On Monday, May 16th a few counselors and I took a one day tour to San Francisco and back home. Yes, one day. And we managed to visit 5 schools, walk just about 8 and a half miles AND eat at some local spots, that left us quite full as we boarded the plan.
8:30 a.m.: Got off the plan (a short flight if you are traveling from Los Angeles) and grabbed a cab to head to San Francisco State University.
San Francisco State University: Students everywhere! We did not have an official tour here and really just wandered around, however the campus was beautiful and FULL of students hustling around. We found a few dorms scattered throughout as well. SFSU was impressive in its size and student body, as well as sports facilities. With about 29,000 total students this is a large university with access to all of San Fran has to offer. If interested, housing does fill up quickly so checking out early and putting a refundable deposit down can be helpful!
9:45 a.m. – Hopped in an Uber and we were off to University of San Francisco.
University of San Francisco: Here we had an official guided tour. Campus was breathtaking. Beautiful and integrated into the city. A smaller campus with about 10,000 students, we saw friendly students walking about all seeming to know each other. USF is a Jesuit Catholic University, although I will say their diversity is incredible and their practicing Catholic population is about 30%. If you identify with a different faith or none at all, you would not feel on the outskirts. Students get to integrate their core curriculum and general education throughout. As a part of the Jesuit community social justice and service are two major components to the University. Students serve the surrounding community through service projects and working with others.
12:00 p.m. – Time for lunch! We ate at a recommended spot, Buzz Burger’s. AMAZING. Garlic fries, sweet potato fries and burgers. Good thing we planned on walking to our next location. We started walking to the San Francisco Art Institute (a little more downtown and about 20 minutes away from USF). We just HAD to stop at the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory and get some chocolate samples, grab a quick coffee and take in the ocean breeze, then it was off.
San Francisco Art Institute: The San Francisco Art Institute is a small campus, but a lively one. Open 24-7 and with every inch of the campus accessible to use as a canvas or project, this is a true spot for someone who wants to create and collaborate. Disciplines combine for an experience that allows students to explore their emphasis in various ways and work with others. Housed in the school is the Diego Rivera Mural and space for students to display work. With a view of the city, SFAI has culture, creativity and the platform to enhance a student’s skill set. Portfolios are required for admission.
We walked about 20 minutes (trying to avoid the hills of San Fran!) to our next stop, Hult International Business School.
Hult International Business School: Hult International Business school is a little more nontraditional from most colleges. The school itself is a four-story building with crisp white classrooms and windows everywhere for an open, transparent feel. Undergraduate students receive a Bachelor of Business Administration and choose their major (specialization) which can include any of the following; Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Accounting and Finance. The school has an international feel, with a diverse set of students coming from all over. Students can begin in San Francisco and study at their abroad campuses in London, Shanghai and Dubai. Hult would be ideal for a student who knows they want to specifically study business and have a more centralized education with a true business feel (taking classrooms on a non-traditional campus, traveling and studying abroad, etc.)
Minerva: This was our last stop of the day. To explain Minerva initially can be a little confusing, but what they are creating is kind of amazing.. Minerva is a new institution aimed at re-vamping the higher ed system in a powerful way. Minerva doesn’t have a “campus,” but we were able to see their headquarters and “dorms” for students in downtown San Fran. Essentially students take courses alternatively with incredible professors, they intern, they travel and they study abroad. I am going to link an article HERE that help detail Minerva a little more. Minerva’s classrooms are spaces that they have partnered with and not necessarily an actual classroom. Students gain life skills, communication skills and how to navigate by jumping in! Students begin their first year in San Francisco and complete their foundation year, then travel and study in Buenos Aires and Berlin. Students are actively engaged in their educational process.
From Minerva it was a quick cab right to dinner at Flour + Water, an amazing place with the most wonderful bread, artisan pizzas, pastas and desserts. Truly a treat! We ate with a Minerva student and Michael Lai who handles admissions and student outreach at Minerva.
8:00 p.m. – On the way back to the airport I tried to collect my thoughts from the day. It had truly been an inspiring day where we were able to see so many different universities in such a short amount of time. The beauty is simple: there is a university for everyone. Different styles, different missions and different platforms.