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globeChang(e) – Episode 15 – Chie Kameyama, University of Exeter – It Takes Time to Find Your People

After 4 countries and multiple school transfers, Chie Kameyama thought she would be an expert at moving by now. From Japan to Singapore, where she attended several international schools without first knowing any english, and Singapore to Thailand, where she completed her bilingual IB Diploma at NIST International School in 2018, Chie’s learned many lessons about transitioning and adapting over the years. Yet, starting her first year at the University of Exeter last fall, she now realizes that each new environment comes with a new set of challenges.

The main hurdles she faced in moving were the social and cultural adjustments — but reflecting on her high school experiences, Chie recalls the struggles beyond acclimating to a new environment. From IB academics and college applications to feeling totally lost and unsure about her future college choices or even which continent she wanted to apply to, she talks about her experience feeling like the only one without a direction while others seemed to have had their whole life planned out. Chie shares the lessons she learnt through these stories: do not rush, try a lot of different things, and that things take time.

Now in her second term at university, Chie and Michael talk about their experiences as global nomads. Recalling times where they’ve both been asked “I can’t pinpoint where your accent is from”, they discuss the expectations that come with their presumed identity, how they subvert it, and that this is an essential part of their shared identity as a third culture kid/adult. But wherever Chie may move in the future, one thing holds true: you can always find the people that can help make where you are, a home.