The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition

Tina L. Quick explores in her second edition how starting college in a new country is exciting, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition
The second edition of the groundbreaking The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition by transitions expert Tina L. Quick is written to and for students who have been living outside their "passport" countries but are either returning "home" or transitioning on to another host country for college/university. These students are known as third culture kids (TCKs), cross-culture kids, or global nomads, but they have no clue how they are being impacted by their cross-cultural lifestyle until they have an experience that wakes them up to the fact that they are different from others. This commonly takes place upon repatriation for college or university when they are surrounded mostly by those who have never ventured away from their home country or culture. What results is the feeling of cultural imbalance, not fitting in, inability to connect with their home-country peers. They feel like a "fish out of water."

The Four Pearls: Tina addresses in detail the four most common stumbling blocks TCKs) face in the transition to college/transition that can come as a huge surprise. She strongly believes if all students were aware of them, they would smoother transitions.
• The transition cycle—Involvement, Leaving, Transition, Entering, Re-involvement
• TCK identity development—the search for congruence in the sense of who they are as TCKs
• Unresolved grief—from multiple losses and separations
• Relationships—how global nomads relate differently from their domestic peers

New in the Second Edition:
• Articles by guest authors –
- Amanda Bates, M.B.A., M.Ed. on diversity, equity, and inclusion and building a career;
- Lois Bushong, M.S. on mental health issues and finding a counselor;
- Lauren Wells on dismantling your grief tower and romantic relationships
• Updates and new stories brought about by 10 years of cultural change and a pandemic.
• Expanded Parents’ chapter addressing the fallout of common parenting strategies as well as how parents can come alongside their students, prepare them for the journey, and support them throughout this major transition.

Praise for The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition, Second Edition
“This book has been written with TCK students and their parents in mind. However, it should also be required reading for senior school counselors, educators, transition-team members and all university personnel – admissions, counselors, academics, educators and carers. Filled with the perspectives of those actually making the university transition, namely TCK students, there are important insights, 'truths'
and 'pearls' to inform optimal transitions-care programs and practices in schools and universities. The updates and inclusions in this second edition are timely and provide an authentic, empathetic and practical resource; a safe place for TCK students to probe, prompt, plan and prepare, and a place to gain perspective and agency to proactively pilot a healthy university transition.”
Jane Barron
Director of Training & Consulting
Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN)

“Accessible and wide-ranging, this book is an excellent resource for international school students and Third Culture Kids (TCKs) as they prepare for their transition to higher education. Tina provides a comprehensive overview of the intersections between transnational youth, culture, identity and belonging, and provides practical tools that students can use to prepare for and undergo one of the greatest transitions they will ever experience. With real life stories embedded throughout each chapter, this book brings to life the challenges and opportunities faced by young people today. I know from my work that this book has already had a significant impact on TCKs and international students around the globe and I would highly recommend this second edition to students, parents, guidance counsellors, and international student services personnel.”
Katie Rigg
International Advisor for Student Well-being
Council of International Schools

Tina Quick has struck a marvelous balance between practical 'how-to' guidance and the reason(s) why it works. The book prepares TCK students and parents approaching the transition to university, but it is every bit as useful to folks who didn't have the time, opportunity, or awareness to get ready for this type of change. Whether you devour this new edition cover-to-cover, or use parts of it for quick reference, it is a fantastic resource for TCK students, parents, educators, and counselors. I always have a couple copies in my office, and they get used... A lot.”
Brian D. White
Associate Dean of Students and
Director of International Students & Scholars
Lewis & Clark College

“In this wonderfully practical guide, Tina Quick invites students to apply 'sociological imagination' to their university experience just as they would attempt to explore and understand any other culture. From banking systems to relationship dynamics, Tina understands the value of encouraging all cross-cultural kids to engage positively with their host cultures. It paves a way for students to connect deeply to their peers and benefit from these connections, giving them the gift of a strong, beautifully faceted yet cohesive identity. It is a delight to me to read her clear call to help CCKs find home in their passport or host countries.”
Rachel Cason, PhD
Life Story Therapies (

“Every school must share this book with its graduates! OR Every school must give this book to its graduates! It is an incredible resource for any student embarking on their transition to university. It is sensitively written, addressing current challenges students face today while providing many tips on how to navigate this next chapter in their lives, equipping them with the tools to 'belong'. A must-read!”
Claudine Hakim
Head of Transitions, Student Support and Advancement
International School of London

“Effective TCK care during the university years is critical for a healthy transition into adult life. Tina Quick has gathered a great deal of wisdom over her years of raising TCKs and helping others to make the jump to university, technical school, or other tertiary endeavors. The second edition of The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition is a timely release with extensive collaboration and should be on the ‘must-read’ list for third culture secondary grads!”
Michael V. Pollock
Co-author Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, 3rd ed.
DARAJA Director, TCK Author, Educator, and Specialist

Related Articles