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Author Topic: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids  (Read 4973 times)

Pashley

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Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« on: May 29, 2011, 07:07:46 AM »
Obama and several of his team are "TCKs"

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-11-26/obamas-third-culture-team/#

It loads really slow for me, but there's actually a site specifically for those kids:
http://tckid.com/
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?

zero

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 09:39:48 PM »
I think that third-culture kids are much more common in certain regions than others. In Hong Kong, probably pretty common. In mainland China, not so much, because not many foreigners are willing to raise their kids in China. Just my impression. There is certainly a contingent of foreign families in the major cities, but they seem to be those on expat packages who stay only two or three years. Among teachers, people seem to head straight home as soon as their kids turn school age or at least before the start of junior high/middle school. I don't hear about many foreigners raising kids from start to finish in mainland China. But I'm not in China. What are you guys (and gals) seeing?

radiojedi

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 05:53:45 AM »
Yeah we're leaving China, much in part due to the lack of options for our son.  He's only just over one and I already feel he can't be a normal kid here.  We've already got connections with other families in Thailand after a 2 week visit, which is where we are moving.  We've never been able to connect to any Chinese families so our son is pretty starved for hanging out with other kids. 

zero

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 02:56:13 PM »
Curious, in what way have you not been able to connect with Chinese families? I am surprised that people aren't eager to have their kids hang out with your kids. The Chinese have their faults, but I have never perceived standoffishness to be one of them the way I hear about in some other countries (like Germany, maybe?)

radiojedi

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 01:57:46 PM »
Curious, in what way have you not been able to connect with Chinese families? I am surprised that people aren't eager to have their kids hang out with your kids. The Chinese have their faults, but I have never perceived standoffishness to be one of them the way I hear about in some other countries (like Germany, maybe?)

I think the majority of the problem is they tend to treat Levi like an "object" rather than another person, so when he's looking to connect with other kids, it gets short circuited.  Case in point?  Today at the zoo, we were with a friend and just doing normal things like eating and hanging out watching shows or looking at the animals.  Levi was treated like he was just another part of the zoo, something to ogle at and try to take photos of, even when it was clearly, rudely interrupting things like...  us walking, etc.  As an adult on my own, I've made Chinese friends (but none of them have kids, really).  The Chinese I know are warm and friendly people.  So I don't think it's a matter of standoffishness.  Perhaps it's a case of they just don't know what to do with the foreign kid that would  result in a normal situation?  Since  new adults  we are just meeting (with or without kids) interact with him ALWAYS in this manner where he is treated as something to amuse or entertain them, it makes it hard.

The Local Dialect

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 12:39:13 AM »
I'll second what rj said, and my kids are half Chinese.

There's a lot of "go speak English to the foreign kid" pressure from the parents too, which makes their children reluctant to even approach our children because of course no one likes to be put on the spot. And the ridiculous thing is my kids don't even really speak English, Chinese is far and away their first language.

Standoffishness isn't the problem it is if anything it is that they (the Chinese kids and especially the parents) are overly conscious of the fact that the kids are different. Kids really don't like having their differences pointed out and made into an issue. RJ's kid is too young to really understand what is going on but my son will be 4 this year and he is definitely starting to get it and doesn't appreciate the attention.

As for 3rd culture kids, I only really know half-Chinese half-foreign families who have stayed in China for the long haul, but those aren't 3rd culture kids, they're 2nd culture kids. Expat kids here in China do tend to be of the expat package variety, staying here for 2-3 years and then their parents are on to the next post -- France or Dubai or Vietnam. Of the 2nd culture kids I know one in particular grew up here, attended the public school system here (in Kunming) and now is in his first year of university in the States (attending his father's alma mater). He's really struggling because although his spoken English is reasonably fluent his writing skills are really lacking. I don't know if they had it to do over if they'd have stayed in China or not -- they're the directors of a study abroad program for American college students and both very happy with their jobs -- but I think for my family we'll be moving to the States at some point in part so we can avoid putting our kids in Chinese public schools.

Papillon

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 02:24:00 AM »
Interesting article Pashley. Thanks for posting.

@Local Dialect; If u don't want to send ur kid to a Chinese school (which I totally agree with) have u looked into the international school option? Don't be put off by the ridiculous schools fees they quote. The prices they quote are just when the company picks up the tab. Go talk to any of the international schools and with a bit of wrangling u can get a scholarship or even get the fee completely waived. This is easier in 2/3/4 tier cities.
Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.  W.C. Fields
Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it. Nietzsche

The Local Dialect

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 11:37:10 AM »
Papillon, I'm definitely wary of the international school fees. Right now I'm working at a certain school precisely so that my kids can get free tuition (which costs 9000rmb a month for the class my son is in, totally out of my budget ... and this is just kindergarten!).

Once he hits 1st grade if we're still in China I'll definitely try what you suggest. We're in Beijing though and while I've heard of scholarships I get the impression they're not that common. I wouldn't mind paying something for my child's education, but the 100k+ rmb a year that is the standard in Beijing is just totally out of the question. We still have 3 years to figure it out though!

Arnold J. Rimmer

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 11:35:44 AM »
but I think for my family we'll be moving to the States at some point in part so we can avoid putting our kids in Chinese public schools.

I don't want to pry, but I just wondered... what would you fall back on in the States, work-wise? Surely a stint in China is just a 'black hole' in your employment history?

I was thinking about this recently.

Please just tell me to get lost if I'm being too nosy  kkkkkkkkkk ahahahahah

The Local Dialect

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 02:20:27 PM »
but I think for my family we'll be moving to the States at some point in part so we can avoid putting our kids in Chinese public schools.

I don't want to pry, but I just wondered... what would you fall back on in the States, work-wise? Surely a stint in China is just a 'black hole' in your employment history?

I was thinking about this recently.

Please just tell me to get lost if I'm being too nosy  kkkkkkkkkk ahahahahah

No fall-back job, I'm a teacher here and I'll be a teacher when I return I'm afraid! If I can find a job that is. I'm getting certified to teach history. Right now I just need to go back and do a summer's worth of practice teaching and then I'll be bonafide.

I originally majored in Asian Studies at college and I speak Chinese fairly well, so I might see if I can do something with that but I'm not holding my breath.

Arnold J. Rimmer

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Re: Article on "third culture kids", i.e,e expat kids
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 10:53:00 AM »
but I think for my family we'll be moving to the States at some point in part so we can avoid putting our kids in Chinese public schools.

I don't want to pry, but I just wondered... what would you fall back on in the States, work-wise? Surely a stint in China is just a 'black hole' in your employment history?

I was thinking about this recently.

Please just tell me to get lost if I'm being too nosy  kkkkkkkkkk ahahahahah

No fall-back job, I'm a teacher here and I'll be a teacher when I return I'm afraid! If I can find a job that is. I'm getting certified to teach history. Right now I just need to go back and do a summer's worth of practice teaching and then I'll be bonafide.

I originally majored in Asian Studies at college and I speak Chinese fairly well, so I might see if I can do something with that but I'm not holding my breath.

Right, that's great that you have a plan  bfbfbfbfbf