A new branch of Elon University’s Study USA program offers students the chance to join the minds of the creators of Apple, Facebook and Google while still having time to bike the Golden Gate Bridge this summer as they participate in Elon in San Francisco. The application is due Nov. 17 with rolling admission until Feb. 26.
For eight weeks beginning June 3, 20 students will have to opportunity to take an Innovation Course and complete and internship in the innovation capital of the world. According to program director Scott Kelly, it’s a natural extension of previous Study USA programs.
“It makes a lot of sense for Elon to go to San Francisco, really, based on our new focus on students solving problems via design thinking,” Kelly said. “This will be an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a highly innovative city where they will be focusing on contemporary ideas in lots of different areas.”
Besides acquiring an internship on the West Coast, students will apply their innovation to solve problems in a core capstone course.
Though San Francisco is home to some of the largest businesses, it has the second highest rate of homelessness. Many students at Elon are not exposed to this type of environment on a daily basis, and because of this, Kelly said students being immersed in problems occurring throughout the world alongside innovation will be a great experience.
The program was inspired by the Winter Term course, “Innovation in America,” where students studied various innovative companies and individuals before a week long stint in Silicon Valley to meet and tour with them.
Visiting these companies for only a week inspired the program to expand the experience. Sophomore Carson Fawzi took the course last year and is considering applying to the program— he also hopes to move to San Francisco after graduating.
“Based on my one week out there, the stuff that I gained from that was so awesome that I can’t image all the networking you can do in two months,” Fawzi said. “Everyone is willing to talk and willing to help you. Everywhere you go there are venture capitalists hanging out in coffee shops.”
Fawzi believes the trip could be even more beneficial depending on if students take advantage of it.
The program costs $8,300 and includes housing, tuition and additional activities such as company visits, while housing students in downtown San Francisco near companies such as Twitter for an immerse experience. z
Though San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, according to Business Insider. Kelly believes the return of investment is beneficial to students, especially after seeing the response from the week long trip.
“When students go to San Francisco, they come back with an energy and a spirit of innovation that is really attractive to other students, so the word has really gotten out from our Winter Term trip and how students experienced San Francisco,” Kelly said.
Fawzi’s greatest takeaway from his week there was the vibe of the city and the hard work that goes on to make startups work and companies grow.
“Everyone’s dedicated to what they’re doing and to see that amount of passion is really unique,” Fawzi said.