Erik Vyhmeister explains what it means to be a Third Culture Kid, and why this matters in an increasingly connected world.
Having grown up across four continents, Erik Vyhmeister shares his experience as a Third Culture Kid both abroad and returning "home" to the United States.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
I am currently living in Vietnam, I've lived here for 6 years but I was born in Palo Alto, California. I moved to Vietnam when I was 9. My dad always told me I would graduate from my school here in Vietnam, but just recently my mom got a new job. I'm going back to the US for the summer in 12 days. In the states I have never felt settled and comfortable ever since I moved. Even crossing the street feels weird, in Vietnam there are no crosswalks. I'm 15 now and after summer break I'm moving to Hong Kong.....05/06/2016
Thank you for 11:11~. You nailed what I've been trying to say for years.29/04/2016
Another less common scenario for diplomat kids is when they go to boarding school as well. I was American, having my parents live in Africa, and going to boarding school in another country abroad. Three at once was really hard, still coming to terms with it. Even so... I want to join the foreign service. I don't know what I'd do without this kind of life. That's another problem I guess- we can't settle.24/04/2016
It never ceases to amaze me how important ones roots evidently are. It shouldn't really matter where we're 'from' but who we are and where we're going...but still, the lack of belonging can create major challenges...I'm glad I was introduced to the term TCK, I feel less alone.. and appreciative of my uniqueness though I can't seem to shake the sadness.19/03/2016
It's not just missionary kids and diplomat kids. In this global world, many families relocate for economic reasons. My parents have always had regular jobs, but by the time I was 6, I had already lived in 3 different continents.30/01/2016
Would you guys consider children born in the USA with immigrant parents from places like central america, africa, asia 3rd Culture?21/12/2015
Recently a friend told me strongly that I'm not a TCK, because I only started moving to cultures significantly different from my passport country's when I was around 13. The country I lived the longest during this period of time has been mistaken as "very similar" to my passport country's. In fact, those two are not the same at all. To be honest, I was deeply offended by my friend. There is no one kind of TCK, moreover, doesn't matter what my friend says to me, it won't change the way I feel. I just moved "back" to my passport country about 3 months ago, the struggles to fit in are getting harder in my everyday life, so much that I had to start seeing a therapist. Some TCKs are not world travelers at a very young age, but that doesn't make them less TCK. I hope people would start seeing that.18/12/2015
OH MY GOD! Finally I've lived in like 6 countries and I'm under 18. This explains my life exactlyyyy!04/12/2015
I'm so happy I found out what TCK is and means, it truly made me feel less alone. Thank you for this talk, it was very eloquently spoken. I super agree with the passport thing, and that the initial country you are born in does not feel like home.01/12/2015