University of Oulu

Adult third culture kids and their intercultural learning and competence

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Author: Liwen, Jiang1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Liwen, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-06-06
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Jokikokko, Katri
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Pesonen, Jaana
Due to globalization, there are more and more families are bringing their children abroad due to different reasons (Cockburn 2002, 475–476). Third culture kids (TCKs) have gradually become well known to people and the society. The aim of this research is to discuss TCKs’ intercultural learning and competence during their significant years of development and what this experience means to them in terms of their educational and career choices. This is a qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews collected from six adult third culture kids (ATCKs). The theoretical framework lies under the study of intercultural learning and competence. Intercultural learning as transformative learning and informal learning are discussed and different models of intercultural competence are also presented in the theoretical framework. Narrative research has been chosen for the methodological approach of this study. The main findings of this research show that the intercultural learning and competence of ATCKs was characterized by the following three themes: Constructing different values and worldviews by living abroad; having no fear to new things and learning from feeling uncomfortable; and the increased ability to build social relationships and learning from others. Regarding the educational choices, the ATCKs I interviewed tended to continue their studies in their passport countries which they were more familiar with. However, their career choices were affected by a desire to learn more from living abroad. The findings of this study may be beneficial for teachers, parents, TCKs and many others who are interested in TCKs intercultural learning and competence.
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