Life as an expat kid

KidsThe 2009 Expat Youth Scholarship Recipients have just been published.  It’s a creative writing and media contest inviting TCKs between the ages of 12 and 18 to share their experiences living in a foreign country.  Six $10,000 scholarships were awarded and you can see them here

Not only is the standard of the submissions extremely high, but they are also deeply personal.  Here are a couple of clips . . . 

I saw the world through different eyes. When there were bombs in Lebanon I saw the pain in my friend Stephanie’s face. When children in Chechnya were held hostage, I worried about my friend Tamila. I cared about the politics in Portugal, the fighting in Serbia and the riots in Greece because I had friends who lived there. Bethany Turley, 17, Home Country: United States, Expatriated to: Belgium 

I could not understand my teachers or my classmates. Their words flowed past me, and I would try to listen, but I could never quite hear anything. For half of fourth grade, unable to talk or to comprehend, I was locked away in my own, lonely little world.  Yichen Zhang, 18, Home Country: China, Expatriated to: United States 

One thing stands out and that is all the authors feel that living in another culture has enriched them.  For me, the level of their maturity is striking.  I’m married to a former expat kid and am mother to another, so I know their lives aren’t always easy but I have yet to meet one who regretted the experience.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

One thought on “Life as an expat kid

  1. I understand what you are saying and it is true, but I have lived as an expat since I was 2 years old and I am still living overseas. You are correct when you say some don’t regret it, but there is still a lot that you miss out on when you are an expat. I have got many friends now that I have lived in many places and I do feel the pain of others like when that one kid said ‘When there were bombs in Lebanon I saw the pain in my friend Stephanie’s face.’ I was hours away from being in the Tsunami in 2006 on boxing day, there are many things which kids will gain from living as an expat. Yet I must say there are somethings I wish I would’ve been able to do like, grow up in a town and see it change around me, have a friend I know from when I was very young who lives on my street and all those things you miss out on because you move often and sometimes can’t remember who you were friends with in the last place or if they were even a friend considering you didn’t get to know them for that long. Although I don’t regret it some people might say they would have loved to be me when I was a kid, but I would’ve also liked to have tried being you so I can experience it too. You will always want what you cannot have, but it is not always better. Kids who live in my hometown would probably loved to go around the world NOW THAT THEY ARE OLDER but if they did it as long as I have and at such an early age they might think about it differently.

    My main point is that I don’t regret it, but would’ve still liked to have tried the other side of life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s