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You are here: Home Life in Blogs & photos Expat kids: Who are they?
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06/05/2013Expat kids: Who are they?

Expat kids: Who are they? A discussion on the impact of expatriation on children, and the rising generation of children with hybrid cultural identities. [Contributed by HSBC Expat]

A privileged child, educated in an international boarding school and guarded away from any local life – this is how many people imagine expatriate children. Does this age-old stereotype of expat kids still stand? We take a look...

International living provides great opportunities for the younger generation who, from their wider cultural exposure, are likely to grow up to become tolerant, engaged and intelligent adults. HSBC Expat's 2012 Expat Explorer Survey found that Canada and Australia ranked highest for providing the most active lifestyle for children.

Offspring of expatriate parents are often termed ‘third culture kids' (TCKs). The term third culture kid was first coined by sociologist Ruth Hill Useem when she spent a year researching expatriates in India in the 1950s. She found that children who had moved from their birth place to live in the culture of another had developed a third culture of their own; transcending the culture of their country of origin and their new country.

Expat kids: Who are they?
With more people becoming international professionals, an increasing number of children are spending their formative years across cultures. Not only are the numbers increasing but debate is sparked about whether the term ‘third culture' is actually sufficient. As children move across time zones and geographies born outside of both parents countries of origin perhaps they start to see the world as their home.

Whilst some experts have found that TCKs can experience a loss of identity and suffer from the constant upheaval of a life well-travelled, most ATCKs (adult third culture kids) argue that they have grown up with a more complete world view and a greater understanding and appreciation of different cultures. The nomadic quality of ATCKs enable them to transcend traditional cultural barriers of race and class and become true world citizens, and we think that this is truly something to be celebrated.

Expats have the opportunity to be part of the Expat Explorer Survey 2013, the world's largest global survey of its kind, which encourages expats from across the globe to share their experiences of living and working abroad to create a comprehensive database of expatriate life and show how it differs from country to country.

For more information and last year's results, read 'Have your say in the largest worldwide Expat Survey'.


HSBC Expat / Expatica

This blog is authored by Expat Explorer and brought to you by HSBC Expat. Tell us what you think about expat lifestyle by taking part in our Expat Explorer Survey 2013.


 The Expat Explorer Survey opens 1 May and will close on 31 May.

Click here to take part and have your say!



Photo credit: fotologic

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