“Mu” and “Kappa” are the Greek letters for “M” and “K”
MuKappa was founded in 1986, “by MKs – for MKs,” to be a platform on college campuses to help students transition well from living in a cross-cultural context to living in North America.
We retain the name “MuKappa” to honor the history of the organization, but we recognize the complexity and diversity on campuses today. Throughout our website we use third culture kid [TCK], but we know and understand that our Chapters serve students like you with unique intercultural traditions.
MuKappa: Where you belong
Today, MuKappa is for any student with cross-cultural experience, and our Chapters serve many of these groups:
Missionary Kid (MK)
A person whose parents have been or are currently involved in Christian ministry, usually in a cross-cultural setting. An MK is a subset of a TCK.
Third Culture Kid (TCK)
A traditional third culture kid (TCK) is a person who spends a significant part of his or her first eighteen years of life accompanying parent(s) into a country or countries that are different from at least one parent’s passport country(ies) due to a parent’s choice of work or advance training.
(Definition from pg. 27 of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Third Edition by David C.Pollock, Ruth E. Van Reken, Michael V. Pollock)
Cross Cultural Kid (CCK)
A cross-cultural kid is a person who is living/has lived in — or meaningfully interacted with — two or more cultural environments for a significant period of time during the first eighteen years of life.
Internationally Inclined Person (IIP)
A person who has not necessarily lived in a cross-cultural setting during the first eighteen years of life but is genuinely interested in international and cross-cultural things.
A student who chooses to undertake all or part of their tertiary education in a country other than their own and move to that country for the purpose of studying.
MuKappa is run by students, and it’s a key factor in its success. The group operates under the principle that TCKs relate best to other TCKs. There are few who understand a TCK better than another TCK.
MuKappa’s main goals are to help TCKs face adjustments to college and to deal with the social, emotional, and spiritual needs during this major transition of life.
In addition to planning events to build community, MuKappa members help each other with practical needs due to living in a different cultural environment.
Freshman year can be especially difficult. It is sometimes hard for a TCK to even carry on a friendly conversation with other students whose lives did not include much of an international flavor.
MuKappa aims to provide an atmosphere where a TCK will be accepted as he or she is. Sometimes just having a circle of friends to talk to can give a TCK the sounding board needed to iron out wrinkles that come along the way.
On-mission for the future
Many MuKappa Chapters include international students and students with an interest in missions or international living. MuKappa is a welcome presence on college campuses that have a vision for the world. How better to see the world than through the eyes of people who have lived in a multitude of cultures?
Starting a MuKappa Chapter on your campus
If you have a group of TCKs on your campus and would like to organize formally for both fellowship and campus impact, we are here to help you find out more on how to Become a Chapter.
MuKappa is a ministry of Barnabas International
Barnabas International staff are passionate about caring for global workers through going, speaking, listening, and giving.