Life as a Third Culture Kid in Saudi Arabia |

Life as a Third Culture Kid in Saudi Arabia

Watch this video of a firsthand account about life in KSA and how the experience is different for a child versus an adult.

Posted on

23 March 2017

Last updated on 27 June 2017
Life as a Third Culture Kid in Saudi Arabia

“No, but where are you really from?” The most nerve-racking, anxiety-inducing question someone can ask a third culture kid (TCK). Does it refer to nationality? Where you’re born? Where you live now? Where your parents live? 

The term “third culture kid” was coined by an American sociologist, Ruth Hill Useem, and it refers to someone who spent a big part of their younger years outside of their parents’ culture. It’s a mixing of two cultures – creating a unique third.


Third culture kids live a particularly distinct life and it’s an experience that’s difficult to explain to others who haven’t gone through it. Most the time, even the parents don’t understand it.

This experience seems to be even more accentuated when you grow up in Saudi Arabia. Life within the walls of the compounds and life in the “outside” world are completely different and experienced in different ways between adult and child.

SEE ALSO: 38 signs you grew up in Saudi Arabia

In this compelling video-essay, Victoria, a third culture kid who grew up in Saudi, explains the profound impact it had on her and her father.


About Victoria

Victoria is a trained historian and political scientist, as well as an aspiring writer and photographer. She holds a masters degree in Global Affairs from the University of Toronto, and currently works as a Content Coordinator with MaRS Discovery District. As a third-culture-kid who grew up in Saudi Arabia, she hopes to use her academic background to educate people about the world through creative means.  Her blog Safar, features the stories of TCKs and expats, as well as commentary on travel, politics and culture.