Silicon Valley. San Francisco. These are names that immediately conjure images of dynamic start-ups working out of garages, hustling their way to mainstream success.

But it’s not just the start-ups. It’s some of the world’s leading ‘disruptive’ companies that have revolutionised the way we work, relax, travel, communicate and so much more. You only need refer to the origin stories of Airbnb, FitBit, Twitter and Uber to understand the potential of this start-up friendly city.

Oh, not to mention just a few of the entrepreneurial giants of the modern world: Facebook and Google!

In this cutting-edge course delivered by AIM Overseas’ partner, San Francisco State University, you’ll learn about the entrepreneurial mindset, innovative thinking, idea generation, company creation and management, and experience the diverse culture and global industries of the city of San Francisco.

Why study this program in San Francisco?


The Bay Area in San Francisco, California is famously home to some of the best and most innovative companies in the United States. You will have the opportunity to study at San Francisco State University in their Downtown Campus with the likes of Fitbit, Tatcha skincare, Asana, and Adobe Systems right on your doorstep - making this city an excellent location to study a topic such as this. 

**Due to its central location, the majority of classes for this program will be held at the Downtown Campus building.**


This three-week program is structured as:

Week 1: The Spirit of Entrepreneurship

● Understand the key aspects of entrepreneurial process, opportunity, resources, and team

● Innovation under globalisation

● Entrepreneurship and personal characteristics

● Uncertainty, flexibility and proactivity


Week 2: Product Design and Prototyping

● Idea generation

● Design thinking and doing

● Creating, developing, and commercialising new products 

● Trial, error and refining existing products


Week 3: Business and Management of Entrepreneurship

● Creating and recognising opportunities

● Business model and business plan

●Strategy and implementation

● Marketing and funding


San Francisco State University

Located in one of the world’s most beautiful and culturally diverse cities, San Francisco State University is a public university with approximately 30,000 students. SF State awards bachelor's degrees in 126 fields, master's in 103, and a doctorate in educational leadership. The university’s top three majors are Business Administration, Engineering, and Computer Science. SF State is also a leader in community service learning and international education. SF State faculty and students work closely with local government, business, and educational partners to advance the development of the university and the local area.


Two Campuses

With two campuses linked by a direct train line students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a traditional American university environment as well as experience dynamic downtown San Francisco. The main campus is located in a quiet and safe neighborhood near the Pacific Ocean.

The downtown campus is located in the heart of the business district, near financial institutions including Wells Fargo and BlackRock; social media companies including LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Yelp; and new economy companies including Airbnb and Uber. This is the campus that you will be studying at.  


The Faculty

The curriculum and instruction for the program will be overseen by Faculty member of SF State College of Business and the International Training Unit of College of Extended Learning.

To achieve the goal of providing student with systematic knowledge and hand on experiences. We will invite lecturers from SF State, faculty members of other Universities in the region, experts from industries and savvy entrepreneurs.

The program will include several cultural and professional development activities in San Francisco to complement the classroom instruction. These are still to be confirmed. 

Site visits may include:

  • A visit to Plug and Play: Plug and Play is one of the largest accelerator in the world. It helps startup companies to connect with resources and mentors. It was early investor in Google, Paypal, Dropbox, Lending Club and Naturebox. During this tour, Students will learn about the history of incubation and how PnP selects projects to accelerate.


  • A visit to Autodesk Pier 9 studio: This 35,000-square-foot Pier 9 facility was developed by Autodesk to house a state-of-the-art digital fabrication workshop to explore the interface between software and hardware – an intersection that is transforming the way that people design and make things. During this tour, student will see the most exciting and innovative projects, meet with selected designers in residence and be in an environment that fosters cutting-edge research and development.


  • Design & Make Workshop: Named as a top destination in San Francisco by wired magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, this Autodesk Gallery showcase pioneering design and inventive engineering. Students will experience what it’s like to take an idea from design through fabrication at the Design & Make Studio at the Autodesk Gallery. It’s the perfect place to get their hands on the latest design and 3D- printing tools and equipment.


Cultural Activities may include: 

  • Bay Cruise: The San Francisco bay cruise is a quintessential San Francisco experiences. Students will see incredible views of the city, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. They'll also enjoy dining and shopping at Pier 39 before and after the cruise.

San Francisco is a dynamic city with a wide array of cultural activities. Participants will be provided with a list of additional optional activities so they can explore their own interests in their free time. Students will have an unlimited transportation card and most activities are easily accessible by public transit.


(TBC) Participants will be housed in double rooms at local private residence club. They offer cleaning service Monday through Friday, with fresh linens exchanged on a weekly basis and new towels provided twice a week. Coin-operated laundromat are located in the hotel for the convenience.

Clubs are located in the prestigious Pacific Heights area, one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in San Francisco. Public transportation is easily accessible and can take students to any part of the city. They are located blocks away from the cable car line and 10 minute from the downtown financial district and the popular Fisherman's Wharf.

Each room is furnished with a dresser, closet, desk, chair, fridge, TV and phone. There is also a dining area and common entertaining areas in facilities.




A crimson bridge, cable cars, a sparkling bay, and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes – San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities. Located along the Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine.


Interesting Facts About San Francisco

  • During the Great Depression, not a single bank in San Francisco failed. In fact, business was so good that the city constructed the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge during the Depression.

  • James Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, which created waves of immigrants coming into the city to seek fortune. These immigrants included a large number of Chinese immigrants, forming one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia.

  • The Gold Rush resulted in San Francisco’s port becoming packed with abandoned ships. With demand to build the city up, the ships were torn apart and repurposed for homes, banks, and businesses.

  • In 1906, three quarters of the city was destroyed by an earthquake and fire. The earthquake was the first natural disaster to be documented in photographs. The resulting fire burned for four days, and caused more than $8 billion in damage in today’s dollars.

  • Levi Strauss invented denim jeans in San Francisco for the Gold Rush miners who needed durable yet comfortable clothing




All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.



You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Applications for our January/February 2020 programs are not yet open. However, applications for our July 2019 programs are currently open apply here.

In the meantime, you can Register Your Interest for a January 2020 program, meaning you'll receive more program info and updates. You'll also be notified when applications are open.

If you wish to know more, or if you have any questions about our programs please contact us via ; Messenger or (02) 9975 7792. You can also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.