Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Early Childhood Education (B.S.Ed.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Meca Williams-Johnson


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore experiences that influence the identity development among Third Culture Kids (TCKs). TCKs in this study are individuals that spend part of their developmental years in a county other than the parents’ home country requiring travel overseas. Participants in the research were adults ranging in age from 19-22 attending college in the United States. Data was collected through individual interviews. Themes emerged after developing codes and analyzing the transcripts with codes. Emerging themes reveal TCK’s tremendous struggle within awareness of difference, struggle to fit in and struggle to belong. Teachers and peers assist TCKs in finding a place or level of comfort in the difference within their educational experiences. As well, teachers are helpful in dealing with the frequent transitions of TCKs. This study benefits instructors who work with students from transitory backgrounds and overseas experiences.