Monday, 28 November 2011

Who's Looking out for Expat Teens' Well-Being?

Most research, literature and resources, on the topic of Expats, provide examples of Expat Teens life after-the-fact, when these individuals have grown up and realize they are different as a result of life experiences. The majority of published resources are targeted towards parents and professionals. While going through the stages of adolescent development while living a transient life without being rooted to one’s extended family, school or community can be perceived as a very challenging way to grow up, there seems to be a ‘gap’ in both research and resources focusing on Expat Teens. Even though Recent statistics state there are 2,670,524 international students attending 5,689 English-medium International Schools around the world, with both numbers increasing on an annual basis ( retrieved on 16/12/2010). Most current research and resources available cite experiential evidence of the long term impact of ‘growing up globally’ after the fact, rather than authentic firsthand accounts of experiences during these critical years of development.

Gathering firsthand accounts, as will be found in our soon to be published “Expat Teens Talk’, will help Expat Teens develop a better sense of identity and well- being. Our book is full of first-hand accounts, as told by Expat Teens worldwide, of their challenges and support needs, and the responses - as voiced by Expat Peers, Expat Parents and Expat Professionals - provide the advice, support and solutions aimed to develop a greater understanding to be shared with their families, International School Staff, intercultural experts and, most importantly, Expat Teens themselves. This book, a first of its kind (to our knowledge), could potentially lead to inspiring others to develop more resources and tools that Expat Teens can access for support.

In the meantime, TALK to us via our “Comments” section and let us know what’s on your mind…

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