The University of Delaware is a national leader in study abroad programs, consistently ranking among the top five public research-extensive institutions for student participation. Approximately 40% of UD undergraduate students travel abroad, studying with faculty on six of the seven continents.
Within the College of Education and Human Development, we encourage our students to take advantage of this life-changing experience. Just as eyeglasses improve vision, cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity can open a student’s eyes to a better understanding of people and cultures around the world. Approximately 140 CEHD students study abroad each year.
Norma Gaines-Hanks, Associate Professor for HDFS, has been coordinating Study Abroad programs in South Africa and Barbados for over ten years. “I have found that international service-learning has an incredibly positive social and personal effect on student participants.”
Not only do our students learn about their new environment and the people with whom they interact, they also discover a lot about themselves. They develop an expanded personal perspective, improve problem-solving skills, and often a deeper appreciation for their own privilege—something they took for granted.
Where can you go?
Study abroad programs are typically offered during winter or summer sessions and have included:
- Australia (Summer 2012)
- Barbados (Winter 2015)
- France (Winter 2012)
- Hungary (Winter 2014)
- Italy (Winter 2013)
- Spain (Winter 2015)
- South Africa (Winter 2014)
Participants take classes, augmented by guest speakers and excursions. Students return with photos of African game preserves, Parisian landmarks and Tasmanian devils (yes, they do exist). The coursework includes visits or service-learning placement at local primary schools, orphanages or hospitals and inspires students to develop an appreciation and even love for people from a radically different culture.
This experience is so profound, many students participate in more than one program or even return to their host country on their own.
For more information on UD’s Study Abroad programs, visit Institute for Global Studies.
Quotes from students who have studied abroad:
“Going to South Africa was hands-down the most unbelievable opportunity, and if presented with the chance to go back, I would do it in a heartbeat.”
“I gained new insight into how independent kids can be.”
“It made me grow to love the Mohau kids as if they were my own.”
“It changed my thinking in terms of the needs of the children. At first supplies and such seemed to be their biggest need. Later I learned that the number one need of the children is affection.”