TCKs of Asia was formed in August 2019 by a small group of adult 'Third Culture Kids' and expats who had met at the Families in Global Transition Conference in Bangkok in April of that year.
We had a shared passion of wanting to draw out the hidden voices among TCKs. We also discovered a strong desire and need among educators, counselors, and others who work with TCKs to understand the growing number of Asian students (who may or may not have grown up moving around) who they serve in their international schools and elsewhere.
What began as casual online meet-ups initiated by Isabelle Min to stay in touch after the conference quickly turned into brainstorming sessions for a public online forum. We agreed that we wanted to share our connection and insights with others. In August 2019, we launched our first online public forum with the support of Dr Ruth Van Reken as a guest speaker and advisor.
We deliberately chose the name ‘TCKs of Asia’ © — rather than ‘Asian TCKs’ or ‘TCKs in Asia’ — because neither ethnicity nor geography defines the boundaries of our conversations. Our aim, as our lead founder Isabelle Min says, is to reach those whose ‘heart-land’ is in Asia.
CEO and Founder of Transition Catalyst Korea (TCK) Institute, Founder of TCK Network & Founder of the FIGT Korea Affiliate. Isabelle is one of the first generation of Koreans who grew up abroad (in six countries) before permanently settling in Seoul. She speaks five languages and currently combines her multicultural upbringing with her 30-year experience as a public broadcaster, adjunct professor, and intercultural trainer to coach and empower individuals and teams through their transitions. (한국어, English, Italiano, Português)
Co-Founder of the FIGT Japan Affiliate & a university lecturer in Tokyo. Aiko holds an MA in TESOL from Teachers College Columbia University and a secondary school teaching license for teaching English in Japan. As a child, Aiko enrolled in seven elementary schools in Japan and the USA. Since returning to Japan, she has taught English to returnee students for over ten years. Her life goal is to empower TCKs in Japan through education. (English, 日本語 )
English scholarly editor who loves clear, plain English. Ema is an ATCK who grew up between Tokyo and the US East Coast. Now in Bangkok, she and her German-Thai spouse are raising three cross-cultural, multilingual children. Ema holds a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and worked at the UN. She sings, sporadically blogs at Cross Cultural Family and 理解不能の日常, and edits the FIGT blog. (English, 日本語, plus "survival" Deutsch, ภาษาไทย, Español)
Anthropologist & author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School, which is based on her doctoral dissertation (here's a teaser). Danau holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia. She is of mixed heritage and grew up in several countries. When asked, 'Where are you from?' Danau cheats and tells them where her parents are from: 'My dad is Chinese Indonesian and my mom is Japanese'. (English, 日本語, Bahasa Indonesia, 中文). Twitter @danautanu, IG @growingupintransit
Intercultural trainer, leadership coach & Founder of Think Impact. Born in Vietnam, Karen's family moved among a few Asian countries on average every four years before moving to the US. Her nomadic genes brought Karen back to Asia in 2007. She lived in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Cambodia training Chinese cross-cultural workers in cross-cultural leadership & communication, international team-building, and intercultural conflict management. Karen is now pursuing a doctoral degree in member care while continuing her work (English, 中文)
Founder & CEO of TCK Workshop. Saeko is a Japanese entrepreneur and TCK working in education. While attending Harvard Business School as a Fulbright scholar, she founded TCK Workshop — a multilingual tutoring company that has been supporting over 700 TCKs thrive. Saeko was also a TEDx Fulbright Speaker for The Traumatizing Gift: A Global Childhood and Co-Founder of the FIGT Japan Affiliate. (English, 日本語)
Graduate student at the Asien-Afrika-Institut, University of Hamburg. Ardi's current research interest is in postcolonial queer Southeast Asian studies. Ardi grew up in the South Pacific and Asia in a diplomatic, mixed-race American family and as an adult moved to Indonesia on a roots journey, while working in international education. As a cultural curator he is interested in community building through arts and critical discussion related to and involving Indonesian and Southeast Asian diasporas.
Jane W. Wang
Founder & Coach at Multicultural Hero's Journey, Jane helps TCKs and CCKs integrate their complex identities, root in their core, and deepen self-awareness, empathy, and resilience, so that they are on solid inner ground as they step into the multicultural leadership and changemaking that this divided world needs. As a TCK hailing from Taiwan & the U.S., Jane has lived & worked in Tokyo, Paris, Taipei, Boston, NYC, and now San Francisco. She holds a BA in sociology, an MA in international affairs, and certifications in coaching and the MBTI. (English, 中文, 日本語 )
Ruth Van Reken
A second generation adult TCK and mother of 3ATCKs. Ruth speaks nationally and internationally on issues related to global family living. She is co-founder of Families in Global Transition. In addition to other writing, Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.
International school teacher in Mumbai, India. Stephen is originally from Australia, where he grew up in a remote area 450 km west of Sydney. He began his teaching career in a small, isolated K-12 school 6.5 hours northwest of Sydney. Stephen left Australia for the US where he taught grade six for three years. He first taught at an international school in China, and then moved to Germany and now lives in India where he and his wife are raising three TCKs
PhD student at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. With 20 years of experience in the education field, Esther was a supervisor for career counselors in the Ministry of Education and a trained counselor with an MEd in Risk and Prevention/Counseling from Harvard University. Her current doctoral research integrates varied disciplines to help people build bridges across intercultural ventures, gain deeper self-awareness and identity in multicultural contexts to move towards their desired destinations (English, 中文)
Cross cultural coach & Co-Founder of Let's Be Education and FIGT China Affliate. Ai Jun spent 10 years working for top corporations as an expat while raising her TCK son in 5 countries. She also a Founder of Chinese NPO Group of Raising TCK/CCK and is now focusing on studying and writing about TCK and global family transition as freelancer (English, 中文)