Author: Steph Yiu

Rahm Emanuel: Absurd residency laws hit close to home

Is Rahm Emanuel a resident of Chicago? Well, he was born in Chicago, grew up in Chicago, was educated in Chicago and represented Chicago in Congress for three terms. Yet he’s not ‘Chicago’ enough to run for Mayor? The Illinois courts seem to think so. Because Emanuel did not physically reside in Chicago for the last 12 months, they disqualified him from this year’s mayoral race. This absurd story runs parallel to many Third Culture Kid tales we hear on Denizen. My story is not unique: raised with American friends, educated in American schools, attended American university, yet cannot live or work in America without struggle because I was born on foreign soil. Trying to put hard and fast rules to the terms “residency” or “citizenship” hurts everyone. Chicagoans lose the chance to vote for the frontrunner — Emanuel had 44 percent support according to polls, and $12 million in the bank. The American workforce loses talented, international, college-educated Third Culture Kids who are not given a fair chance at success. These TCKs who look, …

New Denizen Project: A Self-Portrait Photo Blog

Denizen365 is a daily self-portrait photo blog brought to you by Denizen, a magazine for Third Culture Kids. At Denizen365, we ask Third Culture Kids to visually express, through self-portraits, “Where are you from?” As you will see, no two global nomads are the same, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. We hope to visually explore the profiles of 365 TCKs, while connecting this community of travelers across the world. Check out the site, or submit your photo here. Don’t forget to join our community on Facebook and Twitter.

TCK links: WikiLeaks founder a global nomad

I started Denizen in 2008 because no one was documenting the modern Third Culture Kid experience, even though the number of global nomads was steadily rising. I believe this is changing. This bimonthly column will round up news and links about Third Culture Kids. If you see relevant articles or blog posts in your travels across the web, please drop me a note at steph@denizenmag.com. 1. Julian Assange: Global nomad sheds born identity With no permanent address and having moved 37 times by the time he was 14, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the ultimate global nomad: both everywhere, online and connected, and nowhere, all at once. Author Brigid Delaney discusses how the old rules of nation states are struggling to deal with a nomads of a borderless, digital world. [Sydney Morning Herald] 2. NYTimes blog post features expat kid “We were well-designed for espionage,” Mary H.K. Choi says about expat kids living in Hong Kong. In her post on The New York Times’ Opinionator blog, Choi illustrates the parallels between the expat social circles of Hong Kong and …

A little Denizen wordle

When I started Denizen, I never expected the amount of emails I would receive from readers who had been touched by the site. A lot of people email just to share their stories, which is interesting and fantastic. Tonight I exported a bunch of those emails into Wordle (see a sample of those emails here). Here’s the result… All I can say is thank you, so very much, for reading Denizen and for sharing your kind emails.

Research update: female minority expatriates

When Kendra Mirasol and Charisse Kosova of IOR Global Services noticed more minority women going abroad, they wondered if minority status made expat assignment easier. Since good expat research is hard to come by, they decided to conduct their own investigation. The focus: female minority women going abroad for business. A study can’t get much more specific than that, which meant preliminary research included only 25 respondents, 13 of whom went through extensive interviews. When they presented their findings at the Families in Global Transition conference in March, the numerical data was unsurprising:  “Is the overseas assignment a developmental part of your career plan?” 83 percent said yes. “Did any of the company’s preparation focus on female minority issues?” 89 percent said no. Instead, the most interesting results from their research came from the anecdotes collected through extended interviews. Here are some quotes from female minority expats that Kendra and Charisse presented: “People assumed I was Filipino and had married my husband because I was his maid. It fit their sense of order.” “Initially [the …

Faces at FIGT – Kira: “I always tell my story.”

Kira Miller Fabregat, 24, was one of the first Third Culture Kids I spoke to here at the Families in Global Transitions Conference in Houston. A daughter of an Argentine diplomat, she recently graduated with a law degree from the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, and has lived in Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Australia, Trinidad & Tobago and France. What do you say when someone asks you where are you from? My answer is: my family is Argentinean, my mother is from Chile, I was born in Venezuela, my passport says I’m Argentinean. I always tell my story. Why? Because telling the story is showing a part of the person who I am. … If you don’t know I’ve lived everywhere, then it means that you don’t know me at all. You don’t understand me. So I always tell my story. I tell it short, but I tell it. Why are you here at the FIGT conference? I have skills and resources within me that I don’t even know. So I’m here to try to take them …

Faces at FIGT – Deniz: “Make TCKs known to French people too”

Deniz Gyger Gaspoz, 33, is a PhD researcher at the Institute of Psychology and Education at University of Neuchatel. She’s picked a pretty specific course of study: French-speaking, teen Third Culture Kids. During a brief chat at the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference, I picked her brain on what she had discovered so far. Deniz, a daughter of Swiss diplomats, speaks French fluently and has lived in Iran, France, Germany, Switzerland, Senegal and India. What do you say when someone asks you, “Where are you from?” If I’m here in Houston, I can say without a problem “Switzerland.” I’ve lived there for more than 8 years. But if Swiss people ask me where I am from, I will have difficulties to answer. I’ll say “Geneva” because I lived there and my family is there. Then sometimes I say Neuchatel [Switzerland] because I study in Neuchatel and I used to live there. And sometimes I say Biel [Switzerland] because I’m living there with my husband. Why does your research focus on French-speaking teenagers? I found …