About CIL @ SF

Each January the CIL takes a small group of students to tour companies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.  This high-tech adventure provides students the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurial alumni who live and work in the region, to learn about their work and their workplaces, and engage with start-up, Venture Capital, and tech communities. Students travel for five days between Silicon Valley and San Francisco with Swarthmore staff and enjoy some fun sights along the way. 

Who: 10 Swarthmore students

Where: Box, DFJGoogleOpenTableStitchFix, and more in San Francisco and Silicon Valley

When: January 15-20, 2018

Cost: $0. All travel to and from Swarthmore, food, and accommodations is covered by the CIL.

2017-2018 Application Process

Please email the following documents in PDF format to no later than October 16th, 2017 at 9:00am.

  • A current RESUME  
  • One-page ESSAY that addresses the following two questions:
    What do you think you'll gain from the CIL@ SF trek?
    What would you most like to ask or learn from alumni working in innovation and entrepreneurship? 

Student Testimonies

"I think the biggest take-away is that there are many opportunities to work in the exciting world of tech and innovation even from a non-tech background. I particularly appreciated the alums' comments on how a liberal arts education at Swarthmore has benefited them immensely along their career paths. Also, many alums changed their jobs or even careers along the way, and many attributed that to the skills and mindsets they acquired at Swarthmore. I thought this is really encouraging and comforting in a sense, that we are doing the right things."


"I found it extremely inspiring as a humanities major that many alums had also majored in humanities and also really valued their liberal arts education, so I think this experience really was useful for me. While a lot of the skills were applied to software engineering, I still found the experience very eye-opening. It has really made me want to consider not giving up hopes for what I can do in the future; coming back to school it feels like not even the sky is a limit for what I can accomplish. Learning not only about the companies but how alums have been courageous in their own passions and innovations really gave me more confidence to do so."


"I have never seen anything like CIL@SF during my time at Swarthmore. The alumni we met and the companies we visited made it seem like a door was opening in tech, and that coming from a liberal arts background, we weren't disadvantaged. I also enjoyed bonding with the other students immensely, most of whom I have never seen on campus before. Now, I am confident we will be friends long after the CIL trip."