Yes, Another Third-Culture Kid

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


There have been two instances in my life in which I felt as if I completely did not belong.

The first time was my first day at Primrose School in Cary, North Carolina, where I realized with discomfort that I could not understand a thing my peers were saying. From that point on, I worked to master the English language. By the second grade, I still understood Chinese, but my speaking had become stilted and I had given up on communicating in the language entirely as English took over my vocabulary. I watched Hannah Montana and High School Musical, and I always envied the girls who got to shop at Justice. Despite this gradual assimilation to American customs amidst the culture of my immigrant parents, it never became uncommon for classmates to inquire about my appearance or my relatives in a far-away land. There was always something about suburban America that felt foreign and unnatural to me.

The second instance in which something similar occurred was when I moved to Taiwan—my parents' country of origin—in the fifth grade. There was an initial air of unfamiliarity surrounding me at school, on the streets, and at my relatives’ houses. American society had conditioned me to unconsciously reject my first language and culture,...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1333 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9975 literature essays, 2512 sample college application essays, 474 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in