Third Culture Kids Student Fellowship

About us

The purpose of this club is to offer a place of fellowship and support to MKs, TCKs and others who have spent their developmental years in multiple cultures. The MK/TCK Student Fellowship would provide a safe environment for students to process their experiences of interacting with the broader society and to share openly about the benefits and difficulties of adjusting to U.S. society from a multicultural background.

EMU: A Great Fit for “Third Culture Kids”

“So, where are you from?” Third Culture Kids (also sometimes known as Missionary Kids or MKs) don’t always know how to answer that common question on college campuses. That’s because Third Culture Kids (TCKs) have spent time immersed in another culture while growing up (usually in another country).

Sometimes feel they fit into two or more cultures; sometimes they don’t feel like they quite fit anywhere. Often, however, TCKs find they have much in common with other TCKs, even if they grew up on opposite sides of the world. They share a “third culture” – a sort of international fellowship of people who may simultaneously feel at home in, and lost in, their “passport country” and wherever else they’ve lived.

Thrive at EMU

EMU’s diverse student body and emphasis on cross-cultural learning help create an atmosphere in which TCKs can thrive rather than feel like outsiders. More than a dozen TCKs are enrolled in EMU traditional undergraduate programs, and an active TCK club gathers regularly for fun, friendship and support.

Additionally, nearly 20 faculty and staff are TCKs who spent time growing up in about 20 countries on six different continents. (If there’s a shortcoming in the name, it’s the “kid” part; once a TCK, always a TCK!). Read more about pyschology professor Kim Brenneman, a TCK herself, and her research project on cross-cultural adjustment, assisted by TCK pyschology major Cela Hoefle.

Finally, EMU doesn’t just welcome TCKs; it wants them on campus, thanks to the ways they broaden horizons and enrich everyone around them.

Want to know more?

Contact TCK faculty advisers: Jim Leaman and Lori Leaman.

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