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Third Culture Kids and their Families: Transitioning to life in Qatar

The transition to a new country and school can be challenging for children, especially if it is their first international move. NAISAK has students from 40 nationalities, and staff from 20 different countries. Our staff are experienced in working with students from different cultural and language backgrounds, and many have also spent a number of years living and working away from their home countries.

There are some excellent resources available online which offer advice to families who move internationally. Whether this is your first international move, or you are a seasoned veteran, it can be helpful for you and your family to be aware of the benefits and challenges of international mobility.

The term ‘Third Culture Kid’ (TCK), first coined by Ruth Hill Useem in the 1950s, refers to

...a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kid’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background, other TCKs.

It can be helpful for children, especially older children, to be aware of and identify with their unique situation as TCKs, especially as they prepare to go to college or university, often overseas. It’s also important for parents to understand how the experience of growing up abroad can influence a TCK’s sense of identity.

There are some useful resources about Third Culture Kids and crossing cultures listed below, which may be useful for you and your family as you transition to your new life in Qatar.

There are also a number of links below which you may find of help as you settle into life in Qatar. Please also feel free to ask any of the staff at NAISAK or our Admissions Team if you need any suggestions for how or where to find what you are looking for. We’re always happy to help!

Rachel Nolan
Director, Admissions and Marketing

 

Doha and Qatar

Qatar Expat Women’s group on Facebook

Marhaba - Qatar’s Premier Information Guide

Time Out Doha

Doha Mums and Doha Family

Accuweather Doha

 

Resources for Third Culture Kids and their families

TCKWorld

Denizen

Pollock, D. C., & Van Reken, R. E. (©2009). Third Culture Kids: Growing up among worlds (rev. ed.). Boston: Nicholas Brealey Pub.

Storti, C. (2001). The Art of Crossing Cultures (2nd ed.). Yarmouth, Me.: Intercultural Press.

Eidse, F., & Sichel, N. (2004). Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of growing up global. Yarmouth, Me.: Intercultural Press.

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