian gypsies and revolutionaries in Bucharest, and the smell of bakeries in Hamburg.   She also lived in Korea, Philippines and Bahrain, where her son, also a TCK, spent part of his developmental years.  As a Social Work professor, she integrates global awareness into cultural competency standards.

In the interview with Dr. Bethel, Ms. Dumapias shares her personal stories and advice as a TCK, insights from the Social Work field and her vision for TCKid.  Please visit TCKid at

Click here to listen to Dr. Bethel’s interview TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, MSW –


Written by TCKid Admin

November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

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Date released:  October16, 2013

Contact:  Myra Dumapias, Executive Director, TCKid

Or Erin Sinogba, Executive Assistant, TCKid

[For radio, please note: “TCKid” is pronounced “Tee See Kid”]


TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken


(International) – TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement, will kick off its new interview series with Ruth Van Reken, co-author with the late Dave C. Pollock of international bestseller Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds.

The interview will be broadcast live on on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 1500 GMT (10am CDT).  Audience of the live broadcast will have the chance to submit questions on our community forum until Oct. 22, or during the Question and Answer session of the interview.  Not all questions will be selected but may be combined under a general theme. A recording of the broadcast will remain on TCKid’s page.

[Please click here to submit questions before Oct 22 and please look out for an option to submit questions to the right of the screen during the live broadcast]

Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds has remained one of the main resources of knowledge and help for TCK’s and the cross cultural population.  “Third Culture Kid was the first book I read and immediately I felt validated. So much of what I’ve experienced since I graduated from my last international school to try and try but failed to fit in as another Filipino-American all of a sudden found the missing piece of the puzzle,” says Myra Dumapias, MSW,  TCKid Executive Director who accepted the torch of leadership when Founder Brice Royer searched for a leader who could continue the legacy he created.

“Through conversations I’ve had with countless TCKid members and staff and our discussion boards, I know this book has helped so many other people on that interpersonal level. And professionally, the book also provides substantial information that can be used as a resource for social workers, school counselors and mental health practitioners, as well as other professions,” added Myra, has a background in social work, research and teaching.

Both Ruth*and Myra, who grew up as a daughter of a second generation foreign service diplomat, grew up in five countries, moved a dozen times and attended three high schools before graduating from high school, are part of a global telesummit featuring 28 interview series (Ruth will be interviewed on Oct 22, and Myra will be interviewed on Oct 23) with International Speaker, former USAF Officer, Breakthrough Coach and Transition Expert, Dr. Paulette M. Bethel (Please click here to register for this free global telesummit ASAP).

TCKid will be featuring four types of guests in its series of interviews: 1) Education: authors, researchers, lecturers, etc. 2) Art: filmmakers, visual artists, musicians, performance artists,  3) Leadership: TCK’s/CCK’s in leadership positions, and 4) History: TCK’s /CCK’s who were somehow involved in a historical event.

At this time, TCKid is open to working with corporate sponsors and partners who have a heart for this community interested in expanding its international network.  TCKid is also in need of more volunteers interested in gaining experience in public relations, grant writing, marketing, social networking, community development, special events planning,  fundraising, media and just having fun meeting diverse people around the world.  Please click here more information on how corporations and businesses, how organizations, and how individuals interesting in volunteering can be involved, or email with any specific questions you have.


*More about the author –

RuthVan Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second generation third culture kid (TCK)* and raised her three daughters in Liberia. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and author ofLetters Never Sent, her personal journaling written as she sought to understand the long-term impact of her cross-cultural childhood. For nearly thirty years Ruth has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles. Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons.She is co-founder and past chairperson of the annual Families in Global Transition conference. In addition to her two books, she has writtena chapter in Strangers at Home, Unrooted Childhoods, and Writing Out of Limbo  plus various other writings.

Written by TCKid Admin

October 18, 2013 at 11:34 pm

(Book revision) Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.

with 31 comments

by Ruth E. Van Reken

Greetings to all,

Just to let you know that the Third Culture Kid book revision is now available. Please note a tiny title change too, just so you can make sure to find it. It used to be Third Culture Kids: The Experiences of Growing Up Among Worlds. Now it is simply “Third Culture Kids: Growing UP Among Worlds, revised edition.” (no “the experience of”..)

You can order the book here on Amazon.

third culture kids book revised

So what’s the same? What is different or new in the new edition?

What’s the same is the original book is still there…the explanatory chapters at the beginning, the TCK Profile, the “how to help” chapters at the end. Hopefully they are only better and strengthened with lessons learned in the last ten years.

