Summertime author, Tanya Crossman talks to DrieCulturen

MisunderstoodInterview with Tanya Crossman, author of Misunderstood, the impact of growing up overseas in the 21st century.

When and where did you first hear of the term “Third Culture Kid” (TCK)? How did you hear of it and in which way did it help you?

When I first started working with TCKs I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a TCK! I quickly realised there was something different about these kids due to their unique situations, but it was still two or three years before I started reading literature on the topic. David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken’s classic Third Culture Kids was eye-opening. What really struck me was the section on repatriation – I kept thinking “that’s me!” For the first time I realised my time in the US was a TCK experience. It helped me understand why it had been so hard to “go home”.

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Author: Tanya Crossman

Tanya Crossman grew up in Sydney and Canberra, Australia, and lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA for two years of high school. She had TCK friends as a child, before her own experience of life overseas, and long before hearing the phrase ‘Third Culture Kid’. She received a degree in Asian Studies from the Australian National University, and a diploma in Mandarin from Beijing Language and Culture University. She worked several bilingual jobs in China, including interning at a publishing company and Office/ HR Manager for a small textile trading company. After years of volunteering her time to mentor TCKs, Tanya left her job to work with TCKs full time. She coordinated over 35 camps and conferences for teenage TCKs in China and Cambodia, and was invited to speak to groups in China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore. After 11 years in Asia, Tanya is currently studying in Sydney. She is still passionate about advocating for TCKs, even in her passport country. She plans to return overseas in time to continue working with, and on behalf of, TCKs.