Third-Culture Kids (TCKs)

Yesterday evening I attended a lecture on Third-Culture Kids (TCKs) and Cross-Cultural Kids (CCKs) given by Ruth E. Van Reken at Frankfurt International School in Oberursel, Germany.

On the left - the author, Ruth E. Van Reken.

On the left - the author, Ruth E. Van Reken.

Ms Van Reken is a second generation adult TCK and mother of 3TCKs. She speaks nationally and internationally on issues related to global family living and is also co- founder of Families in Global Transition. In addition to other writing, Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds.

Her lecture was most fascinating. I had attended it for the benefit of my own two CCK children (one being borderline TCK: born in Japan), but came out learning also more about myself.

We live in an international bubble community and most of my contacts are with other foreigners. I have spent a significant part of my developmental stage in life outside my passport country.

Ms. Van Reken pointed out in the beginning, that much of what we will hear, we already know, but after this lecture we will be able to use our knowledge more sensibly. How true her words were! I walked away realizing I have a visible role (as a German) and an invisible one (being an adult CCK myself), and I just have to find my cultural balance.

Much more can be learned from her book, co-authored by the late David C. Pollock.

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Revised Edition Amazon U.S.A.

Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds Amazon U.K.

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds Amazon Germany

Back in 2003, I had had the opportunity to also listen to David C. Pollock’s lecture when he came to Frankfurt International School to talk about about Thriving Through Transition.

Being or raising CCKs and/or TCKs is a very interesting topic – the internationally mobile child is on the move. As time goes on, there will be more of us. One of Facebook’s TCK groups lists more than 20.000 members. I’d better go and check it out – I am sure to find somebody I know.

To learn more about Ruth E. Van Reken, visit crossculturalkid.


  1. […] This year we had Ruth E. Van Reken give a speech about Third Culture Kids. She had also been a guest lecturer at the school back in October […]

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