What’s new? Besides updating various facts and figures, acknowledging the arrival of Facebook, Skype, and other changes in our world since the first edition, we have added a chapter on Cross-cultural kids–a larger overarching category to which we belong with others who also grow up cross-culturally. Hopefully this enlargement will give us new ways to look at how lessons learned in our experience also relate to many others…and also to acknowledge the growing complexity of many TCKs stories… We feature Brice’s story as one of our examples!

Each chapter after the first 3 ends with “Lessons from the TCK Petri Dish”…the place where we examine new ways to use and apply our story to other CCKs in today’s world.

And then, the last appendix, Appendix B, is an article by Momo Kano Podolsky, writing about her research into the Japanese experience of TCKs. I hope this will begin to bring to light a huge amount of research most of us don’t know about because most is written in Japanese. But it’s great to begin seeing work done in many lands and places begin to come together.

So just want you know the revision is out and what the updates are, even without messing up the parts that I hope had helped at least some of you find language for your own story.

May you find new joy in your journey each day…

Ruth E. Van Reken

Questions? Comments? Please leave a comment below this blog.

UPDATE: October 16thThank you ALL for your responses..I’m trying to write each of you back but never sure how all of this works (Brice knows I’m internet challenged!) But what gratifies me most is how quickly you are enthusiastic for the expanding ways to see and use our many facteted stories in the larger context of how the world is becoming..and I do want to say one word to Michael. One great hope I have in doing this update is to honor the vision my co-author, Dave Pollock, already had for other types of CCKs in the first edition..we just didn’t have the language yet…but as you more than well know since you have known him longer than any of us…his work with refugees and non-Western TCKs for many years before his death as well as traditional TCKs was the seed bed for so many ideas here. My last letter to him was saying it was time to update the book as we had talked about before, but I never received a reply before his untimely death. I want to publicly honor your father here as the one who gave me my “Aha” moment more than twenty five years ago and has led the way for so many of us personally and with what is on this website now. He was a great, great man and it will always have been my honor to know him and work with him on the original TCK project and hopefully carry his vision on a bit more in this edition.

Written by Ruth Van Reken

October 12, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

(News) Third Culture Kids Organizing Pledge

with 17 comments

On September 5th, 2009, TCKID has been under attack from hackers. We have temporarily shut down the community to protect members security. It may not be back up and there’s a possibility that the content may not be retrieved.

October 12th Update: Pledge success! A couple of weeks ago, we challenged you to identify supporters to save your TCKID community. The goal of the Organizing Pledge isn’t just to save TCKID which has recently been attacked by hackers, but it was an effort to identify and mobilize advocates for your Third Culture Kid community.

Over 300 have signed the pledge. You can read their comments and find out what’s next here.

How will it affect your community? Why is it urgent?

The webmaster said it was very complicated to fix it and the backups have been lost. The attack that was made on WordPress and it has affected some large websites. WordPress is being used by governments, nonprofits and corporations. Read the News of this attack on The Guardian.

How long will it take to bring it back? It may not be brought back exactly the same it used to be. Assuming that we can do it, it would more than a week. We are organizing a pledge to identify supporters by September 25th before moving forward so you can decide what to do.

The cost of inaction and band-aid solutions is great. Every day, hundreds of people depend on the TCK community for emotional support, outreach, research and much more.

“Hi there, It upsets me so much to learn that TCKid’s currently under attack. TCKid has truly been one of my biggest emotional supports. And I can only be too grateful to every single individual in the community. – Amanda”

But we’ll need resources to make your ideas become real – to pay for part-time webmaster, keep training volunteers, organize online TCK chats and more local event, and the best technology available to empower volunteers and make sure your voices are heard.

Now it’s up to YOU to decide how the community should move forward.

What to do next?

Can you chip in $1 or more to save TCKID to beat this attack?

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TCKID has been attacked, but we don’t want to leave you without support! Donate now and get a free chat event with our members.

We will organize a chat event so you can get support. Even though the site is down we still want to help, because we don’t want to leave you alone. So you can join the chat and still get support from members.

tck chat

Why support the TCK community? Who is part of this community?

“I just wanted you to know that I am so happy that TCKid sponsored these chats in January. I have met a lot of wonderful people, and learned from them. I am really grateful to be a part of this community.” – Annette

When I lived in Texas, I struggled to fit in, no matter how hard I tried… then I actually met a TCK here in the TCKID chatroom. We exchanged emails, and eventually got on Skype … and now we’re best friends. This community really changed my life, this is why I got involved to help. – Scott”

I see this attack as a wake up call, to get more involved and to start a new way, shaping the community the way we like it to be. – Yu Yu Din

From Daniela Tudor, Brice Royer, Paul, Michelle Kim, Yu Yu Din & members of the TCK community.


Voting and showing your support is just the first step. It’s up to you to build and organize support for the TCK community.

Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to vote and get involved.

Email friends and family

Share on Facebook

Written by TCKid Admin

September 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized