The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

Study Tours

Upcoming Study Tour:

2017 Study Tour

Past Study Tours:

2016 Study Tour
2014 Study Tour

Fall 2013 Study Tour
Spring 2012 Study Tour
Fall 2011 Study Tour

Study tour participants will travel to San Francisco to benefit from a series of visits and events with social media leaders in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

The first study tour took place the week of September 26, 2011. Study tours are open to a maximum of 8 participants who demonstrate a basic knowledge of social media and a commitment towards actively using the tools. The trips will appeal to those seeking more knowledge and insight into current social media practices and future trends.

What you can expect from the study tour:

  • A thorough introduction to the history and business culture of Silicon Valley
  • Discussions with social media leaders on strategy, campaigns, and best practices
  • Gain insight into the future of social media from leaders in social media companies in the Bay Area
  • Experience how an event is run at swissnex San Francisco and the role that social media plays in it
  • Opportunity to attend a mixer in Silicon Valley to experience first-hand networking at its best (subject to availability)

Starting in 2016, the Digital Campus study tours also increasingly focus on Science Communications. The 2017 study tour is set to coincide with the annual World Conference of Science Journalists, taking place in San Francisco. 

Application process

We ask participants to complete an application form to share their level of knowledge, commitment, plans for implementation, and support from management. Sign up for the 2017 study tour

Selection process

The objective is to have a diverse group of no more than 8 participants who are knowledgeable, active social media users from a variety of institutions and regions throughout Switzerland. To achieve this balance we plan to select no more than two participants from each institution per study tour. Study tour participants must be active members in our program.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from San Francisco, transportation to/from airport, and all accommodations during the trip. swissnex San Francisco will provide some guidance and recommendations, and will cover all ground transportation related to the tour along with welcome and closing meals.


Participants are responsible for the costs associated with travel, accommodation, and meals during their stay in San Francisco. In addition, there is a small fee payable to swissnex San Francisco to cover group meals, transportations, and other related costs.

We estimate an average cost of $2,700 (USD) for airfare, hotel, basic meals, and taxis to/from the airport. Limited financial aid is available on a need basis for one individual.


Participants must bring a laptop or iPad to work with during the study tour. It is also recommended that participants purchase prepaid mobile data plan to interact through mobile devices of their choice.

Who will benefit the most from a Study Tour?

Everyone can benefit from the study tours. However, they make the most sense for beginning to intermediate level social media users who are already somewhat comfortable with social media but looking to learn more about how to implement the tools in their organization and how to further develop their social media strategy. The study tour might be overwhelming for those who are completely unfamiliar with social media, and not challenging enough for those who consider themselves experts and have already fully integrated social media into their organization’s communications strategy.

Sample Study Tour Program

The below is a tentative schedule subject to change.

Date Time Activity Location
PM Welcome dinner San Francisco
AM Introductory session at swissnex San Francisco
San Francisco
PM Visit to local university
San Bruno, CA
AM Visit to local university
Palo Alto, CA
PM Visit to a start up/social media company
Palo Alto, CA
AM Speaker at swissnex San Francisco
San Francisco
PM Visit to local university / start up
SF Bay Area
AM Social media workshop San Francisco
PM Visit to local university/ social media company
San Francisco
AM Social media workshop
San Francisco
PM Wrap up at swissnex San Francisco San Francisco
PM Goodbye dinner San Francisco