The Department of Human Development and Family Sciences has several initiatives in the works to increase our global presence in education and human services. Study abroad opportunities are available for students in Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Greece, and South Africa. The department encourages students to widen their world view through study abroad trips, international research opportunities, international exchanges, and careers abroad.

HDFS offers a service learning trip to Barbados every other winter. Human Services students are able to complete their 50-hour internship placement with a Barbadian agency while immersing themselves in the island’s culture. Visit the study abroad website or the Institute for Global Studies for more information.

Contact Dr. Gaines-Hanks for more information at

Early Childhood Education majors have the opportunity for an international student teaching experience in at the Cayman International Schools (CIS). CIS is an high quality educational institution with world-class facilities and a diverse teacher and student population. For program details, visit the study abroad website.

If you are interested in this experience, contact Dr. Worden for more information.


During spring of senior year, early childhood education students can complete a full-semester of student teaching in Athens, Greece at the American Community Schools. To learn more about this opportunity, visit the Institute for Global Studies. The ECE in Greece blog captures the experiences of Lauren Montagna and Fiona Tumulty, who were the first student teachers placed at ACS in Spring 2017.

In 2016, UD’s President Dennis Assanis signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Dr. Stefanos Gialamas of the American Community School in Athens, Greece. This MOU was the result of partnership meetings with the HDFS early childhood education faculty, and the administration of ACS. ACS is an internationally accredited model of excellence in education that embraces American educational values and practices in its mission to help students thrive as global citizens. HDFS’ work is also dedicated to increasing global opportunities for faculty and students in order to expand the impact of our applied research and better inform us as global citizens. The MOU states that the UD and ACS will work to allow UD teacher candidates to complete practicum experiences at ACS,  doctoral students will be able to complete research at ACS, and faculty exchanges for research and teaching opportunities will take place. For more information, visit the UDaily article on the agreement with ACS.


The University of Patras in Greece is a leader in early childhood education and HDFS is exploring partnerships to allow for student and faculty exchanges. In Spring 2017, two faculty members from the University of Patras presented at the Global Research Series, and an early childhood education student from Patras completed a residence with HDFS at the Laboratory Preschool.

HDFS offers a service learning trip to South Africa every other winter. Human Services majors explore the history and culture of South Africa, and complete the 50-hour internship with a local agency. Visit the study abroad website or the Institute for Global Studies for more information.

If you are interested in this trip for Winter Session 2020, contact Dr. Gaines-Hanks for information at

If you’re interested in going global with HDFS, visit the HDFS Advisement Center or schedule a meeting with Dr. Bahira Trask to learn more!