Dear IslandCA Community, Buongiorno, Konnichiwa, 你好!
It is such a pleasure to be writing the IslandCA Newsletter, whilst Debbie is away at camp with the Year 6 and 7 students. As this is my first newsletter, I thought I would share with you something that is close to my heart, and probably, to many of your hearts also! ―Being a Third Culture Child‖ or in my case a ―Third Culture Adult.
As many of you know I am English and I was born in England. However, by the time I had reached 18, my family and I had lived in six places in four countries, I also attended international schools between the ages of four and nine, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Q: What is a ‘third culture kid’?
A: Someone who grows up in a country or countries other than their own, as are many of the students at IslandCA.
Q: What is the difference between a ‘third culture kid’ and someone who isn’t?
A: Third Culture Kids are usually very comfortable meeting new people, moving to new places and they are often quite knowledgeable about the world. However as ―third culture kids‖ get older, they may find it more difficult to develop and keep meaningful friendships, as deep down they may be afraid of losing their friends. They may also find it hard to live in one place for a long time as they may become restless. They may feel ―different‖ to others around them, when they are not in an international or expatriate setting.
Q: How can parents help when their children are growing up?
A: It is important that the ―third culture kid‖ knows where they come from and that they have a connection with the place(s). For example, when I was growing up in the Middle East, we visited the same place in England every summer where we had a small bungalow. It is also good to talk to your children about being a ―third culture kid‖, and lastly, it is good to help and encourage your children to keep in touch with good friends by writing letters, sending emails or even Skyping.
Q: What about moving back home?
A: This can be challenging. It is important to try and keep up to date a little with local media, as this will help your children settle in more easily when they return home. I remember feeling left out of many conversations about children‖s television, as well as dressing and speaking differently.
Q: Have there been any books written about ‘third culture kids’?
A: Yes! ―Third Culture Kid‖ by David C Pollock and Ruth E Van Reken, ―Raising Global Nomads‖ by Robin Pascoe, ―Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child‖ by Julia Simens.
On another note, it is only two more days to IslandCA‖s yearly Christmas Fair, and I am very much looking forward to seeing many of you there.
Wishing you all a wonderful few weeks as we build up to this busy but very special time of the year.
God Bless You,
Charlie Owen, Vice Principal