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The trek through Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic was part of a program created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). Lyles and eight other students from across the UC system joined UC Irvine German professor Glenn Levine on the ultimate field trip, exploring medieval synagogues and ritual baths, touring old cemeteries, visiting Holocaust sites and hearing first-hand stories from local historians.
“It’s been a long-term fantasy of mine to travel around and actually show people the things I’m talking about,” said Levine, who has taught a large lecture course on European Jewish history for years.
The group enrolled in Levine’s course this summer included students from five UC campuses, in majors ranging from psychology to mechanical engineering. Most, like Lyles, had never been abroad; none was a history or Jewish studies major.
Levine’s course was one of three faculty-led tours offered this summer by UCEAP. They included a course by UC Irvine professor Isaac Scherson on 21st century technology and the digital divide, and a course on religion, secularism and civil society taught by UC Riverside professor Vivian-Lee Nyitray.
The programs take UC courses out of the lecture hall and into the world — and they represent what UCEAP directors say is a promising new model for study abroad.

Kelvin Jones,
Head of International Recruitment, UEL