We had just wrapped up our San Francisco company visit from May 15th - 19th, and a lot of us agreed that this was the highlight with our program. Going to the West Coast and experiencing the different atmosphere and weather compared to the Midwest, it was a pleasant experience that a lot of us have been waiting since the beginning of our program. Most of the students in the program decided to continue their travel for Summer break elsewhere, be it to Yellowstone Park or going back home to their home countries, and with June finally here the final two months countdown to the end of the program had just begun.
In San Francisco we visited HP, Intel, Paypal (eBay), Plug & Play Tech, Facebook, and Google, all of them located in the Silicon Valley technology cluster of America. Most of the visits were very informational and the hosts (most of them Illinois alumns) were very helpful and open to all of us. It was a great experience in knowing the company cultures of America and how they do business, such as finally seeing with our own eyes the infamous Google Campus with its perks and features. The three day visits went by surprisingly fast, and the week went by without anybody realizing it.
I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 5 years, and coming back to the area after three years still made me all fuzzy and excited. We traveled and tried different cuisines and delicacies in the city, and visited famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Overall I am very certain that all of the students enjoyed this trip and would love to go back to San Francisco in the future.
On June 13th we will start our 8 weeks summer session, with a class in Managing Intellectual Property and a continuation of our Spring semester Practicum program, on which we serve as a small consulting firm in groups of 7-8 for local companies based in the Champaign-Urbana area. Ten months have gone by from the beginning of our class last August, and this last two months would undoubtly go by like the San Francisco breeze.