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Study Abroad Alumni Inspire with Life-Changing Stories Recounted in University of California YouTube Series

LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Right now, hundreds of thousands of college students across the country are mulling over the decision to study abroad during the next academic year. The new University of California YouTube series "Going Places: UC Education Abroad," available at and, just might inspire some of them to take advantage of these unique opportunities to enhance their college experiences, as well as boost their future career prospects.

From witnessing history at the Berlin Wall to saving lives in a remote West African community, the six-part series of short videos shares the life-changing stories of participants in the University of California's pioneering education abroad program.

Launched in 1962, just as commercial jet travel was dawning, UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is now one of the largest and most diverse undergraduate exchange programs in the country. As the program marks 50 years of educating and inspiring global citizens, "Going Places: UC Education Abroad" explores how UC study abroad students are influencing the world – and how the world is influencing them.

UCTV Prime's "Going Places: UC Education Abroad" or

Witnessing History: Cold War Europe

In 1962, UC Santa Barbara junior Leslie Zomalt was among the first group of students to study in Bordeaux, France through the newly launched UC Education Abroad Program. Among her experiences, the history major traveled to Germany to see President John F. Kennedy speak at the Berlin Wall, and ended up watching the historic "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech with a German family that had been divided by the Wall's construction.

Witnessing History: Arab Spring
UC Berkeley student Justin Hinton was taking classes in broadcast journalism as part of his semester in Egypt when he found himself at the center of world events. As the Tahrir Square protests erupted around him, Hinton took his camera onto the streets. His film dispatches to YouTube provided a first-hand glimpse of history unfolding and helped him launch a career in journalism.

Changing the World: Growing Young Leaders
A medical evacuation from India due to malaria didn't deter UC Riverside student Samantha Wilson from wanting to make a difference in the country. Upon returning home, she began working with schools in South India to develop a curriculum that would shift the focus from creating child laborers to creating child leaders. Wilson has now brought the Child Leader Project home to Riverside, serving local youth through a community garden and an exchange program that connects the youngsters with fellow participants in India.

Changing the World: Building a Clinic, Bridging Worlds
While in Ghana, Jeremy Kirshbaum launched an effort to help residents of a remote mountain village construct a life-saving medical clinic. Through ecotourism, bead sales and benefit concerts, UC Santa Cruz students are helping residents of this mountain community acquire critical funding and health care resources, while forging enduring connections across continents and cultures.

Changing Lives: Renaissance Man
At 12 years old, Los Angeles resident Mario Trejo saw only one path for himself – to follow his brothers into gangs.  But good grades and an interest in medicine led him to UC Merced and the chance to realize an impossible dream of studying in Italy where he was able to truly transcend his difficult history and realize the extent of his capabilities.

Changing Lives: Back to the Farm
When they began their studies at UC Santa Barbara in the 1980s, Greg Massa and Raquel Krach would never have imagined themselves where they are today: growing organic crops on a family farm outside of Chico. But a tropical biology program in Costa Rica sparked an appreciation of the role of ecology in agriculture and kindled a love – for farming and for each other – that set a new trajectory for their lives.

UCTV Prime is the first university-run channel to be included among YouTube's production partnerships with recognizable brands like The Wall Street Journal, Deepak Chopra and TED. With documentary mini-series, interviews, commentaries and video shorts each week, UCTV Prime draws on the tremendous knowledge resources of the University of California's ten campuses, five medical schools, three national labs and other affiliated institutions.

UCTV is available worldwide via live stream, video archives and podcasting at, on YouTube at and, on iTunesU in the Beyond Campus section, and on cable in select cities throughout California. For a complete list of UCTV's outlets, visit