Many students in China are foreign students who are referred to as third culture kids. (Photo : Getty Images)
In a global age where people are citizens of the world, children who are born in a different country than their parents' place of origin are called third culture kids.
One of these third culture kids is Kristy, who grew up in mainland China and is now studying at Hong Kong University. She said that adjusting to the life in Hong Kong is not easy because of the big cultural difference.
She said, "Unlike Hong Kong, schools in China value discipline and respect for teachers. I am still afraid to express my opinions and challenge teachers."
Discrimination was the issue for a student named Yelim, who is a Korean but has studied in China for the most of her life. She speaks fluent Chinese and translates for her parents.
"I had to translate for my mother in public places, but people never took me seriously because I was a child," she said.
The Korean student added, "Whether I am in Korea or China, people always treat me as a foreigner."
These accounts of third-world kids resonate in other parts of the world. Blandine West is a young woman who is half English, half French and was born in Singapore. She is now living in Thailand.
She said that for a third culture kid, the hardest question to answer is, "Where are you from?"
In an article that West wrote for The Guardian, she noted, "The concept of the home doesn't mean the same thing, even filling out your home address on official documents makes you uneasy . . . you end up feeling that you can fit in nowhere and everywhere."
West also said that young people like her who have lived in different countries would naturally be fluent in at least two languages and usually mix them in one sentence.