Cross-Cultural Transition Experiences of Southeast Asian Third Culture Kids


The purpose of this study was to determine the cultural identity of sojourner Southeast Asian Third Culture Kids (TCKs) studying in Philippine private universities through the exploration of their cultural transition experiences. In doing this, Pollock and Van Reken’s Third Culture Kid Identity Model and Kim’s Cross-Cultural Adaptation Theory were applied. A phenomenological research design was utilized in answering the specific research questions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and written narratives were collected from 20 TCK respondents, between ages 18-27, who migrated to the Philippines and stayed for at least 1 year. The respondents came from 4 different countries in Southeast Asia. Research data were analyzed using framework analysis approach (via Nvivo14). This study found that TCKs developed hidden immigrant identity and mirror identity, and experienced cultural integration, as revealed in the acculturation style they practiced during their cultural transition. Transition difficulties encountered by the TCKs revolved around and affected their personal, social, and academic functioning, and life satisfaction. This study aimed to contribute to the development of a deeper understanding on how sojourner Southeast Asian TCKs in the Philippines experience cultural transition, which would help address their cultural transition issues and concerns through the formulation of the basis for developing a cultural program. Based on the study findings, it is recommended that a needs- and contexts-based cultural program that is anchored on the lived experiences (real-life experiences), as shared by the TCKs in this study, be made.

Author Information
Emmerson Yang, Centro Escolar University, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Learning Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon