By Megan Norton – TCK Specialist, Darja Coordinator
Last month, 53 teens from over 45 countries converged in Colorado for our week long Third Culture Kid Transition Seminar camp. While the majority of the participants are U.S. missionary dependents, we also had representation from those whose parents do overseas business or are a part of the U.S. diplomatic corps.
Why We Do This Work
Global mobility research and experience show that cross-cultural and international relocation create vulnerability, identity-confusion, and chaos. Taking intentional time to reflect in transition periods with guided support and counsel leads to more positive emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well being through the cultural adjustment process. During this seminar, we empowered the teens to understand the impacts of their cross-cultural and mobile lives and to begin to adjust to the U.S. American cultural context.
The purpose of our annual TCK Transition Seminar is to creatively and constructively address the core TCK issues of transition: identity, belonging, grief and loss, relationships, and life direction. Additionally, we address specific current issues and trends in the U.S. and globally that may have a significant impact on the participants’ adjustment period.
What the Seminar Covers
The seminar is a packed week that centers on addressing and processing:
Each TCK life story
Losses and Gains
How to observe/learn U.S. American Culture
Affirmations of strengths as identified individually in the Unique Abilities assessment
RAFT – a process for leaving well
What the 2019 Participants Said about the July 2019 Seminar
We were delighted to read positive feedback from our participants’ evaluations and to learn about how we can make the seminar even better for next year’s camp. Below are some excerpts from the evaluations:
“It was a really good experience for personal growth during transition as well as bonding with other people with similar experiences as me.”
“You learn to look at America and yourself in a different lens.”
“It’s really fun to connect with other TCKs in the same phase of life and super helpful to unpack past hurts and experiences with the leaders.”
“If you are scared or nervous about moving, take this seminar. It is incredibly helpful, healing, and fun!”
“It was really cool, there were fun activities, helpful teaching, and loving encouragement.”
How can you be involved in next year’s seminars?
Interaction International has hosted a summer Transition Seminar camp every year for the past 30 years. We LOVE hearing from past participants and parents about how they have been impacted by this program. This year was special because two of our camp attendees’ parents are alumni of this program. Their parents told us that their experience attending this re-entry seminar was valuable to them in their adjustment to living in the U.S. and that they wanted this guidance for their teens as they transition to a U.S. university this year. More than 1200 Third Culture Kids have gone through our seminar and we cannot wait for next summer’s cohort.
It is because of global financial partnership that this event is sustained year-to-year. Each year, Interaction International helps offset the actual program cost by $10,000 to reduce the financial obstacle many families experience in cross-cultural transition. We invite you to consider a donation to help us to continue to deliver our caring expertise and solid content about identity, belonging, and purpose through healthy transition strategies. You can donate online through our “give” button.