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An early University of Delaware study abroad trip
An early University of Delaware study abroad trip, image courtesy of University Archives and Records Management

100 Years of Study Abroad: Celebrating Our Blue Hen Impact

A message from University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis

Dear UD Community,

A century ago, the University of Delaware quite literally changed the world.

Professor Raymond Kirkbride and his eight students launched the first study abroad program in the United States, setting out for France on July 7, 1923. That journey created the model for global education that is still used today at thousands of institutions around the world. Students who study abroad — including a third of Blue Hens — are forever changed by their experiences.

This year, we are going to celebrate the 100th anniversary of study abroad in a big way. The Center for Global Programs and Servicesand partners throughout the University are planning a yearlong series of stories, speakers, symposia and other events. There will be multiple ways for everyone in our community to be involved.

The celebration begins this month with two exciting opportunities:

  • The Study Abroad Fair will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Multipurpose Rooms of Trabant University Center. UD has more than 100 programs in more than 40 countries, as well as financial assistance, to fit your needs.
  • For National Study Abroad Day on Monday, Feb. 27, all UD study abroad participants, past and present, are encouraged to wear clothing that reflects their travels and post memories on social media with #StudyAbroadDay and #UDAbroad100.

At UD, we continue to focus on the future of global education. The University has developed outstanding initiatives like our immersive World Scholars program and our support of female Afghan studentsdisplaced from their homeland. Making study abroad experiences more affordable through the Delaware Diplomats program and more accessible through exciting winter and summer session trips are also top priorities. These efforts complement the growing community of international students and scholars who enrich our campus with their diverse talents and perspectives.

As an international student myself — earning my undergraduate and graduate degrees outside my home country of Greece — I know the transformative power of combining education and exploration. I am extraordinarily proud to be part of the University of Delaware community at this unique milestone moment.


Dennis Assanis, President

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