Native, Cosmopolitan, or Cypriot? Identity Development and Sense of Belonging Among International School Students in Cyprus
Cyprus is a culturally diverse island where people of different nationalities, ethnicities, religions, and social status have learned to live together. This phenomenon can be observed in Cyprus’ international schools, where the superdiversity of the Cypriot society comes together and overlaps; and where students enter a ‘third space’ created at the interstices of society, that is non-native and non-host. In this paper, we explore these students’ sense of belonging to both their host (Cyprus) and heritage cultures, and the role played by international schools in the development of the two. The sense of belonging, as well as its challenges which go hand in hand, are important aspects of social integration and provide insights into how individuals relate to their environment and whether they feel socially connected or disconnected from it. This is especially important in the context of Cyprus because of the increasing number of long-term migrants who consider Cyprus their ‘home’, and who create their own cultural and social space on the island.
international schools, Cyprus Migration, Third Culture Kids, identity, sense of belonging
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