Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

If You’re Going to San Francisco

Four weeks ago twenty-two Babson undergrads flew into the San Francisco Airport to begin their “Semester Away” in the City by the Bay.  The cohort hails from Hong Kong, Switzerland, Virginia, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and many more places.  I am lucky enough to count myself among these students and I look forward to sharing all of the adventures the Bay Area will bring in the coming months.

The structure of our program is extremely unique.  We take five classes focused on technology, entrepreneurship, design, history, and theater.  Our coursework bridges the two distinctive identities of San Francisco — technology entrepreneurs and culturally progressive citizens.  The associations between these identities are already beginning to show within the first couple weeks of classes.  These classes take place at Babson San Francisco, located in SoMa, the hub of startup activity, and also throughout The City on different treks and tours.

We spent our first few days in The City learning the lay of the land and having orientation with our professors and the San Francisco staff.  Professor Cohen and Ussery gave us a debriefing of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Bay Area.  Professors Schmitz and Wynstra set the groundwork for our understanding of the cultural evolution and significance of San Francisco.  We were led by Professors Schmitz and Wynstra to the Ferry Building during orientation breaks for our first tastes of San Francisco coffee and ice cream.

The first day of orientation was followed by the San Francisco New Year Alumni Party.  It was a great opportunity to meet both past participants of the Undergraduate Semester in San Francisco and current alumni working in the area.

In true San Franciscan fashion, we ended the second day of orientation by heading to SPiN, a ping pong emporium.  Students faced off with professors and hidden ping pong talents were found.  One New York native even went as far as to say SPiN had some of the best pizza he has ever had.  The first few days made our cohort extremely excited for the semester’s classes, trips, and learning in store for us.

Written by Katherine Will ’18