Alien Citizen – An Earth Odyssey

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Re-posting from Eclectic Global Nomad – read about Lisa’s one woman show….

By the time I was 18, I had only lived in the United States for a total of three years. When I started college in California, I experienced severe “reverse” culture shock.  At the time I had no way of understanding it or preparing for it.  Because I had grown up overseas, I had a completely different experience than American kids my age.

When I arrived for my freshman year in college, I talked about traveling around Europe, hiking up Swiss mountains, and living in Africa. My college peers talked about football games, high school proms and television shows I had never heard of.  I could not relate to them at all and they thought I was bragging about all the places I had been.  It never occurred to me they would think that; to me my life was ordinary.  To them I was like an alien landing in their dorm room and talking about visiting the rings of Saturn.

It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s, married, and living with my son and husband in Moscow, that I discovered a group called Global Nomads. Global Nomads are also called Third Culture Kids (TCK’s). The definition of a TCK is someone who grew up in countries other than their passport-country due to their parents’ jobs. I spent my whole life thinking there was something wrong with me and the founder of the group, Norma McCaig, described me in a detail nobody could have known.  McCaig felt everything I felt.  She had the same experiences I had.  I didn’t think there was another person on earth who understood how I felt.  It was truly my “ah ha” moment.

Years later I returned to the US and met Norma McCaig. Through her I learned about an organization that was just getting started called Families in Global Transition (FIGT). This organization, now 15 years old,  “promotes the positive value of the international experience, and empowers the family unit and those who serve it before, during and after international transitions.
 FIGT believes in the capacity of the expatriate and repatriate family to transition successfully, and to leverage the international experience for all of its human and global potential.” (www.figt.org)

– Continue reading at: Eclectic Global Nomad

 

NOTE:  the MIT venue has changed to a classroom: #6-120, and it’s at 7pm.