Many third-culture kids (TCKs) don’t choose the life of international travel and cultural immersion; their parents do. However, for TCK adult Claudia Körbler, curiosity prompted her into a life of travel, communication and cultural immersion — starting when she moved away from her homeland of Austria at 18.
Similar to so many TCKs around the world, Körbler is using her unique vantage point in the world to make a difference in the world.
“For some reason, I’ve always had the urge to explore different cultures,” Körbler said. “I remember actually telling my mom when I was younger ‘I want to know what it feels like to be a Spaniard. I want to know what it feels like to be an American,’ in the sense that, you know, you immerse yourself in a culture, and you live the traditions for some time until you’re able to identify yourself with it.”
Körbler, now 32, has spent most of her adult life living as a Global Nomad. She has lived in San Francisco, Castellón de la Plana, Madrid and Barcelona. Fluent German, Spanish and English, she currently resides in Washington D.C. — where the trained simultaneous interpreter works as a policy development and outreach analyst. She works for the Food and Agriculture Origination of the United Nations (FAO), and previously served The World Bank in her mission to help governments of developed and developing nations create policies that will support developing countries in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
“Curiosity is what has always driven me, and it’s also my passion,” Körbler said. “And it’s why I work in international development. It’s the curiosity of seeing how can we — as game changers and change agents — make this world the place we want our children to have down the line, and help those who are invisible to make their voices heard.”
Outside of her work for an international development organization, Körbler is also the chair of membership for Families In Global Transition (FIGT) since 2014. FIGT is a well-organized organization with an annual conference that hosts inspiring speakers, break-out sessions and roundtable discussions where Körbler said she felt absolutely understood by globally mobile families and individuals, who knew what it felt like to be starting a new life journey in a different culture and country, having little idea of where that journey it was going to take you. FIGT promotes cross-sector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world and is one of a kind welcoming forum, said Körbler.
Since her time with FIGT, the conference has managed to beautifully expand its membership from about 80 in 2014 to more than 180 current members who have access to the game changers in the world of third-culture kids and global nomads.