What is a TCK?

“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture(s). Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background. ”

— David C. Pollock, developer of the TCK Profile.

The above is the ‘official’ definition of what a TCK or Third Culture Kid is. In essence they are people who have grown up among worlds. Like many before me, the apparent contradictions became part of my ‘normal’ and I learnt to feel at home in-between worlds.


I am a local. I am a foreigner.

I am familiar. I am a stranger.

I belong everywhere. I belong nowhere.

I am home. Home is also far away.

I am an outsider. I am one of the gang.

I stand out. I also fit right in.

My passport is from one country. I live in another.

I have friends all over the world. Someone is always too far away.

I have tales of distant places. I’m always learning local traditions.

I speak several languages. I am bound to mix them together.

I am the one who always travelled abroad for the holidays. Those who welcomed me always thought I was coming “home”.

Many cities have adopted me. I have adopted several cultures.

Whenever I’m somewhere I’m missing somewhere else.

There are more of us than you may realise. Together we finally feel we’re where we belong.