Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: San Francisco, United States
  • Program Terms: Summer (Dec - Feb)
  • Partner University Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Sydney applicants only
  • -
Program Description:


Hacker Exchange - Immersive Innovation Program in Silicon Valley

Location: Silicon Valley, USA
Program dates: 26 November – 7 December 2018 OR 3 December – 14 December 2018
Application deadline: 2 September 2018
Duration: 2 weeks

The Hacker Exchange aims to connect the next generation of Aussie entrepreneurs and leaders with the opportunities, passion & networks that can only be found in the innovation capitals of the world. This trip is designed for undergrad or post-grad tertiary student with an insatiable curiosity and an entrepreneurial drive to turn your business idea into reality. Join them for two inspiring weeks in Silicon Valley, where you’ll learn from 

USA - Hacker Exchange - Golden

During this program you will learn the ins and outs of building a start-up in the tech innovation capital of the world, Silicon Valley. The program will connect you with industry mentors, teach you about the practical elements of developing your company (branding, finance, software development & making your pitch), include site visits to some of the largest companies in the world and get VIP access to some of the freshest businesses & co-working spaces in the Valley!

View full program details.

Academic Information

Language: Classes are instructed in English.
Relevant subject areas: Business.
Academic credit: The Hacker Exchange is a not-for-credit program, meaning it is for professional development only & will not be approved for academic credit.

Topics Covered
1. Learning the Startup mindset in a Silicon Valley co-working space
2. Funding and Finance (Business models & fundraising)
3. Product Validation
4. Branding & Culture
5. Growth Hacking
7. Pitch workshop
8. Finding your CTO
9. Site visits to prominent companies in the Peninsula

View full course description.

Useful Information 

Local overview
San Francisco is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Fitbit,, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Airbnb, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber and Lyft. 
Accommodation is included in the program fee, and is at a centrally located hostel, rated 4-stars on TripAdvisor. You’ll stay in shared accommodation, with privacy curtains, central kitchen, lounge and outdoor area.

Single accommodation upgrades are available on request.

Contact for more information


This is a non-exchange program and all fees are paid to the Hacker Exchange.

Program fee: $4950 AUD

Program fee inclusions: 13 x nights shared accommodation in Downtown San Francisco, all coursework, speakers, instructors, co-working space access, educational tours of accelerators and tech companies, internal transportation (excluding airport pickup/drop-off), at least 3 x lunches, at least 3 x dinners/social events, and breakfast daily.

Travel insurance: If you are approved by the University of Sydney to participate in this program you will be covered by the University's Student Travel Insurance Policy. This is a complementary policy to cover you for the duration of your University of Sydney mobility experience. Please refer to the Audit and Risk Management website for all travel insurance queries.
Other costs: Flights, visa, some meals, other travel expenses.

Cost of living: Follow this link to find out more about the cost of living in San Francisco.
OS-HELP loans may be available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, where the program is approved for credit prior to departure. Application required.

How to Apply

Applications for December 2018 have now closed.

It is important that you understand the requirements and structure of your course (and major/s) to ensure that you select overseas programs that can transfer back to your degree. To help understand your course structure, you should consult the Faculty Handbook published in the year in which you commenced your course (eg. if you began a Bachelor of Commerce in 2016, you should look at the Business School Undergraduate Handbook from 2016). Pre-2017 Handbooks can be found in the handbook archive.

Example application timeline

1. Select your program > 2. Apply for academic credit > 3. Complete Sydney Abroad application ('Apply now' below) > 4. Apply to host university > 5. Receive academic approval & host acceptance(October/November) > 6. Apply for OS HELP (if eligible), book flights & visa > 7. Fly safe!

Receiving your academic credit approval can take up to 8 weeks – so it’s very important that you submit your application for academic credit to your faculty as soon as soon as you have selected your program of choice.

Note: The Sydney Abroad application requires that you upload a copy of your current passport and the outcome of your academic credit request. If you do not have these available to you now you can save your application and upload them later.

If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to contact us at