Study Abroad Led a Biotech Major toward International Work

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The azure waters of Lake Malawi, Malawi, where Matthew Dea swam during study abroad. (Matthew Dea)

Written by Kriti Varghese, Student Writer, Global Affairs

How a biotech major got paid as a photographer in South Africa

Budding photographer Matthew Dea has a passion for traveling. He’s also a senior at UC Davis majoring in biotechnology with a minor in linguistics. His passion for travel led him to study abroad in South Africa — in the Fall 2018 UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP).

Why did he pick Africa? It turns out that Dea’s passion for traveling started when he was young.

“I grew up in Africa,” Dea said. “Because of my mom’s job, we moved when I was really young to Botswana and then South Africa for a year and then Uganda for six years, which is where I did middle school and high school. I came [to UC Davis] for college. It’s always been kind of a dream of mine to go to university in Africa.”

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Dea's housemates from UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Boston College and their local Cape Town friend, all on top of Lion’s Head in Cape Town. (Matthew Dea)

Dea's housemates from UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Boston College and their local Cape Town friend, all on top of Lion’s Head in Cape Town. (Matthew Dea)

While he knew he wanted to take advantage of the education system in the United States, he also wanted to take advantage of study abroad. He could study at one of the best universities in Africa: University of Cape Town. It also gave him the opportunity to travel to countries like South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda — during and after the program.

“I wanted to see Africa again,” he said. “I wanted to live there. I wanted to experience university life there. I wanted to experience what education was like at the best university in Africa. I wanted to travel too. There are so many places in Africa that I wanted to see and I knew that studying abroad would give me the opportunity to do that.”

Read the full article at What Can I Do With My Major?...


About UC Davis Study Abroad

UC Davis Study Abroad integrates global opportunities into the academic experience, supporting 1,300 students each year in studying across 30 countries, exploring the world, and gaining valuable skills and competencies. In the quest for Global Education for All, Study Abroad goes beyond traditional programs to meet the academic, personal and professional needs of UC Davis’ diverse and driven student body.

As a part of Global Affairs at UC Davis, Study Abroad aims to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement.

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