Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 2, Page 27
Winter 1992
Around the world for 70 years
     When a friend recently asked me whether studying abroad is worth
it, I told him that there is no greater opportunity for the college
student...that it was the greatest adventure, not to speak of the
greatest learning experience, of my life."
     Those are the words of Scott Curtice, Delaware '92, who
participated in the University's Semester-in-Vienna Program in 1990.
     Curtice and hundreds of others have had their lives enriched by
participating in one of the many semester-abroad programs offered
through the Office of International Programs and Special Sessions.
     It is a tradition steeped in Delaware history as the University
was the first in the U.S. to initiate study-abroad programs. The idea
originated with Raymond Watson Kirkbride, a young University
instructor, who persuaded former President Walter Hullihen to initiate
the program in the early l920s.
     In 1922, Kirkbride, with $500 from the Service Citizens of
Wilmington, sailed to France to investigate courses in French
universities that would fit in with the curricula of American
     The junior-year-abroad program began the following year when
Kirkbride returned to France with eight University juniors. By living
with families in a provincial city in France for a few months, the
students became immersed in the language and customs of the host
country and then moved on to a university.
     Although Kirkbride met an early death at the age of 37, the
program he founded continued without interruption at the University
through l947. Opportunities to study abroad were resumed in 1971 when
then President E.A. Trabant established a Winterim session during
January. Semester-abroad programs resumed in 1975.
     Today, more than 15 concentrated programs are offered during the
five-week Winter Session, which runs this year from Jan. 6 to Feb. 7,
and there are entire semester programs offered each fall and spring in
a variety of countries.
     Tonya Carey, Delaware '93, who spent the spring of l990 in
London, recalls her experience as a time of "endless possibilities."
     "I never want to leave," she wrote at the time.
     What makes the semester-abroad program so exciting? A change of
atmosphere, the camaraderie of friends and fellow students and
challenging classes that make learning fun.
     The trips offer "exceptional, unique and valuable learning
experience," according to William McNabb, acting director of overseas
     Students who are "open to new ideas, curious and adventuresome"
find the programs especially appealing, he said.
     "This experience is one of Delaware's unique and special
features. It is integrated into the undergraduate academic curriculum,
available to students at a special time in their lives," he added.
     The wide variety of semester-abroad programs caters to students
with all sorts of interests. Fees are kept to a minimum, and any
student in good academic standing qualifies to participate. Usually,
students need not be a major in the sponsoring department to apply.
     Fall semester programs included study in Spain, Grenada, France
and Germany. This spring, students have a choice of going to Costa
Rica, Vienna, Paris, London and Scotland.
     There is hardly a corner of the globe left untouched by the
Winter Session l992 study-abroad program. Sixteen overseas programs
were planned by departments throughout the University.
     These programs give students a chance to study nursing in
England, language arts and instructional strategies in London and
Edinburgh, Russian conversation, culture, grammar and literature in
Leningrad and business and political science in Switzerland.
     Still other programs offer Spanish courses in Mexico, political
science and sociology courses in Israel, economics classes in London
and economics, history and conversational Chinese classes in the
People's Republic of China.
     Students can study accounting, business administration and
finance in one London program, or study new and classical British
drama in the London theatre district in another.
     The departments of art history and foreign languages and
literatures offer courses in Rome and Athens, and there are more
courses in foreign languages and literatures in Germany, France,
Italy, Spain and Costa Rica.
     The Winter Session tuition rate for a single credit is the same
as the regular academic year rate. The fixed ceiling rate on Winter
Session tuition, however, substantially reduces costs for students
enrolling in more than four credit hours.
     For longer semester programs, cost is full-time University
tuition and a program fee that covers airfare, housing for the
duration of the program, meals (in some cases) and selected group
     Brochures on specific programs and more information are available
from the Office of International Programs and Special Sessions, 325
Hullihen Hall, telephone (302) 831-2852.
     -Beth Thomas