The global center of tech innovation, the Bay Area is a dynamic, vibrant cultural metropolis juggling rising living costs, climate change, and a population boom. Students joining this program will have opportunity to experience all the region has to offer by engaging in its explosive tech innovation community. Opportunities on this program include Design Thinking Workshops, tours of Stanford and Cal Berkeley, site visits to leading tech companies and emerging start-ups, and numerous cultural attractions and immersions.
Early arrivals / Late departures can be arranged to meet the needs of individual students.



We go beyond the typical tourist’s path while experiencing some of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks, architecture, and transportation.


LEADERS IN tech and innovation

Through explorations at academic institutions like Stanford and UC Berkeley, to career-focused immersions at major tech companies like Google, Facebook, AirBnb, and others, students gain a firsthand and deeper understanding of the future of innovation and the workplace.


Marin County and Highway One

We hike along staggering oceanside cliffs with the Pacific Ocean behind us as we explore the shoreline and culture north of San Francisco along the historic Highway One.



Saturday, November 18th

Students arrive and check in to our accommodations in downtown San Francisco. We hold a ‘welcome dinner’ for all arrivals, and spend some time getting to know each other, adjusting to our surroundings, and setting out our respective goals for the week.

Day Two

Sunday, November 19th

During the morning, we depart for an ‘urban hike’and walking tour to explore some of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks and the history and cultural significance behind them. We begin at the Sutro Baths and hike along the Lands End trail, stopping to visit the US San Francisco Memorial, and continuing on to the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. After a picnic lunch, we head to Fisherman’s Wharf to explore the market, see the sea lions who bask in the sun on the docks, and sample local seafood and snack options.

Day Three

Monday, November 20th

After breakfast on Day 3, we pack our overnight bags for Palo Alto and take the BART (Bay Area Regional Transit) down south for a tour and Design Thinking Workshop at Stanford University. Envoys is arranging for students on this program to engage in a DT workshop in the original school where this revolutionary research methodology was first developed.

Day Four

Tuesday, November 21st

After breakfast, students spend the day doing site visits and touring global tech leaders like Facebook, Google, and others. Afterwards, we engage in a workshop discussing the role of Silicon Valley and tech innovation in the American economy, as well as positioning our experience in the contemporary realities of globalization. Further opportunities to explore emerging startups and social enterprises
will be available as well. In the late afternoon, we return to San Francisco for a sushi dinner in the city’s vibrant Mission district, the culinary epicenter.

Day Five

Wednesday, November 22nd

We spend the day in San Jose, walking along the boardwalk and experiencing life as the locals do. In the afternoon, we take a hike overlooking the ocean as we prepare to head back to the city.

Day Six

Thursday, November 23rd

Time to celebrate an American Thanksgiving in our own way! In the morning, the group elects and plans out a Thanksgiving meal together and shops at a nearby grocery store for supplies. We spend the day cooking together, sharing our respective cultures and holiday traditions, as well as enjoying some fun outdoor games and supports before our big meal.

Day Seven

Friday, November 24th

We rise the morning after Thanksgiving for a journey north of San Francisco into Marin County. We’ll explore small towns along the way before arriving at the Marin Cliffs for a cliff hike along the ocean. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the cozy towns along Highway One, including Bolinas and Point Reyes, before returning back across the Golden Gate Bridge for a dinner in Berkeley.

Day Eight

Saturday, November 25th

Our final full day together is spent exploring the culturally-diverse and exciting Berkeley and Oakland neighborhoods. First, we’ll tour the campus of Cal Berkeley and interact with students about their studies and experiences at this prestigious university. Then, in the afternoon, we’ll break into teams and embark on a fun urban scavenger hunt to build our knowledge and familiarity of this fun cultural epicenter.

Day Nine – Closing Our Week

Sunday, November 26th

We close our program together with a debriefing and travel with students to the airport for their flights home.

Early arrivals and late departures can be accommodated. The cost of each additional day is $150 dollars.

Dates and Prices

Saturday, November 18th – Sunday, November 26th

Early arrivals / Late departures can be arranged to meet the needs of individual students

The program cost is $2,600.


  • Full-time Envoys Program Leaders
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks
  • Trip-Tracking Portal for Families
  • Multiple accommodation at local hotels/youth hostels
  • All ground transportation
  • All activities as described
Flights are not included in the program costs. Students are responsible for booking their own flights.

Envoys program leaders will pick students up on arrival in San Francisco.

Having a personalized program requires us to limit the number of students on the program. The maximum number of open spots is 16 students.
Derek is a PhD candidate in UC Berkeley’s History Department, where he works on US and global history, and acts as Assistant Director of the BENELUX Program. Before that, he completed an MA degree in international relations at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and before that a BA, summa cum laude, in Political Science and French at Amherst College. At points in between he was a lecturer at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, a trainee at the European Parliament in Brussels and Washington, D.C., and tour leader in France, Morocco, and the USA.” (Some photos attached.)

Derek has worked with a number of youth organizations, including the Trefethen Evergreen Improvement Association Youth Program, which he directed. Derek is a 2009 summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, where he majored in Political Science and French Studies. He speaks French, German, and Spanish.

Derek will be working together with a team of one or two additional Envoys Staff Members, depending on enrollment.

Envoys assumes a duty of care for all participants during this program. Our operational headquarters will be standing by to assist in the event of an emergency.