blog background

Apr 25, 2019

Impressions from St. Stephen’s Students

What does it mean to be a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and how does it affect your life? Or how does it not?

“As a Third Culture Kid living in Italy, I would say it has affected my life in both positive and negative ways. For one thing, I have been able to experience being part of another world completely different from my parent’s homeland, Sri Lanka, and benefit from what it has to offer, like its lan- guage. Since Sri Lanka is still a developing country, I’m grateful to be living in Italy, where I find life much easier. A negative aspect to it, however, is that I don’t know much about my homeland, including reading and writing the lan- guage. Also, I’m not as close to my grandparents and family living here as much as I would like to (be), since I (only) get to visit them every seven years.”

“Being a TCK has changed my life because I’ve been able to select pieces of the places I’ve lived that I want to carry with me (like my favorite foods, music I listen to, and languages I’ve learned). Although it’s hard to live without an obvious home, I find that it has allowed me to truly appreciate the lifestyles that I’ve created for myself. To me being a TCK is someone who is from a lot of places and seen a lot of things. Being a TCK makes me very open-minded and it’s hard to fit in where everything else has a place.”

“You get culture shock when you go back to your native country (where you were born) because though you feel like this is ‘your country’, where you belong, etc., you feel like an outsider. However, being a TCK can be a good thing because you feel like you have a broader view of the world and your mix of cultures makes you interesting and open- minded.”

Do you think that St. Stephen’s is a mix of TCK stu- dents and others? Or is there a majority? How does this make you feel?

“When people ask me where I’m from it gets kind of com- plicated, which is annoying. There are obviously more Ital- ians at this school than any other nationality. It’s kind of weird because this is supposed to be an international school, but it IS American, but there are more Italians…”

the realities of being a third culture kid inset

“Although I have lived in Italy my whole life, I find Sri Lankan traditions quite strange, I have never felt like I didn’t belong, for all my friends are in the same situation, like most people in St. Stephen’s School, I believe. This has made me feel content about being a TCK, as everyone there is wel- coming and respectful, like any community should be.”

“I think that St. Stephen’s cannot have more open-minded students; however, there are a majority of people who are on (to) the contrary, which kind of sucks and doesn’t feel too great. The majority is American or Italian.”

“There are a lot of TCKs at SSS and I think that they are accepted but sometimes I find new people that don’t speak Italian being given a hard time by Italian-speakers for not knowing the language.”

“I think St. Stephen’s is a gentle mix of TCKs with an over- whelming majority of Italians. While I love the opportunity to explore this culture from a new perspective, sometimes I feel like an outsider looking in.”